Words and Wonder: Mysterious Synchronicities and Covert Solomonic Consecrations by Easter Mass

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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A. An Unexpected Trinity: Trifecta of Mysterious Synchronicities

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, the Holy Day on which Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, which enabled him to complete his mission of establishing the New Covenant, liberating humanity through faith from their ancient legacy of erroneous action that missed the mark (hamartia, sin) of the Good Willed by God, and to send the Holy Spirit to dwell within us as a sanctifying, guiding, and empowering Force. My upcoming article Charismata Magica: Gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Solomonic Grimoires will go into into some depth of how the latter event impacted the grimoire authors and how the Fruits, Graces, and Gifts of the Holy Spirit play fascinating roles within the European grimoire tradition.

As I was fading off to sleep, I was contemplating some passages of Scripture that I had recently read and the idea occurred to me that perhaps it would be ceremonially and spiritually fitting for me to commemorate my return to Christianity through a water Baptism. I had already been Baptized by water once within the Catholic Church and completed all of the sacramental initiations up to and including Confirmation, but after my long time away from the faith studying other traditions, a new Baptism might be appropriate. Still, I had never heard the Pastor of my Church speak about water Baptisms for adults in the entire year I had been attending this particular Church and I was not sure how they handled such things.

In the morning, I began to celebrate Easter by reading from the New Testament. My attention was called to 1 Corinthians 15 in the Amplified Bible, which reads:

1 Now brothers and sisters, let me remind you [once again] of the good news [of salvation] which I preached to you, which you welcomed and accepted and on which you stand [by faith].

2 By this faith you are saved [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose], if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain [just superficially and without complete commitment].

3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold],

4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised [and Reaurrected] on the third day according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold],

5 and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the Twelve.

6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, the majority of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep [in death].

7 Then He was seen by James, then by all the Apostles,

8 and last of all, as to one [b]untimely (prematurely, traumatically) born, He appeared to me also.

9 For I am the least [worthy] of the Apostles, and not worthy to be called Apostle, because I [at one time] fiercely oppressed, [killed Christians,] and violently persecuted the Church of God.

10 But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect. In fact, I worked harder than all of the Apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God [His unmerited favor and blessing which was] with me.

11 So whether it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed and trusted in and relied on with confidence.”

Humbled by this reading, I took a ritual bath to prepare for Church, worshiping the Most High through worship songs and Psalm passages as I do every morning.  Then, I walked to Church with Soror R.A. Along the way, she expressed some doubts about how we could possibly know whether Christ had really been Resurrected and what ancient textual evidence there was that Christ even existed. I told her about the extra-biblical evidence for Jesus we have from Tacitus and Josephus and about how, until recently, many archaeologists had doubted whether Pontius Pilate had even existed until 1961, when the Pilate Stone was unearthed, which bore the inscription, as translated from Latin into English:

To the Divine Augusti [this] Tiberieum
… Pontius Pilate
… prefect of Judea
… has dedicated [this]

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Further evidence was revealed in 2018 when a ring that had been discovered in Herodium near Jerusalem and which bore the inscription “of Pilates” was deciphered using advanced photographic technology.  To quote the Jerusalem Post,

It reads “of Pilates,” in Greek letters set around a picture of a wine vessel known as a krater, and is said by archaeologists to be only the second artifact from his time ever found with his name. Kraters are a common image in artifacts of that time and place.”

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We arrived at Church and joined in the worship. When the Pastor began to deliver his Easter Message, however, I was blown away by not one, not two, but three synchronicities, a veritable trifecta:

(1) For the first time ever, the Pastor described the procedure for Water Baptisms for Adults and explained that an opportunity for Water Baptism would be happening within the next two weeks. He also explained that they were accepting sign-ups for anyone interested. I was amazed given the reflections that had come to me the night before. I wondered if the Holy Spirit had given me a Word of Knowledge through that.

(2) The Pastor described the archaeological and textual evidence for Christ and Pilate, including the very Pilate Stone I had discussed with Soror R.A. Her mouth fell open in awe when he started to discuss this.

(3) The Pastor then went on to analyze 1 Corinthians 15, the very passage I had been nudged to read that very morning! I bowed my head, humbled at this, giving thanks and honouring the mysterious ways of the Holy Spirit, who abides in all of the faithful and guides, teaches and sanctifies them from within as they learn to walk in the Spirit in whom they “live, move and have [their] being” (Acts 17:28).

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B. Phylactery, Cauldron, and Daggers: Covert Solomonic Consecrations by Easter Mass

On this auspicious Easter Sunday, Day of the Sun, I performed Cryptoconsecratio by Mass–covert consecration of magical items performed in Church–of the gold disc phylactery depicted above, which features the names and sigils of the 7 Heptameron Archangels and the 7 Olympic Spirits of the Arbatel De Magia Veterum traced over with a consecrated Solomonic Burin of Art.  Since gold is a soft metal, it is fairly easy to engrave; a compass and ruler facilitated the tracing of the circle and straight lines respectively.

By way of context, I have already established relationships with all 7 of these Archangels and with the Olympic Spirits Bethor and Aratron, the latter two relationships of which I began back in 2010 when I first conjured those two spirits to assist with making Pentacles of Jupiter and Saturn respectively. In the coming year, however, I plan to begin work with all 7 of the Arbatel Olympics and wear this phylactery in work with them. I also plan to wear the seal under my shirt in daily life for general protection and to faciliate maintaining my connection with the spirits represented within it.

Out of respect for traditionalism, however, I have to point out here that this seal combining Heptameron and Arbatel spirit names and sigils does not occur in either the Heptameron or the Arbatel, although the sigils of the Archangels and Olympics contained here are exactly rendered as depicted in those two grimoires. As I learned through the kind sharing of knowledge from my friends BJ Swayne, Billy Ashford-Webb, Chijioke Onyeogubalu, and Andy Foster, I was able to learn that this combined seal was designed by the talented Frater Asterion. Through additional research, I traced it back to a 2011 post he made on Solomonic Magic, which is accessible here and in which Asterion refers to it as his Planetary Lamen. 

Frater Asterion explains the structure of his design and the traditional inspiration for it in this way:

“This pentacle was inspired by a figure in the last book of Faust’s Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis, only he used Olympic Spirits alone and I used Archangels too. My blog banner is based on that, if you look closely. I wrote [the Names] in Latin characters for illustrative purposes, for my upcoming book to be published in Romania, Cartea Arhanghelilor (The book of Archangels), and also as a didactic chart for my personal students.”

Through his own diligent research, Billy Ashford-Webb was able to locate the original diagram in Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis from which Asterion derived his inspiration for this combined Arbatel and Heptameron phylactery:

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Frater Asterion’s sleek and efficient design, with its inclusion of the Arbatel and Heptameron Sigils of the Olympic Spirits and the Archangels suits my purposes well as defined above and was accepted under the guidance of the Angels and Olympics involved. Please note that although I have received commission requests from several people to craft a version of Asterion’s Planetary Lamen, I will not be doing any of these. Frater Asterion retains the copyright and all credit for his own design work. Anyone who would like their own version of this lamen to be crafted should message him directly. 

In this same Easter Sunday Mass, I also performed Cryptoconsecratio by Mass on my new White-Handled Knife, Black-Handled Knife, and also the Cauldron consecrated to Gabriel that I alluded to in a prior post. All of the above were covertly carried into Church in a backpack, which I prayed over during the Mass. Before the Mass, I exorcised these tools and the phylactery and consecrated them with Solomonic Holy Water and consecrated and exorcised Frankincense, both prepared according to the instructions of the Key of Solomon, before bringing them with me to Church. 

The experience was powerful and moving as always and the trifecta of mysterious synchronicities made it even more so. Glory to you, YHVH, El Eloah, Adonai Rapha, Glory to Yeshua Risen, Glory to the Holy Spirit who lives and works within us! In the name of Yeshua, we give thanks and praise. Amen.

 

Spirit Offerings: Introductory Reflections on Types and Principles of Ritual Offerings in Magical Practice

By Frater S.C.F.V.

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Balinese spirit offering photographed by Teri Genovese.

Introduction

One of the most common questions new Magicians who wish to work with spirits in traditional ways often ask is what kinds of offerings to make. This is a fantastic and very respectful and attentive question.  My esteemed colleagues have written a great deal on this important subject — see for example the amazing Ritual Offerings book from 12 practicing occultists including Aaron Leitch, Zadkiel, Frater Ashen Chassan, Brother Moloch, Joshua Gadbois, Denise Alvarado, Jason Miller, Nick Farrell, Sam Webster, Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero, and Gilberto Strapazon.

I cannot recommend this amazing book highly enough and what I have to share below are only a few humble footnotes from my own experience to add on to what they have already eloquently said there.  Dr. Stephen Skinner, Joseph H. Peterson, Jake Stratton-Kent and others have offered many helpful pointers on the subject as well.

In this brief prolegomenon to a more rigorously researched and comprehensive future article on the subject, I will aim to unpack why one might want to consider giving offerings as part of working relationships with Archangels.  I will explore some often less discussed forms of offerings such as offerings through action and sharings of spirits’ acconplishments. Finally, I will aim to outline four key principles to govern offerings and share some concrete examples to illustrate the central concepts this article strives to elucidate.

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Offerings to Archangel Michael by Fr. Aaron Leitch.

Offerings to Archangels in Historical and Magical Theoretical Context

One common question among new ceremonial magicians is how to proceed with making offerings for Archangels.  The comments below were shared as “notes from the field” based on my own experience in this area grounded in grimoiric tradition. From the outset, it is worth noting, as Dr. Alexander Cummins points out, that early modern literature is fraught with reservations about making offerings to Angels.  These include worries that it might entail idolatry, lead to accidentally feeding demons who might then harm the Magician, or that it is not necessary since the Angels neither require nor can digest physical food or some ethereal substance contained therein.

There are, however, some traditions of offering food to Archangels, as on the Feasts of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael on September 29th in the Catholic liturgical calendar. I once read about a similar practice from the Iberian peninsula, in which the sense was seemingly that the gesture of offering the food was meaningful to the Angels, because it was an act in harmony with their own nature of kindness, gratitude, respect, and loving consideration for others, quite analogous to a charitable action. In Agrippan terms, such gestures could be understood as embodying the sympathetic virtue of generosity in the service of the Good and of God, which is also in the nature of the Angels.

When I make offerings to the Angels, this is more or less the way in which I understand what I’m doing from a contemporary perspective, which is “traditional” in the sense of being in keeping with the offering-based philosophy as a way of structuring spirit work that runs through the Western esoteric tradition.  For instance, in Iamblichus’ Theurgia, the great Neo-Platonic philosopher and theurgist comments on how he understands the giving of offerings to celestial beings who would seem not to require them.  There, he writes:

“But,” it is remarked by thee, “the things that are offered are offered as to sensitive and psychic natures.” If, indeed, they consisted of corporeal and composite powers alone, or of such as pertained merely to the service of the physical organism, thou wouldst be correct. But since the offerings partake also of incorporeal ideals, special discourses, and simpler metres, the peculiar affinity of the offerings is to be considered from this point alone.

And if any kindred relationship, near or far away, or any resemblance is present, it is sufficient for the union about which we are now discoursing. For there is not anything which is in the least degree akin to the gods, with which the gods are not immediately present and conjoined. It is not, then, as to “sensitive or psychic,” but actually to divine ideals and to the gods themselves, that the intimate union is effected so far as may be.”

This seems like a sympathetic argument to me, on the basis of certain things being worth offering because they “partake of the nature” of the spirits in question in some form.  Iamblichus’ argument is here made in reference to gods, but we might take a similar approach to Angels, especially if we are working through a Heptameronic or other similar system that ascribes Archangels as ruling over Days and Planets.  Things of the same nature as a spirit are in harmony with them, and therefore, can be helpful to create the kind of sympathetic resonance that facilitates the work with the Angel in ritual. This remains so even if the Angel is not interested in actually ingesting or eating the thing offered.

It is definitely the case that arguments have been made against offerings to Angels as being idolatrous.  We can reply to this objection through the Catholic distinction of veneration versus worship.  The right way to make an offering to an Angel from a Catholic perspective is be to offer it to God in the “name and honour” of the Angel.  In this way, we are worshiping the Divine, but venerating the Angel, showing love, gratitude, and respect.

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The Angel Offering The Fruits Of The Garden Of Eden To Adam And Eve by J.B.L. Shaw.

Respecting Preferences and Incorporating Sympathetic Correspondences

As a general rule, I’ve found that it can be helpful to ask the spirits if they have any preferences for offerings and then proceeding accordingly. This applies across all realms from the chthonic and elemental to the Angelic, Archangelic, and Divine.  What spirits sometimes ask for can be surprising; as Jake Stratton-Kent has noted, for instance, it might be something as simple as an egg.

When we don’t yet know a particular spirit’s preferences, however, it can be helpful to look into the grimoires for correspondences that are sympathetic to their nature. This is especially true for herbs, incenses, colours, foods, and other readily-offered things. Often, the spirits will enjoy these offerings, grounded as they often are in hundreds of years of Magicians’ work with them, and I will continue to use them or tweak them over time with the same spirit. Many spirits offer things that involve some sacrifice on our part, even something as small as giving up a glass of wine from a bottle as a libation to them.

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A libation being poured as an offering at a symposium – Attica red-figure cup, ca. 480 B.C.E.

A Concrete Example of Offerings in Practice

As a concrete example to illustrate the point of how grimoiric correspondences can be applied to select offerings, yesterday, I lit a Vigil candle for Archangel Sachiel, Archangel of Jupiter and Thursday as per the Heptameron. I also offered him unleavened bread wafers, a classical Tanachic offering that works for many spirits, and which also has correspondences with Church wafers that work with Jupiterian priestly connections.  The latter also works with the sympathetic symbolism of Christ as King of Kings, Kingship being a Jupiter-ruled quality.

In addition, I offered Sachiel some Applewood incense, Apple being sacred to Jupiter as per Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy and a blue container-framed white candle inscribed with his Heptameron sigil in white. Blue is one of the colours that is traditionally associated with Jupiter. Moreover, Sachiel’s Vigil candle was dressed with Solomonic Holy Anointing Oil and dry Basil, Basil being associated with Jupiter as per Agrippa.

In addition, the bread and incense as well as additional candles for each spirit were also offered to four additional Jupiterian Spirits who operate under Sachiel, whom I also invoked for help in consecrating two 2nd Pentacles of Jupiter from the Key of Solomon and a Jupiterian Ring, namely Netoniel, Devachia, Tzedeqiah, and Parasiel. I used a framework from Balthazar’s Solomonic candle magic method here. The rationale here involves invoking the Most High, then the Archangel of the Planet, then Angels under that Archangel for help with a particular petition. This is a classically goetic approach of working down through spiritual hierarchies as Jake Stratton-Kent and others have shown. I’ll share a picture of my Altar setup from this ritual as an example to illustrate the point below. This setup was done on my Altar of Saint Cyprian of Antioch and under his watchful eye, which is why the Altar features his enlivened statue as well.

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Photographs and Sharing Spirits’ Accomplishments as Offerings

However, offerings can go much deeper than what is offered in ritual. All of my pictures of ritual setups for work with particular spirits that I share on Light in Extension are also offered up to the spirits involved as well as the recognition and exposure they get from these, as are the articles I share about the operations for my own records and the benefit of others to share ideas for their own work.

When a spirit asks me not to photograph something or write about it, I respect the request. Generally, however, I have found that they have appreciated such sharings made in a respectful context as it has often led others to work with them.  It also demonstrates gratitude for their work and the relationships built up with them when offered in their honour and not to our own glory.

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A colourful ritual offering at a unique Hindu temple on the outskirts of Madurai photographed by Dr. Allocco.

Actions as Offerings

In addition, we can make offerings of a still other sort, namely of actions. An action that is in harmony with a spirit’s nature, particularly if it is impressive, can be sufficient to motivate them to action even if they do not physically or spiritually require it. To illustrate the principle involved here, let us consider the rather humorous example of some rather inventive ants.

Suppose a group of ants were to gather together in your kitchen one fine morning. They had decided to venerate you, in all your dazzling human wonder, as a powerful Giant and request your aid in procuring food for their queen.  In other words, they wanted to petition you via a spell.

Suppose that in order to attract your attention, these craft ants decided to all click their feet synchronously to sound out something roughly analogous to your name. On top of this, they traced an amazing honey Sigil to you on your floor, reading “HELP US,” followed by your name, which they gave to you as an offering.

Now, you might not need their offering at all; in fact, it might be somewhat of a nuisance, since they had to dirty up your beautiful kitchen floor in order to create it. However, since you are a good-humored individual, you might be rather amused by their gesture and the effort and pains they took to create it. Thus, even if you didn’t remotely need their offering or particularly want to lick honey off of your own kitchen floor, you might accept the offering anyway and say “what the heck, what help do you want, ant friends?” And if all they wanted was a spoon of sugar for the Queen, you might even be willing to oblige them given how trivial such a small gesture of help seems from your own lofty perspective as a mighty Giant to a humble ant. Perhaps the situation with offerings to Archangels is something roughly analogous to this.

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Examples abound of actions in harmony with the natures of various spirits that we can perform for them as offerings. For instance, Aaron  Leitch cultivates a garden as an offering to the Archangel Anael.  Martial arts training sessions or military service can be offered up to Martial Spirits, such as Samael, Archangel of Mars and Tuesday. Romantic gestures can be offered to Venusian spirits as can works of art, music, dance, and other works of Beauty. Study sessions and intellectual work can be offered up to Mercurial spirits and Angels of Mercury. Gestures of kindness to make others smile can be offered to Solar spirits. Offerings of advocacy for the vulnerable and wronged can be offered to Archangel Michael. Healing work, herbal medicine, studying contemporary medicine and so on can also be offered to Raphael as well as simple gestures like dropping off soup or medication for a sick friend.

As two other common examples commonly represented among the magical community, for Pagans who work with the Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri (PGM), gestures done in harmony with the nature of a god can also be offered. For Christians, prayers can be offered by ending them in the name of Yeshua / Jesus, or acts of forgiveness or loving gestures can be offered unto him and to God the Father more generally.

More generally speaking, to extract a general principle from these concrete examples, any action done in harmony with the teachings of a deity can be offered as a gesture of love, respect, gratitude for what was learned, and sympathetic harmony with their nature. In this way, the “occult virtue” of the spirits in question, to borrow a term from Agrippa, begins to become instantiated in our lives. In the process, we increase our sympathetic harmony with the spirits and facilitate future work with them.

My experience has been that Archangels particularly love when we do good deeds in harmony with their nature and offer these in gratitude for what they have done for us. Progressively alchemically transmuting more and more of our lives into doing things that benefit not only ourselves, but also our families, friends, communities, and societies has the added benefit of not only enriching our lives, but also meeting the grimoiric requirements (e.g. in the Key of Solomon, Arbatel, etc) for living a good and honourable life as part of the lifestyle of the Magician in the ideal these texts advocate. Any such gesture can also be offered to the Holy Spirit for magicians who work with him. In addition, periods of meditation on the nature of a Spirit or their class (e.g. Angelic, Elemental, Planetary, etc) can also be offered to the spirits. Often they will reciprocate with images, insights, or other manifestations.

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A collection of red beverages offered to spirits at a Thai Spirit House.

Four Underlying Principles of Offerings

Indeed, it seems to me that there are a few foundational principles that underlie all offerings.

One of these, which is so central to Archaic Goetia as Jake Stratton-Kent has shown in Geosophia, but also to the more offering-based Christian magical systems, is reciprocality.  Reciprocality means that both we and the spirits benefit from our work together, them through offerings and time with us and us through their teachings, magical help, and how we grow in the process. This principle ensures balance and harmony, key aspects of virtue as Aristotle, Siddhartha Gautama, Kung-fu-tzu and others have pointed out, but also central features of the Adepthood ideal.

Another principle is respect – treating spirits with the same respect we ask of them. In this way, we show them that we care enough about them and what they are doing for and with us to show them we respect them by making meaningful sacrifices on their behalf.

A third is gratitude, not taking them for granted, but appreciating the gifts they offer us. Gratitude is a powerful force in all human relationships; it deepens love, enriches friendships, improves work relationships, and ensures gifts receive the recognition they deserve. The same holds true in spirit work. Just as we love those who are grateful for our actions to help them, spirits seem to delight in the same way in gratitude. Just as we are more likely to want to help the grateful than the ungrateful, those who display haughty attitudes of unappreciative demandingness and entitlement, so are spirits more likely to help Magicians who show them the same courtesy.

And a fourth is sympathy, ensuring that the offerings are in harmony with their nature and preferences. As the examples discussed above have indicated, proper offerings should always be in some way in harmony with the nature of the spirits to whom they are given. Just as an appropriate gift for someone who only listens to metal music is not the latest country album, but a metal album they do not yet own, or a shirt of their favourite band, the appropriate offering for a spirit is not one that is contrary to their nature, such as a sword for a Venusian spirit, but in harmony with it.

Conclusion

Spirit offerings are one of the most ancient forms of human spirituality recorded by anthropologists.  To those of us in the contemporary world who continue to feel the enduring call to work with the spirits, they are an essential technology and technique of inestimable value.  Indeed, ritual offerings hold the power to amplify our magic and deepen our relationships with the spirits with whom we work.

The Bells and Trumpets of Solomon: Resounding Instruments of the Solomonic Grimoires

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By Adam J. Pearson

Introduction: Ancient Origins of Horns, Trumpets, and Bells

The roots of ceremonial bells, horns, and trumpets stretch far into the distant reaches of prehistory.  According to Hyunjong (2009, p.27), the world’s oldest known musical instrument is a bone flute that was found at a Neanderthal habitation site in Slovenia.  This early flute was fashioned between 82,000 and 43,000 years ago from the bone of a cave bear (Hyunjong, 2009).  Like the bone flute, the first blowing horns and ‘trumpets’ were also crafted from parts of hunted animals, such as animal  horns (Warner et al., 2013).  Paralleling the horn and trumpet traditions, the earliest archaeological evidence of bells uncovered thus far dates to the 3rd millennium B.C.E. in the Yangshao culture of Neolithic China; these most ancient of all human bells were fashioned from clay pottery before bronze bells emerged with the advances of the Bronze Age (Reinhart, 2015).

Although contemporary bells and trumpets may seem vastly different from one another in both sound and structure, their earliest forms were strikingly similar.  Not only were they both musical instruments of staggering antiquity, but they were shared structural similarities; both bells and trumpets featured flared-out bottoms that amplified sounds produced either by striking, in the case of bells, or blowing vibrations, for trumpets,  through their resonant cavities.  Scholars of archaeoacoustics and music archaeology have identified independent traditions surrounding the crafting and uses of bells and trumpets in cultures on nearly every continent (Reinhart, 2015).  From the Bronze Age onward, however, these traditions largely developed in parallel, although sometimes intercepting and inter-influencing streams, whose unfoldings were shaped by the cultural contexts of the early artisans who drove their development (Montagu, 2014).

This article explores a fascinating case of dovetailing bell and trumpet traditions in the ritual history of musical instruments, namely, the interwoven traditions of Bells and Trumpets of Art within Western ceremonial magic.  The article’s first foray into the realm of sonorous Solomonic tools begins by describing the materials, crafting procedures, ritual uses, and potential mythic origins of the Trumpet of Art that is employed in the Key of Solomon grimoire (Latin: Clavicula Salomonis).  It then juxtaposes the Claviculan Trumpet of Art with the Bell of Art from the Key of Solomon‘s central source text, the Byzantine Greek Hygromanteia (Greek: Ὑγρομαντεία).  In the process, I will attempt to demonstrate that although the Trumpet of Art is able to perform the functions previously served by the evocatory Bell of the Greek Hygromanteia, it also reflects the influence of a distinct and separate tradition that traces its roots back to the Ancient Hebrew trumpet or ḥatzotzrah (חצוצרה‎) and blowing horn or shofar (שופר‎) used in the Hebrew Tanach.

Thereafter, the article broadens its focus to examine the resonant connections between the Bell or Trumpet of Art and some of the reflections on ritual bells and trumpets that are contained in the writings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, John Dee, the pseudo-“Dee” of the Tuba Veneris, and Girardius, the mysterious author of the 18th century grimoire, Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730.  Finally, I close with a brief discussion of the use and fashioning of my own personal Solomonic Bell of Art, which integrates the Hygromanteian Bell with the characters and Names of the Trumpet of Art and consecration methods from the Key.

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A Yemenite Jew blows a Hebrew blowing horn or shofar (שופר‎) near the Old City Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photography by David Silverman.

Convoking the Spirits with Sonorous Blasts: The Key of Solomon’s Trumpet of Art

To begin, the connection between trumpets and the original King Solomon mythos that would exert a striking difference on the much later Key of Solomon grimoire has foundations in the Hebrew Tanach that are as strong as those of the Temple of Solomon itself.  Indeed, verses 31 to 35 in 1 Kings 1 describe how David required a trumpet to be sounded to announce the successorship and ritual crowning of his son, the great Solomon himself.  As the text explains,

32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, 33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 35 Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah” (NIV, 1 Kings 1:31-35)

Thus, the blast of a trumpet was linked, from its earliest days, to the rich mythos that developed around King Solomon from its earliest Tanachic roots and the reverberations of this original trumpet blast would much later be felt throughout text of the Clavicula Salomonis or Key of Solomon the King.  In Chapter VII of the second Book of the Clavicula Salomonis, the Master of the Art is instructed to construct a “Trumpet of Art,” with which to “convoke” spirits to the ceremonial Circle in which the Master stands, and prepare them “to obey” the Operator’s commands (Peterson, 2004).

Fascinatingly, as Joseph H. Peterson (2004) explains, the Key‘s Trumpet was to be fashioned from “new wood.”  The choice of wood as a material for the body of the Trumpet is itself interesting since it deviates from the preferred materials for similar instruments in the period.  Unlike the Key‘s wooden Trumpet, the majority of blowing horns and trumpets from Antiquity through the Medieval and Renaissance periods were fashioned from animal horns (e.g. Ram or Ox), shells (such as conch as in the Maltan bronja), or metals (e.g. the bronze Roman cornu or buccina or the Scandinavian lurer) (Warner et al., 2013).

In addition, the use of “new” seems to suggest that the wood from which the Trumpet is made should be drawn from a “virgin” branch that never bore fruit, berries, or nuts, that is, wood under a single year’s growth, as in the case of the Key‘s instructions for the Wand of Art in Book II, Chapter 8 (Peterson, 2004).  Unlike in the case of the Wand, no instructions are given for astrologically timing the cutting of the wood for the Trumpet. In all likelihood, however, assuming a parallel ritual rationale to that of the Wand, the wood for the Trumpet would likely be “cut from the tree at a single stroke, on the day of Mercury, at sunrise,” with the characters and Names written during the Hour of Mercury, following the method for the construction of the Solomonic Wand (Peterson, 2004).

On one side of the Trumpet, the Key instructs the ceremonial Operator to use the consecrated “Pen and Ink of the Art” to write “these Names of God, ELOHIM GIBOR” (אלהים גבור) and “ELOHIM TZABAOTH” (אלהים צבאות) (Peterson, 2004). On the other side, specific “Characters” are to be inscribed, which Joseph H. Peterson (2004) presents as follows based on folio 120r of the Additional 10862 manuscript:

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Happily for contemporary Solomonic practitioners, the Divine Names that the Key requires to be inscribed on the Trumpet are fairly consistent across manuscripts.  As Peterson (2004) notes, Aubrey 24 calls for the Latin “Deus Exercituum” (God of Armies), which approximates the Hebrew “Elohim Tzabaoth” (אלהים צבאות), while the French manuscript Lansdown 1202 requires “ces noms de Dieu Elohim Gibor, Dieu des Armées,” and the Italian Kings 288 manuscript has the Magician write “Elohyn Gibor.”  Interestingly, while most of the manuscripts only designate between a few lines to the construction, use, and significance of the Trumpet, Aubrey 24 devotes an entire chapter to the subject.

In addition, the practical instructions for the ceremonial use of the the Trumpet of Art are clearly delineated in the text.  In Book II, Chapter VII, the Key of Solomon explains that:

“Having entered into the circle to perform the experiment, he should sound his trumpet towards the four quarters of the Universe, first towards the East, then towards the South, then towards the West, and lastly towards the North. Then let him say:—

“Hear ye, O spirit N, I command you. Hear ye, and be ye ready, in whatever part of the Universe ye may be, to obey the voice of God, the Mighty One, and the names of the Creator. We let you know by this signal and sound that ye will be convoked hither, wherefore hold ye yourselves in readiness to obey our commands.”

This being done let the master complete his work, renew the circle, and make the incensements and fumigations” (Peterson, 2004, Bk. II, Chap. 7).

Thus, the purpose of the Key of Solomon‘s Trumpet of Art is at once to prepare the spirits to be convoked and commanded and to ceremonially position the Master of Art within the Solomonic Circle in the center of the four cardinal directions.  This directional centering of the Magician at the symbolic hub of the universe is not only demarcated by the structure of the Circle itself, which is aligned to the four cardinal directions, but also  ritually reinforced by sequentially sounding the Trumpet of Art towards each of these same directions.  In this process, the Operator begins in the East in the direction of the rise of light from the dawning Sun and proceeds clockwise–or, prior to the invention of clocks, deisial (Gaelic) or dexter (Latin) both meaning “towards the right” or “South” from the East–through the other directions from South to West to North.

As researchers and practitioners of the Key of Solomon such as Aaron Leitch (2009) have long noted, many of the Key of Solomon‘s grimoiric methods are modeled after the instructions given to Moses and Aaron in the Tanachic Books of Leviticus, Exodus, and Numbers as well as the Psalms or Tehillim.  For instance, the use of hyssop in the ritual bath in the Key of Solomon has its roots in the Biblical symbolism of hyssop as a purifying and consecrating herb within Hebrews 9:19, Leviticus 14:4-7, and most significantly, Numbers 19:6, where it is used to prepare the “water of purification” itself.

Similarly, the modus operandi of the Key‘s Solomonic Trumpet of Art can also be traced to a very specific passage in the Hebrew Tanach, namely, Numbers 10:1-7.  In these verses, God tells Moses to “make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out” (NIV, Numbers 10:1).  These trumpets or ḥatzotzrah (חצוצרה‎)–which are not to be confused with shofar (שופר‎), another word used in the Tanach, which means ‘horn’ and refers to a distinct instrument–are to be sounded to call and assemble the Hebrew Tribes camped in each of the four cardinal directions of the Israelites’ camp.  As the text explains,

“5 When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the East are to set out. At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the South are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out” (Numbers 10:5-7)

Thus, when blowing the Trumpet of Art, the Key of Solomon‘s Operator follows in the footsteps of Moses, by calling to the spirits to attend to his commands in each of the directions proceeding clockwise/deisial/dexter from East to South as Moses did with his silver trumpet.  Similarly, just as Moses was told to use his trumpet to “gather the assembly” or convoke the Hebrew Tribes or prepare them to “set out,” so does the Solomonic Magician use the Trumpet of Art to prepare the spirits to “set out” and then convoke or assemble around the Circle. Thus, the Trumpet of Art has ancient Tanachic roots that long precede the much later date of the composition of the Key of Solomon.

Moreover, the Clavis Salomonis’ Trumpet is contextually grounded in a much broader series of Biblical traditions beyond those already mentioned.  Aside from the aforementioned uses of the ḥatzotzrah (חצוצרה‎) and shofar (שופר‎) to proclaim the crowning of King Solomon (1 Kings 1:31-35), and call, assemble, and mobilize individuals (Numbers 10:5-7), the Biblical texts also describe these tools as instruments used to signal the presence of the Divine as God does to Moses with “a thick cloud over [Sinai], and a very loud trumpet blast” (Exodus 19:16), declare the commencement of festivals (Leviticus 23:23), topple the walls of Jericho when played by “seven priests” in “front of the Ark of the Covenant” (Joshua 6:4-5 and see also Agrippa’s (2000) Second Book of Occult Philosophy, Chapter 10), announce different phases of the Apocalypse when Seven Trumpets are sequentially sounded by the “Seven Angels who stand before God” (Revelation 8:2 and also referred to by Agrippa (2000) in Book II, Chapter 10), and praise God within the Temple orchestra itself as described in Psalm 150:3 (“Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet!”).

Very interestingly for the present study, this same Psalm 150, which describes the use of ḥatzotzrah (חצוצרה‎) and shofar (שופר‎) to praise YHVH (יהוה) also describes the use of cymbals to the same end, enjoining Israel to praise Him with the clash of resounding cymbals” (Psalm 150:3-5).  Cymbals, of course, are round metallic instruments that are sounded by striking, and, in these ways, are very closely related to bells (Braun & Braun, 2002).

Furthermore, it is very appropriate for the discussion of bells to come that bell-like cymbals are played alongside trumpets on many different occasions in the Tanach.  We read, for instance, that “David and all the Israelites were celebrating with all their might before God, with songs and with harps, lyres, timbrels, cymbals and trumpets” (1 Chronicles 13:8), that both instruments were used to dedicate the Wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:27), that “Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song” (1 Chronicles 16:42), and that “when the builders laid the foundation of the Temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David” (Ezra 3:10).

Thus, within the Tanachic lore of the Israelites to which the Key of Solomon would later mythically hearken back and symbolically align itself, bell-like cymbals and trumpets were repeatedly sounded in unison and the traditions that evolved around these ritual tools largely dovetailed together.  How appropriate it is, therefore, that the Greek Byzantine Hygromanteia–which is, as Dr. Stephen Skinner (2013) demonstrated, the primary source text of the Key of Solomon itself–should provide a parallel tradition to that of the Trumpet of Art, in the form of a mysterious evocatory Bell.

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Ringing Open the Gateway: The Hygromanteian Bell of Art

Those who approach the Greek Byzantine Hygromanteia after first studying the Key of Solomon and learning to work its system using the Solomonic Trumpet may be surprised to discover that there is no Trumpet of Art in the Clavicula’s older source text.  Indeed, in the entirety of the Hygromanteia, there are only two occurrences of the word “Trumpet.” Moreover, in both cases, the word is used, not to refer to a tool to be made by the Magician, but rather to reference the Angelic Trumpet “that shall be sounded” on the Day of Judgment (Marathakis, 2011, p. 335).

The first of these twin trumpet references occurs in the Conjuration of “Asmodaes,” in which the Magician addresses the spirit by telling it that

“I conjure you by the Trumpet that shall be sounded, calling for the Second Coming” (Marathakis, 2011, p. 335).

In a similar fashion, the second and final trumpet reference in the Hygromanteia occurs in yet another conjuration, in which the Master is instructed to command the spirit

“by the trumpet that the Angel of Resurrection shall sound” (Marathakis. 2011, p. 173).

Therefore, while references to trumpets in the Hygromanteia are purely symbolic in nature and are used to add power to the conjurations,  the Hygromanteian magical arsenal does not include a physical Trumpet of Art in the style of the Clavicula.  Where the absence of one kind of  one kind of sonorous Solomonic tool in the text is glaringly evident, however, the presence of another is equally so. This second resounding tool of Solomon is the Hygromanteian Bell of Art.

Interestingly enough, this author’s first indication that there might be a Solomonic Bell tradition with a historical precedent in the Hygromanteia came, not from the Hygromanteia itself, but from Joseph H. Peterson’s (2004) insightful notes on manuscript variations in the later Key of Solomon. In Chapter IX, “Of the formation of the Circle,” in his edition of the Clavicula’ Salomonis, the Magician is instructed to

“enter within the circle and carefully close the openings left in the same, and let him again warn his disciples, and take the Trumpet13 of Art prepared as is said in the chapter concerning the same, and let him incense the Circle towards the four quarters of the Universe.

After this let the magus commence his incantations, having placed the Knife14 upright in the ground at his feet. Having sounded the Trumpet15 towards the East as before taught let him invoke the spirits, and if need he conjure them, as is said in the first book, and having attained his desired effect, let him license them to depart.”

In form and content, this section seems reminiscent of the prior passages concerning the Trumpet of Art which have already been discussed.  However, examining Peterson’s (2004) footnotes 13 and 15, reveals a fascinating point.  Although other manuscripts of the Key of Solomon such as Kings 288 and Aubrey 24 read “Trumpet” here, Sloane 3847 does not.  In place of “Trumpet,” and very interestingly for the purposes of this study, the Sloane 3847 version, which is entitled The Worke of Salomon the Wise Called His Clavicle Revealed by King Ptolomeus Ye Grecian reads “Bell” and instructs the Master to “let the Bell be [rung] toward the East” (“Ptolomeus,” 1999).

In addition, the same manuscript later tells the Operator to ring the Bell in the four cardinal directions from within the Circle. As the text reads, the Master shall have a bell, and ring it “4 times toward the 4 partes of the world, with 4 pater nosters” (Peterson, 1999). These instructions clearly place the ringing of the Bell “towards the 4 partes of the world” in harmony with the sounding of the Trumpet of Art to the four cardinal directions in Kings 288 and Aubrey 24, which suggests some parallelism between the Trumpets and Bells of Art within the Solomonic tradition.

This Bell-Trumpet homology is significant because, with its dating to 1572, Sloane 3847 is one of the oldest extant versions of the Key of Solomon, which places it chronologically closer to its Hygromanteian source text than many of the later manuscripts (Peterson, 2004).  In contrast, the British library catalogue describes Mathers’ earliest source, the Additional 10862 manuscript, which includes the Trumpet of Art rather than the Bell, as dating to the 17th century.

BellsonWall.jpg

Medieval depiction of bells used in worship, suggesting the connection between bells and the sacred in the Medieval mind, a tradition with Ancient roots.

Thus, Sloane 3847 offers an example of a version of the Clavicula Salomonis in which a ritual Bell is used in place of the Trumpet called for in most other manuscripts and in the same manner as the Trumpet, to alert the spirits and prepare them to obey.  While the Trumpet of Art seems to suggest an attempt to integrate the Tanachic lore around the ḥatzotzrah (חצוצרה‎) and shofar (שופר‎) into the Key of Solomon‘s magical system, the presence of the “Bell” in Sloane 3847 may reflect a continuation of the Hygromanteia‘s use of a Bell of Art in much the same way.  Thus, just as bell-like cymbals and trumpets were often used together for similar purposes in the Tanach, the grimoires reveal similar dovetailing traditions of consecrated ritual bells and trumpets being similarly employed by the Solomonic Master.

Moreover, juxtaposing the Key of Solomon‘s instructions for the creation and use of the Trumpet / Bell of Art with the Hygromanteia‘s instructions for the construction of its own Bell reveals some interesting and highly revealing similarities and differences.  On page 352 of Marathakis’ (2014) Hygromanteia, the Apprentice of the Master of Art is commanded to

“ring a Bell inside the Circle. He must have a Bell with the following names written around it in the blood of a Bat. Behold the names:

Peth, Glia, Peres, Mpethiel, Mepithiele, Thsos, Mparous, Mparon, Mpimaon, Mpapirion, Khae, Rhoam.”

Thus, while the Key of Solomon instructs the Magician to write Hebrew Divine Names on the Trumpet/Bell, the Hygromanteia‘s Bell is emblazoned with nomina barbara or barbarous names.  In addition, while the Key specifies sigils or “characters” to be included, the Hygromanteia limits itself to Names of Power and does not include additional sigils (Marathakis, 2011).

Interestingly, however, while either text could have reasonably asked the Operator to engrave the Names and ‘Characters of Art’ into the tools, both texts prescribe the use of magical inks instead.  In both cases, the inks are specially consecrated, as in Book II, Chapter 18 of the Key of Solomon, which provides a specific consecration method for the Ink of Art.  Similarly, as Dr. Stephen Skinner (2013, p. 348) explains in Magical Techniques and Implements Present in Graeco-Egyptian Magical Papyri, Byzantine Greek Solomonic Manuscripts and European Grimoires, the ‘Bat Blood’ to be used for the Bell would also be carefully prepared for the purpose, by being extracted from an animal that was “sacrificed in order to drain its blood.”  This sacrifice unto the Divine itself would consecrate the blood for magical use.

Notably, bat blood is also called for in the Key of Solomon. However, in the Clavicula, the Operator is required to perform the “Exorcism of the Bat” given in Book II, Chapter 16 over it after extracting it from the vein in the right wing of the animal as well (Peterson, 2004).  Thereafter, the Master blesses and consecrates the blood for use in the Ink of Art by various Divine Names as described in the text  (Peterson, 2004).

As to the appearance of the Hygromanteian Bell, manuscript Harleianus 5596, f. 34v provides two crude drawings of the Bell of Art in the margins of the Circle diagram, which are highlighted here for clarity.  As Marathakis’s (2011) edition indicates, the topmost image bears the label “Bell” in Greek:

bell.png

Moreover, the Hygromanteia also specifies the type of bell to be used for the Bell of Art  with terminological precision when it invites the Apprentice to “hold a small Bell that some call kampanon and ring it for a little while before you enter the Circle” (Marathakis 2014, p. 169).  The kampanon or “small bell” referred to in this passage seems to have been a small hand-bell (Marathakis, 2011).  As Alexandra Villing (2002, p. 223) reveals in her fascinating article “For Whom Did the Bell Toll in Ancient Greece? Archaic and Classical Greek Bells at Sparta and Beyond,”

“Ancient Greeks were not familiar with large bells of the kind that ring in our churches today. Smaller, portable bells, usually not much taller than about 10 cm [3.93 inches — My Note] were, however, a very widespread feature of Ancient Greek life.”

koudounia.jpg

Koudounia (Greek: κουδουνια) are bell-like instruments, which produce a ringing sound when struck and were seen by  many Ancient Greeks as having the apotropaic power to ward off evil Spirits.

In addition, in the same article, Villing (2002, p. 225-226) explains that in Ancient Greece,

“Archaeological, iconographical and literary sources attest to [the use of bells] as votive offerings in ritual and funerary contexts, as signalling instruments for town-guards, as amulets for children and women as well as, in South Italy, in a Dionysiac context.

The bells’ origins lie in the Ancient Near East and Caucasus area, from where they found their way especially to Archaic Samos and Cyprus and later to mainland Greece. Here, the largest known find complex of bronze and terracotta bells, mostly of Classical date, comes from the old British excavations in the sanctuary of Athena on the Spartan acropolis and is published here for the first time.

Spartan bells are distinctive in shape yet related particularly to other Lakonian and Boiotian bells as well as earlier bells from Samos. At Sparta, as elsewhere, the connotation of the bells’ bronze sound as magical, protective, purificatory and apotropaic was central to their use, although specific functions varied according to place, time, and occasion.”

The Bell of Art as described in the Hygromanteia is consistent with the Ancient Greek view of bells as “magical, protective, purificatory, and apotropaic,” a view also shared by the Romans who similarly employed tintinnabulum bells, the ancestors of modern wind chimes, to ward off evil spirits  (Villing 2002, p. 226; Eckardt & Williams, 2018).  In like manner, in the Japanese Shinto tradition, bells have long been used both to attract the attention of kindly and holy Spirits and banish evil Spirits from the shrines at which they were rung; for the same reason, bells are still used to this day on Japanese protective charms or omamori (Mendes, 2015).  In short, like the Ancient Greek kampana, which could be both attractive and apotropaic, the Hygromanteian bell also serves the dual function of banishing hostile spirits and attracting cooperative and benefic spirits to the Operator’s call (Villing, 2002; Marathakis, 2011).

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An omamori or Japanese amulet with an apotropaic golden bell (Mendes, 2015).

In addition, the Greek ritual bells’ use as signalling instruments further connects them both to the Ancient Hebrew understandings of trumpets described in the aforementioned Tanachic verses and to the Israelites’ own uses of ceremonial bells.  In Exodus 28: 31 to 35, for example, Aaron is told to wear a special robe adorned with “gold bells” to protect him “when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord” so “that he will not die.” God tells him to

“31 “make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar[c]around this opening, so that it will not tear. 33 Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34 The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. 35 Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.” (NIV, Exodus 28:31-35).

Much like the Trumpet of Art and the Tanachic bells of Aaron, then, the Hygromanteia’s Bell of Art can be seen as both sanctifying and apotropaic, embedded as it is in the contexts of older traditions around the ritual use of bells as spiritually powerful tools in the aforementioned Greek and Tanachic traditions, and Byzantine Christian uses of bells to ‘convoke’ parishioners to Church, to name just a few streams of cultural influences that fed into its conceptualization within the Hygromanteia (Sachs, 2012).

It is worth noting, however, that unlike the Clavicula‘s Trumpet, the Hygromanteian Bell is sounded both before and after entering the Circle to designate it to the spirits as a sacred and protected space.  This is a subtle but important point that is often overlooked, but warrants careful consideration as it bears hidden significance.  As Dr. Stephen Skinner pointed out to this author in his comments on an earlier draft of this article, many cultures use ritual bells to announce the entering of spiritual space.  Hindu temples, for instance, often feature ghanta bells that devotees are expected to ring before entering the Gharbagriha (sanctum sanctorum) to announce their arrival to the Gods and Goddesses and prepare themselves to receive darshan (the sight of Holy Images of Divinity) (Brown, 2013).  In the same way, the Hygromanteian Apprentice rings the Bell of Art to announce the Apprentice and Master’s entrances into the Circle, the sacred meeting place between the spirit world and the human world.  After this preliminary sounding, they proceed to sound the Bell again from within the Circle in order to alert the spirits to be ready to appear and obey in the style of the later Claviculan Trumpet.

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Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa as depicted by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528).

Resonant Grimoiric Connections: Ritual Bells and Trumpets in Agrippa, Dee, pseudo-“Dee,” and Girardius

The precise origins of the Hygromanteian Bell of Art tradition are shrouded in mystery. Although Old Testament style bell-cymbals, Christian Church and altar bells, Ancient Greek kampana and koudounia (Greek: κουδουνια), Ancient Egyptian ritual bells–perhaps through their impact on the development of Ancient Greek music–and Mesopotamian bells all may have influenced the Hygromanteian Bell, another candidate for a historical precedent might be the Chaldaean and Neoplatonic Iynx (Braun & Braun, 2002; Sachs, 2012; Montagu, 2014; Muñoz, 2017).

In Greek literature, the Iynx (Greek: Ιυγξ) was originally a reference to the wryneck bird, which was originally bound to a Sorceror’s wheel and then spun around to attract an unfaithful lover (Majercik, 2013).  The word Iynx then came to be used to mean a kind of love charm, a semantic valence that Plato expanded to express a kind of Erosian ‘binding force’ between humankind and Divinity.  By the time of the Chaldeaen Oracles, which cannot be any younger than the 2nd century C.E. since Iamblichus refers to them, Iynges had come to be understood as magical Names (voces mysticae) that were sent forth as ‘couriers’ from the Divine to communicate with the Theurgist (Majercik, 2013; de Garay, 2017).

The original wryneck bird-bound wheel Iynx gradually evolved into a bell-like metal disc that was inscribed with Divine Names and symbols, much like the Hygromanteian Bell (Johnston, 1990).  This bell-like instrument would, however, be attached to a twisted leather thong, which would be rapidly spun to produce a whirring sound.  Theurgists believed that the sound of the Iynx would attract daimons and inspire them to reveal their Magic Names, through which Magicians aimed to acquire magical powers (Johnston, 1990; Majercik, 2013).  In the iynx tradition, therefore, we find a magical bell-like tool inscribed with Divine Names and characters that may very well have been one of the influences, alongside those of the other aforementioned traditions, that helped  give rise to the Hygromanteian Bell of Art.

What is certain, however, is that the Hygromanteia is not the only text from the later grimoiric period that employs consecrated ritual bells in its repertoire of recommended magical tools.  Indeed, in his Third Book of Occult Philosophy, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (2000) writes that:

“there are also sacred rites and holy observations, which are made for the reverencing of the Gods, and religion, viz. devout gestures, genuflections, uncoverings of the head, washings, sprinklings of Holy water, perfumes, exterior expiations, humble processions, and exterior Ornaments for divine praises, as musical Harmony, burning of wax candles and lights, ringing of bells, the adorning of Temples, Altars and Images, in all which there is required a supreme and special reverence and comeliness; wherefore there are used for these things, the most excellent, most beautiful and precious things, as gold, silver, precious stores, and such like.”

In this list, many classically Solomonic practices that are familiar to any practitioner of the Clavicula Salomonis system can be discerned.  These practices range from sprinkling “sprinklings of Holy Water” to the suffumigations of “perfumes”and “washings” or ritual baths (Agrippa, 2000).  Trumpets are notably absent from this list, although “the ringings of bells” are mentioned.

While the Hygromanteia does not specify the material from which its Bell was to be created, Agrippa offers practitioners some guidance in regards to selecting materials from which to construct magical Bells.  To this end, Agrippa (2000) suggests that such bells are best made from “beautiful and precious things, as gold, silver, precious stones and such like.”  He grounds his suggestion in his conception of beautiful objects as more sympathetically resonant with the Divine’s intimate participation in the Form of hte Beautiful; on this point, Agrippa follows a Neoplatonic line of philosophico-magical theory that is traceable back to Iamblichus, Porphyry, Plotinus and earlier still, to Plato (de Garay 2017).  Of course, in order to emit a resonant ringing sound, a Bell of Art must be made from an appropriate material with the acoustic ability to produce such a sound when struck.  Gold, brass, bronze, or silver are all appropriate choices that are consistent with Agrippa’s notes in this passage; fittingly Ancient Greek bells were often fashioned from bronze (Villing 2002).

It is not sufficient for ceremonial magical practice to simply make a bell in an appropriate metal, however.  The Bell of Art must also be consecrated in order to en-spirit it and empower it, as Aaron Leitch (2009) suggests in his Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires.  To this point, in his Third Book of Occult Philosophy, Agrippa (2000) adds that such consecrations can have potent protective and apotropaic results when he explains that

Bells by consecration and benediction receive virtue that they drive away and restrain lightnings, and tempests, that they hurt not in those places where their sounds are heard; in like manner Salt and Water, by their benedictions and exorcisms, receive power to chase and drive away evil spirits” (Agrippa, 2000).

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The exorcisms and benedictions by consecrated Water and Salt of Art to which Agrippa alludes here are well-known to Solomonic Magicians; indeed instructions for both are presented in Chapters 5 and 11 of Book II of Peterson’s (2004) Clavicula Salomonis.  However, the commensurate power of bells themselves to exorcise and bless sacred spaces within the Solomonic tradition is often neglected.  It is no accident that Agrippa lists bells, water, and salt together; for him, as for many other writers in his own time and long before, these ritual items were often considered together and used in complementary ways (Agrippa, 2000).

Similarly, this key passage of the Third Book reinforces the protective power of consecrated bells to ensure that “they hurt not in those places where their sounds are heard,” a potential carryover from the Ancient traditions that may lie in the background of the Hygromanteian Bell (Agrippa, 2000).  For Agrippa, in short, as perhaps for the Hygromanteian Master of Art, the ringing of a consecrated Bell can be as protective to the Magician as it is evocative to the spirit.

Moreover, the connections between bells, the Divine, and directionality that have been described in relation to the Trumpet of Art and the Tanachic use of trumpets in Numbers 10:1-7 are also echoed in John Dee’s (2003) True and Faithful Relation of What Passed For Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits, in which the Elizabethan Magician reports that the Angel Madini prayed before Kelly and Dee that:

“Miraculous is thy care, O God, upon those that are Thy chosen, and wonderful are the ways that Thou hast prepared for them. Thou shalt take them from the fields, and harbour them at Home. Thou art merciful unto thy faithful and hard to the heavy-hearted. Thou shalt cover their legs with Boots, and brambles shall not prick them: their hands shall be covered with the skins of Beasts that they may break their way through the hedges. Thy Bell shall go before them as a watch and sure Direction: The Moon shall be clear that they may go on boldly. Peace be amongst you!”

Thus, in much the same way as in Madini’s prayer, the ringing of the Bell of Art “goes before” the entrance of the Magician into the Circle in the Hygromanteia, as a “watch and sure direction” (Dee, 2003).

Interestingly, while this passage suggests some of the spiritual ideas surrounding Bells that have already been explored, Dee is also connected to the trumpet strand of the sonorous Solomonic tool traditions.  Indeed, John Dee is purported to be the author of a fascinating work entitled the Libellus Veneri Nigro Sacer or The Consecrated Little Book of Black Venus (1580), which centers on a magical Trumpet entitled the Tuba Veneris or Trumpet of Venus, which is shown here as rendered in Teresa Burns and Nancy Turner’s 2007 translation of the Libellus:

Tuba-Veneris.gif

It is worth noting, however, that Michael Putnam (2010), a translator of an excellent edition of this underappreciated grimoire, has cast doubt on Dee’s authorship of the text for a number of reasons.  These include, for instance, that the script reveals authorship on the Continent, not in London as the text claims; that Dee’s autograph in the earliest surviving Warburg manuscript (MS. FBH 510) is not recognizably his; that there are no references to the “Tuba Veneris” in any of Dee’s journals or other books; that the text gives “June 4, 1580” as its date of composition when Dee’s journal entries reveal he was in Mortlake between June 3 and 7 and not in London; and that the text uses a forcible and binding-based necromantic approach that is very different from the supplicatory prayer-based Angelic work that Dee was doing in the 1580s (Putnam, 2010).

Whatever its origins, the Tuba Veneris is remarkable as one of the few Trumpets of Art in the Solomonic tradition, and it has four interesting differences that distinguish it from its Key of Solomon counterpart.  First, while the Clavicula‘s Trumpet of Art is fashioned from “new wood,” the Trumpet of Venus is made from an animal horn, much like the shofar (שופר‎) (Peterson, 2004).  In addition, as the text explains, the horn for the Tuba Veneris is to be removed from a living bull.  More precisely, in order to craft this Venusian Trumpet,

“one takes the Horn of a living Bull, then one takes Vitriol dissolved in vinegar, with which one should wash and purify the Horn, after which one carves the Characters as they are represented in the following sketch, into either side of the horn with the aforementioned Steel Instruments. One must make sure that the entire preparation of the Horn, including the time it is torn off from the bull, must also be in the times, days and hours of , just as was done in preparing the Seal. Afterwards, one envelops it in smoke, wraps it in linen, and buries it together with the Seal of , then unburies it again and preserves it for later use” (“Dee,” 2010).

Second, while the Tuba Veneris’ characters are carved into its surface during the Day and Hour of Venus, the Clavicula‘s characters are painted onto it in the consecrated Ink of Art, presumably in the Day and Hour of Mercury as in the case of the Key of Solomon‘s Wand (Peterson, 2004).

Third, the Tuba Veneris and Trumpet of Art are consecrated in very different ways.  The Trumpet of Venus’ mode of consecration via burial is very consistent with the consecration methods for Ancient necromantic and Goetic tools, which were to be buried in the ground so that the spirits could operate upon and bond with them in a chthonic environment, a precedent found in the Papyri Graecae Magicae (Stratton-Kent, 2010).  Importantly, the Tuba Veneris is used in conjunction with a Liber Spirituum, which is also buried underground as part of its consecration process, like the Liber Spiritua used in necromantic operations in other texts such as the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy (Stratton-Kent, 2010).  In contrast, the Key‘s Trumpet of Art is not buried, but rather consecrated entirely above-ground.

Finally, while the Clavicula‘s Trumpet of Art is sounded to the four directions, the Trumpet of Venus is used in a very different manner to amplify the Operator’s voice; instead of sounding the Trumpet, the Magician speaks the Calls to the spirits through it.  As “Dee” explains, the Master should “speak the entire Call through the Horn of Venus, and he should summon the Spirit by naming it once at the beginning and again at the end, but always with distinct pauses” (“Dee,” 2010).

bell.jpg

A final resounding instrument is worth considering in this overview of the grimoiric literature, and that is the Necromantic Bell of Girardius, which appears in the 18th century grimoire, Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730.  This intriguing text can be found in l’Arsenal manuscripts 2350 and 3009 in the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal in Paris (Girardius, 1730).  The consecration method of the Bell of Girardius and its necromantic associations beautifully parallel the Trumpet of Venus in a way that suggests another meeting point between the Solomonic bell and trumpet traditions that this article has been considering.

The Bell of Girardius features the name Tetragrammaton on its bottom followed by the astrological symbols of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, the Name Adonai, and finally, the name Jesus on the ringed handle.  Girardius’ Bell is cast from what Jake Stratton-Kent (2010) calls a kind of “magical electrum,” which consists of alloyed gold, copper, fixed mercury, iron, tin and silver, and lead, although some manuscripts omit the lead (Girardius, 1730; Masello, 1996).  In terms of astrological timing, the Bell is to be made either “at the day and hour of birth of the person who wishes to be in confluence and harmony with the mysterious Bell” or, in other manuscripts, at a time when the Planetary aspects favour the Operator by progression or transit to the natal chart (Masello, 1996; Stratton-Kent, 2010).

According to the text, the Necromancer must then engrave the date of his or her birthday or otherwise the date of the casting of the Bell directly into the Bell itself–a practice nearly unique among all of the grimoires–as well as the names of the Seven Olympic spirits, that is, Aratron for Saturn, Bethor for Jupiter, Phaleg for Mars, Och for the Sun, Hagith for Venus, and Phul for the Moon (Girardius, 1730).

Thereafter, the Bell must be wrapped in green consecrated cloth, which different authors interpret as linen or taffeta, and buried under cover of darkness in a grave for 7 days, which correspond to the 7 Ancient Planets (Girardius, 1730; Masello, 1996; Stratton-Kent, 2010).  This goetic consecration process is notably similar to that used for the Trumpet of Venus and places the Necromantic Bell, like the Tuba Veneris, in the aforementioned tradition of grave-based chthonic consecrations with roots in the Papyri Graecae Magicae (Stratton-Kent, 2010).  Naturally, this is a method grounded, pun intended, in classical sympathetic theoria; indeed, the grimoire makes this point clear when it states that during its time in the grave, the Bell absorbs from the neighbouring corpse or the Underworld-like environment “emanations and confluent vibrations” which “give it the perpetual quality and efficacy requisite when you shall ring it for your ends” (Girardius, 1730).

When the Bell is used to summon the spirits of the dead, the Master is required to don sandals and a toga-like vestment clasped at the shoulder as well as a tunic, and hold the Bell in his or her left hand and a parchment scroll bearing the sigils of the Planets in the right (Stratton-Kent, 2010).  Thus, the Bell of Girardius is engraved rather than drawn on with its Names of Power like the Trumpet of Venus and is consecrated in a similar manner, but is used for entirely different purposes, namely to evoke the spirits of the dead.  Surprisingly, however, neither text mentions sounding their instruments to the four cardinal directions, a notable point of departure from the Clavicula’s Trumpet of Art and the Hygromanteia‘s Bell.

girardius.png

The Necromantic Bell of Girardius from the 18th century grimoire, Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730.

Integrating Theory and Practice: My Solomonic Bell of Art

How does a contemporary practitioner make sense of the sometimes diverging, sometimes converging Bell and Trumpet traditions found in the grimoires? How does one put such a labyrinth of instructions into concrete practice?

There are at least three ways to tackle this challenge.  First, one can make the tools specific to the grimoires with which one is working and as exactly as described in the texts.  This approach is likely the best for grimoire purists and for those who wish to experiment using the precise constraints and instructions of a particular system.  This method is reasonable and ideal in most cases, particular in the case of highly idiosyncratic texts like the Tuba Veneris or the Necromantic Horn of Girardius.

Second, one can combine methods from different texts to create a tool that is adapted to one’s particular way of working by synthesizing what seem the wisest and most applicable instructions from different grimoires.  This method is sure to alarm traditionalists, but may be applicable when working in a tradition with internal continuity between the two texts to be synthesized, such as within an integrative Hygromanteia-Key of Solomon practice, for example.

Third, one can use a combination of the previous two methods, using synthesized tools in some cases and classical tools made to the letter of the grimoiric instructions when appropriate.

My overall approach is the third one given here, which seems to be the one that most contemporary practitioners take.  For most tools, I closely follow the grimoire instructions in the style of Frater Ashen Chassan, Dr. Stephen Skinner and Mr. Aaron Leitch in much of his work.

In other cases, when it is more appropriate to the work at hand, however, I apply a synergistic or integrative methodology to integrate instructions from texts in continuous traditions.  Aaron Leitch took a similar approach and brilliantly resolved the dilemma of whether to side with the Bell or Trumpet traditions in his own Solomonic work by using a Trumpet of Art made to the exact specifications of the Key of Solomon to which he attached 7 bells by 7 ribbons in the seven Planetary colours.  In this way, he was able to fashion a Trumpet that benefits from the magical and physical properties laid out by both the Bell and Trumpet traditions.

In my own case, for Hygromanteia-Key of Solomon work, I opted to follow the Hygromanteia and Sloane 3847 of the Key of Solomon and simply use of Bell of Art. However, I chose to integrate the Divine Names and Sigils given for the Trumpet/Bell in the Clavicula Salomonis manuscripts with the Hygromanteia‘s Bell format and consecration and creation methods leaning more towards the Key tradition.  Therefore, drawing on Agrippa’s (2000) recommendation to fashion ritual bells out of “beautiful and precious things, as gold, silver, precious stores, and such like,” I opted to use a beautiful antique golden bell for the purpose.  This is a small bell as described in the Hygromanteia (Marathakis, 2011).

Following the usual Key of Solomon methods, I exorcised the metal and performed benedictions and Psalm readings over the Bell during the Hour and Day of Mercury under a waxing Moon.  This process included sprinkling Holy Water over the Bell with a consecrated Aspergillum of Art, anointing it with Solomonic Holy Oil, and suffumigating it with Solomonic “odoriferous spices” (Peterson, 2004).  All of these procedures were completed within a consecrated Solomonic Circle of Art.

Also during the Day and Hour of Mercury beneath a waxing Moon, I wrote the Divine Names and drew the characters given below on the Bell as recommended by Joseph H. Peterson’s (2004) edition of the Clavicula for the Trumpet/Bell of Art.  This work was completed with a consecrated Pen and Ink of the Art, which were also prepared to the letter of the Key of Solomon instructions.

char

Finally, to protect the consecrated Ink from fading during use, I varnished the Bell with a consecrated lacquer that was blended with consecrated Solomonic Holy Oil and prayed additional Psalms over it to complete the consecration.  The completed Bell of Art, which I store in a properly prepared Solomonic linen as shown below the Bell in the image below, appears as follows:

bell

In my own humble experience, the resulting tool is both beautiful and powerful. Following the Hygromanteia, I ring the Bell before stepping into the Circle, to announce my entrance into consecrated sacred space.  Then, following the Key, at the commencement of each Operation of Art, I ring the Bell in the four cardinal directions, starting in the East and moving clockwise around the Circle back to the East.

In my experience, all of the classical functions of the Bell or Trumpet of Art are well-accomplished by this Bell, from protection to apotropaia, formation of a sacred space, excitation of what Dr. Stephen Skinner calls “magical tension,” and “exciting the senses” as suggested by the Papyri Graecae Magicae into what Agrippa would later call a productive “phrenzy” (Betz, 1996).

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Lion” by Formisano Francisco.

Resonating Through History: Concluding Reflections on the Bells and Trumpets of Solomon

In conclusion, this article has attempted to trace the winding twin threads of the Solomonic Bells and Trumpets of Art and demonstrate that, although the Clavicula Salomonis’ Trumpet of Art is able to perform the functions previously served by the evocatory Bell of the Greek Hygromanteia, it also reflects the influence of a distinct and separate tradition that traces its roots back to the Tanchic trumpet or ḥatzotzrah (חצוצרה‎) and winding horn or shofar (שופר‎). This article has also striven to illuminate the natures, ritual functions, and physical materials of the Claviculan Trumpet and Hygromanteian Bell by placing them in the larger grimoiric contexts of the writings of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, John Dee, the pseudo-“Dee” of the Tuba Veneris, and Girardius, the author of the 18th century grimoire, Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730. 

Before the Trumpet blasts and Bell ringings of this article fade into silence, however, an etymological point about the English word “bell” is worth mentioning for the light it sheds on the Bell/Trumpet connection.  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary (2018), the modern English word “bell” derives from roots that signify

“a hollow metallic instrument which rings when struck,” from the Old English belle, which has cognates in Middle Dutch belle and Middle Low German belle, but is not found elsewhere in Germanic except as a borrowing; apparently from PIE root *bhel- (4) “to sound, roar” (compare Old English bellan “to roar,” and the later English word “bellow”).”

Thus, both bells and trumpets are linked to a sense of “roaring” that symbolically and sympathetically connects them to metaphors of kingship, dominion, and authority in the roaring of lions.  Just as the roaring of a lion can strike fear into a human heart, the roaring of the Trumpet or a Bell of Art is intended to strike fear into the hearts of evil spirits and thus ward them off apotropaically; indeed, this is likely the reason why the Sloane 3847 manuscript of the Key of Solomon states that

“by the vertue of these names [written on the Bell], the voice of the Bell shall enter into their hearts, to cause them to feare and obay” (“Ptolomeus,” 1999).

The “voice” of a Bell is its ‘roar’ and the magical association between the two is profoundly ancient, as is the apotropaic power of loud droning sounds like the booming of a horn, the roaring of a lion, and, just as significantly, the bellowing of the human voice.  In Papyri Graecae Magicae IV: 475- 829, for instance, the Magician is instructed to “look intently, and make a long bellowing sound, like a horn, releasing all your breath and straining your sides; and kiss the phylacteries and say, first toward the right: “Protect me, prosymeri!” (Betz, 1996).  Thereafter, the Master is told to “make a long bellowing sound, straining your belly, that you may excite the five senses; bellow long until out of breath, and again kiss the phylacteries” (Betz, 1996, 705).

This latter verse offers some additional insight into the magical value of bellowing noises like those produced by the human body or trumpet; such resounding sounds hold the power to “excite the senses” and make the Magician alertly attentive in a way that can facilitate spirit communication.  This enlivening quality of bellowing, droning, and ringing sounds is entirely consistent with the use of the Hygromanteian Bell of Art or Claviculan Trumpet to “alert” the spirits to be prepared to come to the call of the Master (Peterson, 2004; Marathakis, 2011).

Finally and in closing, it is this author’s contention that the droning sound of vibrating Divine Names that was employed by 19th and early 20th century Victorian lodge magicians may very well be a later Hermetic application of the old Papyri Graecae Magicae bellowing formula.  Just like the primal method of the PGM, the Hermetic vibratory formula at once calls the desired powers, banishes the undesired ones, and “excites the senses” of the Magician to an enlivened state of sensitivity (Betz, 1996).

In this way, the ancient power of droning vibratory sounds that echoed from the Neolithic horns, clay bells, and bone flutes through the bellies of bellowing Greek papyri magicians and the grimoiric Bells and Trumpets of Art continued to resonate within the 19th century Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn Temples in much the same way.  Whatever the exact historical lineages may be that trace these ancient practices and tools from the shrouded mists of prehistory to the living experiences of 21st century Mages, however, their reverberating power and enduring value remain with us to this day.  And if we continue to vibrate Divine Names, sound Trumpets, boom Horns, and ring Bells of Art, to paraphrase the great physicist and alchemist Sir Isaac Newton, we do so while standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before us (Lines, 2017).

Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to Mr. Joseph H. Peterson for his insightful notes on the manuscripts and his tireless work for the grimoire community, to Dr. Stephen Skinner and Mr. Aaron Leitch, whose helpful comments on the first draft of this text inspired the section on the shofar and led to a more nuanced central thesis, to Mr. Jake Stratton-Kent for his valuable insights into the Bell of Girardius and necromantic consecration methods within the Papyri Graecae Magicae, to Mr. João Pedro Feliciano for his interesting information on the Chaldeaen and Neoplatonic Iynx traditions, which inspired the section on the topic, to Mr. Andy Foster for his helpful reflections on the original manuscripts, to Magister Omega for his insights into the practical points of the Tuba Veneris system, to Frater Abd Al-Wali for sharing photographs of his own Bell of Art, and to Mr. Nick Farrell, for his kind patience during my writing and revisions and for helping inspire this much-expanded version of the original draft.  This article would not have been possible in its current form without all of your helpful and supportive feedback and useful ideas for which I remain sincerely thankful.

References

Agrippa, H. C. (2000). Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Ed. Joseph H. Peterson. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Based on a transcription from Moule: London, 1651. Available at http://www.esotericarchives.com/agrippa/agrippa1.htm [Accessed 03 June2018].

Betz, H. D. (1996). The Greek Magical Papyri In Translation Including the Demotic Spells. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Braun, J. & Braun, Y., (2002). Music in Ancient Israel/Palestine: Archaeological, Written, and Comparative sources. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing.

Brown, P. (2013). Indian Architecture of the Buddhist and Hindu Period. London, UK: Read Books Ltd.

Dee, J. (2003). A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed For Many Years Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits. Ed. Joseph H. Peterson. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/dee/tfr/tfr1.htm [Accessed 4 June 2018].

“Dee, J.” (2010). Tuba Veneris or The Consecrated Little Book of Black Venus. Translated from Latin by Teresa Burns and Nancy Turner. In Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition 12(2). Available at: http://www.jwmt.org/v2n12/venus.html [Accessed 4 June 2018].

de Garay, J. (2017). The reception of Proclus: From Byzantium to the West. Byzantine Perspectives on Neoplatonism. Ed. Sergei Mariev. Berlin, DE: De Gruyter Press.

Eckardt, H. & Williams, S. (2018). The sound of magic? Bells in Roman Britain. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Gigot, F. (2017). Hyssop. [online] The Catholic Encyclopedia, originally published in 1910. Available at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07612a.htm [Accessed 25 May 2018].

Girardius. (1730). Parvi Lucii Libellus de Mirabilibus Naturae Arcanis, 1730. In the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal manuscripts 2350 and 3009. Paris, France.

Hyunjong, C.. (2009). The musical instruments of prehistoric Korea. The International Journal of Korean Art and Archaeology, 3(1), pp. 26-48.

Johnston, S. (1990). Hekate soteira: A study of Hekate’s roles in the Chaldean oracles and related literature. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.

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

Lines, M.E., 2017. On the Shoulders of Giants. New York: Routledge.

Majercik, R. (2013). The Chaldaean Oracles: Text, Translation, and Commentary. Oxford, UK: Prometheus Trust.

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

Masello, R. (1996). Raising Hell: A Concise History of the Black Arts and Those Who Dared to Practice Them. London, UK: Penguin Putnam.

Mendes, E. (2015). Ancient magic and modern accessories: A re-examination of the omamori phenomenon. The Hilltop Review7(2), pp. 152-167.

Montagu, J. (2014). Horns and Trumpets of the World: An Illustrated Guide. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.

Muñoz, D. S. (2017). The south face of the Helicon: Ancient Egyptian musical elements in Ancient Greek music. Current Research in Egyptology 17(1). Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books.

NIV – New International Version Bible. (2018). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Online Etymology Dictionary. (2018). [online encyclopedia entry]. Bell. Available at: https://www.etymonline.com/word/bell [Accessed 25 May 2018].

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“Ptolomeus.” (1999). Sloane 3847 – The Worke of Salomon the Wise Called His Clavicle Revealed by King Ptolomeus Ye Grecian, 1572. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/sl3847.htm [Accessed 25 May 2018].

Putnam, M. (2010). Preface from the translator. John Dee’s Tuba Veneris. Translated from the Latin by Michael Putnam. Seattle, WA: Trident Books.

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Sachs, C. (2012). The history of Musical Instruments. New York: Dover Publications Incorporated.

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Transmission, Continuity and Commonality (The Technology of Solomonic Magic). Newcastle, Australia: University of Newcastle.

Stratton-Kent, J. (2010). Geosophia – The Argo of Magic. Brighton, UK: Scarlet Imprint.

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

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

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

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

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

neo.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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