Charging of a Venus Talisman – Ritual Work for Friday, December 17, 2010

GoldenDawnlogoDate: Friday, December 17, 2010
Time: 6:40 – 8:00 p.m.
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous 89% Full
Mood: Originally despondent and somewhat apathetic by the end, clear, refreshed, and lovingly joyful
Activities: From 6:40-8:00 p.m.: Rite of Purification by Water, Fourfold Breath, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Opening Prayer of Intent, Qabalistic Cross, Ritual of the Hexagram Invoking Venus, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of Anael/Haniel, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of Hagiel, Invocation of Haggith, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of the Three Venusian Forces, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging) x6, Prayer of thanks, Ending Prayer, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Annointing by Thyme and Mystic Cerum, License to Depart

This talisman charging ceremony proceeded much like the previous one, except that the ceremony was done from memory and somewhat abbreviated. This talisman was prepared for Laney’s adopted mother, an artist in need of a creative boost and an influx of loving feelings. The intent this time was:

“To empower this talisman with the Energies and Powers of Venus, that it might activate and enhance creative inspiration, support all forms of creativity and all arts, and attract and evoke limitless love for the Divine, for other human beings, for all living beings, for the Earth, and for the larger universe.”

By the end of the ceremony, I felt a great sense of beauty, lightness, clarity, peacefulness, and inner warmth/loving joy. This was very pleasant and a notable shift from the despondency and apathy that I felt prior to the ceremony. I feel an inner loving warmth in my Tiphareth center that continues to glow within me and reach out beyond me into all that surrounds me, beings living and inanimate alike. I see that nothing is separate in the world; it is only dualistic thought and language that create the illusion of separation.

In awareness, the great inner Kether, all appears in total interconnectedness and correspondence. I am all I experience and encounter and all that I do not experience and encounter. The little magician, S.C.F.V., is but a wave in the ocean of Being that is my true nature. While all formations are impermanent, conditional, co-dependently arising, and contingent, this Being is seamlessly one, a perfect unity that encompasses all and excludes nothing. Its Mystery is this… that it is seamlessly One, and yet, that all of the beautiful and diverse forms of daily life are none other than this One Without a Second, Brahman.

Ritual Work for December 10, 2010 – Dreamwork, Divination, and Venus Talisman Consecration

Date: Friday, December 10, 2010
Time: Dream: 9:30-10:30 A.M. (Day of the Venus– Hours of Saturn and Jupiter), 5:40 – 6:00 P.M. (Day of Venus – Hour of the Sun), 6:40-8:00 p.m. (Day of Venus, Hours of Venus and Mercury)
Sun Phase: Rising
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent, 7% Full
Mood: Morning: Calm and in control, Tarot Divination: Relaxed, but mildly excited, Before Talisman Consecration Ritual: Relaxed, After Ritual: Excited, Aroused with Intense Energy
Activities:
1. Record of Dream (morning: (9:30-10:30), Rite of Purification by Water
2. Tarot Divination (Split Hexagram Spread) (5:40-6:oo p.m.)
3. From 6:40-8:00 p.m.: Rite of Purification by Water, Fourfold Breath, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Opening Prayer of Intent, Qabalistic Cross, Middle Pillar Ritual, Ritual of the Hexagram Invoking Venus, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of Anael/Haniel, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of Hagiel, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of Haggith, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Invocation of the Three Venusian Forces, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Prayer of thanks, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Closing Prayer, Projection of LVX and Powers of Venus into Talisman (Charging), Ending Prayer, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Analysis of the Keyword, Qabalistic Cross, License to Depart, Consecration by the Mystic Serum


9:30-10:30 A.M.: Dream interpretation – This morning, I had a dream that included archetypal symbolism from the Tarot cards. I was assigned to a special position within the administrative hierarchy of a college of university (it seemed to be Champlain college, where I obtained my Liberal Arts degree). This position was “Emperor” of the Institution.

The role of the ‘Emperor’ was to arbitrate and make final decisions based on points of disagreement among faculty, teachers, students, unions, and other school-based groups. I sat upon a throne in my arbitration room. Two groups of people ran into my room, greeted me, and argued over which code of school policies and laws to accept. One was a very thick and old volume that contained extensive older laws. The other was a sleeker an substantially shorter new volume with much fewer laws that encompassed several points, which were dealt with individually in the old code. They argued over which should be accepted.

After considering the case, I gave my formal ruling, which was that a position of moderation be taken; a new code should be redacted that integrated the most relevant, important, and beneficial laws and policies from the two codes.

To the Emperor card is attributed the Hebrew letter of Heh and the Sign of Aries, which is ruled by Mars. It is the Emperor card that channels the energies of Venus (the Emperess and Daleth) through Understanding (Binah) and Wisdom (Chochmah) to balance them with the energies of Mars on the way to Tiphareth (the point of Balance on the Tree of Life). I am an Aries and last night, had been preparing a ceremonial ritual for the creation and consecration of a Venus talisman; Aries drawing down and balancing the Powers of Venus. This is precisely what the archetype of the Emperor does on the Tree of Life. The ruling I gave as the Emperor was one of Balance (characteristic of Tiphareth) and Wisdom (Chochmah) between two extremes based on Understanding (Binah). Therefore, the dream was particularly apt in its archetypal Tarot and Qabalistic meanings.

5:40 –  6:00 – Hour of the Sun – Tarot Divination : Question: “What will be the outcome if I create and consecrate a Venus talisman today?”

The Split Hexagram Spread was the Following:

1.  The Magician                                         2.   The Emperor

3. The Sun

7. The Hermit

6. The Hanged Man

4. The Empress                                                 5. The Devil
My Interpretation is as Follows:
1. and 2. Unknown Spiritual Influences: The Magician and The Emperor:
The Magician suggests that the talisman would bring greater concentration, activity, confidence, conscious awareness, will power, and general Power.
The Emperor, the same archetype that appeared in my dream also suggests an outcome of power, reason, and authority.  The Firey Nature of the Path suggests the power of the desire that could follow as well as male sexual desire (Ares is attributed, which rules Mars).  Together, the cards suggest a boosting of sexual power and confidence, which should, the Emperor suggests, be directed through reason.

3. Spiritual Advice for the Matter: The Sun
The Sun suggests that the ceremony and talisman could lead to happiness and contentment as well as greater vitality and assurance, a positive outcome.

4. Unconscious desires in the Matter: The Empress
The presence of the Empress in the unconscious desires position suggests that I subconsciously want fruitfulness, action, creativity, and sensual abundance.  This sounds about right to me; the card is apt in this position, since it is attributed to Venus.  This suggests that I really do seek sexual, creative, and sensual fulfilment.
5. Conscious Desires in the Matter: The Devil
The Devil in this position suggests to me that I consciously only seem to want something materialistic (e.g. Intimate relations, sexual gratification) and that I want something to happen that, in the long run, will be for the good.

6.  Practical Advice: The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man gives me the practical advice that magic will not be enough to get me the results I seek; I must also be ready to show self-sacrifice and to let go.

7.  Final Outcome: The Hermit
The Hermit suggests that if I follow the advice given here (e.g. Letting go), then the final outcome will be one of spiritual advancement, introspection, and guidance.  The card also advises me to be cautious on the way, which is sound advice.

This is a fairly positive result, which suggests that I will receive happiness (whether spiritual, emotional, or material in terms of pleasure) and spiritual advancement should I create this talisman.  Therefore, I will proceed with the creation and consecration.

6:40-8:00 p.m.Creation and Consecration of a Venus Talisman

Before the Hour of Venus began, I prepared my ceremonial script and prepared the Altar with the Seal and Sigil of Venus, the letter Daleth, the Tarot card of the Empress, the Sigil of Anael, the Sigil of Hagiel, the Sigil of Haggith, a green cap of Thyme, the Cross and Triangle, and three green candles. I performed the Rite of Purification by Water and a brief relaxation ritual. I prepared the disc and the green marker. I got into my robe, sash, and nemyss, took up my wand, and lit the candles as the Hour of Venus began.

I then focused my intent on the talisman and the intent with which I was creating, consecrating, and charging it while constructing it. The front side bore an outer circle in which was drawn two Invoking Hexagrams of Venus, and in which was inscribed the words “Place me as a signet upon thine heart, as a signet upon thine arm, for love is strong as death” (Canticles viii 6), according to the instructions given for the Second Pentacle of Venus in the Greater Key of Solomon. Within the outer circle was an equal-armed cross. In the upper left quadrant was the Planetary Seal of Venus and the Sigil of the Olympic Spirit of Venus, Haggith. In the upper right quadrant was placed the Divine Name associated with Venus, YHVH TZABAOTH in Hebrew characters. In the bottom left quadrant was placed the Seal of Anael/Haniel from the Consecrated Little Book of Black Venus. Finally, in the bottom right quadrant was placed the Sigil of Hagiel, Intelligence of Venus.

On the reverse side of the Pentacle, in the Outer Circle, four Invoking Hexagrams of Venus were drawn. Between each, the name ARARITA was written in Hebrew characters. In the center circle, the Numerical Planetary Square of Venus was drawn, with 175 above it and 1225 below it. On the right of the Square, the Sigil of Venus was drawn. On the left, a Yoni and Phallus were drawn.

When it was finished, I placed the Talisman on the Triangle in the center of the Altar, took up the wand, and performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe. I then kneeled and made an opening prayer of intent, declaring the purpose of the talisman and its intended effects and asking for God’s help, blessing, and power in bringing it about.

I next performed the Qabalistic Cross and Middle Pillar Ritual to draw LVX into my Sphere of Sensation. Immediately thereafter, I performed the Ritual of the Hexagram Invoking Venus. The opening Analysis of the Keyword flooded me with energy, which nearly made me lose my balance. The entire ritual was quite powerful and visibly altered the atmosphere of the room as four Invoking Hexagrams with Sigils of Venus in their center began to draw Venusian energies into the Temple, where they would concentrate in the altar at the center, and the talisman upon it.

I then declared the intention to project the LVX and the Energies of Venus thus invoked into the talisman, and did so by giving the Sign of Projection in each of the Quarters while vibrating YHVH TZABAOTH.

I then invoked the great Archangel Haniel or Anael. I felt a peaceful, glowing warmth flood the Temple and asked for the Archangel’s help in projecting the powers of Venus into the talisman. With the Angel’s help, I projected the energies into the talisman from each of the Four Quarters, tracing an Invoking Hexagram of Venus over the talisman in the air, a Sigil of Venus in the center, and a circle around the Hexagram to seal the forces within the talisman. I gave the Sign of Projection towards the talisman, drawing Venus energies through each Quarter’s Portal (Invoking Venus Hexagram) and projecting them into the talisman while vibrating the Divine Name attributed to Venus and given in Francis Barrett’s The Magus, AHA.

I thanked Anael/Haniel for her help and proceeded to invoke Hagiel, the Intelligence of Venus. When I had the feeling of his presence—a shift in the energy of the room, a glowing presence—I asked for his help and projected Venus energy into the Talisman from each Quarter while vibrating the Name YHVH TZABAOTH. I thanked Hagiel for his help and bowed humbly. I took up the talisman and moved to each quarter, holding it up, so that it might be infused with the energies of Venus from each direction. I then replaced it in the White Triangle on the Altar.

I then proceeded to trace the Sigil of the Olympic Spirit if Venus, Haggith, (according to the Arbatel of Magic Grimoire), and invoked the Spirit by vibrating the name repeatedly and giving the Sign of Projection towards the Sigil. When I had the feeling of Haggith’s presence—an ancient power, distinct from Hagiel—I asked for his help in charging the talisman. I then projected energy into the talisman from each of the Quarters while vibrating the Secret Name associated with Venus in the Sigil dei Aemeth, INNON. I thanked Haggith for his assistance and bowed humbly. I took up the talisman and moved to each quarter, holding it up, so that it might be infused with the energies of Venus from each direction. I then replaced it in the White Triangle on the Altar.

I then invited the Three Venusian Forces to assist me once more in projecting the Powers of Venus into the talisman, and did so from each Quarter, vibrating YHVH TZABAOTH. I thanked the Powers with a short poetic address, which I will reproduce here:

I thank thee, Great and Powerful Ones of the Sacred Realms, thou Great Spirits of the Undying, thou Powers of Venus who rule the Budding of Friendships, the Blossoming of Inspiration, the Attractions of Sensuality and the Lighting of Fires of Sexual love, for being present here with me and lending your help to me. I thank thee in the Name of Adonai as I again project and seal these Energies of Venus within this talisman.”


I then did so from each Quarter, again vibrating the Name Innon. With this duly performed, I thanked Adonai with a prayer and declared “Let the final empowerment and projection take place through the Power of the Divine and the Forces of the Celestial Ones of Venus.” This was followed by a projection of forces into the talisman in each Quarter with the Name YHVH TZABAOTH.

I then kneeled and gave a final ending prayer. I circumambulated with the talisman once more, and astrally saw the invoked Powers being drawn into it. I then placed it in the White Triangle at the center of the Altar and performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe to witness God’s power and offer thanks for His help.

I then took up the Sword of the Hiereus and performed the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, the Analysis of the Keyword, and the Qabalistic Cross. I gave the License to Depart and closed the temple.

Finally, I placed the talisman within the three Candles on a separate table and, strongly concentrating on my intent, drew forth the Mystic Serum, with which I finally annointed the talisman. I then wiped it clean and sprinkled it with Thyme from the Green cap. I gathered the things on the altar, placed the Empress card under the Triangle, the talisman on top of it, and all of the Sigils and Hebrew Letters form the altar on top of the talisman. It was finished.

I was very exhausted by this point, and yet I felt incredibly charged and energized. I had the feeling that the operation was a succcess. However, as always, it will remain to see in the following days what results will follow from it.

January 2018 Update:

The talisman proved incredibly powerful and reinforced loving feelings in many friendships and sexual relationships over the 8 years that followed. The effects lasted for years as I carried the talisman with me in wallet everywhere I went. To this day, it continues to be effective in enhancing my friendships, professional relationships with colleagues and classmates, and romantic relationship with my girlfriend.

Magical Experiences Predating Involvement with the Occult

A poster on Occult Corpus asked me if I had ever had any occult or magical experiences that preceded the beginning of my occult studies.  I can only remember three such experiences occurring, all of which seemed very eerie to me at the time…

The first happened when I was in my first relationship. I was laying on my bed, and thinking of the girl I loved, who was then at home with her family, as I often did at that time. I became very relaxed and delighted in the pleasure of thinking of her. I felt my body relaxing and had a feeling of growing lighter. I then saw, in my mind’s eye, my house growing smaller, and the buildings between her house and mine passing by. I first saw her house and then the interior of her kitchen. I saw her eating with her family, wearing a red sweater and blue jeans. I saw her putting her plate away and walking upstairs. Shortly thereafter, the phone rang, and I snapped back into my body, waking up to answer it. It was her. We talked a little and I casually asked what she was wearing. She answered that she was wearing a red sweater and blue jeans. I asked what she had been doing before calling me. She said that she had been eating supper with her family. I felt goosebumps rising up all over my body. However, when I later tried to replicate the experience intentionally, I was unable to do so…

Second, when I was 15 or so, and falling asleep, one night, I found my body relaxing as it usually did. However, I noticed a strange thing happening; my mind remained alert while my body began to paralyze itself in anticipation of sleep. That’s when I physically felt a heavy weight–feeling like two hands–pressing down on my chest. I then saw, appearing on my closed eyelids, two black eyes and an open mouth and heard within my head a steady shrieking sound… I was a devout Christian at the time, so I began to pray inwardly as fervently as I could, my body still unable to move due to sleep paralysis. After some terrifying moments, I felt the pressure on my chest easing up and the shrieking faded. I fell immediately into deep sleep and woke up the next day wondering what had happened…

The third experience occurred when I was very young. I was told that if you went and stared into a mirror while repeating a name five times, then something would happen. I don’t remember the name–it was a male name, not Bloody Mary–but I decided to try it. I stared and stared and repeated and repeated. My face slowly faded out and another one appeared. It was a bald male face with bright red eyes… no whites, only red. It stared into my eyes. I screamed and ran out of the bathroom and never tried the practice again. Interestingly, my occult studies have been taking me more and more in the direction of the black mirror…

Ritual Work for Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Date: Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Time: 9:30-10:35 (Day of the Mars– Hours of Venus and Mercury)
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent, 7% Full
Mood: Somewhat Restlesss in beginning, Calm, Clear and Reverent at end
Activities: Relaxation Ritual, Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, Middle Pillar Ritual, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Prayers, Qabalistic Cross

After relaxing, I took up the Hierophant’s Wand in my right hand and the Hiereus’ Sword in my left hand and stood to perform the LBRP.

I believe that magicians must understand every facet of their rituals and the effects of tweaking small details, techniques, phases, or processes within those rituals. Therefore, I decided to vibrate each word in the QC, charging of the Pentagrams, and Invocation of the Archangels 3 times instead of once. This gave me ample time to develop each visualization while projecting my energy into it. The overall effect was of a more powerful and moving ritual and astrally, my pentagrams had a more vivid and solid appearance than usual.

I then performed the Middle Pillar Ritual, which added a boost of energy, as well as a flush of reverence for the Divine to that already evoked by the LBRP. The Adoration of the Lord of the Universe followed with some extemporaneous prayers including standing prayer, prostrated prayer in the Muslim salah style, the Our Father, and an invitation to my Holy Guardian Angel to communicate with and guide me. I ended with the Qabalistic cross to equilibrate. In the end, I felt filled with faith, and raised the Spirit Candle upwards, asking the Lord of the Universe to guide me and all beings to live in harmony, love, wisdom, compassion, mindfulness, and strength.

Lost Journals from 2010 – 0=0 Neophyte Grade Initiation of Frater F.S.S.F

GoldenDawnlogoDate: Sunday, December 5th, 2010
Time: (prep. 8-9:30, preliminary meditation 9:30-10, Neophyte Ritual, 10-1 am (Day of the Sun – Hours of Saturn and Jupiter)
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: New Moon 1% Full
Mood: Initially Excited, by the end, Calm, Exhausted, and Reverential
Activities: Rite of Purification by Water, Relaxation Exercise, LBRP with the Hiereus Sword, Neophyte 0=0 Grade Initiation Ceremony, QC, LBRP

Tonight was time that we decided upon to initiate our new Neophyte, Frater F.S.S.F. for its lunar and solar astrology. Today was the day of the New Moon, which is a time favourable to new beginnings and Initiations, but it was also the Day of the Sun, which is suggestive of the Neophyte’s aspiration towards Adepthood; Adeptus Minor is attributed to Tiphareth, the Sphere of the Sun.

While waiting for F.S.S.F. to arrive, I began setting up the Osiris Temple in the manner of the Hall of the Neophytes. I used the traditional set-up for the Neophyte Hall with two additions. The first of these was images of all of the Godforms connected to the Officers of the Grade, which I coloured by hand, in all of the stations of the Officers. The second was the placement of an experimental correspondence system of Tarot Trumps corresponding to the Officers in their respective stations:

Hierophant – ) Hierophant
Justice – ) Hegemon
Death – ) Hiereus
Judgment – ) Dadouchos
Hanged Man – ) Stolistes
Hermit – ) Keryx

neo.jpg

The point of adding these in to the stations of the Officers was (1) to aid the Officers in their visualizations and (2) for the tarot cards, to increase the sympathetic connections to the Powers whose images the Officers were. The setting up process took a good hour and a half. When the other Members arrived, we prepared the elements of the Mystic Repast on the altar, performed our ritual purifications by water, and lay down in the Temple to perform the Relaxation Ritual.

When we were all ready, our Hiereus performed the LBRP and we began the ceremony. It was as beautiful, moving, and nearly grueling (after so many hours of fasting) as it always was. Some new insights occurred to me as we performed the ritual; one of these was that in each of the consecrations by Fire and purifications by Water, the Hexagram that unites the Water and Fire triangles is collectively drawn within the aura of the Candidate. This adds an additional level of balancing to the many other dimensions of balancing and equilibration present throughout the ritual as a whole (through the Qabalistic Cross, the movements of Dadouchos (Fire) and Stolistes (Water) and Hegemon (Mercy) and Hiereus (Severity), etc.).

We fumbled with candles going out and incense needing to be re-lit at some points in the ceremony, but overall, the ritual proceeded quite well. One invocation of the Light was so powerful that I got quite dizzy through the influx of energies. We were happy to delight in the Mystic Repast when it finally came, since we were all quite hungry.

Everyone felt exhausted, but happy, reverential, and renewed in faith and zeal on the Path by the end of the ceremony. I was happy with how it went, although I hoped that my astral senses were more honed. That is a continued goal for me as I move forward on the Way. It will be interesting to see how our Order progresses with Frater F.S.S.F. as a treasured brother among us.

Update: Frater F.S.S.F. Shared with me his impressions of the ceremony and its impact on his life: I actually have noticed differences since the Initiation. One in particular struck me. During the initiation itself, I remember feeling extremely strongly the presence of  Ma’at/Thmé. I felt as though we were her children, and that she was watching over us no matter what. It was a comforting thought and feeling that stayed throughout the ceremony, and something I’ve felt since then. I feel her watching over me, and it’s a nice feeling.

Also, something I just noticed today, I seem to be having great interactions with people. Especially at work today, I noticed I was more at ease and conversations were flowing smoother. It’s a nice side-effect that I hope will be sustained.

Ritual Work for Saturday, December 4, 2010

Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010
Time: 10:30-11:45 (Day of Saturn– Hour of the Venus and Mercury)
Sun Phase: Set
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent 1% Full
Mood: Initially Lost, Distracted, Despondent – at end, Clear, Reverential, Heart-Warmed
Activities: Rite of Purification by Water, Relaxation Exercise, Invocation of the Godform of Horus, Taking the Officer-form of the Hiereus, LBRP, Invocation of the Godform of Osiris, Taking the Officer-form of the Hierophant, Great Invocation of the Light, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Prayer, Invocation of the Great Enochian Names, Godform Dissolution, License to Depart and Closing of the Temple

I entered the Temple today in a despondent state, feeling weighed down, beset by undesirable thoughts, distracted, restless, lost, and hopeless. Knowing as I do that “the Light hath healing in its wings,” however, I entered the Temple regardless, making the necessary preparations and putting on my robe.  I began by performing the Salutation of the Sun of  Raja yoga in order to relax the body.

With that duly performed, I took up the sword of the Hiereus and stood facing it in the East, allowing the aura surrounding it to slowly reveal itself as my vision darkened opening on to the astral. I then lay on the floor of the Temple and performed progressive relaxation accompanied by a light self-hypnosis narrative; “10, I relax all physical tension… 9, I relax all emotional tension…” When I entered a calm, lightly hypnotized state and could see the ‘shrinking blue light’ effect that one encounters in this state, I stood up, stood facing the West, picked up the image of Horus and the sword of the Hiereus and performed the Invocation of Horus. I then asked the Godform to invest me with the station of the Hiereus and put on the Hiereus’ lamen.

I returned to the East and slowly and with great feeling, performed the Qabalistic Cross and LBRP. Instead of tracing the circle bit by bit prior to the tracing of each Pentagram, however, immediately after the Qabalistic Cross, I said “I cast a protective Circle in the Name of Adonai.” I then traced a large circle using the Sword and returned facing the East to draw the first Pentagram. I still stabbed the sword into the center of the Pentagram and traced the quarter-circle to the South, etc., however, this was seen as reinforcing the existing circle. The point of this practice was to ensure that I had a complete circle, all evenly traced on the same level, rather than a disjointed circle caused by only forming it in quarter-circle intervals. Overall, I found this effective; the Pentagrams had the effect of reinforcing the banishing and protecting power of the Circle at each Quarter.

I then returned to the West and returned the Lamen and Sword and Officerform of the Hiereus to Horus before walking deosil to the East. There, I invoked the Godform of Osiris and asked him to invest me with the station of the Hierophant that I might draw down the purifying Light. I then put the Hierophant’s lamen around my neck and took up the wand of the Hierophant.

I performed the Great Invocation of the Light, after which I stood feeling totally clear and cleansed as a great energy warmed my heart. I felt as though the clouds in my mind were lifted and the Light of the Sun was shining once more. There was a comforting, warm atmosphere that dawned in the room during the Great Invocation. I performed the Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, seeing the Godforms performing it along with me. I then closed my eyes, bowed my head, placed the Crown of the Hierophant against my forehead, and began to pray.

I prayed for guidance, for the power to live a life of wisdom, compassion, and strength. I prayed for faith and for Adonai to empower me with the power to draw down and be suffused by the Light. I prayed to realize union with the Divine Presence, the transcendental Spirit that is the Self of all things, which is immanent within all and yet transcends all. I prayed to see through the illusion of separation, for there is nothing separate from God. I asked for the guidance of my own Holy Guardian Angel and for God to empower and guide me that I might successfully perform the Neophyte ceremony for the new Canditate tomorrow night and renew my own Initiation in the process. I stood with a clear mind and an open heart now filled with love and spiritual reverence, as well as a heart beating fast with the energy of the sacred Magic.

I then invoked the Secret Names of God from each of the Enochian Tablets and the Names of the Tablet of Union, asking for empowerment in the Divine, strength, faith, wisdom, compassion, and guidance. I gave the Projection Sign to each of the Godforms in turn, which they answered with the Sign of Silence. They then gave me the Sign of the Enterer and returned my energy to me, dissolving their appearance as they did so. I then gave the license to depart and closed the Temple formally. Overall, it was a deeply moving ceremony, one of the most moving ceremonies I have experienced in a long time.

 

A Brief Defense of the Golden Dawn System of Magic

On the Occult Corpus website, a poster by the name of alwayson posted a thread entitled ‘How to Become Better than a Golden Dawn Magician,’ in which he claimed that one could easily do just what he claimed in his title by practicing a modernized form of the Lesser Key of Solomon.

My first question was how many authentic “Golden Dawn magicians” he had met. Did you really mean people who knew the LRP and the Middle Pillar ritual and claimed to be Adepts? Or people who have done Kraig’s five exercises for each element and claim the Grades of Zelator to Philosophus? While I own and appreciate Kraig’s Modern Magick, I found his claim that the magician who had done these short exercises, constructed the Elemental Weapons, and done the other ritual and Tarot work leading up to that point could claim the grade of Adeptus Minor without even knowing the basic astrological and zodiacal knowledge given in the First Knowledge Lecture of the Neophyte suspect.

There are few authentic Golden Dawn magicians today who actually work through the grades as they were intended to be worked and take the time to deeply engage with and reflect on the knowledge and rituals given in each grade. Thus, it is difficult to make broad statements about ‘Golden Dawn Magicians’ and their efficacy and inefficacy. Certainly, someone who works the Key of Solomon as it was intended to be worked, using the correct invocations and physical implements would probably be a more attuned, experienced, and knowledgeable magician that one who simply knows the LBRP and the Middle Pillar Ritual. However, this says nothing of those who have worked through the whole Golden Dawn curriculum.

To position myself in this debate, by the way, I still have a great deal to learn and have only just scratched the surface of this incredible system. I am also not a G.’.D.’. fundamentalist; I plan to devote deep study to the Grimoires and the Enochian systems after I have complete my grade work in the Golden Dawn.  In fact, McGregor Mathers himself regularly practiced the Grimoiric systems– there is a precedent for departing outside the flexible boundaries of the G.’.D.’. within the tradition itself.

In addition, Chic and Tabatha Cicero may have their detractors, but take a look at their Knowledge Lectures for the grades from Neophyte to Portal. They are incrediblyextensive. After only completing the Neophyte grade of 0=-0–and I mean here, thoroughly completing it, not rushing through it in a month–the Neophyte will be well-versed in the Hebrew letters and their numerical values, meanings, and symbolic appearances, in the Ancient Planets and their sigils, rulerships, exaltations, detriments, falls, symbolic values, governed qualities, and keywords, in the Zodiacal signs and their sigils, images, triplicities, quadruplicities, key phrases, key words, prominent positive and negative traits and calendrical intervals, in the Four Elements and their sigils, English, Egyptian, Greek, and Latin names, temperature/moisture qualities, energetic properties, and symbolic valences, in the types of Qabalah, in the Tree of Life and the Sephiroth in terms of their numbers, symbols, intelligences, astrological spheres, philosophical meanings, as well as practical meditations, the LRP, the Rite of Elemental Equilibration, Adoration of the Lord of the Universe, Daily Adorations, Berakah, Body Awareness Exercise, and Extra Sensory Awareness Exercise. And this is only in the first, Probationer grade!

The Golden Dawn is an incredible syncretic system that couples 19th century magical theoretical ideas with ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance occult theories from throughout the history of occultism. It was not the only valid magical system; there are many, and the Grimoiric systems are incredibly powerful in their own right. However, it is an incredibly influential and enduring system from which many people, like myself, derive a great deal of meaning, spiritual sustenance and value. There are more or less accomplished magicians in every tradition, whether Grimoiric or Golden Dawn, and we must be open to and ready to acknowledge this. Being mindful of this diversity should make us wary of blanket statements about how to be ‘better than a Golden Dawn magician’ just as it should make us wary about general statements of ‘Grimoiric magicians.’

As a final point, in the course of the thread, a debate developed about whether or not physical tools were important in ceremonial magic operations.  My own position on this issue is clear; I am a firm advocate of the importance and value of ceremonial tools to enhance ritual practice (those who know me know that I practice what I preach in this regard and spend hours constructing my ceremonial implements). I believe many modern magicians are incredibly lazy; ‘can I use a stick for the Hierophant’s wand?’ we sometimes hear. Our instant-gratification culture tends to forget how the ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance magicians spent hours constructing their physical tools and stressed their importance and value in ritual work. As Frater Yechidah pointed out, rituals can work without the properly-fashioned tools, but they are much enhanced with them; just as we might ask ‘why use a hand when a hammer will do?,’ we might ask why use a stick when a proper Hierophant’s wand will embody the symbolism of the Middle Pillar and the lightning rod which brings down the Light from Kether to Malkuth? The most effective ceremonial practice encompasses both the physical and the astral levels, the Above and the Below. The magician works simultaneously on both levels and embodies the truth of the ancient Hermetic principle of “As Above, so Below, and as Below, so Above.”