By Frater S. C. F. V.
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”).
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.
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…
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 humbly mindful in your humanness that you always have the power to transform hateful, greedy, wrathful ways into ways that bless more than they curse and help more than they hinder. Those who surrender to this transformation not only help, but 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 the great and Ancient 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 there 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.
Before I do, two final words: