Baptism and sacrifice

So yesterday I took my son camping and fishing…and attempted to take him canoeing. We went with his Grandfather who owned the canoe but had only used it twice on a calm reservoir. We ended up camping next to a sizable creek…more on the size of a river by not deeper than my waist in most parts but moving full and steady due to snow melt and plentiful rain fall.

Perhaps against better judgment both my son’s grandfather and I were eager to set the canoe in near the camp sit and ride the creek down all the way down to the reservoir. We could see it well enough from the road and all seemed easy enough to access. I may be fairly skilled in a rubber raft but in a canoe, well, no one was. We ended up not being able to paddle correctly, sticking the nose into the reeds, and spilling over the side into the freezing water…..It had been a while feeling that sort of cold and my son was not happy at all. Everyone had life jackets on and I was able to hold on to my son but several things ended up getting washed down the river and it took a an hour or so to get the canoe back to land…A fun little adventure and “waker up” but all in all nothing too dangerous or that caused anyone any real harm. My son was back to sitting near the river as soon as he got on dry clothes but uhh…didn’t want “to go fishing in the boat anymore”

imagesThe more interesting part was talking to my house spirit a day later. He went from commenting on my weekend to going into a lecture about baptism.
-According to my spirit, baptism wasn’t undergone quite the way its done or perceived now a days. He said that during its rise in popularity in the middle east, people and holy men (I assumed he met people like John the Baptist and Jesus himself) didn’t congregate around still pools and eddies along the river but considerable strong current areas. The areas themselves sparked a healthy level of fear in people who did not grow up in a culture where swimming and water sports was a recreational norm…at all. He said that most people then had a general fear of water then in that area and few even knew how to swim let alone cross swift rivers safely. Also becoming “submerged” was more synonymous with drowning and death than it was a test on how long one could hold their breath.
The combination of nearing death and entering into an immediate temperature change as well as sensory surroundings can and does have a particular effect on the human psyche. In the absence of sincere spirituality and devotion it can turn such activities into events for thrill junkies who keep going after a “high”. However under the correct circumstances, such an experience can have a profound affect on the persons will, psyche and life path. Thus baptism back in the day really was an experience of life (death) and rebirth for those daring and faithful enough to brave the “waters of death and rebirth”. The look on some of the faces my spirit showed to me in vision reminded me of my own emotions while going on the “Wild Hunt” and HGA spirit journey I describe in the HGA anthology published by NephilimPress.

I never really focused on “fear” being an element in baptism and a sacrifice of self in order to be reborn in faith. Certainly it would have required great faith to begin with as one by one, you saw people willingly submit themselves to the water and reemerged unscathed. A vision which quite possibly was novel and radical back in the day. my spirit reminded me that these activities were going on when showers and “bathing” was not a very widely practice custom or norm by any meaning of the…concept. I wish that I could recall every word he said and exactly how he said it (I was too busy taking in the lesson rather than writing it down) but the message was clear:
First of all, taking oneself out of the norm and comfort zone in order to seek out the unknown- abandoning safety and the familiar in favor of spiritual connection or enlightenment, is a prominent way of experiencing the divine. This aspect combine with all of the vital and mystical correspondences of water being of the underworld, the astral, the emotion and depth of our existence only compounds a truly mystical experience. Thirdly, the added element of “washing” of purifying body AND mind with the shock of immersion, when undergone with proper intent would truly be a rebirth in no subtle or purely symbolic form. These three aspects aided by a truly heavenly attention and support would yield a veritable and true baptism in every sense of the world. How many of us have actually been baptized in this way?
Were you afraid? Excited? In Awe? Shocked? Or was it just a smooth pleasant and familiar custom which became ingrained in our cultural norm centuries ago? Those of you who know me might guess that I’m after the raw and authentic experience. I strive to know the revelation behind the mystery which is transcendent of repetitious ceremony. I love any opportunity to behold aspects of a mystery which requires exuberant faith, trust, and courage to even approach.
What value without fear, risk, trust and devotion…..What better way to know the expression of love from your heart authentic and unbidden.

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The Shaman Experience

I decided to spend the 4th of July a bit differently than I had in the past. It was one of the rare times where id did not see or hear a single firework, did not hear our nation’s national anthem or the “ohhh” and “ahhhs” of a multitude of people as bright explosions of color occurred overhead. Instead I arrived in Florissant with my best friend and his family members to attend a rare ceremony. A woman by the name of Maile Lama, was going to perform a traditional Healing and Divining Ceremony. Maile Lama is a Shaman of Nepal and had never had a formal education but was instead trained as a shaman since she was around eight years old. This woman was not an outsider curious to learn shamanism after being raised in a modern civilization, she was born into the culture and tradition she practiced. As far a “pure” magician and seer, completely immersed in a tradition this was as close as anyone could get and rare opportunity for me.
We arrived far up in the mountains in the early evening with light rain coming down. After warm greetings and introductions from the host and several other attendees, we made our way up to the top of a hill where a large fire circle was built and places to sit. Maile Lama sat next to her translator and another assistant awaiting the rest of the gathering. The shaman woman who looked to be in her early 60’s or late 50’s was introduced by the translator and the nights proceedings were explained. Before long, Maile Lama began to drum and the drumming lasted for quite a time. I kept my senses open to absorb everything I could from senses, to opening my inner vision to see if I could catch glimpses of her ancestors and helpers spirits as she called them to joint eh circle. Before long the drumming had me in deep trance and I lost track of time and what I was even doing. I saw wisps of light move around the circle, the rains and the winds seemed to calm down and I could feel the thrum of the ceremonial drum from the earth beneath me and extend through my body. From what my sense were able to communicate to my intellect, it seemed that the drumming and chanting formed a perfect cord of frequency extending beyond time and distance to link directly to her ancestors, spirits and god-forms who had helped them to bring them into that space and time in no subtle way. The rhythm, the words, the motions, the mind of the shaman all linked from, her to the energies she contacted and desired to bring into that space. IT was a language that the surrounding forests and rocks knew, it was a pattern of energy agreeable and familiar yet unique. My instincts told me there was no part of the ceremony simply for sensation or show. Each ingredient seem to bring about the desired effects in the most harmonious way possible.


The ceremony reached a climax where Maile Lama, chanted and danced around the fire pit with very intentional practiced movements. As soon as the drumming ceased the entire atmosphere seemed to hum with the same harmonious frequency, …as if a sandbox, made with chaotic images and sculptures were shaken till all that remained was uniform smooth, and an undisturbed level of sand. Everyone seemed to mirror this same feeling as I came gently out of the deep drumming trance and looked around. At some point in the midst of the ceremony the shaman invited those in need or want of healing to come forward, one at a time. For each individual healing she seemed to move intrinsically to the correct spaces and the person responded in turn. IT was very involved and intricate, taking several minutes to complete. Her use of the ritual implements, drum, ash, incense, water, all familiar in many respects and fascinating to me. Even though I didn’t feel like I had any major health concerns at the time, I went up to receive a healing nonetheless and experience what I could. Closing my eyes and opening my senses I could feel the motions and touch of the ritual daggers, drum and ash, all making my inner sight and senses tingle and at some points I even got senses of vertigo as things seem to realign within me. I felt “lighter” afterwards with a sense of peace and very thankful for the entire experience. Offerings and prayers were made to the fire before the final closing ceremonies and the entire event wrapped up perfectly as the night deepened. All in all a very interesting and worthwhile experience for me and I was grateful for the opportunity.

Stepping into spirit with keys in hand

 

When your entire being is dedicated to the work of conversing with beings your conscious mind attempts to convince you do not exist, your impassioned -Will- breaks through the mental murk into silence. Here you will behold divine consciousness brought to form. Here you will entreat yourself with angels seen through Gateways of a clear stone, within a circle of unshakable truth…

I’m quite familiar with Joseph C. Lisiewski’s work having read ‘Ceremonial Magic and the Power of Evocation’ several times through during the course of pursuing traditional methods of evoking the Goetia demons. I also have the sequel ‘Howlings’ along with his books on Kabbalah, etc. he definitely does some ground breaking work and has set the tone for the veritable practice of ceremonial magic. Many of his axioms and findings have rung true in my own work with some exceptions… His strict adherence to pseudo-religious dogma and ideals in some instances have created some of the backlash he speaks about not only after magic ritual but in his professional and personal life as well in my opinion.

The author has a determined albeit narrow acceptance of how “things should (or will) work”. In some ways he is the polar extreme to the fluffy “new angers” who have no real experience or know how in magical matters to begin with. I continue to have “mixed” feelings on his works but appreciate his efforts overall and acknowledge the genuine account of experience which seems to coincide with my own.
It’s difficult to find occult books which relate -actual- successful experience working with the grimoires which is why I decided to begin writing. However, excellent and organized works on grimoires are abundant these days with authors like Stephen Skinner and Dave Rankine, Joseph Petterson, Aaron Leitch’s “Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires” is a great primer for actually working these historic texts. If you want to read about actual accounts of those who have practiced historical ritual magic, I also suggest reading John King’s Imperial Arts for the Lemegeton’s Goetia, works by Frater MC, and Jake Stratton-Kent for intelligent relation through discerning experimentation. Each author had a differing philosophy and take on ceremonial magic as a whole, but each has valuable insight.
There are many novice magicians who are hoping to simply encounter a spirit or experience one genuinely and are drawn to ritual/grimoiric magic to accomplish this for them. (This was my initial motivation) Although possible, I believe one can and rather should experience the spiritual and/or divine prior to attempting conjuration. There are a few ways to achieve this but each is a locked door that can only be opened under specific circumstances suitable to the mind of the magician.
The dynamic interaction with spirits that are ‘physically’ apparent and audible, etc. is a major metal/emotional/spiritual shock to most adults who have continually structured their reality paradigm (most likely to counter these types of experiences). As a Psychology student and Hypnotherapist, the event is simply not supported well by most individuals and the mind will immediately construct an alternative to such a blatant occurrence. Not only that but I am convinced of a spiritual “moderator” who is able to determine just who and to what degree these spiritual events can actually be witnessed.
Many if not most will never experience what Lisiewski describes even if they follow his instructions to a tee because of these factors that he fails to mention or is simply unaware of. You can only “Subjectively Synthesize” yourself so much. Some simply do not have the capacity/aptitude to behold spiritual phenomena to the degree he describes (Their psyche cannot or will not support such an event). I know this due to my own experiences of trying to include others in events that confused and bewildered them and for which they were unable to process mentally/emotionally. It’s simply not time for some minds to be awakened to the worlds behind the veil.
After some of the more intense encounters, my rational, conscious mind tried to debate and conform my memory of the experience into a more acceptable framework of its constructed reality. I had to meditate often to cease the battle for acceptance going on in my own head.
My experience is such that I can state now that what Lisiewski describes and explains many times does in fact exist and occur. Yet, I also know from not only schooling but from conversations with spirits directly that not everyone perceives them (the spirits) the same way. No matter what the ritual, things still filter through the levels of human consciousness, perception, and frameworks of comprehension.

From the altar space is cast the inner reflection of the divine soul in hope, union, communion, and awareness….. This space, for you my lord, my ascendant, my mind, and heart to the heavens. Let Thy light and mind show the wonders upon this place, …and by this grace be with me always.
The secret does truly lie with the K&C with your HGA.

Nephilim Press will also be publishing my personal experience and take on this matter soon. I hope you who decide to purchase this work will enjoy the revelations shared by me as well as several other great magicians. Without going too far into the subject matter that the book contains, I believe true union and conversation may only occur through a very dynamic and precise magico-religious shock which initiates a dissolving of the ego, and mental perception of reality and self, that allows true awareness of that which is not created in/by the restring mind.
Some of these major locked doors I alluded to previously can only be unlocked in this fashion. Many do not come to opening their eyes to the spiritual after a rather traumatic and intense event which shifted their awareness, and dissolved long held patterns of acceptability. There is no smooth road to this for anyone wishing to step into the unknown.

The purely psychological model concerning the ‘reality’ of spirits was popular for quite some time. Although I understand completely their reasoning behind this theory my experience has shown me otherwise even when I began evocation and ritual magic from this standpoint myself.

Spiritual beings are completely distinct from human consciousness although, human consciousness, and compression are the filters used to perceive them. They have their own motivations, machinations and purposes. Many exhibit knowledge and traits that people do not have (even collectively) and are not simply, “psychological” aspects of the deep human unconscious.
Like I mentioned, I tried to adhere to this school of thought when I began in my teens, but one I was forced to abandon after evoking a spirit to complete manifestation……I realized that my personal psychology was desperately trying to accept and comprehend the reality of the situation, rather than formulate it. I was also completely aware that the actual being before me was beyond my comprehension and complete understanding. I find people of the purely psychological side of the fence have never undergone this type of experience before.

I get rather amused at those who associate the Goetia spirits to “personifications of human dark or instinctive psychological, etc. natures”. The demons are aware and well-disposed if not ‘versed’ in these aspects of humanity but they go quite beyond that. Their abilities and knowledge transcends anything that has to do with any of these simple ideals. Such as causing earthquakes, storms, and other such phenomena.
They definitely affect and move within those passionate and exploitative aspects of humanity however. That’s how spirits and such typically work with us…magic and influence works on each subtle level through the astrally dynamic.

Fairly recently I heard ceremonial magic, ritual magic, and evocation/invocation defined as “artistic self-analysis”.
Psychology was my major in college. I’m a certified hypnotherapist and spent a lot of time in the psychotherapy field. I definitely see how psychology relates in trying to decode magical workings but does not determine them by any means, just as they do not determine the machinations of the spirits.
Our interactions with formless-consciousness (entities/spirits) are always colored by our culture, language, mind, concept perception and framework of reality acceptances which we possess in the mind. Spirits tap into this and relate in ways our minds can actually accept and at least semi-comprehend.
No spirit needs to “look” like anything but they are themselves as real as anything else beyond perception……the psychological aspects placed on them aren’t necessarily false imaginings per say but they aren’t complete either. This is the reason magicians utilize ‘road-maps’ in order to work with the relative or apparent “chaos” of the spiritual world since it is so different than what physical humans perceive it as. These “road-maps” of course, are the tried and tested methods and/or ‘traditions’.

Certain spirits, angels, ancestors, guiding spirits etc, can actually…fine tune (attune) our perceptions and abilities to perceive and converse with them better. Thus we are able to integrate their gifts (shared knowledge) so that we can actually see, comprehend, and do things we were unable to previously. Often, I didn’t notice all I was learning or being gifted with till afterward.

Relationship is a key concept here with many magicians having their own beliefs about what is deemed as “appropriate” or most beneficial.
Working with the Almadel angels, seemed to naturally open up my ability to actually call other angels and spirits into crystals, etc better so I could see and hear them better where I couldn’t before, as well as do this for others…I’m pretty sure they (the angels) did this for me even without me consciously realizing it.

After one of our evocations, my scryer who is not a ceremonial magician, reflected on how he perceived the magic within the magical circle and during the operation. He said, “Once you begin the ceremony, you seem to create some sort of a vacuum, where the very atmosphere changes and whatever you invoke rushes to the circle, in an instant. It’s amazing!” He also spoke about how the structure and timing seems to get everything aligned and working toward the intended purpose. This made me smile, as like with many things, when you’ve been doing it for a while, you tend to forget just how incredible ritual magic is and how well it can work under the right circumstances. Once certain actions “click” on the spiritual as well as physical side of things, the incredible phenomena will be obviously apparent.
As I’ve stated several times now, its been quite enjoyable getting feedback and outside perspective from someone who is not integrated into the mechanics of Western Ceremonial Magick. The magic works whether you believe it will or not or even know what it’s about…
Without acquiring this link or some sort of ‘Spiritual ambassador’, it’s practically impossible to truly be let into the “club behind the veil’. It’s the reason why many if not most people can go about oblivious to an sign of the spiritual, intelligence…pattern, and design. If we find the correct way to ‘ask’, certain spirits can help us find the correct way to ‘see’. Its training the eye to see the 3D picture from a mess of dots…only, in reality, the dots are there to assist, if you ask

The work continues with new lessons and completely amazing achievements through the celestial powers… There is an extension of soul through which the angelic powers clear the way for clearer realization of full and destined potentiality.

I’ve been asked the question: “When angels or spirits, speak to you, what does it sound like? Do you hear them in your mind or are they actually speaking aloud?”

My response is that it seems to be all of the above and will sometimes seem to alternate without warning. 
Indeed the most confusing aspect of hearing spirits (when reflecting on it afterward) is the sense of distance/location when they are speaking. More often than not, when the spirit has either appeared or made it’s presences known, I will hear them in a way comparable to wearing high-grade earphones where no other sound, acoustics of the room, or any other factor seem to affect their voice. At times it sounds as if they are speaking directly into my ear. At other times their voices sound faint and removed as if they were a long way off though appearing right in front of me. Angels especially seem to communicate running words, visions, sensations and images together in a seamless and rather perfect way.

After a successful evocation, I am often confronted with the realization that my limited capacity to understand what was communicated to me is hindering me to comprehend the larger picture. Conversing with intelligences that definitely have higher methods of exchange seem to break things down in order for human (conscious) comprehension. Luckily, I believe human beings (at least certain ones) are able to tune into a wide variety of communication methods depending on their capacity and frequency in exposure. As a combined variable, the disembodied intelligences or powers can assist the mage greatly to bridge this chasm of dimensional communication. Exactly how and in which ways, or under what circumstances this is decided, I’m not completely sure of. It is not solely based on “attitude” or extreme piety/humility though I can say that. I have conducted evocations in sour moods where I practically expected to fail, all to have the spirit (usually angel) surprise me with a remarkable visit that seemed rather ..undeserved.

Moving

It’s strange…. Attachments to anything be they people, places, ideals, or circumstances will eventually lead to some measure of pain or “suffering”. The great paradox of humanity being the realization that the only two constants are conflict and change; ironically two concepts human beings seem to have the most difficulty with.

As many of you may have read previously, I am in the process of moving. All basic physical concerns are looking forward to the move and getting to appreciate new appliances with working fixtures and water pressure..

The sentimentality that brings up any measure of discomfort is the memories and workings I’ve had in this place. Some of my biggest magical breakthroughs were in the magical room which is still not completely deconstructed energetically although everything is packed away in boxes. …..

– Although I’ve cleared out the basic wards and perimeter seals, I noticed that the first people coming to look at the house didn’t enter the room but viewed it from the threshold….

The room still carries the same feel and I wonder if the sensations will linger even after we leave.
Intense presences of the mightiest Archangels were fully present within those walls. Beings which I never thought I would interact with on that magnitude arrived in intense display.

… Their imprint always remains to the point where any steno to sleep or linger in that room beyond magical operation were frequented by constant sensations, lights, sounds, whispers, etc. … I truly wonder what new tenants will experience once we have completely vacated….

I look forward to construction my new temple and magical room and continuing my work. I cannot help but appreciate and find affection for the many years of unparalleled experience conducted within a hidden room, in a house next to the woods and creek…

The picture below is an oil pastel I did in High School which I dug up this weekend during the move. Needless to say my interests and preoccupations have remained consistent through the years…


Approximately after eighteen hours strait of moving I could say I was officially a home owner. Friends, family, and students helped transport the collected sum of what was collected after living in the same place for ten years. By 1:45am, there was no energy left to find the location of our toothbrushes, let alone set up the wards and give the new house a proper blessing and spiritual securities. It had also been a while since I was that exhausted, yet spiritual activities would not let me rest even one night…

Nothing was strongly sensed in the new house during the initial inspections. Actually out of the lot my family and I had looked at, this one felt the most calm and inviting. My senses had warned me of presences in one or two of the other seventy some houses we looked at before settling on our new home, but no such alarms were triggered in my new home.

However after that first day of moving in we didn’t get to bed till around 1:45am. Despite the long and exhausting day, neither my wife or I or I could sleep at all that first night…..I’m sure at least of that could be attributed to moving into a new house, etc, etc…but….my senses kept going off, keeping me from falling asleep completely. Around 3 am we began hearing door knobs rattle, indistinguishable noises, the sense that another being was there, etc. My physical check of the house gave me a very clear sense of something there where before nothing was noticed as if it was awakened or disturbed by our moving in. My wife had me close one of the closets because she kept seeing a deep darkness exude from it that immediately made her felt uneasy…….obvious signs something was going on… Although irritating and unsettling, such occurrences where far from foreign to me. Although none of us slept much that first night I figured I could remedy the situation the following day.

The next evening while I was away teaching class, the activity apparently continued. I returned home feeling even more tired than before, with the lack of sleep and mustering the extra energy needed to teach class. My wife immediately reported to me what had occurred while I was away and that I needed to take care of things before doing anything else happened. She stated that as soon as I left she felt unease, obviously remembering the night before and that I hadn’t cleared out anything yet. She kept hearing the odd noises and seeing things out of the corner of her eye. My son was on the couch watching a movie when my wife overheard him arguing with someone apparently changing the movie he was watching by having the game screen go from the movie to the home page and them having the disk tray open with the controller on the opposite end of the room. After that, apparently a couple doors slammed a few times and odd noises were continually heard. My wife was not at all happy since she is now much more sensitive and aware to such things after living with me for a number of years.

After my son was put to bed and despite my exhausted state, I took out my longest held and used implement of aggressive-spirit-negotiation, a broadsword simply called ‘Spirit’ and went to work. All of my other magical equipment and gear is still packed away in chests and boxes and my magical working room will be one of the lasts to be set up. I wasn’t concerned however as I had everything I needed to dispel any agitated presences.

I try not to get into the habit of threatening or banishing all spirits I come across, even those which seem to find me or my family disagreeable. However, any place I live needs to be cleared for comfort and workability regardless, and anything bothering myself or family simply will not do.

The presence was not very subtle and appeared as soon as I had the living room to myself and extended my senses beyond the physical layout. A gray expanse brought forth an angry looking being that was only vaguely human looking. It appeared as some skinny…oddly elongated form with most of its defining features whitewashed away. My intuition told me that the it got “stirred up” or awoke once we moved all the stuff in….. I seriously can’t say if it was a ‘spirit of the house’ or something that just lingered near to there that got drawn in…..regardless…it seemed to have some issue with us being there.
. ….I was drawn into this really deep state by standing in the room and extending my “roots” through the foundation and basically trying to feel out the entire house by extension…This odd being came directly in front of me expressing that it was quite angry that we had moved in, and brought “all this stuff” with us. I responded that this was now my abode and would have no harmful actions toward us, or disturbances that would frighten anyone. When I was unmoved by its responses of dislike, it darted around and became less stable while arguing with my statements of intent. I became a bit stern at this point, sending out my own energy … much of this is to explain since it happened astrally, like the event was happening in a wide, gray, space in the house but felt like I was somewhere else…. anyway aspects of the MP and LBRP…standard CM cleansing rituals were performed in a sense but with other highlights since neither I or the elongated entity seemed to be communicating well…..
When my mind snaps into the purely magical state of working I’m able to see and direct things very clearly. There is no ambiguity to my gestures or intent and my conscious rational takes a heavy backseat to my intuitive workings. I moved through the house, seeing little of the walls, fixtures, and boxes, and instead the colored lights and strands of energy as I pushed through unseen thresholds and stagnated pockets of astral dust. Even trying to write my workings in a cohesive, understandable way becomes

Also some newer sort workings were conducted rather spontaneously if not intuitively. I meditated in the lower center of the house…drawing down positive light in through inhaling, trying to fill my body up. It felt like it was shining through my pores. I’ve practiced this technique often through Reijiho but not to this degree or purpose before. After I literally felt I was filled to capacity with this divine and powerful light, I put my hands on the floor and exhaled sharply seeing the light spread down throughout the entire foundation, and emerge to encapsulate the house and property a shell. I did this three times, each increasing with power and intensity. I took the remaining energy I had and went to all the rooms, doors, etc and drew out my wards and symbols in front of them……

Anyhow…everyone is sleeping well the past two nights since then ….. my only issue has been myself getting ridiculously frustrated trying to do basic house work and instillation of appliances.

Being a wizard in today’s world is paradoxical to say the least . Perhaps it has always been that way to some degree. It can be challenging enough just dealing with the mundane demands of life and change. Perhaps when we are all moved and settled and my room is arranged I can try to descry the identity and purpose of the elongated entity.

10th Operation. March,4 2012 6:29am Sun in Pisces Moon in Cancer, waxing. Final operation of the one year completed cycle of all four Almadel and Chora Altitudes.

I arose after a somewhat restless night. Showered, put on my clothes for the Northern Chora, and headed to my magical chamber. I sprinkled some holy water upon my head and anointed my eyes, temples and head with the hyssop oil while reciting the Psalm. All was arranged and the angel’s presence became apparent through the early part of the first evocation. Angel Captiel appeared in the crystal and regarded me in a kindly manner. I at once added mastic to the censer with coals and the smoke coiled around the Almadel in steady rising for the duration of the ceremony.

At this time I asked for my usual wishes and desires to be fulfilled as read from teh invocation and also that any obstacles, mentally, physically and externally be removed from my presence which hindered progression further in magic. The angels are to bind and remove unwanted things if consulted correctly. The angel said that it would continue to do so and also act as helper beyond the ceremonies to assist me in my pursuits.

During this final operation, I asked that the angel bless my elemental Earth disk implement which was underneath the altar as I had done with the other Chora angels. The angel said to remove it from other the altar and present it before him. I did so and the angel seemed to extend some of its presence past the Almadel and said to meditate on it when I needed to feel centered and balanced, and to remember to return to the natural working of the world and universe. I held on to the disk for the duration of the operation and indeed I felt more centered than ever before, as if a clear, immovable state of calmness had come over me. I spent a while beholding the angel and extending my thoughts to him which he seemed to comprehend completely and I was encouraged that I would continue in the correct direction for magical undertaking so long as my heart extended to the glory of God in the correct manner. I took this to heart and felt as long as my true will extended to my purpose for which I was conducting these experiments I would continue to learn.

I felt so thankful and blessed for the assistance of all the angels of the Almadels and at some point bowed my head before the altar and said a prayer of thanks for their attentiveness to me and continued presence and assistance through these experiments. I stayed in a state of complete gratefulness and openhearted attentiveness which again brought tears to my eyes. No other magical experiment has been as the Almadel ones have. I believe they grant fulfillment in the manners of aligning the magician to the elementally harmonious aspects of their lives. Although I have completed a full years cycle, I will undoubtedly begin a new series again with the Eastern Angels and perhaps even learn and communicate deeper with them since my first initial experiments.

I spent a while saying prayers of thanks and respectful departures as I bid Captiel farewell till our next formal meeting, the angel remarked that it would be near and continue to assist me beyond this operation. After I snuffed the candles and tided my working area, I spent some time relaxing in my magical chamber, taking in the rich deep scents left by the angel’s presence which is ironically different than the mastic incense but blends quite well together.

I packed up the carpets and canopy and altar covering, re-exposing the surface of the Solomonic Pauline Altar. …SO much has been done and so much more to yet to be done…there’s no finishing point, but always a reaching. Beyond any images of the mind, there is the purity and beauty of true magic.

Almandel system reflections

I have been working with the Almadel system for almost a solid year now. Granted, I missed a handful of Sundays for this or that reason, and sometimes the operations failed where nothing appeared, but by far, most Sunday mornings have been involved in becoming acquainted and familiar with the beings described in the fourth book of the Lemegeton. To be honest, I have never before had such consistent and timely interaction with any spiritual beings in all my life. With the ease and methodology of the system, I can see myself continuing in this practice for a great many years, so long as the beings are still willing to appear and converse.

I haven’t posted my latest experiences and not sure if I will or of how much value they would be to anyone. I will say this though, last Sunday evening while I was in bed, I spoke (prayed) to the Gediel, the angel I had been working with over the last few Sundays, and asked if I could be instructed during my dreams that evening.

I was quite exhausted and sleep came quickly. I found myself in a fairly lucid state where I was aware of being asleep. I think I fell asleep remembering (visualizing) the angel’s face and how it appeared and spoke with me earlier that morning. My last thoughts were marveling that I could recall and see his face so clearly, in my mind. There seemed to be no defining moments between the time I prayed, visualized the angel’s face, fell asleep, and began hearing his voice as I saw myself in some sort of purplish-crimson cloudscape. The entire episode seemed to go on for a while in which the angel spoke plainly about the paradoxical nature of mankind’s attempts to grasp (more like clutch) at the spiritual. Much of what was said was about simple but direct reconnection. – Appreciating our place in the cosmos without the endless coloration of cultural and anthropomorphic attachments to what we make the spiritual to be about. I recall everything he said clearly, but find it difficult to relate (type) back into words. I was, once again, in that state of -no argument or questions, just –being-…”remembering” perhaps how the illusions and defining points are temporary constructs of the mind, that’s all. The angel’s appearance and presence was quite deified but as a matter of course, standing near to me but often looking ahead as he spoke.

There were no foreign and shocking words of wisdom passed, just truths about living most of us seem to know but like to distract ourselves from. The final words the Angel spoke were about dreams as use in a metaphor. He said dreams are sometimes intense and meaningful for people just like the one I was having, but that after waking, they fade from their original splendor (the concentrated form of the meaning and impact of the experience). After waking and setting our minds to the habitual workings of the day, the feelings, memories, and revelations fade from all previous matters. Many people go through the cyclical seeking out of new or renewed revelations to try and hold on to. He pointed to such things as being beneficial only for the further desire to return to simple matters of truth.
I had a sudden euphoria of divine singularity and awareness, that ultimate point I had felt I had reached more than once before,…. then is passed. I thought: “There is humor in this, sadness, and joy, a perfect, humbling, mix of indefinable certainties.” The experience concluded as swiftly as it began.
The rest of that night my mind drifted through thought after thought of interconnecting questions. I did not sleep deeply the entire night and rather stayed in that in-between dozing state of deep contemplation. Upon “waking”, showering and heading to work, it was still a sharp memory.. but only a memory.

The lesson seemed to be about “thought”, the spiritual and material world, and the nature of reality itself, ….all rolled into one concept. As if designed by intention, the spiritual world is immeasurable and quite indefinable, forcing many to experience it in a fragmentary sense and then apply it to their daily lives. These glimpses are enough for most seekers and magicians, for it encourages us to delve deeper and resume our climb on a continually rotating ladder. My experience was deeply moving for me but not necessarily thought provoking for anyone else.

Following thoughts:
I sometimes forget that my current practice of magic came after years of struggle and searching, exploration a variety of paths, religions, and philosophies. The prompt of my becoming a seeker came from more disturbing rather than enlightening experiences of the unknown. My current pursuits were definitely not the initiatory endeavors of getting my young(er) life in order. Those years were essential though as I grew my knowledge base and garnered a plethora of experiences and lessons.

For the select few who have found enlightenment and personal mastery through the paths of magic, each has gone about their own way of experiencing self actualized spirituality. That is to say, their personal involvement in spiritual matters through experience and practice has led them to their current state of awareness and belief. (if not a specified path or faith). Current examples I’ve come across lately are like those the ending chapters of Joe Lisiewski’s “Howlings from the Pitt” and select other which bring the magician full circle to the original ‘point’ of living. You’ll see the evidence of this when the seeker reaches a point of non argument and complaining: A cessation of internal conflict which mirrors their interactions with the world. (Difficult for many of us) That is to say, challenges never cease, but personal actualization has reached a state where there is inherent “oneness” in all things and life and we no longer feel a need to “press a cause”.

I was reflecting on this the other night as my wife and I watched “PEACFUL WARRIOR”. A movie based off Dan Millman’s “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” a book that changes lives. I first read this book when I was a junior in high school. It indeed, changed my life and became a catalyst for living my life differently from that point on. Since that initial reading, I must have read it, and the following books, a handful of times. My later explorations into mysticism and magick were built on the foundations of Eastern mystical insights and modern applications. Far from the off-shot “New Age” trend, it was the few books who give it strait and sure without any fluffy tangents of fanciful intrigue.

When asked on advice about successful and purposeful living I typically will NOT direct people toward a book of magic. I’ve seen magic for many, and even for myself at times, become a distraction from dealing with one’s self and the world. Its pursuit can be a hindrance when it becomes a substitute for personal transcendence.

Instead, I suggest works like “The Way of the Owl” by Frank Rivers, “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman, or “The Laws of Spirit” also by Dan Millman. These are just three works of a multitude of exquisite works which I have read. The reasons why I personally keep referring back to these and also suggest them to others, is that they are written for the Western mind. There are Eastern concepts and philosophies yes, but ones congruent to our mentalities and culture. On further reflection, the philosophies cannot even be classified by “Eastern” and “Western” as they are found in philosophical and religious works from multiple sources, cultures, and touch on the condition of all modern peoples. Other people may have found other books more insightful but I continue to return to these three works…possibly because they had such a personal and moving impact on me. Also, for each sequential reading, I have not found any of the statements or philosophies to be any less true or profound. They are truly “laws” one can base their life on and never go wrong under any circumstance, a very difficult thing to truly state in any day and age. You’ll find me reading from “Way of the Owl” to my students now and then in Martial arts class, just as my Sensei in Aikido did for me.

Magic, as an inherited or acquired skill is filtered through the developing will and awareness of the magician. In its deeper practice, it should trigger keen introspection, mystical experience, and revelation. Successful, continued, practice of magic can be determined by the spiritual maturity (mysticism) of the magician and to what end they utilize their gifts in service to others. You can almost gauge the degree of successful practitioners by those who have reached this point and continue to expand their grace to others. (This does not signify that they are all celebrity gurus, authors, or charismatic speakers either)

The point in my posted musing is how my own efforts are no “ends”, just pursuits of arts I love and strive to excel in. Whether are or these arts lead me to be existentially wealthy or poor, dignified or unappreciated, extravagant, or common, dynamic, or subtle….. If I continue to live in which each moment has meaning, I will have fulfilled my purpose.

My own council while writing this has been: “Just because I have seen and conversed with powerful beings of the celestial host, had profound and intensely exhilarating magical experiences, many will not….. yet these people may still arrive at the same enlightenment that I seek.”

Goetia thought for the day

The Hexagram of Solomon or
Solomons hexagonal ffigure

Part of my interest and practice has been in the creation of grimoric equipment. I strive to emulate each item to the dictates of the text as close as I am able.

It has been my experience that the ‘Hexagram of Solomon’ or holy seal has mostly been created on pieces of hide or leather. (Weather calf’s hide from the Goetia or kid’s skin from the Heptameron) Most magicians I’ve talked to or read about, have created their seal on these types of material. I did it this way myself at first. However, this is not the type of material the medieval grimories are actually describing.

From the Key of Solomon we have some mention on proper ‘parchment’ used for various magical equipment, and the process of making it. These types of seals are often used for in evocation of spirits to protect the magician and as a badge of authority (to compel the spirits into cooperation and to assume pleasant visible
form).
There are detailed instructions for the creation of this parchment in the KoS as well as a few other select grimoires. Mg. Aaron Leitch goes into plentiful explanation and notation concerning these sections in his ‘Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires’ as I recall. As very few of us have direct experience and opportunity (not to mention a taste) for skinning animals, etc. parchment of this sort can be impractical to create. None the less, virgin parchment of THIS caliber is possible to obtain for a reasonable fee.

First, let’s take a look at the description given in the Lemegeton’s Goetia (as given on Joseph Peterson’s Esoteric Archives):
“This figure is to be made on parchment made of a calfes Skin and worne at the Skirtt of ye white vestment, and covered wth a lennen [linen] cloath to ye which is to be shewed to the spirits when they are appeared that they may be compelled to be obedient and take a humane shape &c.”

Wikipedia says this about Calfskin parchment:
“Calfskin is a leather or membrane produced from the hide of a calf. Calfskin is particularly valuable because of its softness, and non fine grain. It is commonly used for high-quality shoes, wallets and similar products, as well as traditional leather bookbindings. Fine calfskin is one of the skins used for vellum and parchment manuscripts.”

You may recall that VELLUM is the parchment required for the book of Spirits as describe in the Trithemius operation of ‘Drawing Spirits into Crystals’ in The MAGUS. I found a great website which seems to create high quality calfskin parchment. If you are interested in creating a seal using this traditional material, you can find them at: http://www.pergamena.net/products/parchment/. On their website they describe calfskin parchment as thus:
“Calfskins are thin but tough and flexible, hence they are the traditional choice for binding and manuscripts. Calfskins sometimes exhibit surface veining and often lack a discernable grain. This latter quality, along with a dense skin fiber weave, is ideal for text or calligraphy, as there is less visual competition from the parchment surface.”

About.com says:

“Parchment is a paper-like material made from sheep or goat skin. Very fine parchment is called Vellum and is made from calf skin. Parchment is not paper, as technically, paper is made from cellulose pulp.
The reverse side of parchment paper has a pitted texture from the hair follicles in the skin, but the drawing surface, on the carefully prepared underside of the skin, is extremely smooth. The flawless surface of parchment allows a very fine line, making it ideal for drawing and calligraphy.”

When studying the process of how parchment is made, even without the added complexities as the Key of Solomon describes, you can see an undergoing alchemical transformation. Although this type of parchment was more common during the times the versions of the grimories were recorded, the value placed on ‘virgin parchment’ is obviously apparent. From the young virgin animal, the skin becomes parchment only after a process of intense treatment and refinement. We can see shedding of the unneeded and “base” material in favor of the purified core or essence. We need not look much deeper to recognize the components of the Salt, Sulfur and Mercury.