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.

 

Frater S.C.F.V on the Glitch Bottle Podcast

Glitch Bottle #033 – Solomonic Bells, Wands & Consecrations (Oh My!) with Frater S.C.F.V.

By Frater S.C.F.V

I recently had the great pleasure and honour of appearing on Alexander Eth’s fantastic Glitch Bottle podcast.  We discussed my own multitraditional spiritual background, Solomonic grimoires, Dr. Stephen Skinner’s interesting typology of magic, Mystery, and religion, Wand traditions, Bells and Trumpets of Art, Circles, binding, Consecration by Mass, scrying, cryptoconsecratio, Angelic invocation, and a host of other fascinating topics of magical theory and practice. Please feel free to share any comments or questions you may have. Thank you!

In LVX,
Frater S.C.F.V.

Crafting a Cyprianic Rosary

By Frater S. C. F. V.

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Today is a very special Day of the Sun, which also happens to be the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, a day on which we pray for and commemorate all of the Martyrs who died for their faith throughout history, including Saint Cyprian, Saint Justina, and Saint Theocistus.

On this auspicious day, I finished a new hand-made devotional rosary to Saint Cyprian of Antioch for use in prayer and work with him as well as to be worn around my neck or wrist during Solomonic grimoire work.

This very unorthodox and untraditional rosary / circlet features:

  • Purple beads symbolizing Saint Cyprian, Bishophood, regalness, and the Sephirah of Yesod and the Moon, magic, and divination.
  • Three small transparent crystal balls to symbolize the Trinity, Triangle of Manifestation, Supernal Triad and Scrying Crystal.
  • Silver Cinquefoil roses suggesting the Divine Love of Mary, Venus, and the Fivefold Elemental Pentagram of which there are a total of 12 to allude to the 12 Apostles, 12 Tribes of Israel, and 12 Zodiac Signs as well as the gematric values of “loved” (חבב), “One” (חד), and “want / desire” (אוה).

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  • A red, white, and golden image of Cyprian that was custom-coloured and printed on a pure silver medallion.
  • Six-pointed silver spacers symbolizing the Solomonic Hexagram, of which there are a total of 16 or 1+6=7 to allude to the 7 Planets and due to 16 being the gematric values of אודה (ode/praise), and אזוב (ezob – hyssop),

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  • A gold Crucifix that hung around my Saint Cyprian statue’s neck on his Altar for weeks, including during his recent Novena, and was charged during recent Archangelic Invocation work.

The entire rosary will be exorcised, Solomonically consecrated, sprinkled, suffumigated, anointed with Holy Oil and blessed, then charged on Cyprian’s Altar with Offerings. Finally, it will be consecrated by Mass following the method described in my cryptoconsecratio article.

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From Theory to Practice: Some Intended Uses of the Cyprianic Rosary

My intended uses of this rosary are to me as diverse and integrative as my own magical history of initiation through different traditions and communities. Interestingly, the design of this rosary was not derived from the Christian tradition at all.  On the contrary, it is an homage to the Naqshbandi Sufi Order, from whom I learned both the practice of dhikr, or remembrance of the Divine, and how to make prayer beads in the Sufi style.  My Sufi brothers and sisters taught me how to make tasbih (Muslim-style prayer bead circlets) in three sections of 33 beads totaling 99 and representing the 99 Names of Allah and that is the design I maintained here.

I am planning to use this rosary / mala / tasbih circlet, for it is at once a bit of each of these in both intended use and design, in a number of ways. First, I will use it in the Muslim style, cycling through one Divine Name per bead in dhikr (remembrance) practice; I intend to use it in such ways with both the 99 Names of Allah and also with Jewish Divine Names from the Qabalah and grimoires. Whether with Jewish or Islamic names, I proceed through the three traditional dhikr stages from verbal recitations to heart and tongue recitation in harmony to the nondual absorption stage of La ilaha ill’Allah, in which there is no reality except God.

Second, I will use it for Christian style rosary practices with one bead per prayer as in the Catholic system and in the OSC Cyprianic chaplet system, even though it does not strictly resemble the standard Cyprianic chaplet.  In this use, it serves as an anchor for bhaktic devotion within the Christian mystical modality.

Third, I will use it in mantra work as taught by my Guru as a quasi-mala using the mantra I received in shaktipat diksha (energetic transmission / initiation) from my Teacher.

In this triad of devotional usages, the circlet will symbolically unite my Christian, Muslim, and bhakti yogic roots and serves as a practical nexus for all three.

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Fourth, I will wear it talismanically, both apotropaically / protectively and as as a way of bringing myself into greater sympathetic harmony with Saint Cyprian in my work with him as well as with the Archangels with whom I have used the Crucifix on this rosary in the past.

Fifth, I have some ideas for how this rosary could be used as a kind of tabletop divination circlet in the style of Dr. Al Cummins’ “Circling Ways in Geomancy.”

Sixth, I will use it in candle magic and Christian “rosary magic” in the style of authors like Agostino Taumaturgo, Jean-Louis de Biasi, and Bishop Tau Michael Bertiaux.

Seventh and finally for now, when not ritually or votively employing it, I will place it around the neck of Saint Cyprian on his Altar as a rough analogy to the votive gesture of placing Hindu beaded garlands around statues in Vedic puja ceremonies as practiced by my Guru.

Hail to you Holy Saint Cyprian of Antioch, Mage, Martyr, and Mystic! ☦ Theurge, Thaumaturge, and Theophoros! ☦ Sage, Sorcerer, and Saint! ☦ Together with Saint Justina and Saint Theocistus, pray for us now and at the hour of our death, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen! ☦

Cryptoconsecratio: Reflections on the Magical Consecration by Mass in the Solomonic Grimoires

By Adam J. Pearson

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The Marginalized Method: Introduction to the Magical Consecration by Mass

Consecration is one of the fundamental methods, not only of the traditional priestly art of the exoteric priest, but also of the traditional Medieval and Renaissance Magician. As Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (2000) reveals in his Third Books of Occult Philosophy, priests and Magicians alike have long used a variety of different methods to consecrate magical and sacred objects, methods which range from the use of sacred bells to the casting of exorcised salt and sanctified Holy Water:

“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).

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 or Key of Solomon. Elsewhere, Agrippa (2000) alludes to the use of Fire and Incense in exorcisms, consecrations, and blessings of magical tools, as in the suffumigations we find within the Key (Peterson, 2004).

However, the commensurate power of bells themselves to exorcise and bless sacred spaces within the Solomonic tradition is often neglected; for this reason, I undertook a detailed and comprehensive study of the use of Bells and Trumpets of Art in the Solomonic grimoires. However, both the great Agrippa himself and contemporary magicians like myself who humbly stand on his shoulders have long omitted one additional method of consecration that is employed in the Medieval and Renaissance grimoires. Indeed, this marginalized method remains as oft-neglected, understudied, or dismissed as the consecrational use of Bells.

This mysterious method is none other than the method of consecration by Mass, which I will define for the purposes of this article as:

The process of spiritually empowering or sanctifying either Magicians or magical objects through their presence in the formal performance of liturgical or votive Christian Masses.

In this article, I will analyze a series of key instances of this oft-neglected formula in three Solomonic grimoires, namely, Juratus Honorii or the The Sworne Booke of Honorius, Sloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian, and the Heptameron or Magical Elements. After thus establishing a theoretical and historical grounding for the method, I will then proceed to share some practical suggestions for how contemporary Magicians can apply this magical technique in order to optimally benefit from its powers and most closely follow the protocols outlined by the grimoiric systems.

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In History and Manuscripts: Consecration by Mass in the Solomonic Grimoire Tradition

The method of consecration by Mass occurs in multiple grimoires, perhaps because the power of the Mass as a magico-spiritual ceremony was vividly apparent to the clerical authors who penned the Late Medieval and Renaissance texts (Leitch, 2009). In order to illustrate some examples of both how the method was traditionally applied as well as the contexts in which it was used, I will briefly consider three grimoiric examples here, namely, those of Juratus Honorii or the The Sworne Booke of Honorius, Sloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian, and the Heptameron or Magical Elements.

1. Magical Consecration by Mass in The Sworne Booke of Honorius

First, Liber Juratus Honorii or the The Sworne Booke of Honorius has the distinction of being one of the earliest extant Medieval grimoires available to contemporary practitioners and scholars; indeed the most reliable and complete manuscript of the text, Sloane 3854, art. 9, fol 117-144, seems to date to the 14th century (Peterson, 2009). In this fascinating text, the method of consecration by Mass is interestingly employed, not to purify, bless, and empower magical objects, but to enact the same sacred transformation on the Magician. As Joseph H. Peterson’s (2009) edition of the text lays bare, Liber Juratus requires the Magician to enlist the help of a “wary and faithful” priest who is willing to work with and purify him–in keeping with its historical context and Medieval gender biases, the text assumes a male practitioner–for his [sic] Operations with the spirits. As the text explains,

Let [the Magician] have a wary and a faithful priest which may say unto him … a Mass of the Holy Ghost, and in his introit let him say the 13th prayer, and after the offertory the 9th prayer. Then take frankincense and incense and cense the altar saying the first prayer, and because the holy fathers did trust in the saints that were there named, therefore they did so, and if he that shall work have more devotion to any other saints, then be there named, let him change name for name, for faith doth always work, as I said before.

Then let the 2nd prayer be said immediately and after te igiter in the Mass; let be said the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th prayers in consecrating of the Body of Christ, let the priest pray for him that shall work that through the grace of God he may obtain the effect of his petition. And so must the priest do in all his prayers that he shall say for him that shall work, but add nothing else to them. Also after the Communion, the priest shall say the 26th prayer, and after mass he that shall work shall receive the sacrament saying the 19th and 20th prayer.

But let him take heed that he receive not the Body of Christ for an evil purpose, for that were death unto him, wherefore some men have entitled this book calling it The Death of the Soul, and that is true to them that work for an evil intent and purpose, and not to have some science or some good thing; for the Lord sayeth “Ask, and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall finde,” and in another place he sayeth “where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst of them and everything that they shall ask the father in my name and he will fulfill and do it.”

The Magician of Liber Juratus is held to a very high standard of moral purity, a spiritual and ritual state that is here magnified by the priest’s consecration of “he that shall work”–the text’s term for the Magician or Exorcist–by the power of the Mass and Holy Communion (Peterson, 2009).

Two additional things are worth noting about this interesting passage. First, the particular Mass that the grimoire recommends is a special ‘votive’ or devotional mass called the “Mass of the Holy Ghost,” now called the “Mass of the Holy Spirit,” which was used in the 14th century to invoke the Holy Spirit and ask for guidance and wisdom; the invocation of Divine power and wisdom is, of course, very relevant to the work of a Christian Magician.

Second, the Mass is here given in a modified version in which the specific numbered prayers given in the grimoire are inserted into it and the priest prays for the success of the Magician’s operation at the most auspicious of moments, namely, during the “consecration of the Body of Christ,” in which the wafer was believed by Catholics to be transubstantiated from an ordinary wafer into Christ’s body itself. The net effect of making these changes to the standard script of the Mass is to produce a kind of grimoiric Mass that is an explicitly magical ritual in itself through its connection to the Liber Juratus procedures.

Later in the text, the Magician is instructed to conduct a prolonged series of fasts, prayers, and purifications, and once again, is instructed to attend the Mass. Here, however, “he that shall work” is instructed to say specific prayers, which are given in the text, while receiving the Holy Communion or the Body and Blood of Christ in the Church (Peterson, 2009). As Liber Juratus explains:

If therefore anybody wishes to operate with those spirits, we must first warn him strictly that he must be thoroughly purified, as we have said in the preceding, until he comes to the fourteenth day, on which day he must begin his fast. Then when the Mass of the Holy Spirit is being said or celebrated, when the operator is receiving the Body of Christ (eucharist), he should say prayers 19 and 20 (LXXVII-LXXIX), as we have said, when the priest is holding up the Body of Christ (i.e. wafer), to reveal it to the congregation, he should pray on behalf of the Operation.

This passage is noteworthy because it lays bear the notion that for the author of Liber Juratus, the exoteric Mass and the esoteric work of the conjurer were not seen as two separate things, as some contemporary theorists who postulate a rigid divide between the techniques of “magic” and “religion” may suggest. Instead, the work of the Mass was part of the magic and supplied part of its spiritual empowerment; in the Liber Juratus‘s system, the preparatory purifying Rites and the later callings of the spirits are part of a single magico-religious continuum. Indeed, without the consecration by Mass, the Magician was held to be unfit and insufficiently purified to proceed with the Operations with spirits (Peterson, 2009).

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2. Magical Consecration by Mass in Sloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian

Second, the same principle that the Christian Mass itself has the power to consecrate both practitioners and tools of the Art is applied in another grimoiric text, namely, Sloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian. This text is one of the earliest available manuscripts of the Key of Solomon and seems to date to 1572, the only earlier one I’m aware of being BNF or Bibliothèque Nationale de France Ital 1524, which dates to 1446 (Peterson, 1999).  In Sloane 3847, the method of consecration by Mass is applied not only in the consecration of the Tools of the Art, but also in the consecration of the Pentacles. As will be seen, the process given for consecrating the Pentacles is considerably more involved and demanding in this manuscript than in later manuscripts of the Clavicula Salomonis, which may suggest that later writers may have abrogated the text to simplify the method.

In Sloane 3847, the Magician is required to have not one, but multiple Masses said over the Planetary Pentacle to consecrate and empower it, as the text explains:

The Pentacles be made upon

day, and in the hour of Mercury,(…). Have a house or secret chamber clean and goodly wherein shall none inhabit, but the cheefe coniurer and his fellowes, and make a fumigation there and sprinckle it with yewater, as it is said (…) and have your paper or better, virgin paper and begin that hour to write the foresayde pentacle of noble collour as is emabrium or celestem coniured and exorsized as it is sayd.

For the Pen and the Inke, let them be writt and other thinges to be exorsized, and when they be written perfectly, that hour if they be not completed, doe not cease untill they be fullfilled when ye may. Then take some noble cloth of silke wherin ye may hold the foresayd pentacles, and have there an earthen pot great, and full of coales, and let there be of ligno mastico masculo & ligno aloe, coniured, and let ye coniurer be cleare [24v] as it is meete, and have there prepared Arthanum nupatum [the Quill knife] in the juice of pimpernell and the blood of a goose made and completed upon Mercuries day in the augementinge [waxing] of the moone where upon let 3 Masses be songe with gospells and fumigate it with fumigations of ye knife, that ye must cut and make maicum Isopi [hyssop], with your whole minde and humble deuotion, sayinge these Psalmes with yeoration followinge…

Nor is that all. The Magician is then required to complete a series of prayers over the next three days, and “cause” an additional series of Masses to be said over the Pentacle to activate it and en-spirit it with magical force:

Say this 3 dayes continuall upon the foresayed pentacles and cause 3 Masses to be sayed of ye Holy Ghost, and one of Our Lady, and afterward put the foresaid signes, in a silke cloth with goodly sauours, and put them up in a cleane place.

And when it is neede, ye may worke as it is said of the artes magicall, of thy cloth were decked with gold it were of more efficacye, and when they be put in a cleane place, fumigate them and sprincle them with water and Isope [hyssop] and soe let them alone. They have immumerable vertues as it is contained heareafter.

Nor is the formula of consecration by Mass only applied for Pentacles. The Clavicle also requires it for the consecration of “the Conjurer’s” tools, such as the Knife, Wand, and Needle:

With such a knife as the circles should be made with, if it be greevous for you to make such a knife, finde some knife of the foresaid fashion, with a haft all white or all blacke, and write upon manicumor haft the foresaid wordes, after the mañer aforesaid of that knife, and upon the plate begiñinge from the poynt, write with encausto conjured, Alpha et omega, agla, Ja, el, ou, premeumaton, syrnel, afrnel, and cause to be sayd over this knife 3 masses, one of the holy ghost and 2 of our Lady and fumigate him, with the fumigations followinge, and blesse him with water as followeth, conjuring sayinge, in nomine patris filii et S. Sancti Amen, and put him in a silke cloth, of such as followeth, until ye will worke, and of that knife let the circles of artes be made, and with that knife, let things necessary to the artes or experiments be cut, likewise let Artanus be made, but they neede not to be put in any operation. Let other Instruments of Iron, or staves, or rodds excersised in artes or experiments be consecrated, on that mañer, if they be Instrumts Let them be made on

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dayes and his Hour as it is said of ye knife, and Arthano [the quill knife], and let these that followeth be written upon them…

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This passage is fascinating for a number of reasons. First, it seems to suggest that a single knife can be used, not both a black-handled knife and a white-handled knife as in later manuscripts, but a knife “with a haft [handle] all white or all black” (Peterson, 1999). This small, but significant difference places this manuscript more closely in line with the Hygromanteia, which only features a single knife (Marathakis, 2011). As Dr. Stephen Skinner explains in his detailed analysis within the same edition of the text, in the Hygromanteia,

The blade of the knife must be from an older sword or knife that has brought death, but the handle must be made from the horn of a black he-goat. P has she-goat instead and G does not refer to the handle at all. According to A, B, G and B3 certain nomina barbara have to be written on the knife, and it must be constructed on the day and the hour of Mars.

Except for this section and the subsequent mentions of the black handled knife in the making of the pen, the parchment and the circle, the manuscripts mention the knife in relation to a number of independent divinatory operations that will be treated of below. The oldest reference to the black-handled knife, brought to my attention by David Rankine, comes from Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki), the famous 11th century commentator of the Talmud. Rashi, commenting on a Talmudic passage, says:

He who is particular about the vessel (by means of which he divines), that he cannot do anything without the vessel that is required for that thing, as, for instance, the “princes of the thumb”, for which they require a knife, the handle of which is black, or the “princes of the cup”, that they require a cup of glass.” (…)

Another early reference to the black handled knife can be found in the Recension C of the Testament of Solomon, which, according to McCown may belong to the 12th or 13th century. In this text, Beelzeboul says:

Take fifty one in number black unborn kids, bring me a new knife with a handle made from black horn and attached by three rivets, and skin the kids [baby goats].”

It is additionally worth noting the explicit Christianity of this passage from the Clavicle, which not only requires “3 Masses, one of the Holy Ghost and 2 of our Lady [the Virgin Mary]” to be said over the Knife of Art, but also conjures the Knife by means of the Trinity, “in nomine patris filii et S. Sancti Amen” (Peterson, 1999). This stands in contrast to later manuscripts of the Key of Solomon, which eliminate all Christian references in an attempt to make the text appear entirely Jewish, and thus, more in line with the religion of its pseudepigraphic author, King Solomon.

In the interests of brevity, I will not quote all of the passages concerning consecrations by Mass in the Clavicle, for there are many, but it may suffice to say in summary that Masses are also required to be recited over the “Virgin Wax or Earth” (“three Masses”), the Needle of Art (“three Masses”), the Virgin Parchment (“three Masses”), and the Silk Cloth for wrapping implements of the Art (a staggering “9 Masses!) (Peterson, 1999).

As these passages reveal, consecration by Mass was considered by the author of the Clavicle, that is, Pseudo-Ptolemy the Grecian in Sloane 3847, to be a fundamental and essential magical technique for consecrating all of the Tools of the Art as well as the Pentacles produced using the Clavicular method (Peterson, 1999).  As such, the absence of consecration by Mass in later manuscripts of the Key, arguably a product of attempts to streamline and facilitate the Solomonic method, is remarkably conspicuous.

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3. Magical Consecration by Mass in The Heptameron or Magical Elements Pseudepigraphically attributed to Peter de Abano

Third, consecration by Mass also figures strongly in the Heptameron or Magical Elements, in two key respects, namely, the consecrations of the Pentacle and Garment and the Sword of Art. As the text, in Peterson’s (2018) edition, explains:

The Operator ought to be clean and purified by the space of nine daies before the beginning of the work, and to be confessed, and receive the holy Communion. Let him have ready the perfume appropriated to the day wherein he would perform the work. He ought also to have holy water from a Priest, and a new earthen vessel with fire, a Vesture and a Pentacle; and let all these things be rightly and duly consecrated and prepared. Let one of the servants carry the earthen vessel full of fire, and the perfumes, and let another bear the book, another the Garment and Pentacle, and let the master carry the Sword; over which there must be said one mass of the Holy Ghost.”

Similarly, a later passage clarifies that the consecration by Mass must not only be performed for the Sword, but also for the Pentacle:

Let it be a Priest’s Garment, if it can be had, let it be of linen, and clean. Then take this Pentacle made in the day and hour of Mercury, the Moon increasing, written in parchment made of a kids skin [goat skin]. But first let there be said over it the Mass of the holy Ghost, and let it be sprinkled with water of baptism

As these passages reveal, the Pseudo-Peter de Abano of the Heptameron also saw the consecration by Mass to be a crucially important method for imbuing the Sword and Pentacle with their magical power.

To bring these three analyses together, the magical theoretic logic at play behind both Juratus’ consecration of the Magician by Mass and the Clavicle and Heptameron’s consecrations of the Tools and Pentacles by Mass seems to be largely the same. In both cases, proximity to or immersion in the Holy Mass brings the Magician and the Tools into sympathetic resonance with the holy forces that they are intended to help conjure and direct to magical ends.

To the Catholic Magicians who penned these three grimoires, it was only natural to draw upon the most powerful ceremony of which they were aware, in which the Body and Blood of their Saviour were symbolically ingested in the Mystery of Eucharist, to empower their instruments, a logic Agrippa explains in his analyses of sympathetic “occult vertue” (Agrippa, 2000). Indeed, the fact that the method of consecration by Mass recurs in so many influential and early texts only makes its glaring omission by most modern Magicians all the more striking. By omitting it, contemporary practitioners risk leaving out a key component of the magical method and theory enshrined in these pivotal texts.

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Resurrecting the Consecration by Mass: Practical Suggestions for the Contemporary Practitioner

In light of the method’s powerful historical legacy in the grimoires and in the interests of faithfulness to the source texts, what are contemporary practitioners to do if they wish to implement the consecration by Mass into their own 21st-century work?

Three main options remain open to contemporary Magicians:

1) They can follow Liber Juratus and try to find a “faithful and wary” ordained priest who is willing to help in performing Masses over them or their magical implements. This is possible in some cases, but priests willing to cooperate in occult enterprises can be few and far between. This unfortunate state of affairs is predominantly due to the continued stigmatization of esotericism as necessarily and intrinsically demonic that reigns within the contemporary Church. With that said, Reverend Aaron Leitch does offer a service of consecration by Mass for those who would like to enlist his services.

2) They can become ordained as priests and perform the Masses over their own implements ourselves. To aid and support those who are interested in doing this, I have included a full Latin text of the “Mass of the Holy Ghost” called for in the aforementioned grimoires in Appendix I of this article. The journey to authentic ordination is a long one requiring great devotion and commitment, but this second option is often still easier than the first, and indeed, I know several individuals who have taken this approach.

3) The third and final method is the approach I affectionately refer to as cryptoconsecratio, that is, the clandestine consecration of objects performed in public. In this case, cryptoconsecratio entails bringing magical items to Church and praying over and consecrating them secretly during the Mass itself.

One challenge posed by this latter approach, however, is that, as we have already seen, the “Mass of the Holy Spirit” prescribed above is not the standard Sunday liturgical Mass, but rather a votive or devotional Mass that is rarely performed by most Churches today at all if not once or a few times per year (Rex, 2014). Thankfully, practical experimentation has revealed that the standard Mass, while not as optimally aligned with the grimoiric specifications as the Mass of the Holy Spirit, works nearly as well for our purposes.

Practical Tips for Cryptoconsecrating Magical Objects by Mass

Those who would like to attempt the cryptoconsecratio method of consecration by Mass, can facilitate their task by placing magical items in an unsuspicious bag such as a backpack, purse or satchel, which they bring with them into the Church. Ideally, the objects to be consecrated would be placed as close to the Altar as possible; indeed, the grimoires’ authors envisioned the items being placed on the Altar itself. However, as per Agrippan occult philosophical logic, the items can remain in the pews if necessary; since the Mass technically unfolds throughout the entire Church, its “occult vertue” and sympathetic empowerment can still be transferred to any location within the Church during the Mass provided appropriate and effective prayers are used to direct the process (Agrippa, 2000).

The closer to the Altar, the better, however. The boldest Magicians can sit in the front row and thereby be as close to the Altar as they can possibly be without being the officiating priests themselves. If practitioners are performing the clandestine cryptoconsecratio from their pews with the items in a bag beside them, then during the Mass, they can simply and discretely place a hand over the items to be consecrated and pray over them to complete the consecration.

Praying over the items multiple times throughout the Mass seems to be most effective approach, as practical experimentation has revealed. However, the most crucial moment to perform such clandestine prayers is when the priest is initiating the transubstantiation or the mystic transformation of the bread and wine into the Blood and Body of Christ (Peterson, 2009). Liber Juratus makes the esoteric potency of this moment abundantly clear in the aforementioned passage regarding the prayers to be recited by “he that shall work” (Peterson, 2009). Following Agrippa once again, the magical rationale is clear; since the priest is performing a sacred transformation, the moment is pregnant with the ‘occult vertue’ of that sacred transformative power–quite like an auspicious and benefic astrological election–thus facilitating the consecration of the targeted magical objects by the Mass (Agrippa, 2000).

At this point, I anticipate that my intelligent and practically-minded readers will likely pose a very understandable question: what about the Sword — surely it’s not so easy to cryptoconsecrate as small objects?

Admittedly, the Sword of Art’s size does seem to pose a problem. Thankfully, however, it is one easily solved. Since the Sword does not fit in most bags, it can instead be placed in the case of a musical instrument — a guitar case, for instance, works remarkably well. Once again, as in the case of the bags, clandestine practitioners need only place a hand over the Sword as it lies hidden in its case and pray over it to consecrate it during the Mass. Exorcisms of the items to be consecrated can be done in the Magician’s private Temple prior to going to Church for the Mass and final suffumigations and Holy Water sprinklings of the items can be done upon returning home.

In short, whether through a priestly ally, through becoming priests, or through discrete cryptoconsecratio performed during Masses officiated by others, the method of consecration by Mass remains accessible to this day.

A Mystic Legacy with Enduring Value: Concluding Words on an Ongoing Practice

In conclusion, the method of consecration by Mass has a respectable grimoiric pedigree and remains accessible today through methods such as the three approaches suggested in this article. Grimoiric traditionalists and Christian Magicians may find particular value in the method. Non-Christian practitioners with an open-mind and a curiosity about magical methods from other cultures, however, may still find that the method offers a fertile magical technology under-girded by hundreds of years of esoteric history as well as a fascinating avenue for exploration.

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Appendix I – The Latin text of the ‘Mass of the Holy Ghost/Spirit,’ shared here from the Public Domain (for the English text, see this List of Resources from BJ Swayne):

Missa de Spiritu Sancto

Introitus. Sap. l, 7.

Spíritus Dómini replévit orbem terrárum: et hoc, quod cóntinet ómnia, sciéntiam habet vocis.

(T.P. Allelúja, allelúja.)

Ps. 67,2.

Exsúrgat Deus, et dissipéntur inimíci ejus: et fúgiant, qui odérunt eum, a fácie ejus.

℣. Glória Patri.

Oratio.

Deus, qui corda fidélium Sancti Spíritus illustratióne docuísti: da nobis in eódem Spíritu recta sápere; et de ejus semper consolatióne gaudére. Per Dóminum . . . in unitáte ejúsdem Spíritus Sancti.

Léctio Actuum Apostólorum.

Act. 8, 14-17.

In diébus illis: Cum audíssent Apóstoli, qui erant Jerosólymis, quod recepísset Samaría verbum Dei, misérunt ad eos Petrum et Joánnem. Qui cum veníssent, oravérunt pro ipsis, ut accíperent Spíritum Sanctum: nondum enim in quemquam illórum vénerat, sed baptizáti tantum erant in nómine Dómini Jesu. Tunc imponébant manus super illos, et accipiébant Spíritum Sanctum

Graduale.

Ps. 32, 12 et 6.

Beáta gens, cujus est Dóminus Deus eórum: pópulus, quem elégit Dóminus in hereditátem sibi.

℣. Verbo Dómini coeli firmáti sunt: et Spíritu oris ejus omnis virtus eórum.

Allelúja, allelúja. (Hic genuflectitur)

℣. Veni, Sancte Spíritus, reple tuórum corda fidélium: et tui amóris in eis ignem accénde. Allelúja.

Post Septuagesimam, omissis Allelúja et
Versu sequenti, dicitur:

Tractus. Ps. 103, 30.

Emítte Spíritum tuum, et creabúntur: et renovábis fáciem terræ.

℣. O quam bonus et suávis est, Dómine, Spíritus tuus in nobis! (Hic genuflectitur)

℣. Veni, Sancte Spíritus, reple tuórum corda fidélium: et tui amóris in eis ignem accénde.

Tempore autem Paschali omittitur Graduale,
et ejus loco dicitur:

Allelúja, allelúja.

℣. Ps. 103, 30.

Emítte Spíritum tuum, et creabúntur: et renovábis fáciem terræ. Allelúja. (Hic genuflectitur)

℣. Veni, Sancte Spíritus, reple tuórum corda fidélium: et tui amóris in eis ignem accénde. Allelúja.

Sequéntia sancti Evangélii secúndum Joánnem.

Joann. 14, 23-31.

In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus discípulis suis: Si quis diligit me, sermónem meum servábit, et Pater meus díliget eum, et ad eum veniémus, et mansiónem apud eum faciémus: qui non díligit me, sermónes meos non servat Et sermónem quem audístis, non est meus: sed ejus, qui misit me, Patris. Hæc locútus sum vobis, apud vos manens. Paráclitus autem Spíritus Sanctus, quem mittet Pater in nómine meo, ille vos docébit ómnia et súggeret vobis ómnia, quæcúmque díxero vobis.

Pacem relínquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis: non quómodo mundus dat, ego do vobis. Non turbátur cor vestrum neque fórmidet. Audístis, quia ego dixi vobis: Vado et vénio ad vos. Si diligerétis me, gauderétis útique, quia vado ad Patrem; quia Pater major me est. Et nunc dixi vobis, priúsquam fiat: ut, cum factum fúerit, credátis. Jam non multa loquar vobíscum. Venit enim princeps mundi hujus, et in me non habet quidquam. Sed ut cognóscat mundus, quia díligo Patrem, et sicut mandátum dedit mihi Pater, sic fácio.

Offertorium. Ps. 67, 29-30.

Confírma hoc, Deus, quod operátus es in nobis: a templo tuo, quod est in Jerúsalem, tibi ófferent reges múnera. (T.P. Allelúja.)

Secreta.

Múnera, quǽsumus, Dómine, obláta sanctífica: et corda nostra Sancti Spíritus illustratióne emúnda. Per Dóminum . . in unitáte ejusdem Spíritus Sancti.

Præfatio de Spiritu Sancto.

Communio. Act. 2, 2 et 4.

Factus est repénte de cælo sonus tamquam adveniéntis spíritus veheméntis, ubi erant sedéntes: et repléti sunt omnes Spíritu Sancto, loquéntes magnália Dei.
(T.P.Allelúja.)

Postcommunio.

Sancti Spíritus, Dómine, corda nostra mundet infúsio: et sui roris íntima aspersióne fecúndet. Per Dóminum . . . in unitáte ejúsdem Spíritus Sancti (Zardetti, 1888).

References

Agrippa, H. C. (2000). Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Ed. Joseph H. Peterson. [online eBook]. Esoteric Archives. Based on a transcription from Moule: London, 1651. Available at http://www.esotericarchives.com/agrippa/agrippa1.htm[Accessed 01 October 2018].

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

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

Peterson, J. H. (2004). Clavicula Salomonis or The Key of Solomon. [online eBook]. Esoteric Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 01 October 2018].

Peterson, J. H. (2018). Heptameron or Magical Elements. [online eBook] Esoterica Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 01 October 2018].

Peterson, J. H. (2009). Liber Juratus Honorii or the The Sworne Booke of Honorius. [online eBook]. Esoteric Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 01 October 2018].

Peterson, J. H. (1999). Sloane 3847 – The Clavicle of Solomon, Revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian. [online eBook]. Esoteric Archives. Available at: http://www.esotericarchives.com/solomon/ksol.htm [Accessed 01 October 2018].

Rex, R. (2014). The Religion of Henry VIII. The Historical Journal, 57(1), 1-32.

Zardetti, O. (1888). Special Devotion to the Holy Ghost. New York: General Books.