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 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:

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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Akephalos: 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 recently 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 completely casts his or her earthly human identity into the great Void of the Eternal and primordial to temporarily abide as no less than the Supreme “One, who created earth and heaven, who created night and day, who created the Light and the Darkness.”

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 and Coffin Texts, 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 indeed.

The Experience of the Stele of Jeu

On this particular occasion, I performed thr version of the Stele found in Dr. Maleficarus Strangefellow’s Prayer Book of the Order of Saint Cyprian of Antioch (OSC), Cyprian Orisons (2017).

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 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. As I bellowed these words, I felt the boundaries of my body begin to feel 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, and 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. 

Novena of Saint Cyprian 2018 Day 6: Invocation of Archangel Cassiel

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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On this Sixth Day of my 2018 Novena to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, September 22, 2018, I arose and performed a ritual bath and ecstatic worship. I went to the store to purchase wine and spring water to serve as Offerings to Saint Cyprian. My stomach ached slightly from my fast for all of the day until the Ritual, which was interrupted only by the drinking of water and the eating of a single apple.

In the Day and Hour of Saturn, after a ritual bath and worship, I entered the Temple. I took up my Solomonic bell, sounded it three times before entering the Circle as per the Hygromanteia and then again 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. On this Saturday, Cyprian’s Day, I gave Cyprian Offerings of fresh Spring Water, Sage Incense, and Wafers consecrated in the Neophyte Ceremony of the Golden Dawn as last performed by our G.D. Order.

I dressed two candles as Offerings, one with Cyprian Oil, sage, cinnamon, and all-spice for Cyprian and one with sage, cumin, and Solomonic Holy Oil for Cassiel. I prayed over them to exorcise and consecrate them with their intended Powers. I then put on my Ring of Saturn, which contains lead and a strong black stone, given to me as a gift by my friend Sarah Wreck, making a prayer as I did so. I used the prayer from the Heptameron to ask for God’s help in calling Spirits and proceeded to a formal Invocation of Archangel Cassiel, Angel of the Day of  Saturn and of Saturn.

After prolonged additional conjurations and vibrating of Cassiel’s name while gazing into the crystal with Cassiel’s candle burning behind it–pyrocrystallomancy, as shown to me by Archangel Raphael–I felt the Angel’s presence as his fixed candle, Offered unto him, flared up behind the Crystal. Feeling his presence, which was stern, heavy, grim, and no-nonsense, I offered him Frankincense, noted by Agrippa as sacred to Saturn as an additional offering.

Cassiel remains the most stern, severe, and no-nonsense Archangel with whom I have ever worked, even more so than Samael in my experience. He is direct, cuts right to the chase, and when he speaks, his replies come fast and immediate. At least in his communications with me, he also tends to speak in a more formal, antiquated style, which I also use to sympathetically connect with him. Upon appearing in the Circle, he immediately spoke unto my mind:

Wherefore hast thou called me?”

I respectfully explained my intent, to offer him gifts of love, devotion, and friendship in this consecrated and blessed Candle and Incense of Art and to learn from him whatever wisdom he would impart to me concerning his role, Office, and the things under his power.

When asked what was his role and Office, Cassiel spoke these words into my mind as I gazed entranced into the Crystal, while Cassiel’s flame flickered behind it and dark, Saturnian ritual music played in the background:

Mine is the Office of binding and the imposition of barriers and limits without which, no structure can emerge and there can be no order. Mine is the overseeing of Time and temporality, of arising, abiding, and subsiding. Mine is the constriction of pure force into bounded form, that all things may be accomplished in apparent finitude and time.”

When asked for the wisdom behind his powers of binding and constricting, Cassiel replied:

Binding and barriers need not be but forms of imprisonment and holding back of freedom, as thou humans assume. Binding and barriers are freedom in action. Without limits on the shape of a thing, there can be no shape. Without shape, there can be no action taken by that shape. All of the multitudes of forms in nature depend on binding and barriers for their operations. Finitude is but apparent; everything apparently finite is simply the Divine Infinite constrained by its own Power to enable the freedom of its manifestation.

Nor do binding, barriers, and constrictions imply separation. All is the Divine appearing in, as, and to itself. No apparent form is separate in reality from any other, only in relative functioning in time and in appearance. Whosoever realizes this knows the Face of God is everywhere, within and without, not merely beyond apparent form, but in, as, and within it.”

When asked what attitude this wisdom should give rise to in us, Cassiel replied:

Right discernment. Discern one type of apparent form from the next; note their discrete qualities, which could not arise if not for the Powers of binding and barriers, of constrictions of form upon which all structure and Order depends. At the same time, discern the Ultimate; nothing apparent, nothing formed, nothing shaped, nothing seemingly cut-off is so in its Absolute nature. All of the relative forms are none other than the Absolute. God hides in plain sight.

Those who know this will understand, and understanding, live in the light of that wisdom. In this way, they will not fall for the delusions of the world, that death is the end or shape limits the infinite. Only the unlimited can appear to be limited, and only so that anything can appear at all. Creation depends on constriction, not Ultimately, but in relative appearance. This is the Mystery of Divine creation itself.

I was amazed by the rapidity, clarity, and immediacy with which Cassiel communicated, perhaps unsurprising for the Archangelic Master of Time, but surprising for me, who had was so accustomed to the slower, gentler ways of speaking of other Spirits.

I asked Cassiel if he could give me a vision to explain further how “creation depends on constriction.” Immediately, as with his prior replies, Cassiel spoke into my mind as I gazed into the Crystal, “close thy eyes and it is done.”

My eyes fell heavily closed, slowly and smoothly as my spine straightened up, erect. Before I knew it, I no longer looked at the black space of closed eyelids. Instead, I saw a great Angel clothed in black, darkly powerful, flying over a landscape that was tremoring and shaking, a land of rock and desert. His face shone so bright over his black robed figure that it could not be seen, blinding golden light…

Behold how formation requires constriction. As the Earth shakes, form tenses, collapses, and falls apart. Heat agitates the structures of form and they shake apart. In this potentiality and chaos, binding and barriers can constrain new forms into being.”

As he said this, an earthquake shook the land, which split open. Bright lava could be seen below. As tectonic plates smashed together, a mountain began to take form.

“Smashing together, seems apparent violence… but is in truth creative force. Constrained and pressured, the mountain takes form as stone is bound not to flow some ways and permitted only to flow others. So it is that binding produces order through constellating chaos. So it is for all creation, for all arising of all phenomena. Imposed limitation enables the freedom of form appearing and functioning. This is the foundation of the World.”

The scene shifted to a plant growing from a sprout into a beautiful mature form.

For leaves to appear, for stems and cells, there must be boundaries and forces constraining the tissues. The limitation enables the freedom. So it is with thou human beings, which are the Divine Infinite constrained through binding and Time into relative discrete appearance.

The vision abruptly cut off and I felt my Astral form slammed back into my body with great severity. My eyes opened and I was back in my Temple.

After asking Cassiel to let his power move through me, correcting any apparent limitations that did not serve or were dysfunctional, he did immediately. Holding the Solomonic Holy Oil-anointed Crook of Saint Cyprian and pressing it to my forehead, I felt a flood of heavy, constraining energy flood through my Sphere of Sensation. My eyes fell closed again and I behind my closed eyelids, I saw images of forms breaking apart and new ones taking their place, of subtle shifts and felt changes unfolding that I did not understand…

When it ended, my eyes opened and returned to the Crystal ball. My head felt like it was spinning from the rapid flow of all of this information that Cassiel had shared and thus, I thought it perhaps best to move the Invocation to its conclusion. Thanking Cassiel with great sincerity for being so forthcoming and helpful, I asked if he had any final wisdom to reveal before bringing our time together to a close.

“See not forms as separate; they are not. The Infinite can but take form through apparent boundaries and constriction. See not discipline as blocking freedom; it does not. Discipline is freedom in action and the enabler of freedom. The lack of discipline is not freedom, it is chaos. Image the Ordering Power of the Creator; live in discipline that thou mayst be freer still.

Whatever thou lookest upon, know it as Thy Divine Self hiding in finitude, the unlimited appearing through limitation, the unbound appearing through seeming binding, the unarisen disciplining itself into arising, the Eternal appearing as Time. In this way, all dualities will be cut off, and both poles negated, nonduality itself will collapse. What remains is the Ultimate as it is, and thou art That. There is nothing else. Indeed, all that apparently is, is but the Unformed playing itself into form.”

With great humility and gratitude, I thanked the great Archangel for these potent revelations and invited him to take his leave if he wished or stay and pray with me. I thanked him and asked him I could share what he had shared with me with others to correct misconceptions and for the greater Good of freedom for all through discipline. I asked that he move the stream of smoke from his incense to the left if he agreed, and so it moved, immediately. I then asked him if he would kindly return again to work with and teach me if it pleased him and God, and received an affirmative answer as well.

I then said a final battery of prayers, and asked for Saint Cyprian’s help in one final task: creating Cyprianic Holy Oil. I did this by taking a base of olive oil and adding to it cinnamon essential oil, the herbs, soil, spices, and other curio from the Lucky Mojo Curio Company’s Saint Cyprian Oil, some of this same oil, and some of another San Cipriano Holy Oil imported via a local botanica to which I had been led by Saint Cyprian at an earlier date. I prayed for the good Saint to charge it and shortly thereafter, the Crucifix hanging from the rosary wrapped around his statue began to slowly wave from side to side.

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Moved by a flood of inspiration, before I ended the ritual and closed the Temple with prayers, I felt moved to perform a powerful and ancient ritual… the Stele of Jeu or Rite of the Headless One from Greek Magical Papyri V. 96-172. What followed was one of the most powerful magical experiences of my life.

But that, shall is a matter for another post.

Novena of Saint Cyprian 2018 Day 5: Invocation of Archangel Anael

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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On Friday September 21, 2018,  I began Day 4 of my Novena to Saint Cyprian of Antioch by waking up early to ritually bathe and worship with a full and open heart. Thereafter, I entered the Temple. I took up my Solomonic bell, sounded it three times before entering the Circle as per the Hygromanteia and then again 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 Anael, Angel of the Day of Venus and of Friday. After prolonged additional conjurations and vibrating of Anael’s name while gazing into the crystal with Anael’s candle burning behind it–pyrocrystallomancy, as shown to me by Archangel Raphael–I felt the Angel’s presence as his candle flared up. Anael’s presence felt warm, gentle, and comforting. I further asked Anael if he–I say he out of respect for Hebrew tradition, although “he” felt somewhat androgynous or beyond gender to me–could confirm his presence by moving the stream of incense offered to him noticeably to the left and so it happened immediately.

I greeted the Archangel with great love and respect and offered him–I say him, although “he” felt somewhat androgynous to me–Offerings of a lavender candle and Incense. I then asked if Anael could show me in the Crystal or in my Mind a vision of his office and role. Nothing happened for a moment and it occurred to me that the Crystal was somewhat smudged; therefore, I lifted it and wiped it clean, before replacing it over Anael’s Sigil from the Heptameron:

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After anointing his Seal with Holy Water and Saint Cyprian Oil, I saw a vision of a beautiful Angel in flowing emerald green robes, graciously tending to countless hearts, like a Mother or Father gently consoling infant children. How tender, we all are, at heart, despite the veneer of adulthood, the phantasms of fear, and the hardness of past hurt that grow within us in the battlegrounds of life experience… Trough all of this, the heart remains ever-vulnerable like a child. And behind the veil of ordinary life, Anael tends to these vulnerable hearts, loving them as Christ did when he said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:15-17).

I asked Anael if he could kindly present a sense of how God Loves, or what is the heart or innermost nature of Divine Love. As I gazed into the Crystal filled with flickering fire, Anael spoke these words into my mind:

Divine Love is complete, always and eternally. It encompasses the Inner and the Outer. It loves without cause or reason. It is unconditioned, unrelenting. It has neither motive nor aim for gain. It loves only because to love is its Nature, and the Nature of what it loves is naught but lovable in its eyes.”

When asked how we humans, with all our faults and psychological challenges, can come to love as God loves, Anael answered:

“When you love your fellow humans, be not hindered by the superficial appearance. Love the heart of the child within as God loves His children. The unconditionally innocent heart is worthy and lovable without cause; God loves in this way, the hearts of his creation, long in patience. The power to love in you images the Divine power of love. Trust it over the fear that seems to cover it and guide you away. First love, then act with discernment.”

These words resonated with a well-known verse, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because He first loved us”  (1 John 4:18-19).

When asked how we can learn to love ourselves, in the relative human sense rather than the Ultimate Divine Self that appears as all, as God loves us, Anael replied:

Cast aside the barriers you build up as reasons not to love. The seeming barriers are mere illusions. They are fabrications of falsehood. To be lovable and worthy is your nature; this is the Divine Truth and how God sees you. Therefore, model God’s vision as your power to love mirrors God’s own unfailing love. Regard yourself nakedly of all your concepts about “me.” In the absence of the concepts, the love that is already there will reveal itself. You cannot be unloveable in truth; you can only seem to think you are.”

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I asked if Anael could transmit to me an influx of the loving energy that is his nature. I was moved to place my Solomonic Wand of Art to my forehead. Immediately, a flow of warmth, loving force flickered and waved through my Sphere of Sensation, feeling cleansing, warm, safe, gentle, comforting, encouraging. The feeling was familiar — the ordinary, every day feeling of loving and being loved, an exoterically mundane phenomenon that hides an esoteric Mystery of infinite profundity: the core of the Divine Nature.

I thanked Anael with great love, respect, and gratitude and asked if he had any final things he would like to show me. As I gazed within the Crystal, I saw what Anael described as “an image of Love” — a heart set ablaze with fire. Is that not how it feels, to be passionately in love? As if our hearts are burning with wildfire altogether beyond our control? True love is effortless and all-consuming; is this not how the Divine loves? I was reminded of Isaiah 54:10: “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” 

As the image of the burning heart blazed in the Crystal, Anael spoke these final words of encouragement:

“Oh Son of Adam, leave your fear behind and dive deep into love through trust. For what is more fulfilling, a life sullied by fear, or bathed in love?”

I thanked Anael with a deep bow for his insight, teaching, guidance, and help. I asked if he would accept from me the gift of loving friendship and be willing to come again to teach me and worship with me and received a “yes, with joy” as a reply. It occured to me at that moment that “Haniel,” an alternate name for Anael, means “Joy of God” הניאל‬ or חַנִּיאֵל‬, “Grace of God” (El). I asked Anael if he would help me to learn to live and love and service of others more deeply and if I could share what he had shared with me for the greater good of others. Both questions received affirmative in the form of shifting in the candle flame.  I closed the invocation by inviting Anael to go in peace with the blessings of God or feel free to remain in worship for the final prayers.

I then said the final prayers and thanked Cyprian with the OSC’s Canticle of Saint Cyprian and asked him for his continued guidance and Patronage. The Cross hanging from his Statue began to slowly and gently wave as I said these words. With this done, I closed the Temple, leaving the Offerings of candles and incense to complete their burning in thanks.