Crafting a Cyprianic Rosary

By Frater S. C. F. V.

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Today is a very special Day of the Sun, which also happens to be the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, a day on which we pray for and commemorate all of the Martyrs who died for their faith throughout history, including Saint Cyprian, Saint Justina, and Saint Theocistus.

On this auspicious day, I finished a new hand-made devotional rosary to Saint Cyprian of Antioch for use in prayer and work with him as well as to be worn around my neck or wrist during Solomonic grimoire work.

This very unorthodox and untraditional rosary / circlet features:

  • Purple beads symbolizing Saint Cyprian, Bishophood, regalness, and the Sephirah of Yesod and the Moon, magic, and divination.
  • Three small transparent crystal balls to symbolize the Trinity, Triangle of Manifestation, Supernal Triad and Scrying Crystal.
  • Silver Cinquefoil roses suggesting the Divine Love of Mary, Venus, and the Fivefold Elemental Pentagram of which there are a total of 12 to allude to the 12 Apostles, 12 Tribes of Israel, and 12 Zodiac Signs as well as the gematric values of “loved” (חבב), “One” (חד), and “want / desire” (אוה).

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  • A red, white, and golden image of Cyprian that was custom-coloured and printed on a pure silver medallion.
  • Six-pointed silver spacers symbolizing the Solomonic Hexagram, of which there are a total of 16 or 1+6=7 to allude to the 7 Planets and due to 16 being the gematric values of אודה (ode/praise), and אזוב (ezob – hyssop),

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  • A gold Crucifix that hung around my Saint Cyprian statue’s neck on his Altar for weeks, including during his recent Novena, and was charged during recent Archangelic Invocation work.

The entire rosary will be exorcised, Solomonically consecrated, sprinkled, suffumigated, anointed with Holy Oil and blessed, then charged on Cyprian’s Altar with Offerings. Finally, it will be consecrated by Mass following the method described in my cryptoconsecratio article.

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From Theory to Practice: Some Intended Uses of the Cyprianic Rosary

My intended uses of this rosary are to me as diverse and integrative as my own magical history of initiation through different traditions and communities. Interestingly, the design of this rosary was not derived from the Christian tradition at all.  On the contrary, it is an homage to the Naqshbandi Sufi Order, from whom I learned both the practice of dhikr, or remembrance of the Divine, and how to make prayer beads in the Sufi style.  My Sufi brothers and sisters taught me how to make tasbih (Muslim-style prayer bead circlets) in three sections of 33 beads totaling 99 and representing the 99 Names of Allah and that is the design I maintained here.

I am planning to use this rosary / mala / tasbih circlet, for it is at once a bit of each of these in both intended use and design, in a number of ways. First, I will use it in the Muslim style, cycling through one Divine Name per bead in dhikr (remembrance) practice; I intend to use it in such ways with both the 99 Names of Allah and also with Jewish Divine Names from the Qabalah and grimoires. Whether with Jewish or Islamic names, I proceed through the three traditional dhikr stages from verbal recitations to heart and tongue recitation in harmony to the nondual absorption stage of La ilaha ill’Allah, in which there is no reality except God.

Second, I will use it for Christian style rosary practices with one bead per prayer as in the Catholic system and in the OSC Cyprianic chaplet system, even though it does not strictly resemble the standard Cyprianic chaplet.  In this use, it serves as an anchor for bhaktic devotion within the Christian mystical modality.

Third, I will use it in mantra work as taught by my Guru as a quasi-mala using the mantra I received in shaktipat diksha (energetic transmission / initiation) from my Teacher.

In this triad of devotional usages, the circlet will symbolically unite my Christian, Muslim, and bhakti yogic roots and serves as a practical nexus for all three.

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Fourth, I will wear it talismanically, both apotropaically / protectively and as as a way of bringing myself into greater sympathetic harmony with Saint Cyprian in my work with him as well as with the Archangels with whom I have used the Crucifix on this rosary in the past.

Fifth, I have some ideas for how this rosary could be used as a kind of tabletop divination circlet in the style of Dr. Al Cummins’ “Circling Ways in Geomancy.”

Sixth, I will use it in candle magic and Christian “rosary magic” in the style of authors like Agostino Taumaturgo, Jean-Louis de Biasi, and Bishop Tau Michael Bertiaux.

Seventh and finally for now, when not ritually or votively employing it, I will place it around the neck of Saint Cyprian on his Altar as a rough analogy to the votive gesture of placing Hindu beaded garlands around statues in Vedic puja ceremonies as practiced by my Guru.

Hail to you Holy Saint Cyprian of Antioch, Mage, Martyr, and Mystic! ☦ Theurge, Thaumaturge, and Theophoros! ☦ Sage, Sorcerer, and Saint! ☦ Together with Saint Justina and Saint Theocistus, pray for us now and at the hour of our death, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen! ☦

Flames that Warm and Destroy: Reflections on “Required” versus “Wise” in Work with the Grimoires

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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I read a quote today by Gordon Winterfield, author of Demons of Magick who claimed that none of the tools of grimoiric magic that many of us have devoted so much time, love, and energy to creating are “required” to work with goetic spirits. If you’ve read any of my articles researching the meticulous traditions surrounding the making of some of these tools and sharing my approaches to crafting them, you could probably imagine my facial expression upon reading this statement… 😉

However, since I attempt to be a charitable listener, I will willingly concede to Gordon that yes, technically, none of the classical equipment is “required” to complete a successful evocation, with ‘successful’ meaning that “the spirit showed up when called.”

Here’s the thing, though; this “success” can come at the price of danger, risk, and chaotic and unpredictable results from evocations done without the proper precautions and tools.

If those results end up giving us the opposite of what we did the magic to achieve in the first place, that can hardly be called “successful” in any practical sense. And if we, our possessions, or people we care about come to harm as a result of the Operation, that could arguably be considered an egregious failure. As a rather striking example, I know of a magician who didn’t use any of the tools and did a ritual with a particular spirit from the Lemegeton’s Goetia in which he asked the spirit to relieve his worries about his home. He got what he asked for; the spirit relieved his worries — by burning his house down!

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Moreover, if we attempt to exercise control and technical precision around using specific techniques to produce specific results, omitting the tools the spirits themselves often call for can be extremely counterproductive, inexact, and generate self-defeating results. Just as a good scientist would not omit controls for potentially confounding variables when running an experiment, so, the grimoire authors suggest, should we also be wary to omit the controls provided by the tools of the Art when performing our own Operations.

Here’s the thing that many of us “traditionalists” have been trying to point out to modern magicians with strong biases against using the classical tools of the Art: just because something is not “required” to complete an activity does not mean that it is wise to omit it. For example, technically, a car can be driven without brakes; therefore, brakes are not required to drive a car. However, it is extremely unwise and dangerous to drive a car without brakes. The same argument holds just as strongly for the evocationary technologies that we find in the grimoires such as the Circle, triangle, daggers, sword, incense and censor, candles, etc. Yes, an evocation can be completed without them, but with much greater risk involved.

Furthermore, if we do evocationary work without the proper tools and precautions, then what tends to happen is that either the spirits do not turn up at all or they do arrive, but we find ourselves without any means of means of protecting ourselves or resisting whatever they have in mind for us when they do. To cite just a few examples of adverse results I have either seen firsthand or heard about from friends with years of experience with the Lemegeton’s Goetia, people who have done evocations without the grimoiric precautions have sometimes gotten physically or mentally ill, been physically attacked (e.g. slapped, thrown to the floor, scratched, or bruised), had damage done to their family members or possessions, or been outright possessed or subtly manipulated into particular forms of obsession.  These spirits are powerful beings with many other spirits under their authority; they are no joke and should not be taken lightly.

This is all the more the case since some goetic entities are notorious for being deceptive, manipulative, unpredictable, and destructive when given the opportunity, reason, or motivation to act accordingly. As a result, great precautions are far wiser than not having any at all. I see the spirits in much the same way that I see fire. Fire can be very helpful or very destructive; its effects depend on the precautions we take when we work with it. Rightly used, fire can warm our house; used wrongly, it can burn that same house to the ground. Therefore, just as it is wise to take precautions with fire, so it is wise to take precautions when working with certain kinds of spirits.

Cover Image: Key of Solomon Sword by the talented Omega Artworks.

Published in: on November 5, 2018 at 5:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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Prayers, Psalms, Qur’an Recitation, Scrying, and Centering Prayer with Saint Cyprian

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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Date: November 4, 2018
Sun Phase: Set, Showers Nearby
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent, 326 degrees, in 8 degrees Libra
Mansion of the Moon: Al-Ghafr
Planetary Day: Day of the Sun
Planetary Hour: Hours of Saturn and Jupiter
Activities: Ritual Purification by ‘Wudu; Preliminary Prayers; Solomonic Bell Sounding to the Spirits of the Quarters; Offerings to God and Saint Cyprian; Exorcism of Sunday from Cyprian Orisons; 

Today, the Waning Moon is in Al-Ghafr, about which the Picatrix has the following to say:

“The fifteenth Mansion is Algafra, and it is for the acquisition of friendship and all good things that may be desired. When the Moon has passed into this Mansion, fashion from ink [and parchment] the figure of a seated man, holding scrolls in his hand as if they had been collected together . Cense it with frankincense and nutmeg and say: You, Achalich, do such and such for me, and make things comply with my wishes. You may ask him for the joining together of friends and lovers, and anything which pertains to them, and this image should then be carried with you. And know that Achalich is the name of the lord of this Mansion.”

I opted to use this time to build my “friendship” with Saint Cyprian and with Al-Batin (The Hidden), one of the 99 Names of God in the Islamic mystical tradition.

I began by purifying myself ritually using the Islamic ‘Wudu or ritual washing formula. Then I put on my white Solomonic robe, Stole, and consecrated Crucifix. I sounded the Solomonic Bell of Art three times before entering the Circle, as per the Hygromanteia, then sounded the Bell to each of the full Quarters, as per the Key of Solomon, saying “I greet and bless the Spirits of the (direction) with great love and respect in the name of Adonai!” I continued greeting the Spirits of the Above and Below and all other directions. As I did this, I began to see ‘sparks’ of light flickering around the Circle, suggesting the presence of Spirits.

I then unwrapped my Solomonic Wand from its white covering and began preliminary prayers from the Cyprian Orisons. I then lit a large candle as an offering to God, then made offerings of Host cuttings to Cyprian as well as a purple lavender candle and a glass of fresh Spring water. Earlier today, I did a libation of red wine from Cyprian’s wine offering from last week and gave the wafer offerings from last week to the local spirits of the land and local animals.

I then proceeded to recite Psalms 25 and 26, which were very moving. Then I performed the Exorcism of Sunday from the Cyprian Orisons, using my Solomonic Wand to trace the Crosses over myself and to the directions. This produced a strong feeling of purification, lightening, and feeling centered in presence and power.

Thereafter, I began to recite a series of Surahs (Chapters of the Qur’an) in Arabic. These included Al-Fatiha (The Opening), Al-Adiyat (the Coursers), al-Ikhlas (the Unity), an-Nasr (the Help), al-Quraysh (the Tribe of Quraysh), al-Qautar (the Abundance of Good), and finally, the longer al-Jinn (the Jinn). The recitations were clear and resonant today and produced a remarkable sense of stillness in the room, as well as a feeling of Divine presence and awe.

Thereafter, I greeted Cyprian and thanked him for his presence and aid. I asked him if the offerings were acceptable to him. The crucifix hanging around his neck immediately began to sway on its own as Cyprian often makes it do to communicate “yes” in my work with him. I then knelt down before his Altar, blessing him and thanking him for his friendship and Patronage. I then invited him to offer any message he felt I might need to hear or wisdom that he thought could be helpful to me by any means he wished (e.g. crystallomancy, pyromancy, closed-eye scrying, etc.). I began by staring into the candle flame offered unto him as a gift of friendship and devotion and it began to glow brighter. I then felt an intuitive nudge to gaze into the Crystal, which I proceeded to do.

At once, within the Crystal, I saw a black-robed figure with a skull’s head, much similar to the classical Grim Reaper figure from Scandinavian and Lithuanian lore. I got an intuitive nudge to close my eyes and immediately saw the robed figure of Cyprian walking toward me. He blessed me with the Sign of the Cross and then spoke these cryptic words into my mind:

“Death comes with difficulty for those who cling to life. 
For those who cling not to life, where can death take hold?
Live gently, with hands ungrasping, then the passage will be just as gentle.”

I asked Cyprian how we are to loosen our hold on life and he said:

Let the drop fall into ocean and see the ocean in the drop.”

By this, I understood that he meant to surrender clinging to our individuality to the great Ocean of Being or Emptiness and to see the Whole as reflected in the seeming Part, a message of Nonduality similar to the teachings of Zen and Advaita Vedanta.

I asked Cyprian if he had any recommendations regarding my upcoming preparation of a new Black Mirror of Art. For the past two weeks, I have already been charging, exorcising, and consecrating the basis for the mirror and the paint I will use on his Altar. In response, Cyprian said:

Wash it with Mugwort. Bless it with Holy Water. Consecrate it by appropriate Invocations. Link it with appropriate herbs and spices. Suffumigate it with consecrated incense. This will suffice.

I asked him which spices and herbs he meant. He said:

You will learn this be clarified later.

I wasn’t sure if he meant by him directly or in my research for the upcoming Black Mirror article, but I trusted him.

I then thanked Cyprian for his guidance and invited him to join me to practice Father Thomas Keating’s Centering Prayer.

I then performed the Centering Prayer while seated on my zafu and zabuton. The mind had to be gently directed back to the Sacred Word again and again, but towards the end, it calmed, and became more expansive, lightened, and open as I rested in Divine Presence.

When the Prayer was done, I closed the Circle and Temple after again sounding the Bell of Art to the four Quarters, the Above, and the Below, in a reverse order, counter-clockwise. I thanked Cyprian for his presence and continued guidance and invited him to help me to strengthen our relationship as he thought best. I then released any Spirits who may have been trapped by this Ceremony and formally closed the ritual space.

Full Moon Magic: Solomonic Consecration of Amethyst Runes

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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Date: October 22, 2018
Sun Phase: Set, Showers Nearby
Moon Phase: Full Moon in 11 degrees Aries
Mansion of the Moon: Sharatain
Planetary Day: Day of the Moon
Planetary Hour: Hour of the Moon
Activities: Casting of a Natal Chart; Solomonic Ritual Bathing with Hyssop; Preliminary Prayers; Offering to God; Solomonic Bell Sounding to the Spirits of the Quarters; Offerings to Saint Cyprian and Gabriel; Second Phase of Prayers; Invocation of the Divine; Invocation of the Trinity; Exorcism of the Runes and Purification by Holy Water; Solomonic Consecration of the Runes with Frankincense Suffumigations, Holy Water Asperging, and Saint Cyprian Oil Anointing; Invocation of Raphael, Gabriel, Michael, and Uriel to empower the Runes; Invocation of the Trinity; Canticle of Saint Cyprian; Rite of the Crook of Saint Cyprian; Psalms Recitation; Recitation of al-Fatiha and al-Adiyat; Gifts of Rune Divination and Tarot Divination for a friend; Temple Closing

Today was a busy day.  In the morning, and very appropriately, I received, on this Full Moon on the Day of the Moon, my new set of hand-carved Amethyst Runes. I, therefore, decided to plan to consecrate the new Runes this evening in the Day and Hour of the Moon.

Appropriately, the Full Moon is in Aries, a great time for work on powerful new beginnings, as well as in the al-Sharatain Mansion of the Moon.  As Christopher Warnock points out,

The warlike ardor of Aries the Ram, ruled by the planet Mars, is necessary for all beginnings. It provides the impetus to move forward, to overcome inertia and change the status quo. The Mansion is auspicious for beginnings, journeys and for taking medicine, as here the Moon transmits the force and power vital to breaking the hold of illness over the body. Keywords: Divine Mind, primal transmission and the power of creation/destruction, active energy and dynamic force.

As a side note, while Agrippa ascribes Amethyst to Mars in his Three Books of Occult Philosophy and Crowley ascribes it to Jupiter in Liber 777, I tend to side with the folk magical tradition that ascribes Amethyst to the Moon, which seems more consistent with its properties to facilitate reflection, clarify the mind to see into Mysteries and hidden virtues, and so on, as attested in Ancient Greek lore.

With purple also being linked to the Sphere of Yesod, the Sphere of the Moon, in the Queen Scale of the Golden Dawn and also being linked to Saint Cyprian, Amethyst seems to me to be a very appropriate choice for a set of Runes.  With that said, even if we take into account the Mars valences of Amethyst as per Agrippa, the connection is nevertheless auspicious since the Luar Mansion of Al-Sharatain is a strong time for Martian and Aries-like bursts forward with new creative energy and endeavours.

The day flew by with my clinical research course and doing what I could to encourage support for the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, helping a woman with directions, and casting a Natal Chart for a friend. I decided that I would do three magical acts of service today as service-based Offerings, since I believe service is not only intrinsically valuable, but pleases the Divine. In addition, I find that Saint Cyprian seems to be far more happy to help with my magical operations when I do acts of service for others as Offerings to him. As a result, I resolved to cast a Natal Chart for my friend Pil., and a Rune and Tarot reading for my friend Nik. who has a big decision to make in relation to whether to begin work in the Palo Mayombe tradition and requested some insight from me and Saint Cyprian on the subject.

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As night came, I performed Solomonic ritual bathing using hyssop as per the oldest-known surviving manuscript of the Key of Solomon proper, Sloane 3847, The Clavicle of Solomon revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian, (“And sprinkle thy self with the water coniured one such manner as it is sayd after of water and Isope upon thy face sayinge, &c.”).

As the Hour of the Moon began on this Day of the Moon on a potent Full Moon, I took up my Solomonic Bell and ringing it as per the Hygromanteia, entered my Circle, dressed in my white robe, stole, and carrying my Solomonic Wand. I arranged Saint Cyprian’s Altar with his Statue, which I recently consecrated by Mass, as well as exorcised, and Solomonically consecrated after a 9 day Novena culminating on his Feast Day, when I took him as my Patron. I also had on the Altar, my Solomonic Holy Water, San Cipriano Oil, my Solomonic Bell, my brass ‘Cauldron’ filled with white sand and containing Frankincense, a glass of Red Wine as an Offering, Cyprian’s water glass Offering, an Offering of Church wafers for Cyprian, and the complete set of Amethyst Runes.

I lit a candle as an Offering to the Most High and asked for His blessing and that he send the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation (Ephesians 1:17) to aid me in this Operation. I sounded my Solomonic Bell to the Four Quarters as per the Key of Solomon’s instructions for the Bell/Trumpet, blessing the Spirits and Angels of each Direction in turn and requesting their aid in the ceremony.  As I did this, I began to feel the presence of Spirits drawing to the Circle, curious as to what I was up to, as tends to happen. I blessed them and asked them to aid in the Ceremony as they could and bound them not to interfere with it adversely by the name of יהוה I then gave formal Offerings to Saint Cyprian of a glass of water, a glass of wine, Church wafers, and Frankincense.

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After preliminary prayers, I stated the Intent of the Ceremony and then began the formal Solomonic exorcisms and consecrations of the Runes. While praying over them, I washed each one in turn with Solomonic Holy Water, asperged them with my Aspergillum,  suffumigated them with Frankincense, and anointed them with the Oil of Saint Cyprian while invoking his aid to empower them for use in divination. I then invoked Raphael, Gabriel, Michael, and Uriel and asked them for their aid in consecration and empowering the Runes as well. I had such a feeling of holy joy after their Invocation that my heart felt much at peace and brimming with love for the kind and inestimably powerful Archangels.

I then performed the Rite of the Crook of Saint Cyprian that Cyprian had taught me, adding the goal of the Ceremony into the petition section. This was the first time I’ve applied the Rite in practical magic since I first tried it after Cyprian revealed it and I found it quite powerful. After I performed it, the Crucifix hanging around Cyprian”s neck began to sway as it sometimes does when he’s actively assisting in a ritual.

Thereafter, I proceeded to a series of prayers over the Runes, the OSC’s Canticle of Saint Cyprian, other prayers from the Saint Cyprian Orisons book, and the recitation of a series of Psalms over the Runes to consecrate them as per the Solomonic tradition. I finished the consecration by reciting two of my favourite Surahs from the Holy Qur’an, namely al-Fatiha and al-Adiyat over the Runes. I was amazed at the deep sense of silence that came over the Temple as I finished the Qur’anic recitations. They never cease to amaze me with their power and depth.

I then took up the Runes and asked for Cyprian’s help to use them to perform their first Three Norn reading as a gift to my friend Nik. for guidance in whether or not he should pursue initiation into Palo Mayombe followed by a ten-card Tarot reading on the same subject. Thereafter, I blessed and greeted the Spirits in the Four Quarters with the ringings of the Solomonic Bell, gave the License to Depart, released any Spirits that may have been captured in the ceremony with the blessings of Yeheshuah Yehovashah, and formally closed the Temple.

When I picked up the consecrated Runes, I already began to feel a deep connection to them. They will remain on Cyprian’s Altar for the next 7-9 days to complete their charging and final consecration phase, and then I will consecrate them by Mass 1-3 times to finalize their preparation.

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Cryptoconsecratio: Reflections on the Magical Consecration by Mass in the Solomonic Grimoires

By Adam J. Pearson

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The Marginalized Method: Introduction to the Magical Consecration by Mass

Consecration is one of the fundamental methods, not only of the traditional priestly art of the exoteric priest, but also of the traditional Medieval and Renaissance Magician.  As Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (2000) reveals in his Third Books of Occult Philosophy,  priests and Magicians alike have long used a variety of different methods to consecrate magical and sacred objects, methods which range from the use of sacred bells to the casting of exorcised salt and sanctified Holy Water:

“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).

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 or Key of Solomon.  Elsewhere, Agrippa (2000) alludes to the use of Fire and Incense in exorcisms, consecrations, and blessings of magical tools, as in the suffumigations we find within the Key (Peterson, 2004).

However, the commensurate power of bells themselves to exorcise and bless sacred spaces within the Solomonic tradition is often neglected; for this reason, I undertook a detailed and comprehensive study of the use of Bells and Trumpets of Art in the Solomonic grimoires.  However, both the great Agrippa himself and contemporary magicians like myself who humbly stand on his shoulders have long omitted one additional method of consecration that is employed in the Medieval and Renaissance grimoires.  Indeed, this marginalized method remains as oft-neglected, understudied, or dismissed as the consecrational use of Bells.

This mysterious method is none other than the method of consecration by Mass, which I will define for the purposes of this article as:

The process of spiritually empowering or sanctifying either Magicians or magical objects through their presence in the formal performance of liturgical or votive Christian Masses. 

In this article, I will analyze a series of key instances of this oft-neglected formula in three Solomonic grimoires, namely, Juratus Honorii or the The Sworne Booke of HonoriusSloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian, and the Heptameron or Magical Elements.  After thus establishing a theoretical and historical grounding for the method, I will then proceed to share some practical suggestions for how contemporary Magicians can apply this magical technique in order to optimally benefit from its powers and most closely follow the protocols outlined by the grimoiric systems.

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In History and Manuscripts: Consecration by Mass in the Solomonic Grimoire Tradition

The method of consecration by Mass occurs in multiple grimoires, perhaps because the power of the Mass as a magico-spiritual ceremony was vividly apparent to the clerical authors who penned the Late Medieval and Renaissance texts (Leitch, 2009).  In order to illustrate some examples of both how the method was traditionally applied as well as the contexts in which it was used, I will briefly consider three grimoiric examples here, namely, those of Juratus Honorii or the The Sworne Booke of HonoriusSloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian, and the Heptameron or Magical Elements.

1. Magical Consecration by Mass in The Sworne Booke of Honorius 

First, Liber Juratus Honorii or the The Sworne Booke of Honorius has the distinction of being one of the earliest extant Medieval grimoires available to contemporary practitioners and scholars; indeed the most reliable and complete manuscript of the text, Sloane 3854, art. 9, fol 117-144, seems to date to the 14th century (Peterson, 2009).  In this fascinating text, the method of consecration by Mass is interestingly employed, not to purify, bless, and empower magical objects, but to enact the same sacred transformation on the Magician.  As Joseph H. Peterson’s (2009) edition of the text lays bare, Liber Juratus requires the Magician to enlist the help of a “wary and faithful” priest who is willing to work with and purify him–in keeping with its historical context and Medieval gender biases, the text assumes a male practitioner–for his [sic] Operations with the spirits.  As the text explains,

Let [the Magician] have a wary and a faithful priest which may say unto him … a Mass of the Holy Ghost, and in his introit let him say the 13th prayer, and after the offertory the 9th prayer. Then take frankincense and incense and cense the altar saying the first prayer, and because the holy fathers did trust in the saints that were there named, therefore they did so, and if he that shall work have more devotion to any other saints, then be there named, let him change name for name, for faith doth always work, as I said before.

Then let the 2nd prayer be said immediately and after te igiter in the Mass; let be said the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th prayers  in consecrating of the Body of Christ, let the priest pray for him that shall work that through the grace of God he may obtain the effect of his petition. And so must the priest do in all his prayers that he shall say for him that shall work, but add nothing else to them. Also after the Communion, the priest shall say the 26th prayer, and after mass he that shall work shall receive the sacrament saying the 19th and 20th prayer.

But let him take heed that he receive not the Body of Christ for an evil purpose, for that were death unto him, wherefore some men have entitled this book calling it The Death of the Soul, and that is true to them that work for an evil intent and purpose, and not to have some science or some good thing; for the Lord sayeth “Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall finde,” and in another place he sayeth “where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst of them and everything that they shall ask the father in my name and he will fulfill and do it.”

The Magician of Liber Juratus is held to a very high standard of moral purity, a spiritual and ritual state that is here magnified by the priest’s consecration of “he that shall work”–the text’s term for the Magician or Exorcist–by the power of the Mass and Holy Communion (Peterson, 2009).

Two additional things are worth noting about this interesting passage.  First, the particular Mass that the grimoire recommends is a special ‘votive’ or devotional mass called the “Mass of the Holy Ghost,” now called the “Mass of the Holy Spirit,” which was used in the 14th century to invoke the Holy Spirit and ask for guidance and wisdom; the invocation of Divine power and wisdom is, of course, very relevant to the work of a Christian Magician.

Second, the Mass is here given in a modified version in which the specific numbered prayers given in the grimoire are inserted into it and the priest prays for the success of the Magician’s operation at the most auspicious of moments, namely, during the “consecration of the Body of Christ,” in which the wafer was believed by Catholics to be transubstantiated from an ordinary wafer into Christ’s body itself. The net effect of making these changes to the standard script of the Mass is to produce a kind of grimoiric Mass that is an explicitly magical ritual in itself through its connection to the Liber Juratus procedures.

Later in the text, the Magician is instructed to conduct a prolonged series of fasts, prayers, and purifications, and once again, is instructed to attend the Mass. Here, however, “he that shall work” is instructed to say specific prayers, which are given in the text, while receiving the Holy Communion or the Body and Blood of Christ in the Church (Peterson, 2009). As Liber Juratus explains:

If therefore anybody wishes to operate with those spirits, we must first warn him strictly that he must be thoroughly purified, as we have said in the preceding, until he comes to the fourteenth day, on which day he must begin his fast. Then when the Mass of the Holy Spirit is being said or celebrated, when the operator is receiving the Body of Christ (eucharist), he should say prayers 19 and 20 (LXXVII-LXXIX), as we have said, when the priest is holding up the Body of Christ (i.e. wafer), to reveal it to the congregation, he should pray on behalf of the Operation.

This passage is noteworthy because it lays bear the notion that for the author of Liber Juratus, the exoteric Mass and the esoteric work of the conjurer were not seen as two separate things, as some contemporary theorists who postulate a rigid divide between the techniques of “magic” and “religion” may suggest.  Instead, the work of the Mass was part of the magic and supplied part of its spiritual empowerment; in the Liber Juratus‘s system, the preparatory purifying Rites and the later callings of the spirits are part of a single magico-religious continuum.  Indeed, without the consecration by Mass, the Magician was held to be unfit and insufficiently purified to proceed with the Operations with spirits (Peterson, 2009).

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2. Magical Consecration by Mass in Sloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian 

Second, the same principle that the Christian Mass itself has the power to consecrate both practitioners and tools of the Art is applied in another grimoiric text, namely, Sloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian.  This text is one of the earliest available manuscripts of the Key of Solomon and seems to date to 1572 (Peterson, 1999).  In this text, the method of consecration by Mass is applied not only in the consecration of the Tools of the Art, but also in the consecration of the Pentacles. As will be seen, the process given for consecrating the Pentacles is considerably more involved and demanding in this manuscript than in later manuscripts of the Clavicula Salomonis, which may suggest that later writers may have abrogated the text to simplify the method.

In Sloane 3847, the Magician is required to have not one, but multiple Masses said over the Planetary Pentacle to consecrate and empower it, as the text explains:

The Pentacles be made upon  day, and in the hour of Mercury,(…). Have a house or secret chamber clean and goodly wherein shall none inhabit, but the cheefe coniurer and his fellowes, and make a fumigation there and sprinckle it with yewater, as it is said (…) and have your paper or better, virgin paper and begin that hour to write the foresayde pentacle of noble collour as is emabrium or celestem coniured and exorsized as it is sayd.

For the Pen and the Inke, let them be writt and other thinges to be exorsized, and when they be written perfectly, that hour if they be not completed, doe not cease untill they be fullfilled when ye may. Then take some noble cloth of silke wherin ye may hold the foresayd pentacles, and have there an earthen pot great, and full of coales, and let there be of ligno mastico masculo & ligno aloe, coniured, and let ye coniurer be cleare [24v] as it is meete, and have there prepared Arthanum nupatum [the Quill knife] in the juice of pimpernell and the blood of a goose made and completed upon Mercuries day in the augementinge [waxing] of the moone where upon let 3 Masses be songe with gospells and fumigate it with fumigations of ye knife, that ye must cut and make maicum Isopi [hyssop], with your whole minde and humble deuotion, sayinge these Psalmes with yeoration followinge…

Nor is that all. The Magician is then required to complete a series of prayers over the next three days, and “cause” an additional series of Masses to be said over the Pentacle to activate it and en-spirit it with magical force:

Say this 3 dayes continuall upon the foresayed pentacles and cause 3 Masses to be sayed of ye Holy Ghost, and one of Our Lady, and afterward put the foresaid signes, in a silke cloth with goodly sauours, and put them up in a cleane place.

And when it is neede, ye may worke as it is said of the artes magicall, of thy cloth were decked with gold it were of more efficacye, and when they be put in a cleane place, fumigate them and sprincle them with water and Isope [hyssop] and soe let them alone. They have immumerable vertues as it is contained heareafter.

Nor is the formula of consecration by Mass only applied for Pentacles.  The Clavicle also requires it for the consecration of “the Conjurer’s” tools, such as the Knife, Wand, and Needle:

With such a knife as the circles should be made with, if it be greevous for you to make such a knife, finde some knife of the foresaid fashion, with a haft all white or all blacke, and write upon manicumor haft the foresaid wordes, after the mañer aforesaid of that knife, and upon the plate begiñinge from the poynt, write with encausto conjured, Alpha et omega, agla, Ja, el, ou, premeumaton, syrnel, afrnel, and cause to be sayd over this knife 3 masses, one of the holy ghost and 2 of our Lady and fumigate him, with the fumigations followinge, and blesse him with water as followeth, conjuring sayinge, in nomine patris filii et S. Sancti Amen, and put him in a silke cloth, of such as followeth, until ye will worke, and of that knife let the circles of artes be made, and with that knife, let things necessary to the artes or experiments be cut, likewise let Artanus be made, but they neede not to be put in any operation. Let other Instruments of Iron, or staves, or rodds excersised in artes or experiments be consecrated, on that mañer, if they be Instrumts Let them be made on Mercury dayes and his Hour as it is said of ye knife, and Arthano [the quill knife], and let these that followeth be written upon them…

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This passage is fascinating for a number of reasons. First, it seems to suggest that a single knife can be used, not both a black-handled knife and a white-handled knife as in later manuscripts, but a knife “with a haft [handle] all white or all black” (Peterson, 1999). This small, but significant difference places this manuscript more closely in line with the Hygromanteia, which only features a single knife (Marathakis, 2011).  As Dr. Stephen Skinner explains in his detailed analysis within the same edition of the text, in the Hygromanteia,

The blade of the knife must be from an older sword or knife that has brought death, but the handle must be made from the horn of a black he-goat. P has she-goat instead and G does not refer to the handle at all. According to A, B, G and B3 certain nomina barbara have to be written on the knife, and it must be constructed on the day and the hour of Mars.

Except for this section and the subsequent mentions of the black handled knife in the making of the pen, the parchment and the circle, the manuscripts mention the knife in relation to a number of independent divinatory operations that will be treated of below. The oldest reference to the black-handled knife, brought to my attention by David Rankine, comes from Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki), the famous 11th century commentator of the Talmud. Rashi, commenting on a Talmudic passage, says:

He who is particular about the vessel (by means of which he divines), that he cannot do anything without the vessel that is required for that thing, as, for instance, the “princes of the thumb”, for which they require a knife, the handle of which is black, or the “princes of the cup”, that they require a cup of glass.” (…)

Another early reference to the black handled knife can be found in the Recension C of the Testament of Solomon, which, according to McCown may belong to the 12th or 13th century. In this text, Beelzeboul says:

Take fifty one in number black unborn kids, bring me a new knife with a handle made from black horn and attached by three rivets, and skin the kids [baby goats].”

It is additionally worth noting the explicit Christianity of this passage from the Clavicle, which not only requires “3 Masses, one of the Holy Ghost and 2 of our Lady [the Virgin Mary]” to be said over the Knife of Art, but also conjures the Knife by means of the Trinity, “in nomine patris filii et S. Sancti Amen” (Peterson, 1999).  This stands in contrast to later manuscripts of the Key of Solomon, which eliminate all Christian references in an attempt to make the text appear entirely Jewish, and thus, more in line with the religion of its pseudepigraphic author, King Solomon.

In the interests of brevity, I will not quote all of the passages concerning consecrations by Mass in the Clavicle, for there are many, but it may suffice to say in summary that Masses are also required to be recited over the “Virgin Wax or Earth” (“three Masses”), the Needle of Art (“three Masses”), the Virgin Parchment (“three Masses”), and the Silk Cloth for wrapping implements of the Art (a staggering “9 Masses!) (Peterson, 1999).

As these passages reveal, consecration by Mass was considered by the author of the Clavicle, that is, Pseudo-Ptolomy the Grecian, to be a fundamental and essential magical technique for consecrating all of the Tools of the Art as well as the Pentacles produced using the Clavicular method (Peterson, 1999).  As such, the absence of consecration by Mass in later manuscripts of the Key, arguably a product of attempts to streamline and facilitate the Solomonic method, is remarkably conspicuous.

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3. Magical Consecration by Mass in The Heptameron or Magical Elements Pseudepigraphically attributed to Peter de Abano

Third, consecration by Mass also figures strongly in the Heptameron or Magical Elements, in two key respects, namely, the consecrations of the Pentacle and Garment and the Sword of Art. As the text, in Peterson’s (2018) edition, explains:

The Operator ought to be clean and purified by the space of nine daies before the beginning of the work, and to be confessed, and receive the holy Communion. Let him have ready the perfume appropriated to the day wherein he would perform the work. He ought also to have holy water from a Priest, and a new earthen vessel with fire, a Vesture and a Pentacle; and let all these things be rightly and duly consecrated and prepared. Let one of the servants carry the earthen vessel full of fire, and the perfumes, and let another bear the book, another the Garment and Pentacle, and let the master carry the Sword; over which there must be said one mass of the Holy Ghost.”

Similarly, a later passage clarifies that the consecration by Mass must not only be performed for the Sword, but also for the Pentacle:

Let it be a Priest’s Garment, if it can be had, let it be of linen, and clean. Then take this Pentacle made in the day and hour of Mercury, the Moon increasing, written in parchment made of a kids skin [goat skin]. But first let there be said over it the Mass of the holy Ghost, and let it be sprinkled with water of baptism

As these passages reveal, the Pseudo-Peter de Abano of the Heptameron also saw the consecration by Mass to be a crucially important method for imbuing the Sword and Pentacle with their magical power.

To bring these three analyses together, the magical theoretic logic at play behind both Juratus’ consecration of the Magician by Mass and the Clavicle and Heptameron’s consecrations of the Tools and Pentacles by Mass seems to be largely the same.  In both cases, proximity to or immersion in the Holy Mass brings the Magician and the Tools into sympathetic resonance with the holy forces that they are intended to help conjure and direct to magical ends.

To the Catholic Magicians who penned these three grimoires, it was only natural to draw upon the most powerful ceremony of which they were aware, in which the Body and Blood of their Saviour were symbolically ingested in the Mystery of Eucharist, to empower their instruments, a logic Agrippa explains in his analyses of sympathetic “occult vertue” (Agrippa, 2000).  Indeed, the fact that the method of consecration by Mass recurs in so many influential and early texts only makes its glaring omission by most modern Magicians all the more striking.  By omitting it, contemporary practitioners risk leaving out a key component of the magical method and theory enshrined in these pivotal texts.

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Resurrecting the Consecration by Mass: Practical Suggestions for the Contemporary Practitioner

In light of the method’s powerful historical legacy in the grimoires and in the interests of faithfulness to the source texts, what are contemporary practitioners to do if they wish to implement the consecration by Mass into their own 21st-century work?

Three main options remain open to contemporary Magicians:

1) They can follow Liber Juratus and try to find a “faithful and wary” ordained priest who is willing to help in performing Masses over them or their magical implements.  This is possible in some cases, but priests willing to cooperate in occult enterprises can be few and far between.  This unfortunate state of affairs is predominantly due to the continued stigmatization of esotericism as necessarily and intrinsically demonic that reigns within the contemporary Church.  With that said, Reverend Aaron Leitch does offer a service of consecration by Mass for those who would like to enlist his services.

2) They can become ordained as priests and perform the Masses over their own  implements ourselves.  To aid and support those who are interested in doing this, I have included a full Latin text of the “Mass of the Holy Ghost” called for in the aforementioned grimoires in Appendix I of this article.  The journey to authentic ordination is a long one requiring great devotion and commitment, but this second option is often still easier than the first, and indeed, I know several individuals who have taken this approach.

3) The third and final method is the approach I affectionately refer to as cryptoconsecratio, that is, the clandestine consecration of objects performed in public.  In this case, cryptoconsecratio entails bringing magical items to Church and praying over and consecrating them secretly during the Mass itself.

One challenge posed by this latter approach, however, is that, as we have already seen, the “Mass of the Holy Spirit” prescribed above is not the standard Sunday liturgical Mass, but rather a votive or devotional Mass that is rarely performed by most Churches today at all if not once or a few times per year (Rex, 2014).  Thankfully, practical experimentation has revealed that the standard Mass, while not as optimally aligned with the grimoiric specifications as the Mass of the Holy Spirit, works nearly as well for our purposes.

Practical Tips for Cryptoconsecrating Magical Objects by Mass

Those who would like to attempt the cryptoconsecratio method of consecration by Mass, can facilitate their task by placing magical items in an unsuspicious bag such as a backpack, purse or satchel, which they bring with them into the Church.  Ideally, the objects to be consecrated would be placed as close to the Altar as possible; indeed, the grimoires’ authors envisioned the items being placed on the Altar itself.  However, as per Agrippan occult philosophical logic, the items can remain in the pews if necessary; since the Mass technically unfolds throughout the entire Church, its “occult vertue” and sympathetic empowerment can still be transferred to any location within the Church during the Mass provided appropriate and effective prayers are used to direct the process (Agrippa, 2000).

The closer to the Altar, the better, however.  The boldest Magicians can sit in the front row and thereby be as close to the Altar as they can possibly be without being the officiating priests themselves.  If practitioners are performing the clandestine cryptoconsecratio from their pews with the items in a bag beside them, then during the Mass, they can simply and discretely place a hand over the items to be consecrated and pray over them to complete the consecration.

Praying over the items multiple times throughout the Mass seems to be most effective approach, as practical experimentation has revealed.  However, the most crucial moment to perform such clandestine prayers is when the priest is initiating the transubstantiation or the mystic transformation of the bread and wine into the Blood and Body of Christ (Peterson, 2009).  Liber Juratus makes the esoteric potency of this moment abundantly clear in the aforementioned passage regarding the prayers to be recited by “he that shall work” (Peterson, 2009).  Following Agrippa once again, the magical rationale is clear; since the priest is performing a sacred transformation, the moment is pregnant with the ‘occult vertue’ of that sacred transformative power–quite like an auspicious and benefic astrological election–thus facilitating the consecration of the targeted magical objects by the Mass (Agrippa, 2000).

At this point, I anticipate that my intelligent and practically-minded readers will likely pose a very understandable question: what about the Sword — surely it’s not so easy to cryptoconsecrate as small objects?

Admittedly, the Sword of Art’s size does seem to pose a problem. Thankfully, however, it is one easily solved.  Since the Sword does not fit in most bags, it can instead be placed in the case of a musical instrument — a guitar case, for instance, works remarkably well.  Once again, as in the case of the bags, clandestine practitioners need only place a hand over the Sword as it lies hidden in its case and pray over it to consecrate it during the Mass.  Exorcisms of the items to be consecrated can be done in the Magician’s private Temple prior to going to Church for the Mass and final suffumigations and Holy Water sprinklings of the items can be done upon returning home.

In short, whether through a priestly ally, through becoming priests, or through discrete cryptoconsecratio performed during Masses officiated by others, the method of consecration by Mass remains accessible to this day.

A Mystic Legacy with Enduring Value: Concluding Words on an Ongoing Practice

In conclusion, the method of consecration by Mass has a respectable grimoiric pedigree and remains accessible today through methods such as the three approaches suggested in this article. Grimoiric traditionalists and Christian Magicians may find particular value in the method. Non-Christian practitioners with an open-mind and a curiosity about magical methods from other cultures, however, may still find that the method offers a fertile magical technology under-girded by hundreds of years of esoteric history as well as a fascinating avenue for exploration.

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Appendix I – The Latin text of the ‘Mass of the Holy Ghost/Spirit,’ shared here from the Public Domain:

Missa de Spiritu Sancto

Introitus. Sap. l, 7.

Spíritus Dómini replévit orbem terrárum: et hoc, quod cóntinet ómnia, sciéntiam habet vocis.

(T.P. Allelúja, allelúja.)

Ps. 67,2.

Exsúrgat Deus, et dissipéntur inimíci ejus: et fúgiant, qui odérunt eum, a fácie ejus.

℣. Glória Patri.

Oratio.

Deus, qui corda fidélium Sancti Spíritus illustratióne docuísti: da nobis in eódem Spíritu recta sápere; et de ejus semper consolatióne gaudére. Per Dóminum . . . in unitáte ejúsdem Spíritus Sancti.

Léctio Actuum Apostólorum.

Act. 8, 14-17.

In diébus illis: Cum audíssent Apóstoli, qui erant Jerosólymis, quod recepísset Samaría verbum Dei, misérunt ad eos Petrum et Joánnem. Qui cum veníssent, oravérunt pro ipsis, ut accíperent Spíritum Sanctum: nondum enim in quemquam illórum vénerat, sed baptizáti tantum erant in nómine Dómini Jesu. Tunc imponébant manus super illos, et accipiébant Spíritum Sanctum

Graduale.

Ps. 32, 12 et 6.

Beáta gens, cujus est Dóminus Deus eórum: pópulus, quem elégit Dóminus in hereditátem sibi.

℣. Verbo Dómini coeli firmáti sunt: et Spíritu oris ejus omnis virtus eórum.

Allelúja, allelúja. (Hic genuflectitur)

℣. Veni, Sancte Spíritus, reple tuórum corda fidélium: et tui amóris in eis ignem accénde. Allelúja.

Post Septuagesimam, omissis Allelúja et
Versu sequenti, dicitur:

Tractus. Ps. 103, 30.

Emítte Spíritum tuum, et creabúntur: et renovábis fáciem terræ.

℣. O quam bonus et suávis est, Dómine, Spíritus tuus in nobis! (Hic genuflectitur)

℣. Veni, Sancte Spíritus, reple tuórum corda fidélium: et tui amóris in eis ignem accénde.

Tempore autem Paschali omittitur Graduale,
et ejus loco dicitur:

Allelúja, allelúja.

℣. Ps. 103, 30.

Emítte Spíritum tuum, et creabúntur: et renovábis fáciem terræ. Allelúja. (Hic genuflectitur)

℣. Veni, Sancte Spíritus, reple tuórum corda fidélium: et tui amóris in eis ignem accénde. Allelúja.

✠ Sequéntia sancti Evangélii secúndum Joánnem.

Joann. 14, 23-31.

In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus discípulis suis: Si quis diligit me, sermónem meum servábit, et Pater meus díliget eum, et ad eum veniémus, et mansiónem apud eum faciémus: qui non díligit me, sermónes meos non servat Et sermónem quem audístis, non est meus: sed ejus, qui misit me, Patris. Hæc locútus sum vobis, apud vos manens. Paráclitus autem Spíritus Sanctus, quem mittet Pater in nómine meo, ille vos docébit ómnia et súggeret vobis ómnia, quæcúmque díxero vobis.

Pacem relínquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis: non quómodo mundus dat, ego do vobis. Non turbátur cor vestrum neque fórmidet. Audístis, quia ego dixi vobis: Vado et vénio ad vos. Si diligerétis me, gauderétis útique, quia vado ad Patrem; quia Pater major me est. Et nunc dixi vobis, priúsquam fiat: ut, cum factum fúerit, credátis. Jam non multa loquar vobíscum. Venit enim princeps mundi hujus, et in me non habet quidquam. Sed ut cognóscat mundus, quia díligo Patrem, et sicut mandátum dedit mihi Pater, sic fácio.

Offertorium. Ps. 67, 29-30.

Confírma hoc, Deus, quod operátus es in nobis: a templo tuo, quod est in Jerúsalem, tibi ófferent reges múnera. (T.P. Allelúja.)

Secreta.

Múnera, quǽsumus, Dómine, obláta sanctífica: et corda nostra Sancti Spíritus illustratióne emúnda. Per Dóminum . . in unitáte ejusdem Spíritus Sancti.

Præfatio de Spiritu Sancto.

Communio. Act. 2, 2 et 4.

Factus est repénte de cælo sonus tamquam adveniéntis spíritus veheméntis, ubi erant sedéntes: et repléti sunt omnes Spíritu Sancto, loquéntes magnália Dei.
(T.P.Allelúja.)

Postcommunio.

Sancti Spíritus, Dómine, corda nostra mundet infúsio: et sui roris íntima aspersióne fecúndet. Per Dóminum . . . in unitáte ejúsdem Spíritus Sancti (Zardetti, 1888).

References

Agrippa, H. C. (2000). Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Ed. Joseph H. Peterson. [online eBook]. Esoteric Archives. Based on a transcription from Moule: London, 1651. Available at http://www.esotericarchives.com/agrippa/agrippa1.htm[Accessed 01 October 2018].

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

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

Peterson, J. H. (2004). Clavicula Salomonis or The Key of Solomon. [online eBook]. Esoteric Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 01 October 2018].

Peterson, J. H. (2018). Heptameron or Magical Elements. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 01 October 2018].

Peterson, J. H. (2009). Liber Juratus Honorii or the The Sworne Booke of Honorius. [online eBook]. Esoteric Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 01 October 2018].

Peterson, J. H. (1999). Sloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon, Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian. [online eBook]. Esoteric Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 01 October 2018].

Rex, R. (2014). The Religion of Henry VIII. The Historical Journal57(1), 1-32.

Zardetti, O. (1888). Special Devotion to the Holy Ghost. New York: General Books.

Michaelmas 2018: An Invocation of Archangel Michael and the Archangel’s Exhortation to Humanity

By Frater S. C. F. V.

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Happy Michaelmas, Amici! Michaelmas, which is also known as the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels is celebrated by the Catholic and Anglican churches today, September 29, 2018.

It’s worth noting, however, that although the Serbian Orthodox Church observes the feast, most Eastern Orthodox Churches. Moreover, the Greek and Romanian Orthodox honour the Archangels as well on their equivalent of the Western Michaelmas, but they also include the Cherubim and Seraphim and celebrate the Feast on November 8th instead.

For my celebration, I began by performing a ritual bath as well as some preliminary worship. Thereafter, I cleaned the Altar, applied a fresh red altar cloth for Archangel Michael, and cleaned all offerings vessels. I arranged the Altar, and prepared the offerings for Michael and the other Angels. These included incense, a red candle fixed with chili peppers, Solomonic Holy Oil, and cloves, and a glass of wine. I also offered the Angels fresh orange slices spiked with three cloves to symbolize the Trinity of Divine images in the Christian “symbolic theology,” to quote Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, that is, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three clove “nails” qll suggest the three Nails in the Holy Cross, three Supernal Sephirot, 3 Pillars of the Tree of Life, and the G.D. Neophyte Triangle or Triad of Manifestation (“two contending forces and one eternally uniting them”).

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Thereafter, I entered the Temple, placed the Offerings on the Altar, and formally opened the Temple with the initial Offerings to the Godhead. Thereafter, I picked up my Solomonic Bell, sounded it three times before entering the Circle as per the Hygromanteia and then, from within it, sounded the Bell thrice to each of the Quarters, greeting the Spirits of the East, South, West, and North with great love, respect, and blessings of Adonai.

Next, I proceeded to give Offerings to Saint Cyprian and began to pray and recite Psalms while holding my Solomonic Wand of Art. Saint Cyprian received his own fresh glass of Spring Water, a candle dressed with San Cipriano oil, Sage, Cinnamon, and All-spice, and Church wafers.

I opened with some prayers to God offering worship, an announcement of my intention to celebrate the Archangels with gratitude and gifts, and a prayer to Saint Cyprian asking him to assist me in the invocation of Michael.

I then used the prayer from the Heptameron to ask for God’s help in calling Spirits and proceeded to a formal Invocation of Archangel Michael.  After prolonged additional conjurations and vibrating Michael’s name while gazing into the crystal with his candle burning behind it–a method I call pyrocrystallomancy, or fire-crystal-divination as shown to me by Archangel Raphael–I felt the Archangel’s presence begin to build in the Temple.

I found it noteworthy that the last time I had invoked the great Michael, his arrival in the Temple was marked by a series of sparks erupting from his candle.  This time, his manifestation in the room was experienced in the expansion of his incense smoke and the omset of intense flickering of his Offering candle.

Much like in the last invocation, however, his presence felt strong, but kind, fiery, but composed, comforting, but unwavering, and above all courageous and ready to act immediately as needed.  Upon his arrival, I greeted him with great love and respect and Offerings of his fixed and dressed candle, the oranges and cloves, the glass of wine, and and Musk incense, sacred to the Sun as per Agrippa, as gifts of friendship.

At this time, I informed the Archangel that my intention was primarily to celebrate his Feast Day, but that I would also be grateful for any insights or wisdom he may wish to offer, not only to me, but to my fellow human beings who might read this ritual journal entry. As a side note, for the sake of respect and decorum, I always obtain a Spirit’s consent to share what they reveal to me, provided it is not explicitly secretive or deeply personal in nature, in which case I do not share it.  Michael has always granted the permission as he considers it a form of Offering to share wisdom for the purpose of edifying others.

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I asked Michael to help me to optimally attune my consciousness and biopsychospiritual state in order to best me able to communicate with him and asked Saint Cyprian to help me to send and receive clear messages to the Angel.  This process of tuning in is, to me, like tuning a radio receiver to receive the clearest possible sound of a particular radio station’s broadcast.

Scrying into the Crystal as Michael’s candle burned behind it, I gave the Archangel permission to speak into my mind or into my body via sensations or emotions. I asked him questions as I gazed through the crystal and received his responses immediately in a deep, stern, but kind, and warm voice.

When asked if the traditional depictions of Michael are how he really appears, he said “no. These are appearances that I assume for you,” meaning human beings.

I then asked him if he could give me a closer impression of what he looks like without assuming the images he takes on so as not to frighten us. He asked if I was sure. I wondered if he had been asked this before only to have people be terrified by the result. I said that I was certain.

My eyes grew heavy and fell closed before a vivid vision began to reveal itself.

Before me, I first see a handsome and slightly androgynous male figure clad in red robes and armor and bearing a mighty sword. Behind him, two large white wings stand elegantly unfolded to each side of his armored frame.  As I watch, the image of his clothing, wings, and human-like features begins to stretch and distort. It grows and grows, beyond a height slightly taller than my 5’11 frame to grow larger and larger. Before I know it, the great Michael’s vast form is entirely filling the horizon in every direction. Wherever I look, his massive form is there.

The colours in his initial self-presentation gradually begin to fade out. Now, there is but a vaguely anthropomorphic being of golden light towering over the entire planet Earth… At last, even this last faint hint of a human-form distends into a totally incomprehensible and unrecognizable ‘mass’ of pure golden light, voiceless, and staggering in its incredible power…

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The whole experience lasts only a few moments before the vast, cosmic figure shrinks back down and resumes the familiar human-esque form in red robes and Angelic wings.

I open my eyes and resume gazing at Michael’s candle’s flickering flame from through the Crystal.  I thank the great Archangel for this impressive vision, feeling humbled by the realization thay even this only really represents a fraction of what Michael is “really like.”

As this is a day of celebration of Michael and all other Angels as well as their primordial relationship with human beings, I ask the Archangel if he has any words of wisdom to guide humanity at this moment in our history. He begins to speak these words:

“Yes. Know that whatever you face, however alone you may feel, however desperate things may seem, there is always hope. Wherever you stand, you stand not alone. My Sword executes justice in accordance with Divine Will balanced with love and compassion. Many are the Angels who storm to your aid when you are in struggle, if only you knew. Be encouraged and take hope. In your darkest nights, our light shines brightly to join with yours.

Beware most of all the tendency towards self-absorption and self-centeredness, the gateway of all sin, that is, of all missing of the mark of excellence, virtue, and holiness. Temptations always come in the same forms: questioning your value, shaming you, tempting you into feeling entitled, and fanning the flames of greed and victimhood. All of these appeal to the baser constructs of human self-centeredness.

If you are absorbed in yourself, you become blind to value beyond value for you. You lose yourself in greed and hatred, entitlement and cruelty, attachment to illusions and arrogance. All the while, you hold your imaginary self up as an idol to be worshiped. What folly!

Human destruction always stems back to excessive self-centeredness. It is for it that you destroy the planet, that your people kill, rape, lie, deceive, and manipulate and glorify yourselves on your media, begging to be worshiped so that your artificial image of self can feel real. All of this is falsehood. Cut through it. Humility is the gateway to wisdom, not self-centeredness and arrogance. What room is there for growth in one who believes themselves already to be large and great? Turn back from illusions to Truth, from the imaginary to the Real, and humble yourself in relationship to That. For your greatness is only in your realization of always having been That, and not in the little “you” you pretend to be. Humble the “self” you’re not and embrace the Self beyond all concepts and images, the Eternal and the True.” 

When asked what humans could do to be more like the Angels, the Archangel’s reply was:

Surrender illusions to Truth. Trust the Good, which is the same as the Will of God. Do it without hesitation out of Love for its nature. Surrender self-centeredness and dwell in the awareness of Divine presence. Live to serve and love the service. Find your meaning not in what you can get for yourself, but how you can strengthen and give to others. Serve the Whole you Are, not the part you take yourself to be. In truth, not even the Angels separately exist. The same is true for human beings; it is only your wrong thinking that makes you take yourselves to be cut off from one another. Nothing is cut off. Nothing is apart from God. We know this. Purify your mind of wrong notions and be open to learning from that Wisdom which is beyond your finite understanding.

Finally, when asked if humans are missing anything important that we should be attending to, Michael replied:

“Yes. Frankly and boldly consider the impact of your actions as a relative human being. You are always influencing everyone around you, whether neutrally, for the worse, or for the Good. Own your part in the problems you blame on others. Own the impact of your actions. Minimize the harm you cause and maximize the Good. Wake up from the dream of self-absorption before your greed and ignorance destroy the Earth, your fellow human beings, and other creatures alike.  We Angels have watched your kind since you first emerged. We have seen you do great things, and great atrocities. Ultimately, all things that arise, pass away. But even an ant leaves footprints in the sand.

Contribute not to the collective self-destruction. Own your part to play in the Whole you are, go beyond worshiping yourself to serving your collective Self appearing as all beings, God, the Divine, beyond the One and the All forever, yet ever Present as all in all.

And yet, you appear as a human being living a human life, and while you do, I encourage you to be mindful in your humanness that you always have the power to transform hateful, greedy, wrathful ways into ways that bless more they curse and help more than they hinder. Those who surrender to this transformation not only help, but they are helped; for as you do unto others, so it is done unto you. In truth, there is neither “you” nor “others,” only That One beyond Oneness at play with itself. Therefore, give up the game of fighting yourself imagined as “other” and learn to Love the One in All, the All in One, and That beyond All and One alike. This is the Way of the Angels and the Way of God, if you would only understand…”

Humbled by this, I thought it best to end the session in humility, contemplating more than suggesting, listening more than speaking. What more could I say? I thanked Michael for his presence and invited him to go in peace or to stay with me to pray and enjoy the Offerings given in the honour of him and all of the Angels and Archangels.

I sat in silence for what felt like a long time, silently reflecting and abiding in Michael’s presence. Relatively, we seem to be human beings communicating with Angels or living blissfully unaware of their existence. Absolutely, the only reality that is is beyond the dreams of unity and diversity alike, as the Angels have pointed out to me time and time again. Relatively, we seem to be a separate individual, member of a family, a society, a species, a planet.

But this too, is part of the dream. Nothing stands alone; nothing is cut off. While we continue to dream this dream of human consciousness, Michael seems to me to suggest, we may as well make it as happy as possible and live it as meaningfully as we can, which is to say, in greatest harmony with our highest ideals: harmony, kindness, strength, encouragement, wisdom, and love. For if we harm others, we harm our Self in disguise, our Beloved, the Divine itself. Therefore, let us Love the dream of others, the wonder and miracle of God appearing in the form of the vast diversity of the universe, or multiverse, which we behold, in awe-struck wonder…

Magic is a game within the Divine play, God experiencing Itself as both Angels and human beings in conversation about Itself. What fun! And yet, how head-spinning to our finite human minds!

Ah! I’ve said too much already. It’s time to return to the infinite wonder of ever-open silence.

But before I do, two final words:

Happy Michaelmas!

 

 

 

 

 

The Rite of the Crook of Saint Cyprian: A Powerful Ritual Revealed Through PGM Lecanomancy

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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Altar set-up for Novena of Saint Cyprian of Antioch Day 9 and PGM lecanomancy: large bowl filled with spring water, Holy Water, and Saint Cyprian Oil (bottom center). Brass cauldron with offerings of Church wafer and incense (bottom right). Key of Solomon Aspergillum and Water Glass Offering to Cyprian (bottom left). Offering of wine (center). Two lavender candles fixed with Saint Cyprian Oil, cinnamon, all-spice, and sage offered to Saint Cyprian (middle left and right). Statues of Saint Cyprian and Justina (back center), Vial of Saint Cyprian Oil (back right), and Novena Candle (back left).

A Sudden Change of Plans

On Day 9 of my 2018 Novena of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, I woke up and performed a ritual bath and morning worship. I then traveled to the city to do social work community service with older adults in the community as a form of Offering to Cyprian. At the end of the day, I meditated  on the Mystical Theology of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite on the journey home, and having arrived, prepared for ritual.

I performed a second ritual bath of the day and session of prayers and put on my robe, stole, and golden crown. I then fixed two candles as Offerings to Saint Cyprian, both lavender candles, fixed with San Cipriano Oil, allspice, cinnamon, and sage. I had originally planned a completely different series of rituals for tonight, but after receiving a strong intuitive nudge of the kind that Cyprian usually produces when he is giving guidance, I scrapped the initial plan and opted instead to focus entirely on the Papyri Graecae Magicae (PGM) or Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri. Indeed,I felt a strong sense that the focus of the night should be on classical Graeco-Egyptian lecanomancy. As the night unfolded, it became clear that I was in not just for a powerful experience with Cyprian, but for learning an entirely new ritual directly from him…

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The Oracle of Delphi presented as performing lecanomancy or evocationary scrying via a bowl of water and olive oil painted by a Kodros painter and dating to 430 BC, roughly 100 years before Dr. Ryan Bailey (2017) estimates the Acts of Saint Cyprian of Antioch was written.

The Lecanomantic Origins of the Rite of the Crook of Saint Cyprian

I entered the Temple, and began, as usual, with offerings and preliminary prayers to the Divine. I then picked up my Solomonic Bell, sounded it three times before entering the Circle as per the Hygromanteia and then, from within it, sounded it thrice to each of the Quarters, greeting the Spirits of the East, South, West, and North with great love, respect, and  blessings. Next, I used my Key of Solomon Aspergillum of Art to sprinkle Holy Water all around the Circle and on the tools and Altar to purify the area for the workings to come. I then proceeded to give additional Offerings to the Divine and to Saint Cyprian and prepared myself for the intensive work to begin.

I lit both of Saint Cyprian’s twin candles and offered him a glass of red wine as well as consecrated incense. Then, I breathed deeply until I entered a quasi-trance state and standing and brandishing my Wand, I began to powerfully recite the Rite of the Headless One from the Stele of Jeu or Papyri Graecae Magicae V. 96-172.

The Rite came on strongly and powerfully as it always does. Before I knew it, I had been transported into a kind of ecstatic frenzy as the primal force of the “awesome and invisible god” began to overwhelm my mundane consciousness.  As I strained to not fall into the state of momentary transcendental dissolution in the Absolute that the Rite is known to produce, and still immersed in the frenzied, ecstatic state of the “Holy Headless One,” I shifted into a modified Cyprianic form of the lecanomantic spell of “evocationary scrying,” to borrow a term from Dr. Stephen Skinner, from PGM IV. 154 to 285.

Inquiry of bowl divination and necromancy. Whenever you want to inquire about matters, take a bronze vessel, either a bowl or a saucer, whatever kind you wish. Pour water: rainwater if you are calling upon heavenly gods, seawater if gods of the earth, river water if Osiris or Sarapis, spring water if the dead.

Holding the vessel on your knees, pour out green olive oil, bend over the vessel and speak the prescribed spell. And address whatever god you want ask about whatever you wish, and he will reply to you and tell you about anything. And if he has spoken dismiss him with the spell of dismissal, and you who have used this spell will be amazed.

PGM IV. 223- 243

In keeping with Saint Cyprian’s necromantic theme, I had filled a large bowl with spring water prior to beginning the Headless Rite. It was into this bowl that I now turned to begin my necromantic lecanomancy guided by Cyprian. I poured a libation of Saint Cyprian Holy Olive Oil into the bowl of water, into which I had also poured a small amount of Spring Water mixed with Holy Water used in a prior magical ceremony. I then began to recite the conjuration from PGM IV 223-243, modified to include Saint Cyprian in place of a Graeco-Egyptian gods:

The spell spoken over the vessel is: “AMOUN AUANTAU LAIMOUTAU RIPTOU MANTAUI IMANTOU LANTOU LAPTOUMI ANCHÔMACH ARAPTOUMI, hither to me, O Saint Cyprian; appear to me this very hour and do not frighten my eyes. Hither to me, O Saint Cyprian, be attentive to me because he wishes and commands this ACHCHÔR ACHCHÔR ACHACHACH PTOUMI CHACHCHÔ CHARACHÔCH CHAPTOUMÊ CHÔRACHARACHÔCH APTOUMI MÊCHÔCHAPTOU CHARACHPTOU CHACHCHÔ CHARACHÔ PTENACHÔCHEU” (a hundred letters).

But you are not unaware, mighty king and leader of magicians, that this is the chief name of Typhon, at whom the ground, the depths of the sea, Hades, heaven, the sun, the moon, the visible chorus of stars, the whole universe all tremble, the name which, when it is uttered, forcibly brings gods and daemons to it. This is the name that consists of 100 letters.

PGM IV. 223- 243

Immediately after finishing this powerful conjuration, I sat before the Altar with the lecanomantic bowl on my knees as described in the spell text. I began to scry into the olive oil swirling in the water and invited Saint Cyprian to guide me with a vision of whatever he felt would be helpful for the development of magical wisdom. I gazed and gaze into the swirling Cyprianic oil within the bowl until my eyes grew heavier and heavier before falling shut completely…

Suddenly, I saw him. Saint Cyprian, carrying his iconic Crook stepped out of the darkness of my closed eyelids and stood before me, exuding great power and mystery.  I greeted him with love, respect, and the blessings of the Divine, which he returned.  Then I asked him what he guidance he would like to offer for the next phase of my magical development and he said:

“Follow my example. Find connecting lines where others see gaps. Integrate the wisdom to which differing traditions cling into a broader vision of magic. Do not fixate on the outer forms of things. Instead, peer behind the techniques, at the principles that underlie them, and behind the symbols and language at the fundamental forces on which they draw. Having realized the concealed and foundational mechanics that power the techniques and rites of magic beneath their surface forms, you will be best equipped to enlist them in your work. Let undeniable results rule over the rigid opinions of the ignorant.”

I thanked Saint Cyprian for this wise message and promised to do my utmost to put it into practice.  I then asked him if he was pleased by my efforts and Offerings thus far in the 9 preceding Novena days of intensive magical work conducted in his honour and if so, whether he would do me the great honour of granting me his patronage as a result.  Smiling, he spoke into my mind in his deep calm voice, saying:

It is with pleasure that I bestow on you my Patronage. Wherever you go, my Crook will follow you there.  Whatever work you embark upon, my hand will be in it to strengthen it as well.” 

I felt very moved and grateful for these inspiring words and asked the great Saint if he would be willing to kindly bless me with a new magical technique that I could both use myself and pass on to other esteemed Magicians to empower their own work. Nodding in assent, Cyprian instructed me to open my eyes and begin to write.  As I did so, I was startled by the automatic rapidity with which the words of the rite that follows flowed, fully-formed onto the page as a potent gift from Saint Cyprian himself. I pray that you, dear Reader, will find it as useful as I have, that it will release blessings and power over you, your house, and your work, and that Saint Cyprian will pray for your success in all things, in the name of the Most High, Amen!

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The Invocatory Rite of the Crook of Saint Cyprian

Perform a ritual bath and stand to perform the ritual, ideally in the center of a ceremonial Circle of your choosing. Breathe deeply multiple times until relaxed and ready.

Hold a Wand, Dagger or extended finger straight up into the air and call out:

RAI ATAH IA YAH YAH
(Ray-Ah-Tah Ee-ah Yah-Yah)

Begin to trace a Spiral symbolizing Cyprian’s Crook out from the center of your forehead. Continue spiralling faster and faster while declaring:

I draw out the Eternal
GA RAHP TA GAKAIOL
(Gah-rahpt-tah-gah-ka-ee-ol),
Beyond all, at the Source of All,
Beyond the First, after the Last,
Nowhere and Yet everywhere,
Here and Now And evermore,
ONTA GA SHALEIO KA
(OH-N-Tah-Hah-Shah-Lay-Yo-Ka)
RAMATA GAH RAH KAA!
(Rah-Mah-Tah Gah-Rah Ka-Ah)

Thee I Invoke, The Ancient One,
As You, as I, Without A Second
GOKAHRAI TAH AGAI
(Goh-Kah-Ray-Tah-Ah-Gah-Ee)
OVAYOTOGAIOL
(Oh-vah Yoh-toh Gah-ee-ool)
RAHGAH PEII RAH TAI!
(Rah-gah Pay-Ee Rah Tah-Ee)

Pull the potent force evoked down towards the ground to complete the Staff portion of Cyprian’s Crook, tracing your wand, dagger or finger down from the forehead over the throat, heart, and solar plexus.

Finish with your hand over your genitals and your finger, Wand, or Dagger pointing to the floor. Exclaim:

Planted am I, the Eternal Root,
Fiery Source, Birth and Destruction,
Mighty am I, Force Beyond Force,
None do breathe except through Me —
GAH RAH TEII AIOL!
(Gah-Rah Tei-ee Ah-Eee-Ol)

Life and Death are naught but coils
In my Ancient Serpent’s Form,
Beyond the Hidden and Revealed
OTA GOH KARAIOL!
(Oh-tah Goh-kah Rah-Ee-Ol)
GOGEI AN PA-AH-IOL
!
(Goh-gay An-pah Ah-Ee-Ol)
As That Alone which Is declares,
So must yet it be:
__________________ (Call out petition / desired magical outcome)!
KAH GEI RATEI GAIOL,
(Kah-Gay Rah-tay Gah-Ee-Ol)
OMEI GATEI ALEI PHA,
(Oh-may Gah-tay Al-Ay-Pha)
AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!”

Cross the arms over the chest like the resurrected Osiris and abide in that position for some time, monitoring the sensations that result, certain that what has been declared will come to pass.

Novena of Saint Cyprian 2018 Day 8: Invocation of Archangel Uriel

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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This Novena has been without a doubt the single-most magically intense series of operations I’ve ever attempted… To invoke 8 Archangels in 8 days, perform the most intense Stele of Jeu of my life, and officiate the G.D. Equinox Ceremony, with all of the other prayers, consecrations, exorcisms, fasting, community service, charity work, scrying, Church services, preparation of Saint Cyprian Oil, and so on… have all left me grateful and inspired, but also utterly drained and with so much to process.  Thankfully, however, tonight completes the Invocations.  Tomorrow is a fairly relaxed Novena day and the day after, I celebrate Cyprian’s Feast Day and formally adopt him as my Patron. Then it’s time for a break from magic for a while to integrate all of the intense results of these tremendously charged 10 days…

On this Eighth Day of my 2018 Novena to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, September 23, 2018, I arose and performed a ritual bath and worship. I attended my research seminar, listened to multiple spiritual talks while traveling about, completed my work for the day, and then went home for another ritual bath. With that done, I set up the Temple with the Altar facing the North in preparation for today’s formal Invocation of Archangel Uriel.

After yet another day of vegetarian diet and minimal food, I prepared the Offering candles for the night’s Ritual. For Cyprian, I fixed and dressed a candle with San Cipriano Oil, cinnamon, and all-spice. Archangel Uriel’s candle, in contrast, was dressed and fixed with Solomonic Holy Oil, rosemary, and white sage.

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After ritual bathing, I entered the Temple, where I began, as usual, with offerings to God and prayers. I picked up my Solomonic bell, sounded it three times before entering the Circle as per the Hygromanteia and then, from within it, thrice to each of the Quarters, greeting the Spirits of the East, South, West, and North with great love, respect, and  blessings of Adonai. I used my Key of Solomon Aspergillum of Art to sprinkle Holy Water all around the Circle and on the tools to purify the area to receive the Archangel. I then proceeded to give Offerings to God and to Saint Cyprian and began to pray and recite Psalms while holding my Solomonic Wand of Art.

I then used the prayer from the Heptameron to ask for God’s help in calling Spirits and proceeded to a formal Invocation of Archangel Uriel. As the Angel’s mighty presence began to grow in intensity, I greeted him with love and respect and offered him gifts of Incense and his fixed Candle as Offerings of friendship.  After receiving them, his candle begin to flicker wildly.

Archangel Uriel’s presence felt ancient, supremely peaceful, and powerful, yet equanimitous. It was easy to be drawn into the calm space of his presence, which made me feel comfortable to proceed slowly and with great attentiveness rather than to rush through the ritual. Unlike the to-the-point and no-nonsense Archangel Cassiel, Uriel did not rush me through the ritual at a rapid pace; instead, he was gradual and patient.

I asked the Archangel if he could give me a vision of his nature. My eyes fell closed, heavily and slow. Suddenly, I beheld a totally different scene.

A powerful ancient figure, an Angel clad in black and green. He moves his glowing hand of light over the land and plants began to grow. A motion of his other hand causes rain to fall upon the land. And on he drifts over the soil and greenery…

Suddenly, I was back in the Temple, kneeling before the Altar once more. Because Uriel was said to specialize in prophecy and clairvoyance, I asked him, as I had asked several of the other Angels, if he could assist me in developing my Crystal-scrying abilities. He kindly assented to my request and I found myself gazing deep through the crystal as his candle flickered hypnotizingly in the background.  I gave him my consent to speak guidance into my mind as he willed, requesting that he speak in my tongue in a manner I might understand. His instructions were mysterious and enigmatic  Uriel instructed me to:

Gaze not into the Crystal pretending you were a separate individual “Adam” gazing into a separate stone through which to gain a vision of an Angel. That which gazes, the seeing itself, and the seen are all the Supreme itself. Let all phenomena fall away. Rest as the primal No-thingness. And as That, gaze as the Void into the Void, as God into the Wisdom and Mysteries of the Mind of God. Then see what comes forth.”

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I asked Uriel if he could give me a sense of what God was like. He replied:

How could such a thing be done? Cast aside all of your thoughts and concepts about Him, all that has ever been thought, is thought now, and ever will be thought. For the Divine is greater than the greatest and beyond actual and possible cognition. Out of compassion, God permits his children to relate to Him through metaphors — even “Children” and “Father” and “He” are metaphors. But do not confuse metaphors with truth. No concept of God is true. God is beyond all concepts. If you wish to know what He is like, you must leave all concepts behind and dive, unhelped and unsupported, directly into the Abyss of not-knowing itself. There alone, in complete non-knowing and non-seeing is Divine Seeing and Knowing to be found, and not by “you,” but of Him, through Him, and by Him alone...”

From these infinitely subtle metaphysical topics, which pushed the boundaries of the intelligible into the mystical and the unfathomable, the conversation turned to more practical matters on the mundane human level. When asked how best to develop as a social worker for the greater service of my clients and the greater Good, Uriel instructed me to:

Turn to the Most High repeatedly for guidance, for He knows all and you do not. Do your best to learn all you can. Study fervently. Practice each moment as if it were your last opportunity to serve. Work for your clients as if they were your own children or parents. Care for them with just as much seriousness, tenderness, and yet, humour. Lose not compassion. Step into your fear to do what you have never done before, reaching out to mentors, resources, and peers to carry you through. Turn all over to God and all will come out well in the end. For He from whom all possibilities come, all is possible and without Him, nothing is.

As a final question, I asked Uriel how we could best connect with Nature. Uriel answered:

“The very question is meaningless. There is no “human” separate from Nature. How can you connect with what you already are? Does your wrist need to practice to connect with the arm? They are already beyond connected; they are One. Instead, realize that in truth, there is no human apart from Nature, and therefore no need to connect one to the other. As you stand in the forest, cast aside your human identity, emotions, and thoughts about “how to connect.” Silently, without knowing what you are doing, in complete surrender of all ideas, drink in the forest and simply be. Natural Unity is. Apparent disharmony veils only eternal harmony in the Whole. Rest in the inter-being that alone is. Let all be as it is, entrusting it all to the Power of the Eternal. In That which is beyond all questions and answers, your question will be answered by seeing that there is no need for a question. No solution is needed when there is no problem. Let “how” drop. Be in its absence. In such fullness, what question is there of “how to connect”?”

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The illuminated peace Uriel embodied continued to shine forth throughout the Temple space.  Exhausted, however, I offered Uriel to remain for the final prayers or feel free to depart in peace at his leisure. I asked if he had any final words and received simply “all that need now be said has been.” When asked if he would accept the gift of my friendship, pray for me, aid me as best he could, and kindly come again to share with me again should it be his will and God’s, his candle flickered intensely in affirmation. Finally, I obtained his permission to share the record of our communication and invited him to kindly communicate any wisdom he cared to share with me in dreams.

I said a final set of prayers and closed the Temple, exhausted, but content, at having finished the 8th Archangelic Invocation on the 8th Day of the Novena.  As Saint Cyprian’s statue gazed upon the Altar, the Offering candles continued to flicker silently into the night, long after I had left the Temple…

Novena of Saint Cyprian 2018 Day 7: Invocation of Archangel Michael

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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On this Seventh Day of my 2018 Novena to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, September 23, 2018, I arose and performed a ritual bath and worship. I listened to a sermon and attended Church, where I encountered an amusing synchronicity — the same passage from Micah that I had prayed the night before turned up in the morning’s sermon! I was even more amused when a passage cited immediately after that in the Church sermon then turned up in the Orison work in Dr. Mal Strangefellow’s Cyprian Orisons for the day!

With my stomach aching with fasting, I went on with the day’s activities. As the Hour of the Sun on the Day of the Sun ruled by Michael approached, I took another ritual bath and fixed the offering candles for the ritual to come. For Cyprian, I fixed a candle with San Cipriano Oil, cinnamon, and all-spice:

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For Michael, the candle was fixed with Holy Oil, clove, and cedar, the latter two of which are both included in Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s Book I, Chapter xxiii. How we shall know what Stars naturall things are under, and what things are under the Sun, which are called Solary.

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In addition, I placed fresh cedar leaves, reverently picked from a local tree on my walk home from Church under the scrying Crystal in order to receive their sympathetic “occult vertue,” to quote Agrippa. Additional cedar was included in the brass cauldron of Offerings as well as in pieces in the fixing of Michael’s candle.

At last, I entered the Temple, where I began, as usual, with offerings to God and prayers. I picked up my Solomonic bell, sounded it three times before entering the Circle as per the Hygromanteia and then, from within it, sounded the Bell thrice to each of the Quarters, greeting the Spirits of the East, South, West, and North with great love, respect, and blessings of Adonai. I proceeded to give Offerings to God and to Saint Cyprian and began to pray and recite Psalms while holding my Solomonic Wand of Art.

I then used the prayer from the Heptameron to ask for God’s help in calling Spirits and proceeded to a formal Invocation of Archangel Michael, Angel of the Day of the Sun and of Sunday.

After prolonged additional conjurations and vibrating Michael’s name while gazing into the crystal with his candle burning behind it–pyrocrystallomancy, as shown to me by Archangel Raphael–I felt the Angel’s presence as his candle literally began to spark in explosive little pops. It was the first time I had ever seen this happen and it was definitely a highly solar mode of appearance, which reminded me of solar flares.

Michael’s presence felt strong, but gentle, fiery, but composed, secure and unwavering, and above all courageous and ready to act at a moment’s notice. Upon his arrival, I greeted him with great love and respect and Offerings of his fixed and dressed candle and Musk incense, sacred to the Sun as per Agrippa, as gifts of friendship.

At first, I greatly struggled to communicate with Michael. It felt like trying to tune into a radio frequency that kept going in and out of focus. I would ask him a question and get a hint of an answer, but then it would trail off… I would re-ask the question and again the same would happen.

Frustration began to arise because of all of the Invocations in this series for Saint Cyprian’s Novena, Michael’s was the one to which I was most looking forward. However, I remembered Saint Cyprian’s advice from a prior ritual session, “persevere!” And so I did. I tried scrying into Michael’s candle directly (pyromancy), but it was not of much more help. After an hour of trying, and completely at my wit’s end, I asked Saint Cyprian for guidance as I held my Solomonic wand in one hand and the miniature Crook from his statue in the other.

As I pressed Cyprian’s Crook to my forehead, out of the mists of the black space of my mind, Cyprian slowly began to walk into view. I asked him how better to communicate with Michael since I seemed to be so out of sync with him today.

His answer was exceedingly strange to me and was one which I had never before read anywhere. He told me to “take two sprigs of cedar and place them behind each of your ears. Place another under your tongue.” I didn’t understand why at first, but I trusted him and did it. After some time remaining like this, I took the piece of cedar from under my tongue and placed it on top of the scrying Crystal.

I then resumed scrying into the Crystal and lo an behold, I finally broke through into being able to speak with Michael. It was as if the cedar had harmonized me with his solar nature and ‘tuned’ the Crystal so that he could more easily communicate through it and through me. Ah, the power of Agrippan “occult vertue” and sympathetic resonance! And great thanks to Saint Cyprian!

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I asked Michael about his station and office and as I gazed into the flickering Crystal, he spoke words into my mind in a bright and friendly voice without the formality of Cassiel:

Mine is a role of illumination and protection, of might and defense, of aid and swift action.”

I asked him if he might share with me something about the key to the courage he so embodied and his reply was:

“True courage comes not from trusting oneself, but from trusting the Source of all courage. As He Wills, I act. And if I act as He Wills, what cause is there for anything but courage? What can be lost when the Source of all is behind us? What is there to fear when the Source of all Might lights our way?”

When asked if he could offer guidance on building inner strength, he said:

Fortitude, too, comes through trust. Remember past victories and take encouragement in them now. Trust not your own strength, but God’s infinite Might. Cast your weakness on Him and let His strength guide your next steps.”

I asked him if he might show me a vision to better appreciate his nature, and closing my eyes, an ethereal scene emerged:

An Angel with a face that shines like the golden Sun, stands clad in red robes, streaming like flames. A sword that blazes as bright as the core of a Star, is licked by tongues of pinkish-red flame. The figure swiftly courses to action. No hesitation. Only acting as ordered, as Willed. No reluctance, only execution. Pure efficiency, fiery might.

I thanked the great Archangel for the gift of this vision and asked if I could share what he had shared with me with others for their edification and our mutual growth.  He said yes, but only if I added also this final exhortation, the last thing he shared with me:

“Be quick to act with strength, slow to believe you are weak.
Be quick to do the courageous, slow to cower and wait. 
Be quick to do the Good, slow to do the evil.
Be quick to trust in God, slow to distrust yourself.
Be quick to listen to counsel, slow to offer your own.
Be quick to learn from others, slow to begin to teach. 
Be quick to strengthen hope, slow to surrender to doubt.
Be quick to build up others, slow to knock them down.
Be quick to speak to empower, slow to weaken resolve.
And quick to reach for wisdom, slow to cling to old ways.
Act before cowardice can take hold–
Let courage quicken you, and be quick to act with courage.”

Having said these final words, his candle flame abruptly went out, much to my surprise, as that had never happened before with any other Spirit.

I sensed he was preparing to charge off out of the Circle, so I thanked him for his presence and asked him to come again in friendship to share his wisdom. I received a warm feeling of–how appropriate–encouragement, after which his incense burned out. Just like that, as swiftly as he had come, the great Archangel was gone.

I said a final set of prayers and closed the Temple. Hail to thee O Michael! May we act with courage like you! Hail to thee O Cyprian! May your mastery of mystery grow in us! Praise to thee O Source of Strength, Adonai, may we learn to trust in You!

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Published in: on September 23, 2018 at 8:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Staggering Power of the Stele of Jeu or the Rite of the Headless One

By Frater S.C.F.V.

Introduction: Apotheosis, Theo-Identification and Graeco-Egyptian Magic

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After a powerful Invocation of Cassiel, Archangel of Saturn and Angel of Saturday from the Heptameron on the Day and Hour of Saturn during Day 6 of my Novena to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, I felt moved to perform a powerful and ancient Rite.

The Stele of Jeu or Rite of the Headless One occurs in the Greek Magical Papyri or Papyri Graecae Magicae V. 96-172. As Dee Rapposelli (2016) points out,

The Greek Magical Papyri are a compilation of highly syncretic texts that date from the 2 century BCE to 5 century CE of Hellenistic Egypt. They are Graeco-Egyptian magical spells and are loaded with Egyptian, Greek, Gnostic, Orphic, and Hebrew [Divine Names]—sometimes all in the same [papyrus.]

The rite has classically been understood as a powerful ritual of exorcism, for it contains repeated references to subjugating all daimons that may be adversely influencing one’s life (e.g. “deliver me from all restraining daimons and misfortune“).

The manner in which it does this goes far beyond any ordinary exorcism, however.  After first identifying with Moses and “the messenger of Pharaoh Osoronnophris,” the Magician invokes completely with the cosmic Source of all and casts one’s Earthly human identity into the great void of the Eternal and primordial to temporarily abide as no less than the Supreme Godhead itself. As such, the Stele of Jeu can additionally be seen through another lens, not only as a rite of exorcism, but also as a rite of Theurgy and mystical identification with the Godhead.  Indeed, my yogic teachers might describe it as a way of realizing and abiding as Brahman, the ultimate reality that appears both as and beyond all things.  This is no small feat in itself, but the Headless Rite is even more than this.  It is a Graeco-Egyptian hybrid of invocation and evocation conducted simultaneously. As Rachel Isabella (2003) explains:

To evoke a spirit is to call it/her/him to one’s immediate vicinity. To invoke a spirit is to call it/her/him into oneself. This Rite does both at once. It’s customary upon completion of the Rite, with the invoked power still humming in you, to state a specific intent or prayer in the voice of the God.

The result of this total identification with the Godhead is intense to say the least. It can feel disorienting, possessing, transformative, and moving beyond explication and articulation. It is nothing short of a mystico-magical Apotheosis, as Leonardo of Voces Magicae (2015) explains:

Invocations such as the Stele of Jeu (PGM V. 96-172) and the Invocation of Typhon from PGM IV. 154-285 reach a magical crescendo when the ritualist self-identifies with the target of the invocation and speaks as that deity.

This ritual apotheosis heralds the moment at which the practitioner wields the necessary authority to manifest their desire – whether to call forth a spirit to appear or to successfully cast a spell.

This method is, of course, very reminiscent of Ancient Egyptian spells from the Pyramid Texts, Coffin Texts, and so on, which involve the priest assuming the identity of a God and speaking and acting magically within the power of the assumed Divinity. It is ancient magic par-excellence with syncretic Hellenistic, Gnostic, and Jewish twists. And it is powerful.

The Experience of the Stele of Jeu

On this particular occasion, the version I opted to perform can be found in Dr. Maleficarus Strangefellow’s official Prayer Book of the Order of Saint Cyprian of Antioch (OSC), of which I am a Novitiate, Cyprian Orisons (2017).   I will provide a full transcription of the text below. Standing in the Circle, with Offerings of Candles and Incense burning before me, clad in my robe and Stole and wearing a golden Crown, I held my Solomonic Wand and began the ritual.

As I began the ritual, I immediately felt myself hooked into its ancient Graeco-Egyptian current of power. Wearing my Saturn ring, I loudly proclaimed the assertive words of the text’s opening, which, in English translation, read:

Subject to me all daimons, so that every daimon, whether heavenly or aerial or earthly or subterranean or terrestrial or aquatic, might be obedient to me and every enchantment and scourge which is from God.

I summon you, Headless One, who created earth and heaven, who created night and day, you who created the Light and the Darkness; you are Osoronnophris whom none has ever seen; you are Iabas; you are Iapos; you have distinguished the just from the unjust; you have made female and male; you have revealed seed and fruits; you have made men love each other and hate each other.

The evocatory formula within the ritual is perhaps most evident here, but already the power of this potent Being as Source of all begins to be laid clear.

After this point, the Ritualist self-identifies first as Moses then as a Messenger of Osiris, declaring:

I am Moses your prophet to whom you have transmitted your mysteries celebrated by Israel; you have revealed the moist and the dry and all nourishment; hear me.

I am the messenger of Pharaoh Osoronnophris; this is your true name which has been transmitted to the prophets of Israel. Hear me, ARBATHIAŌ REIBET ATHELEBERSĒTH ARA BLATHA ALBEU EBENPHCHI CHITASGOĒ IBAŌTH IA; subject to me all daimons, so that every daimon, whether heavenly or aerial or earthly or subterranean or terrestrial or aquatic, might be obedient to me and every enchantment and scourge which is from God.

Thereafter, the text shifts into an Invocatory mode. And as I bellowed these words, I felt the boundaries of my body feeling less and less distinct, as a potent and ancient force seemed to wash over me like warm and invigourating water…

I call upon you, awesome and invisible god with an empty spirit, AROGOGOROBRAŌ SOCHOU MODORIŌ PHALARCHAŌ OOO. Holy Headless One, deliver me from all restraining daimons and misfortune, ROUBRIAŌ MARI ŌDAM BAABNABAŌTH ASS ADŌNAI APHNIAŌ ITHŌLETH ABRASAX AĒŌŌY; mighty Headless One, deliver me from all restraining daimons and misfortune. MABARRAIŌ IOĒL KOTHA ATHORĒBALŌ ABRAŌTH, deliver me from all restraining daimons and misfortune, AŌTH ABRAŌTH BASYM ISAK SABAŌTH IAŌ.

He is the Lord of the Gods; he is the Lord of the Inhabited World; he is the one whom the winds fear; he is the one who made all things by command of his voice.

Lord, King, Master, Helper, I call upon you, IEOU PYR IOU IAŌT IAĒŌ IOOU ABRASAX SABRIAM OO YY EY OO YY ADŌNAIE, immediately, immediately, good messenger of God ANLALA LAI GAIA APA DIACHANNA CHORYN.

Thereafter, the strangest thing began to happen: my voice shifted. It grew deeper, raspier, and sounded both intimate and foreign at once. This shift continued to grow stronger and stronger through the words that followed…

I am the Headless Daimon with sight in my feet; I am the mighty one who possesses the immortal fire; I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world; I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll; I am the one whose sweat falls upon the earth as rain so that life can begin; I am the one whose mouth burns completely; I am the one who begets and destroys; I am the Favor of the Aion; my name is a Heart Encircled by a Serpent; Come Forth and Follow.

Neither the hosts of demigods nor the great sages know My origin, for, in every respect, I am the source of the demigods and the sages. He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginningless, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds-he, undeluded among men, is freed from all sins.

Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, self-control and calmness, pleasure and pain, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy are created by Me alone.

As these words were spoken forth, my perspective seemed to become less and less “my” perspective… “I” became That which saw the Magician “Adam” standing in his Temple speaking the words; the sense of being shifted from the relative human stance to the primordial Absolute, back and forth, back and forth…

The seven great sages and before them the four other great sages and the progenitors of mankind are born out of My mind, and all creatures in these planets descend from them.

He who knows in truth this glory and power of Mine engages in unalloyed devotional service; of this there is no doubt.

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

I am the Self, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.

More and more, a frenzy of energy began to whirl through the room, and the ancient presence began to shake and tremble the body as my raspy, deepened, strangely transformed voice proclaimed the words of the Rite at an increasingly fast pace, whipping into an ecstatic stream of syllables…

Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the Self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.

I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be. I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.

Among punishments I am the rod of chastisement, and of those who seek victory, I am morality. Of secret things I am silence, and of the wise I am wisdom.

Furthermore, I am the generating seed of all existences. There is no being-moving or unmoving-that can exist without Me. Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor. With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe.

Thus completing the rite, the ritual text fell from my hand. And the strangest things began to happen. A cosmic awareness felt like it encompassed all that it held within it; like it was all that could be experienced. I was the candle, the incense, and the Altar. i was the Circle, the walls, and the Temple. I was the breathing man wielding the Wand. I was the air in the room, the beginning and the end, the order and chaos, the All and the None.

I watched as my human body began to shake in strange ways as the ancient force convalesced and convulsed through it in powerful tremors like the earthquakes Archangel Cassiel had shown me… Then my body began to sway and sway as if dancing, as the vibrating, humming energy reached a fever pitch. My hands formed strange spiritual gestures or mudras. My body swayed and swayed. My arms drifted this way and that in the graceful movements of a dancer. On and on it went…

My eyes fell shut. I was a cosmic light. I was before the cosmos. I was the universe in its arising, sustaining, and destruction. I was the first and the last, the living and the dead. I stood as Osiris, with green skin and white wrappings. I stood as Christ, nailed to the Cross. I stood as the Godhead, formless and birthing all form. As all of this was inwardly seen and felt, still my body continued to dance its strange and graceful movements, shifting in and out of tremors and shaking…

At once, my eyes burst back open and my awareness drifted back into the confines of the body-mind. Once again, I became local. I was somewhere, somewhen. Here. Now.

And yet, I had not forgotten my Divine nature beyond this humble human form.

I remained That; and That continued to appear as “me.”

Breathing deeply, there I was, fully human, and That which appeared as human without being bound by it.

Thus is the power and the mystery of the Stele of Jeu.