By Frater S.C.F.V.
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.
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.”
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”?”
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…