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.

Advertisements

The “Wizards” hat

“And now we come to treat of the Consecrations which, men ought to make upon all instruments and things necessary to be used in this Art: and the virtue of this Consecration most chiefly consists in two things; to wit, in the power of the person consecrating, and by the virtue of the prayer by which the Consecration is made. For in the person consecrating, there is required holiness of Life, and power of sanctifying: both which are acquired by Dignification and Initiation. And that the person himself should with a firm and undoubted faith believe the virtue, power, and efficacie hereof. And then in the Prayer itself by which this Consecration is made, there is required the like holiness; which either solely consisteth in the prayer itself, as, if it be by divine inspiration ordained to this purpose, such as we have in many places of the holy Bible; or that it be hereunto instituted through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the ordination of the Church. Otherwise there is in the Prayer a Sanctimony, which is not only by itself, but by the commemoration of holy things; as, the commemoration of holy Scriptures, Histories, Works, Miracles, Effects, Graces, Promises, Sacraments and Sacramental things, and the like. Which things, by a certain similitude, do seem properly or improperly to appertain to the thing consecrated.” -Agrippa’s Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy

The master of the art should have a crown made of virgin paper… -The Key of Solomon

The other materials are a scepter or sword; a miter or cap, a long white robe of linen, with shoes and other clothes for this purpose. – The Lemgeton (Goetia)

The “WIZARD’S” HAT

I decided to add another section for magical tool/vestment creation. Due in part to a continued observance to Solomonic ritual magick and those who are interested in pursuing it in a more traditional way, and also as an enjoy jib toward a newly acquired magical acquaintance who just LOVES “overdressed over ego’ed wannabe powerful magicians!!” 😉

 

 

 
HISTORY:

“The mitre (/ˈmaɪtər/; Greek: μίτρα, “headband” or “turban”), also spelled miter, is a type of headgear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Orthodox churches, Eastern Catholic Churches and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church also wears a mitre during important ceremonies such as the Episcopal Consecration.”
“The word μίτρα, mítra, (or, in its Ionic form, μίτρη, mítrē) first appears in Greek and signifies either of several garments: a kind of waist girdle worn under a cuirass, as mentioned in Homer’s Iliad; a headband used by women for their hair; a sort of formal Babylonian head dress, as mentioned by Herodotus (Histories 1.195 and 7.90). The former two meanings have been etymologically connected with the word μίτος, mítos, “thread”, but the connection is tenuous at best; the latter word is probably a loan from Old Persian.
The priestly mitre or turban (Hebrew mitznefet מִצְנֶפֶת) was the head covering worn by the Jewish High Priest when he served in the Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem.
The Hebrew word mitznefet (מִצְנֶפֶת) has been translated as “mitre” (KJV) or “headdress”. It was most likely a “turban”, as the word comes from the root “to wrap”.
The turban worn by the High Priest was much larger than the head coverings of the priests and wound so that it formed a broad, flat-topped turban, resembling the blossom of a flower. The head covering of the priests was different, being wound so that it formed a cone-shaped turban, and called a migbahat.
The priestly crown (Hebrew tzitz צִיץ “blossom” “flower”) was attached to the turban by means of two sets of blue cords: one going over the top of the head and the other around the sides of the head at the level of the ears (Exodus 39:31).
The camelaucum (Greek: καμιλαύκιον, kamilaukion), the headdress both the mitre and the Papal tiara stem from, was originally a cap used by officials of the Imperial Byzantine court. “The tiara [from which the mitre originates] probably developed from the Phrygian cap, or frigium, a conical cap worn in the Graeco-Roman world. In the 10th century the tiara was pictured on papal coins.”
Worn by a bishop, the mitre is depicted for the first time in two miniatures of the beginning of the eleventh century. The first written mention of it is found in a Bull of Pope Leo IX in the year 1049. By 1150 the use had spread to bishops throughout the West; by the 14th century the tiara was decorated with three crowns.
In its modern form in Western Christianity, the mitre is a tall folding cap, consisting of two similar parts (the front and back) rising to a peak and sewn together at the sides. Two short lappets always hang down from the back.

In the Catholic Church, the right to wear the mitre is confined by Canon law to bishops and to abbots, as it appears in the ceremony of consecration of a bishop and blessing of an abbot. Cardinals are now normally supposed to be bishops (since the time of Pope John XXIII), but even cardinals who are not bishops and who have been given special permission by the pope to decline consecration as bishops may wear the mitre. Other prelates have been granted the use of the mitre by special privilege, but this is no longer done, except in the case of an Ordinary of a Personal Ordinariate (even if he is a priest only). Former distinctions between “mitred abbots” and “non-mitred abbots” have been abolished.
The most typical mitre in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches is based on the closed Imperial crown of the late Byzantine Empire. Therefore, it too is ultimately based on the older καμιλαύκιον although it diverged from the secular headdress at a much later date, after it had already undergone further development. The crown form was not used by bishops until after the fall of Constantinople (1453).

The Eastern mitre is made in the shape of a bulbous crown, completely enclosed, and the material is of brocade, damask or cloth of gold. It may also be embroidered, and is often richly decorated with jewels. There are normally four icons attached to the mitre (often of Christ, the Theotokos, John the Baptist and the Cross), which the bishop may kiss before he puts it on. Eastern mitres are usually gold, but other liturgical colours may be used.
The mitre is topped by a cross, either made out of metal and standing upright, or embroidered in cloth and lying flat on the top. In Greek practice, the mitres of all bishops are topped with a standing cross. The same is true in the Russian tradition. Mitres awarded to priests will have the cross lying flat. Sometimes, instead of the flat cross, the mitre may have an icon on the top.
Elaborately embroidered Eastern Orthodox mitre, 1715.

As an item of Imperial regalia, along with other such items as the sakkos (Imperial dalmatic) and epigonation, the mitre came to signify the temporal authority of bishops (especially that of the Patriarch of Constantinople) within the administration of the Rum millet (i.e., the Christian community) of the Ottoman Empire. The mitre is removed at certain solemn moments during the Divine Liturgy and other services, usually being removed and replaced by the protodeacon.
The use of the mitre is a prerogative of bishops, but it may be awarded to archpriests, protopresbyters and archimandrites. The priestly mitre is not surmounted by a cross, and is awarded at the discretion of a synod of bishops.”

The Solomonic Magus cap, mitre or crown.
The KoS and Lemegeton calls for a head piece to be worn during magical evocation. Such ritual attire is noted elsewhere but you get your most detailed instructions in the KoS:

Besides this, the master of the art should have a crown made of virgin paper, upon the which should be written these four names:&mdash JEHOVA, in front; ADONAI behind; EL on the right; and GIBOR on the left. These names should be written with the ink and pen of the art, whereof we shall speak in the proper chapter. The disciples should also each have a crown of virgin paper whereon these divine symbols should be marked in scarlet.

Note: “Aub24 and K288. EL GIBOR is Hebrew for “mighty God”. For some reason Mathers silently departs from the manuscripts, reading: “YOD, HE, VAU, HE, in front; ADONAI behind; EL on the right; and ELOHIM on the left.” Ad. 10862 reads, “inscribe these four names: Adonaÿ, Jeova, Il, Gabor.” Ad. 36674: “…AGAA; AGAY; AGALTHA* [In Marg: *Aglatha]; AGLAOTH.” –JHP

The Goetia just mentions a cap or miter which can be your standard linen Catholic Miter (mitra simplex), Jewish turban miter, or probably any significant clerical headdress of the western granted that it’s white and should be of a similar material composition as the robe.
A great way to utilize the holy names from the KoS and personal headdress style is to choose a portion of white linen or silk material (possibly the same that was used to make your robe) and attach (sew) the parchment crown to the base of the material.

So to create this magical headpiece vestment you would want to first select a piece of parchment and consecrate it towards its use. Measure the circumference of your head and allow a small bit of extra space and get an idea of where you would like the crown/miter to sit on your head. You can experiment a bit with this by using regular paper cut into strips to get it right before cutting the parchment. Once you have the length, space out the holy names to your liking so they evenly reflect the front, back, and two sides of your head. I use the red cinnabar ink that is useed for magick sigils and holy names for my BOS separated by black crosses with the black ink. This forms a nice little “magic circle” directly around your most centered and important magical tool. You’ll obviously want a bit of extra material so you can attach (sew) the parchment together making small holes and perhaps using a bit of white or red silk thread. However…if your adding the silk or linen headdress piece, don’t sew it together quite yet.

The next part will be to decide what sort of magician or wizard hat you want to have. The classical cone shape is easiest and can be seen with good examples of the “conjures” found in Esoteric Archives and included in the front of Peterson’s Lemegeton book. It’s your classical wizard’s hat with the conical shape and buffer brim near the forehead. There are two basic ways to make this one: 1. Simply cut out a triangle with the base measuring just past (enough to sew) the measurement of the length of your crown parchment. The length can be about any you desire, although I think it looks silly if it is too tall. About 5 to 7 inches is plenty and will give it more height than you can initially tell. Once you have this, simply fold the fabric in two and stitch up one side of the length. 2. Cut two pieces of fabric the base of which measures half the length of your original parchment and sew up the two sides of the length.
Another version you can use is almost like the chef’s hat or turban where it puffs out on the sides. This one can be a bit more complicated to sew in order for it to look nice, but the best way I’ve found is to cut several small triangles together so that they form a natural dome around the top and once that is done, sew the top together. Don’t forget to turn the fabric “inside out” so that the proper shape can be seen with the rough sewn edges hidden in the inside of the hat.
Once the basic pattern for the linen or silk is sewn, you’ll want to attach it to the parchment crown in two ways. First, you’ll want to sew or otherwise attach the crown with a small part of the fabric of the hat showing at the bottom. Next, you’ll want to sew the top fabric part together, do one more check on how it will fit on your head, mark it and then sew the fabric and crown “ring” together. The last part will be to sew or attach the small piece of fabric around at the very bottom part of the sharp parchment crown to create a soft buffer.


There! Your basic Solomonic magical hat is complete! If you so desire, you can also attach lappets or strips of material 2-3 inches wide and roughly a foot long on the back. To do this you would want to sew them directly to the parchment and material if possible. Tassels can be added on the end for the complete fancy show. As most of you have seen, I added the All Seeing Eye to my first miter and also the planetary and astrological sign symbols to my lappets on the underside, and additional Hexagrams of Solomon to the backs. All personal touches and not needed. I advise consecrating the magical hat when it’s completed in addition to anointing the forehead before serious magical operations as these further sacraments will only further the “fire in the head” that is generated by the ceremonial magician.

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.

Hand-bound edition!

Nephilim Press has released the fine, vellum bound edition of
Gateways Through Stone and Circle.

This hand bound, fine edition book is bound in full Imperial Vellum by master bookbinder Joel Radcliff at Ars Obscura Bookbinding in Seattle Washington. This edition is limited to only 20 hand numbered copies at a price of $350 per copy. To purchase your copy please send an email to frank@nephilimpress.com and we will confirm availability and send you an invoice.
Vellum is parchment made from calf skin, as opposed to that from other animals. The term is sometimes used with a more general meaning referring to finer-quality parchments made from a variety of animal skins. It is generally smooth and durable, although there are great variations depending on preparation and the quality of the skin (there will be slight imperfections in the skin left over from the scraping of the hide, this is normal). The manufacture involves the cleaning, bleaching, stretching on a frame, and scraping of the skin with a crescent shaped knife. To create tension, scraping is alternated with wetting and drying.

Place Marker Ribbon

There is also a maroon place marker ribbon inserted in the book. Hand Marbled Endpapers

This edition also has hand marbled maroon and gold end papers with gold flake particles that sparkle brilliantly in the light.

Leather Skiver
A blood red leather skiver is affixed to the spine and stamped with gold foil. The spine itself has raised bands with gold foil outlines.

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.

Tune in this Thursday evening!

This Thursday I will be on the air with Fra. Thabion Carroll “Poke” Runyon of the OTA during the “Hermetic Hour, 9:00 PM Pacific time.
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/the-hermetic-hour/2013/07/12/gateways-through-stone-and-circle-by-fra-ashen-chassan
I had the pleasure of speaking with Frater Thabion earlier last week and enjoyed our conversation. It was interesting speaking with someone I’ve known about for years but never talked to previously.

-Also, If anyone was interested I had an enjoyable interview previously which I failed to post on. It was the first interview I did after the release of my book on Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole” with Andrieh Vitimus and Jason M. Colwell : http://deeper-down-the-rabbit-hole.com/ episode 102. It was fun getting to talk freely and answer questions about my practices and the book.-

Poke Runyon was one of my first exposures to the Goetia and one of the first e visuals of ceremonial magic in action. I credit some of his methods for initiating some of my early scrying experiments and continued interest to experiment with the Goetia myself. In some ways he was an early mentor and figure of respect I looked up to since no one else had stepped up to the plate at that time. Currently, our methods, philosophies, and ideas about ceremonial magic and specifically the Goetia, differ widely but I’ve respect his achievements in the magical community over so many years and also being a pioneer of the occult in many avenues. I hadn’t expected him to read my book and was surprised when he contacted me to tell me he enjoyed it. The very fact that he continues to read and explore the experiences of other magicians that have less than half his years in experience is to me commended.

After our discussion I reflected on how much I enjoyed discussing differences and similarities between us and how I am also continually learning from those who have their own take on magical experiences.

He writes on “Gateways Through Stone and Circle”:

On Thursday July 11th the Hermetic Hour with host Poke Runyon will review the new book “Gateways Through Stone and Circle” by Frater Ashen Chassan. We will have the author as a featured call-in guest. This book is, in our opinion, the best practical “how to do it” book on traditional Western ceremonial magick in the past 16 years. It is also one of the best “why to do it” books also. This is a magical book by a real magician who has studied, lived and mastered the Art. After working his way through the Lemegeton’s Goetia and Almadel, he decided to concentrate on Trithemius’ “Book of Secret Things” or “The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals” from Barrett’s “Magus” and make this system of Angelic crystal conjuration his special forte. He built his own equipment — graphically detailed in the book — and described all the technical details, rituals and techniques necessary to replicate his experiments. The text is beautifully written in a mature, sophisticated and very readable style. So, tune in Thursday and visit with the Magus from “The Magus.”

His praise for my very first publication was beyond what I feel is deserved but I was very flattered. Hopefully the interview will be stimulating and enjoyable for all! So tune in to the Hermetic Hour.

A mage’s musings


A quick skim through Youtube reminds me that video recording a sincere magical ritual and posting it online is a very bad idea. Not so much for fear of encouraging countless idiotic comments and arguments from the people who have nothing better to do but argue online, or having a foolish person attempt a sincerely dangerous ritual, it’s definitely not for worry of appearing foolish to a wide public audience …but more so for the poor judgment it would be to post anything worth of value or sacredness for public amusement. The very thought of events that would befall such an action made me sick to my stomach when I simply entertained the idea. Although arcane knowledge can be apprehended when it is sought with a disciplined and mature mind, the whole of occult working should be strictly kept concealed from public view (Thus keeping it occult).

People want to be entertained and empowered by promising effects without doing any of the work (a Paramount disposition in the West). All wish to be convinced to try something or believe in something which they have no comprehension of. It’s a good thing the vast majority of attempted conjurations fail since we would have a lot more broken minds as a result.

I usually cannot make it through an entire viewing of one of the countless teenage presentations of ill-informed summoning attempts. Ninety percent are made by fools feigning to be authentic or even knowledgeable about what they are attempting. Everything from the classic Goetia spirits, Satan himself, or beings fashioned from urban legend and fantasy are attempted to be manifested by every sort of dabbler out there. My only pleasure in viewing these complete wastes of time is hearing their disappointment and frustration when the area remains just as still and calm as when they began their “magical-documentary”. Worst are the ones using TV “ghost hunting” tactics and equipment that try to make something from an obvious nothing.

Fortunately, those who have no aptitude for perceiving spiritual phenomena in the first place and no developed framework/blue print to draw from will undoubtedly fail in their attempts to interact with such forces.
(No, reading a ritual from a book a few times and trying out what it says is not what I’m referring to)
Further attempts to contact the spiritual realm will most likely prevent them from encountering anything in the future due to frustration, enforced lack of belief, and an increasing lack of conviction. These people are not magicians.

The curious side of me at one time wondered what apparitions, events, or noises would be captured if I ever video record the entirety of some of my summoning rituals. It would be interesting to be able to see myself at work from an outside perspective, and see if the events captured by camera were the same ones I witnessed with my own senses. However, I loathe the idea of those mentioned above witnessing what I consider some of the most intensely personal and powerful events in my life experience (whether spectacular phenomena was captured or not). The sincere part of me is sickened by the very thought of profane, vulgar, and ultimately idiotic naysayers being audience to one of the rarest and most sacred experiences known to humanity. Personally sacred to me as well, which in all honestly holds more weight. Important points for being highly selective of those you allow to share in magical operations.

There is something ridiculous about the notion of filming a spiritual event/experience no matter how much the entertainment, proof, or fame appeal is. There are many of us, myself included, who enjoy the thrill of possibly seeing a paranormal or spiritual event captured on film. It’s enticing to be able to “share” in extraordinary events from an objective standpoint. Upon further contemplation, I wondered what would appear on camera if someone going through true enlightenment were filmed. Would there be any sights, sounds, or feelings that an onlooker could perceive who had no reference for the experience? Would it even matter if there were? What would be the motivation for trying to convince people who did not believe or had no prior experience with such matters?

I entertained such questions as the above during the earlier times in my magical experiences. I was isolated by the events I had witnessed and greatly wanted others to share in what I was going through. My teenage years brought about many lessons where I attempted to introduce others to the world of magical reality…
Some succeeded where others failed.

I am not sure if others have had similar experiences but I introduced the magical and spiritual world to a few who were obviously not ready for such events in their lives. If someone’s paradigm is not suited to existence of a spiritual world which is dissimilar to the physically tangible and controlled world they are used to, they may have difficulty accepting any manifestations which appear before their eyes.
If some of you are looking for veritable “solid” auditory and visual proof that such and such exists and can be witnessed and recorded in indisputable ways, I am sorry to state that you are not only thinking wishfully, but impractically as well. You’re trying to cram one world (or concept of the “world”) into another world, which was designed specifically different from one another.

Let’s consider a few other points: Human beings as a statistical fact, are very poor observers and worse at recalling events exactly as they happened. One of the main reasons Hypnosis regression recall is seldom used in courts is because it is not an objective account of what transpired but a limited perception that is cataloged within the workings of a human brain. Our brains absorb information through a multitude of different filters which places a heavy slant on holistic comprehension. This fact multiplies many fold when nonphysical elements are included.

Even with various instruments, video, and audio recording, the human brain is still the final perceive and interpreter of the data. Certain spiritual elements might even be captured on video tape, but unless the one watching it has the ability to perceive and comprehend what they are looking at, the occurrences may still go unnoticed.

As I’ve previously written about, in order to behold certain occurrences, there has to be a suitable unconscious frame work or blueprint in which to perceive it with any amount of comprehension. If none exists, then the occurrence will go by unnoticed (invisible/unperceived) or else just case a slight disturbance which will be brushed aside by the conscious mind as unremarkable. Other times, these same people are shocked by occurrences that frighten and confuse them but give no other framework for understanding.
It’s really not a difficult a concept. Through simple hypnotic suggestion, I can make myself seem invisible to the subject, where they simply cannot focus or perceive I am there because their mind tells them not too. If there is a deeply ingrained structure or “suggestion” that states certain beings do not and cannot exist, its going to be very difficult for the conscious mind to be able to see “that which does not exist”. Introducing the presence of spirits or nonphysical beings to an adult (early teenage and older) mind, that had no previous framework or reference for is practically useless and sometimes harmful. By that time the mind has already constructed a fairly substantial grid of what occurrences are acceptable and included and which are not.

In normal circumstances, perceptions of reality are a sounding board against fellow observers (other human beings within the same social structure) who share at least similar concepts of acceptable reality. Anything outside this spectrum is either discarded by the rational mind or causes a disturbance in which “fear” is typically the reaction, as the mind searches for ways to interpret the foreign information/stimuli and fit it into a known frame of reference from which to attempt understanding.

(Also, research the hypothesis of the “quantum field” when dealing with human conceivability.)

Interesting side effects can occur when people undergo something their minds are not ready for. The results may actually have more to do with the witness’ psychology than anything external. When people are not able to accept or process the information they are witnessing a few amusing (and at other times disturbing) reactions can occur.

Some instantly divert their attention and eyes away from whatever it was I was trying to have them see, becoming nervous and seriously uncomfortable. The body makes odd sorts of shivers, and nerves twitching motions as if attempting to divert all sensory perceptions toward something physical and familiar. Even people who seem to be quite lucid and aware of being in the midst of something extraordinary may later seem to forget or totally dismiss what they experienced since the mind has no place to put the information in a rational, systematic place of familiarity.
Occult power and knowledge is occult {hidden} for a reason, and not due to the powerful and gifted magicians wishing to keep it that way. Many people are not meant to explore the realms of the unknown for a variety of reasons. Exposure to such events or entities, even accidentally can cause mental and emotional disturbance in ways not immediately apparent.
True Magic gives “power to the participant” were new constructs, concepts, worlds, and beings become perceivable and even acceptable over time. Magical ritual creates a systematic blueprint and/or foundation upon which we can build a framework for encountering and experiencing all sorts of spiritual phenomena. Psychedelic drugs or chemicals can bypass the conscious mind’s insistent control over permissible perceptions of reality but will typically not allow useful information and experience to be comprehended once returning to familiar states of consciousness. This is not Magic.
Magic requires the successful mediation between the seen and unseen worlds to whatever capacity the magician is able to fathom. Ritual and disciplined preparation create a road map for which the adventuring mind can observe foreign archetypes and circumstance without completely losing the construct of acceptable reality. Ritual creates a separate space, if you will, for the seemingly “impossible” to occur. Ceremonial alteration in mind and atmosphere allow the learning of new ideas and concepts to be assimilated without a paradoxical conflict of differing realities. In lingering between the worlds, the mind will either shut out what I cannot process or become dangerously unbalanced resulting in skewed mental/emotional functioning and perceptions of reality not acceptable to their fellow sounding boards.

I’m convinced that this process cannot be forced artificially, even with discipline. It also cannot be attempted just by “reasoning it out” even by the most gifted of minds. The parts of the brain which control the perceptions and interactions with the ‘unseen’ worlds are not the rational consciousness. Likewise, there is definitely an ‘exterior moderator’ which seems to allow certain individuals to experience these events and others not to. I still do not understand exactly what factors decide what allows a person to experience the dynamic magical, and what completely conceals it from another. It seems to ring true however, that “A magician is brought forth from his mother’s womb…. all others who assume the function are unhappy.”
The argument for particular magical experiences being “in the mind” therefor is a misconception. The mind is the medium the magician explores the magical world through his or her frame of reference. The Spirits, ghosts, demons, Fae, and angels are there regardless, but extend past what the imagination can hope to capture them in.