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Everything You Wanted to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid to Ask)

What is real magick?   Is it safe?  What is black magick?   What are demons?  What are the limits of magick?   What is the difference between magic spells and magick rituals?   Can I  learn to perform magick myself?

            Everything You Want to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid to Ask), answers all these questions and every other question you may have about how to perform your very own magick.  Look for my magick book at your favorite retailer!

I have been practicing and teaching magick for over twenty years.  In that time, I’ve learned what works and what is complete bullshit in the world of magick (the latter accounts for far more than the former!) This book is for anyone who wants to learn about REAL magick, and wants to make REAL changes in their life.  This book will teach you step-by-step to unleash the full power of the human psyche.  It will empower your mind, your body, and spirit.  It will turn you into a force to reckoned with:  A free-thinking, free-living human being, fully empowered to get everything, and I mean everything, you want out of life.  Whether you want to use elemental energies, demons, or angels to get your heart’s desires; it’s all here.

This blog covers a few of the topics in the book though in not as great detail.  So if you have further questions about magick spells and black magick, or  any other subject or blog post, then feel free to post a comment or browse a partial copy of the magick book at Amazon or your local bookstore.

What is magick?

What is Magick?

Magick is the science and art of using the subconscious mind to make powerful changes in the material world.   In more specific terms, magick is using conscious stimulation (i.e. rituals, symbols, gestures, chanting, lighting, incense, orgasms, etc.) to harness latent powers within the subconscious mind (i.e. gods, genii, intelligences, angels, daemons, etc.) to make changes in our bodies, our minds, and the world around us.

 Magick is the science and art of transforming one energy into another in a way that increases the quality and enjoyment of our lives.

In addition to teaching us how to get what we want, magick also teaches us to understand what it is we want.

In magick there are four traditional elements.  Fire, Water, and Air, and Earth. The wand symbolizes fire.  It is our desire, our Will, our energy.  The wand allows us to get what we want, while the Cup allows us to understand what we want.  The other elements, Air and Earth, are their children.  Air, represented by a sword, symbolizes our mind and intellect, and Earth is where all our dreams are manifested.  Magick spells, magick rituals, black magick?  It’s all here.

Finished painting my B.O.T.A. Tarot Major Arcana

I recently finished painting the 22 Major Arcana of the The Builders of the  Adytum Tarot Deck by Paul Foster Case, founder of B.O.T.A., and the artist Jessie Burns Parke.

Not only was it elucidating, it was for me almost a full pathworking through all 22 cards.  I tended to paint one a day, and the energies stirred up while painting each card was distinct and uncanny. I learned as much about the tarot in the last month by painting them as I have in many years of simple study. I can’t recommend painting your own deck enough. Some day I hope to design my own, but in the meantime this was extremely satisfying.

I feel the design of the deck this deck is quite accurate and usable. My only problem with the BOTA tarot decks (which all come in black and white and unpainted), is that they only have the Major Arcana in the large size (4″ x 7″). The full deck comes only in a small size which is difficult to paint (especially the details.)  This wasn’t too big of an issue for me though because as I’ve gotten older I find I’m more fascinated with the Major Aracana alone for both meditation and divination, and that I hardly need to bother with the 56 cards of the Minor Arcana at all.   I hope one day they make the full deck in the large size though (kind of doubt it, but who knows : -)

 

0 The Fool 1 The Magician 2 The High Priestess 3 The Empress 4 The Emperor 5 The Hierophant 6 The Lovers 7 The Chariot 8 Justice 9 The Hermit 10 Wheel of Fortune 11 Strength 12 The Hanged Man 13 Death 14 Temperance 15 The Devil 16 The Tower 17 The Star 18 The Moon 19 The Sun 20 Judgement 21 The World

0 The Fool
1 The Magician
2 The High Priestess
3 The Empress
4 The Emperor
5 The Hierophant
6 The Lovers
7 The Chariot
8 Justice
9 The Hermit
10 Wheel of Fortune
11 Strength
12 The Hanged Man
13 Death
14 Temperance
15 The Devil
16 The Tower
17 The Star
18 The Moon
19 The Sun
20 Judgement
21 The World

 

I’m also a fairly big fan of Crowley’s Thoth deck overall, though as the years have progressed I don’t love all of Crowley’s reworkings (I don’t love the Aeon card, for example.)  I do agree with Crowley’s attribution of Tzaddi to the IV. Emperor instead of the XVII. The Star card (so I made the small change on my BOTA deck); however, I do NOT agree with Crowley’s placement of these two cards.  The Emperor should still be up top the Tree of Life connecting Chokmah to Tiphareth.  The Emperor simply feels right to bring down the Wisdom of Chokmah, but more than that, the other related Major Arcana “Court” cards like The Hierophant,  The High Priestess, and The Empress, are also at the top of the Tree of Life. Whereas The Moon, The Sun, and hence The Star as well, belong lower, down near Yesod.

I also decided to leave Justice as 11 and Strength as 8. The design of these cards works better that way. The Crowley deck is a little different with its Thelemic influence so 11 as “Lust” does make sense there, but I feel Justice as 11, with 11 as the balanced center of the 22 Major Arcana, is more fitting here.  (Also for me, the Justice card is like a balanced equation, i.e. 1=1.  Also I don’t think it’s a shallow coincidence that the Strength card has the “lazy eight” of infinity over the woman’s head. )

In the end I find the tarot more useful for meditation (and creating magick spells from) than I do for divination, which is abused heavily in the occult world.  Divination should only be used for the most serious of questions, and not brought out for petty day-to-day concerns.  Also one should always learn to trust their first layout on any specific topic (whether it seems like a good reading or not). I’ve seen too many people, especially who do readings for themselves, simply leading themselves into a pit of self-delusion, by forcing the cards (often subconsciously) into what they fear or hope for most, instead of a balanced and accurate result.  At least by trusting one’s first intuition and not contorting it, one will learn to become a better diviner. Also it’s much easier to be unbiased when doing readings for others so if one must practice divination with Tarot, that is the way to do it.

To conclude, I’ll leave you quote from Paul Foster Case himself, which I wholeheartedly concur:

“Finally, let me reiterate the thought that this is not to be used for vulgar fortune telling, or to amuse a party of friends. If you yield to the temptation so to abuse this information, you will pay for it in the loss of all power of true divination, and probably in the loss of ability to control the higher rates of psychic vibration.”

Aleister Crowley's Magick Books

Crowley  is the lynch-pin of modern of occultism and his books are lucid and well-written as  whole, but for a new student Crowley can be daunting to say the least.  Where does one even start?  His classic of modern occultism, Magick Book 4, is not for the squeamish. It’s detailed, symbolic, and if you were actually trying to practice rituals out of it for the first time, extremely overwhelming.  Some of his other writing is even more obtuse, and difficult.  Much of his writing is symbolic and highly entrenched in Qabalistic symbolism, such as the Book of Lies.  Liber 418: The Vision and the Voice, is about his fantastic visions experienced while astral traveling the Enochian Aethyrs.  These are all fascinating reading, but do little to help a new student who simply wants to start learning some practical magick!

Magick Without Tears is Crowley’s most accessible book from a practical standpoint, and it’s a much needed remedy to the rigorous and highly symbolic requirements of Magick Book 4.  Indeed, compare his descriptions of how to make magickal tools.  In Magick Without Tears, Crowley discusses in practical easy-to-understand terms how to make one’s magickal weapons, while Magick Book 4 discusses magickal weapons from such a symbolic and metaphorical point of view that the examples sound like descriptions from a fantasy book (i.e. the Lamp that burns without fuel.)  Unfortunately,  Magick Without Tears is a collection of letters Crowley wrote with one of his students, so while packed with useful information, it’s not particularly well organized!

Admittedly one of the goals of my writing Everything You Want To Know About Magick was to create an entryway for students into the infinite highways and byways of Aleister Crowley’s voluminous works. I do firmly believe that any student who studies and reads my book, will find Crowley’s work an eye-opener instead of a psychic punch in the skull.

 

“My colour is black to the blind, but the blue & gold are seen of the seeing…”  — Aleister Crowley’s Liber AL: The Book of The  Law; Chapter I, Verse 60

Magick Book

Learn to Understand Crowley, summon spirits and djinn, create talismans, perform sex magick, and much more!

 

 

All them Witches!

In honor of Halloween, let’s answer some questions on witches : -)

 

What is a witch?

A witch is anyone who considers themselves to be one.  Most men or women who consider themselves witches worship some sort of version of the Goddess and the Horned God, perform nature rituals based on the moon and sun, and often perform personal practical magick to help friends or family (or hinder foes).

 

Do witches literally believe in multiple gods and goddesses?

Some do, and others consider the Horned God and Goddess (as well as any other divinity they find appealing) as aspects of our Universal Subconscious. This point of view doesn’t make theses gods and goddesses any less powerful to work with!

 

Can a high magician also be a witch?

I’m a high magician for the most part, but at times I do low magick rituals which have far more in common with witchcraft than high magick.

 

Is high magick for the rich and witchcraft for the poor?

There was some truth to that originally, but it doesn’t hold true today necessarily.  Traditionally, high magick required a lot of expensive items that only the wealthy could afford, while witchcraft and Paganism was very much developed out of the needs of the peasant and country folk.  Witchcraft would have generally included herb lore, which would have been considered more magick than science at the time.

 

Are all witches Wiccan?

Definitely not. You can be a witch without following Wicca, which are based on the teachings of Gerald Gardner.

 

Are all Wiccan’s witches?

All the ones I’ve met, though I’m sure someone out there says they are Wiccan and NOT a witch.

 

Are all Wiccans also pagans?

For the most part I’d say that all Wiccans are also “Pagans”, since they generally worship multiple gods and goddesses. But please understand that modern Pagans can also be monotheistic, and that there are many modern occult and religious groups that consider themselves Pagan that have nothing to do with Wicca.

 

How can a Pagan also believe in one God?

 

Because they consider the many “gods” to be aspect of one ultimate God. There doesn’t have to be a contradiction between the belief in many gods (or Saints for that matter) that are simply aspects of one ultimate divinity.

The Goddess and the Horned God, are a relatable polarity of God that we can witness here on earth. It’s a practical way to worship, and many find it more satisfying than worshipping a formless, nameless, entity that encompasses all time and space.  One’s conception of God need not be limited to just a single idea. I have many conceptions of God depending on what I’m doing, what I’m feeling, and what I’m trying to accomplish.

 

Who are the Goddess and the Horned God?

The Goddess is the ultimate female perfection, the mother Earth, and the Horned God is ultimate male energy, the libido, the wild fecundity of nature.  Later the medieval church, fearing

which witch is witch and who is who

the power of the common folk’s religion, demonized the horned God into the Devil.

 

Are all witches ugly with warts?

Nah, most of the ones I know are quite attractive, like this one on the right (she is probably NOT a Wiccan however ; -)

On Chastity & Sex Magick

Though promiscuity is certainly not frowned upon in magick, there are still valid reasons to practice chastity such as discipline and temporary denial to make the pay off even more delightful.   For sex magick a brief period of chastity is always beneficial.

It really boils down to immediate pleasure vs. the buildup of future pleasure.  To get a feel for this sensation, try sex games that include some sort of delayed gratification, from a few hours of “torment” up to weeks or months.  The more pressure that builds, the greater the climax, which is especially important in sex magick.  While there are usually diminishing returns after an extremely long  time without a climax, the general rule is that the longer one can be chaste, the more powerful the resulting orgasms.  These exceptionally powerful orgasms can be effectively channeled into your magickal goals.  Imagine how much more effective the magickal spell infused from a Lingam with a month of stored up energy as opposed to just a single day.

So while most modern magicians are the opposite of prudes, the more successful practitioners of sex magick usually include some sort of period chastity, at least before major rituals.

Abracadabra & Abrahadabra

The 5 and the 6

         The 5 pointed star (the pentagram) symbolizes man, a.k.a. the microcosm (that which is within us, in a spiritual sense).    The hexagram, the six-pointed star, symbolizes God, also known as the macrocosm (all that is without us).

This is the heart of all magick, and indeed the heart of very nearly any spirituality or religion on Earth: the union of man and God.

God, spiritual and intangible, benefits through this union by having carnal knowledge of the transitory material world.  We, as humankind, benefit from God by experiencing a taste of true eternity, which we have forgotten under the weight of the ego-mind, day-to-day pressures, and the overall drudgery of life.

There are many ways to visualize this marriage of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, including either a pentagram within a hexagram, or a hexagram within a pentagram, which symbolizes God within us.

The harmonious juncture of the Microcosm and Macrocosm is the experience of the Higher Self, or in technical verbiage, “Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.”

Crowley’s formula for representing this union of the 5 and the 6 is his eleven letter word: “ABRAHADABRA,” which contains six consonants and five vowels.  Crowleyrestored the word Abrahadabra from the more famous spelling “Abracadabra,”which was used in ancient amulets to ward off disease.

The first known mention of Abradabra was in the 2nd century AD in a poem called De Medicina Praecepta by Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman emperor Caracalla.

Who is IZABAEL?

Izabael is both a demon, and a real life gal, so sometimes there is a certain amount of confusion over the two.

Originally I discovered the demon/djinn Izabael about fifteen years ago. This spirit came to me in my magickal and psychedelic workings and made it clear she was powerful, helpful, and wanted to work with me. I also eventually found out she was related but not identical to the demon Seere.

Eventually I met a woman who would be my wife.  The spirit of Izabael loved her completely.  The girl, it turns out, loved Izabael just as much in return. They were entirely sympatico, and the real life girl Izabael permanently invoked the spirit IZABAEL into her body, tattooing her sigil on her skin, and legally taking her name. In this way, my wife become the High Priestess of the spirit IZABAEL.

So while there is overlap between the demon and the actual woman Izabael, they are also distinct. Izabael the spirit can be  used by anyone, regardless of their opinion of the  High Priestess.

Sigil of IZABAEL the djinn/demon/genie:

Izabael Genie/Demon/Djinn’s SIGIL

 

 

Izabael the High Priestess:

Izabael

The High Priestess Izabael

For more details about how I originally discovered the spirit IZABAEL, and how to personally invoke the spirit IZABAEL, please visit Chapter 8 of Everything You Want to Know About  Magick.

 

 

Path 29: Qoph (KOHF), XVIII. The Moon

The Moon appears here in her dark and mysterious aspect.  This is the type of moon under which dark sorceries, black magick, and menacing witchcraft are performed.

Nothing is what it seems.  This is the world of deceit, delusion, and madness.  Not that some might not like it here for awhile—it can be darkly seductive.  It’s the grimy underworld of sex, drugs, and excessive indulgence.  However, sooner or later, the lack of sunlight will kill any but the genuinely nocturnal.

It partakes of many of the more sinister aspects of Neztach (shallowness, superficial success, hallow fame) and brings it down to the material plane (Malkuth).   The attribution of Pisces just enhances all this, with its worst aspects becoming prominent: weak-willed, easily led astray, and secretive to the point of deception.

This path polarizes with The Sun tarot card.  This path is “darkest” part of the Moon. The Sun card however, symbolizes the simplest, and brightest parts of the Sun.  The Sun’s Hebrew letter is Resh, which means the head—the center of our sensations, where all our experiences are processed.  The Moon’s Hebrew letter is Qoph, however, which means back of the head, implying that which cannot be seen, that which is behind us, and unavailable for conscious understanding.

This path is also a connection to our animal instincts, our more primal senses, such as our sense of smell and the sense of taste.  This tarot card brings out our inner beast, connecting us to the night in a way only nocturnal animals usually can.

            Ritual and meditational use:  Black magick and works of wickedness.  When you work with the energies here, be careful your black magic doesn’t backfire.  The rituals and meditations in Everything You Want To Know About Magick make it safe to practice even black magic spells, as you will be in tune with your higher self and the inherent wisdom of the Universe.

Black or White Magick: Which is more powerful?

 

Black magick worries a lot of people so I often get asked about a certain spell or ritual:  Is this black magick or white magick? Will it backfire?  Is it more powerful than white magick?

Without getting in a long article on what black and white magick is (and how ultimately there is only “magick” in the final analysis–no black or white), let’s just say black magick tends to the strongest most invasive means necessary, often using demons or spirits, and white magick often has purer goals using angels and divine energies.  In the end…it’s often about personal choice, and one’s belief system.

I find one’s belief system can make all the difference whether a white or black magick spell works! Some people find black magick scary and want to work with white magick or angels.  They find they have good results with angels since they are naturally drawn to the idea of a higher entity helping them.  Then again, there are other people, often completely jaded with mainstream religion, who have no interest in angels, but rather find their curiosity peaked by demons, djinn or other instruments of black magick. Having found no solace in mainstream religion, they look for answers in the darker arts.  Both these attitudes makes sense to me, and BOTH types of spells can have good results.

The key with magick, or indeed anything in life, is that you feel comfortable and excited about what you are doing and the energies and spirits you are working with. If you are scared, or anxious, then it might be a good idea to work with a different type of magick, or take a break from magick all together.

In the end, I don’t think the dangers of black magick are particularly greater than white magick.  The intent behind the spell is usually more important than the style of magick used. Are your goals empowering for you and those around you? Or are your goals selfish and needy?  If one goes to angels with selfish and greedy goals, one might have actually worse results than going to a demon with the same goal! One can make mistakes with angels, and one can learn major life lessons from demons!  A good magician has no problems learning from both. A good magician is above and beyond both white and black magick.  A good magician will learn from all his spells, both those beneficial for everyone and even the greedy selfish spells as well.  In the end, being a magician is about finding one’s proper place in the universe, and finding one’s joy in taking pleasure daily in life’s sensual joys, as well as being a light and a beacon for those around you in the darkness.  Practice all your magick with passion and gusto, and the results are glorious.

What is the ultimate goal of magick?

“What is the ultimate goal of magick?”

Every magician will have to formulate the answer to that for themselves.

For me, the goal of magick is to increase the joy and pleasure of my life, while helping the world and those around me as much as possible.

Magick, whether white magick or black magick,  is about getting what you want, which includes not just acquiring the ability to attract the things you desire, but actually knowing what it is you want and understanding your relationship to the rest of the universe.

Wealth, love, joy and self-esteem are by-products of a healthy magician doing his or her True Will—and selfishly loving every minute of it.  A magician finds perhaps even more joy in the act performing a beautiful ritual, rather than the results of the magic spell itself.  The joy of life is in the process, but it takes an adept of high order to really submit to that level of constant joy, focused on each moment, without “lust for results.”

One goal of magick I don’t think is healthy is immortality.  The lust for immortality is an ego-based desire.  The True Will understands life and death as twin performers in the dance of life.  Without one the other has no meaning.  As one evolves as a magician, one becomes comfortable with death, change, and transformation, and therefore would have no need to cling to a desperate idea such as immortality.  A real magician “dies daily” and is reborn daily as well.  More on the magick of “death” later…

 

What’s the difference between a magick ritual and magick spell?

A spell is a set of specifically chosen actions (movements, gestures) , words ( chants, invocations, prayers, etc), and other sensual stimuli (incense, lighting, circles, pentagrams, etc.) designed to incite a reaction in the subconscious mind to produce a desired result.   A ritual is the same thing!  So are spells and rituals identical? Not necessarily, though really it depends on what magician you are talking to.  Wiccans tend to call their workings “spells”, even though they still rituals (including banishings, chargings, etc.)  High Magicians almost always talk in terms of ceremonies or rituals, rather than “spells”.  To my mind, rituals/ceremonies sound longer and more sonorous, while spells sound like something short and sweet for a very practical goal. That’s the connotation for me at least.  You are free to call your magickal workings rituals, ceremonies, or spells as you see fit.

Mini Goetic Grimoire

Everything You Want To Know About Magick’s Mini Goetia Grimoire

 

Here are twelve of my favorite daemons from
the Goetia.
The descriptions are succinctly quoted or paraphrased.

careful_what_you_wish_for_small

Izabael[1]
can bring love.

She can make many things happen
at once.

She facilliates the use of other
Goëtic spirits so that they work harmoniously together.

 

aim

Aim

Maketh one witty.

sitri

Sitri

“He inflameth a man with a woman’s love, and also
stirreth up women to love men. He discloses the secrets of the opposite
sex, laughing at them and mocking them, to make them luxuriously naked.”

astaroth

Astaroth

Makes a person wonderful learned in the liberal sciences.

buer

Buer

Keeps you healthy.

eligos

Eligos

Gives true advice pertaining to warfare and business. Procures
the love of royalty and others of high rank.

Sigil_of_Beleth

Beleth

“This great King Beleth causeth all the love that may be,
both of men and of women.”

gusion

Gusion

He reconciles relationships and gives honor and dignity
unto any.

glasya

Glasya-Labolas

Teaches the art of clandestine operations, especially
those requiring trickery or deceit.

gremory

Gamori

Answers truly of things present, past, and to come, and
of treasures hid, and where it lieth. She also procureth the love of
women, especially of maids.

bune

Bune

“He
giveth Riches unto a Man, and maketh him Wise and Eloquent.”

sabnock

Sabnock

Traditionally for building high castles and well-manned
turrets, today he excels at manifesting large estates and protecting them.

[1] Izabael is a chaos servitor based on Seere, the 70th
daemon of the Goetia (or more accurately, she is a spontaneous
development of him). She is also a direct link to one’s higher self and can
give flashes of insight into many situations.

The Three Pillars of the Tree of Life

The Three Pillars

 

The left side of the Tree of Life (which includes Binah, Geburah, and Hod) is known as the Pillar of Severity.  This side tends towards discipline, control, and dominance.

The right side is known as the Pillar of Mercy (and contains Chokmah, Chesed, and Netzach.)  This side tends towards mercy, compassion, and “letting things be.”  The left and right pillars are also known by their Hebrew names Boaz and Jachin (both of which originally stood in King Solomon’s Temple, the first Temple in Jerusalem.)

The center pillar (which includes Kether, Tiphareth, Yesod, and Malkuth) is the “Pillar of Mildness.”  The center pillar, also known as the Pillar of Equilibrium, tends towards harmony, balance, and unity.

A popular axiom of the Golden  Dawn is “Unbalanced Mercy is weakness and the fading out of the Will.  Unbalanced Severity is cruelty and the barrenness of Mind.”

The Tree of Life is about balancing this tension of opposites.  Traditionally, the Pillar of Mercy corresponds to the left side of your body, while the Pillar of Severity corresponds to the right side of your body.  I imagine my clenched right fist as Geburah, a good symbol for the entire Pillar of Severity.  My open left hand is the mercy of Chesed.  With myself in the center, I make wise and balanced decisions.  This is the essence of practical magick.

Wealth, Money Magick, and the Abundance Mindset

Wealth (and Money) Magick & Abundance

 

Wealth and money are the second most common goal of magick. (In my personal experience LOVE is the number one goal of magick!)

The abundance mindset is the belief that there is plenty of wealth in the world to go around.  It is the opposite of the more usual “scarcity mindset” which believes that not only is there not enough wealth, but that acquiring it must be done through either Machiavellian or tedious means.  This mentality leads to depression, futility, and greed.

The abundance mindset is liberation as it frees you to focus on your passions in life and let the wealth take care of itself.

 

What if I have trouble accepting the abundance mindset?

Admittedly, it’s easier said than done to really feel it in your bones that there is more than enough wealth to go around. There is a certain amount of resistance from our mind to this idea.  Here are a few tips to open yourself up to this liberating concept:

1)     Be open to the idea of infinite abundance—at least accept that it might be true on some deeper level even if your rational mind balks at the idea.

2)     Look around and focus upon abundance, both in nature and in the financial world.  Niagara Falls, for example, can pump as much as 200,000 cubic feet of water per second, and has been around for over 10,000 years.  There are billionaires that in minutes make enough for an average family to live on comfortably for years.  There really is that much abundance in the world.

3)     There is no shortage of energy.  In modern science, we know that energy is conserved, meaning nothing is ever created or destroyed, but only changes form.  Learn to think of the abundance mindset as transforming one type of energy into another.  There is always enough of some kind of energy going around—the trick is to convert it into the type of energy you require.

4)     There is a certain amount of “surrender” when giving into the abundance mindset.  Once again, a belief in some sort of “higher power” will greatly assist you.

5)     Learn to give away what you have.  Give away your love.  Give away your creative ideas.  Give away your time.  Give away your last $10.  By giving away the very things we usually cling so tightly to we clear our life of scarcity mindset blocks, and then real wealth and abundance will flow into your life.

 

If you are still having problems, then forget about it.  The wealth magick and money spells given in my magick book will still work even if you do not accept the abundance mindset.

Is your book Thelemic?

Everything You Want To Know About Magick is not meant to be specifically Thelemic, but Thelema is non-dogmatic, meaning you can take or leave what you want from it. There is no strict formal code, other than to enjoy life the most you possibly can.

I quote from the Book of the Law, and reference Crowley in various other ways, because he not only offers concise and often poetic examples of the sometimes obtuse concepts in magick, but also because it will further introduce you to Aleister Crowley.  Whether you like him or not is of no matter;  he is such a lynchpin of modern occultism, one cannot be a serious magician and not be at least minimally acquainted with his work, which is voluminous, complex, and erudite.  I hope what you learn in this book goes a long way to understanding and using his magick if you are so inclined.

Aleister Crowley was a big proponent of doing your own thing and thinking for yourself.  So in that way, I’m entirely in agreement with him.  If you get anything out of my book, it is to be that way with your entire life.  Learn, study, and analyze information from many sources and make your own decisions regarding black magick, love, morals, and ethics, government, etc.  Make choices that enhance your life and those you love, anything else is the only “sin” you can make.

[Aliester Crowley subforum on the Fool Speaks Occult Forums]

The Inverted Pentagram

The Inverted Pentagram

 

The most notorious star in all of magick is the inverted pentagram.  Does it not mean a devil’s head?  Is it not evil?

Thanks to Eliphaz Levi,[1] it does indeed symbolize a goat’s head to many magicians, but no, it is generally not considered an evil symbol by those who use it.

Levi associated the inverted pentagram with “evil,” and yet used the goat head’s inverted-pentagram symbolism in his famous drawing of Baphomet. (The inverted pentagram is implied by the shape of the goat’s head, contrasting with the upright pentagram on his forehead).  This suggests he knew all too well the  rebellious, blindly creative, Capricorn-type energy he described would be used by other magicians “in the know.”


Not all magicians use the inverted pentagram the same way, but there is a certain rebelliousness implied in it since most pentagrams are drawn point upward. 
            Before Levi, the inverted pentagram was not considered an “evil” symbol whatsoever.  The Pythagoreans, mentioned above, used the inverted pentagram as their holy symbol. There was no concept of evil attributed to it, and it was certainly not Satanic, since “Satan” had yet to be invented.

If one does use it in the Levi/Crowley tradition, understand the goat-head symbolizes primal creative energy,  a.k.a. the libido or Kundalini.  This energy is coherently symbolized in Trump XV: The Devil.  Crowley’s card, the first version with the cohones to show this connection explicitly, shows the goat in front of a large erect penis.

Those who do not understand this psychosexual creative energy try to demonize it, while those who do, succumb to the creative bliss it bestows.  Jimi Hendrix, rock god and legend, symbolizes this energy perfectly.


[1] Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, (Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual), 1855.

The Grimoire

Grimoires

 

            In magick, a grimoire is any book that list demons, angels, or spirits and describes how to invoke them.

For example, the Goetia, by far the most popular “phonebook” of demons, is a mixed bag, containing an assortment of traditional gods from other cultures, demons, local deities, and dozens of spirits no one has any idea where they came from.

I will now introduce some of the major grimoires[1]:

 

The Goetia

 

            The Goetia[2] is part of a longer work called The Lesser Key of Solomon,[3] which is a collection of medieval grimoires attributed metaphorically to King Solomon.

The first section is the Ars Goetia.  This is the legendary Goetia, book of 72 daemons and their sigils.  A classic in every sense, it’s the standard whereby other grimoires are judged.  It was an early favorite ofCrowley’s and his version is still the most popular one to this day.

Other versions are available, including the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, originally an Appendix to Johann Weyer’s De praestigiis daemonum (1577).  This version is notable for being the earliest publication of the spirits named in the Goetia, however there are no sigils in the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum.  It is also is lacking four daemons: Vassago, Seere, Dantalion and Andromalius.  One daemon from Pseudomonarchia Daemonum is missing from the Goetia:  Pruflas.

The Mathers/Crowley version of the Goetia is subtitled “The Lesser Key of Solomon the King,” but this is erroneous as it only contains the first part of the Lesser Key of Solomon, the Goetia proper.  The actual Lesser Key of Solomon has four more parts:

            Theurgia-Goetia – This section contains conjurations for thirty-two spirits relating to the cardinal directions, some good and some evil.  Oddly enough, however, the history of this section isn’t about the occult at all.  The Theurgia-Goetia is actually based on a work by German abbot and occultist Johannes Trithemius called Steganographia.

            Steganographia[4]  is superficially about spirits and how to send messages over long distances.  In actuality, it is about how to hide messages so that no one except the intended recipient knows it’s there.  This book rightly lends its name to the entire field of steganography, but its use as a grimoire is dubious.

            Ars Paulina – A method for invoking the “Angels of the Hours of the Day and Night.”  Like Theurgia-Goetia, this is based on spirits from Steganographia.

            Ars Almadel –  Tells how to make the Almadel, which is a wax tablet with protective symbols drawn on it.  It teaches how to call upon the angels of the four “Altitudes.”

            Ars Nova – A medieval book of prayers and invocations.

There is also the Greater Key of Solomon.  While there are no spirits to invoke, there are “Holy Pentacles” for each of the seven traditional planets.  They can be useful in talismanic work, either as inspiration for your own designs or verbatim.

   

Figure 34: Mercury, Moon, and Mars talismans from the Greater Key of Solomon.

Other Grimoires

 

            Arbatel de magia veterum[1], or simply the Arbatel of Magic, is a Latin treatise on magick published in Switzerland (1575).   This book is the source for the Olympic Spirit we used in Chapter 4.

John Dee’s Enochian[2] magick is a solid system of working with angels and elemental spirits, but it has its own complex methodology and is outside the scope of this book.  A straightforward approach to Enochian is clearly outlined in the Enochian World of Aleister Crowley: Enochian Sex Magick byCrowley, Duquette, and Hyatt.  Using what’s given there, or any other good source on Enochian, will allow you to easily plug Enochian into the magickal framework you learn here.  Bits of the Enochian language are also part and parcel of many Golden Dawn and Thelemic rituals.

John Dee also has a small treatise floating around called The Little Book of Black Venus, which has a sigil for spirits that you can invoke using the methods in this book.  It seems to have been inspired by the Arbatel of Magic as the sigil designs are more than reminiscent of each other.  Another of John Dee’s grimoires, Heptarchia Mystica, was inspired by the Ars Paulina.  He may not have realized its underlying steganography at that point, however.

The Book of Abramelin[3] is one of the most famous and talked about books in magick.  It is also one of the least performed due to its long and arduous process of meeting your HGA, which is to be undertaken before any of the practical magick can be performed.[4]  This book contains dozens of magick “squares,” which purport to grant all the usual goodies of wealth, love and abundance that grimoires usually do.

Two other well known grimoires are The Black Pullet (18th century), which reads almost like a fairy tale, and Grimoirium Verum (18th century), full of generally absurd requirements and claims.  Many grimoires claim they are much older than they really are.  These two are no exception.

 

What about the Necronomicon?

While there are several versions of the Necronomicon now available, the most popular and infamous is the Necronomicon by Simon, first published in 1977.  However, the original “Necronomicon” is an invention of author H.P. Lovecraft, described in his stories as a forbidden and evil book scribed by Abdul Alhazred, also known as the “Mad Arab,” in Damascus, 730 A.D.

The Simon Necronomicon is rather notorious in the occult community.   It is clearly a hoax, but that hasn’t stopped people from using it, and claiming results.  It’s the also the book I’ve heard the most horror stories about. Most of those people were beginners plunging into their first grimoire so that might have something to do with it.  For whatever reason, this book tends to draw in newbies and then freak them out if they actually start to practice it.

Though Simon’s Necronomicon is based more on Sumerian mythology than H.P. Lovecraft, many practitioners mix it with the written works of H.P. Lovecraft.  This mishmash of ancient and sinister energies has created a psychologically resonant  system of a magick.

The main danger I see in working with this type of magick is taking on its overarching belief system, that is to say the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft.  All his stories end with madness, suicide, murder, or worse.  They are some of my favorite horror stories, but they generally aren’t the type of energy I’m looking to invoke into my life.

If you must use Necronomicon magick and are having problems “banishing” or getting back to reality, then use a powerful solar ritual (i.e. use Tiphareth or Path 30 with the Tree of Life Ritual given in Chapter 10).  However, think twice before taking on this belief system for your magick.  I don’t recommend H.P. Lovecraft-based rituals unless you are an advanced student of magick.


[1]  You can find full versions of most of these online if you simply Google their titles.

[2] Pronounced a variety of ways, none of which is particularly definitive in any authoritative sense, including go-AY-shuh, GO-eht-ee, and GO-shuh.

[3] Also called the The Lemegeton, or The Lesser Key of Solomon the King.

[4] c.1499; published Frankfurt, 1606.

 


[1] “Arbatel of the magic of the ancient.”

[2] This isn’t an actual grimoire like the others, but rather a system gleaned from the journals of John Dee and Edward Kelley.

[3] The translation by S. L. Mac Gregor Mathers is called The Book Of Sacred Magic Of Abramelin The Mage.

[4] This process is said to take a year and a half, though the popular Mather’s translation, considered less scholarly than the newer Dehn and Guth translation, says only six months.

What can I do with Sex Magick?

Sex magick is distinct from love magick. Love magick (including love spells and love potions) is usually above getting a lover, mate, or spouse.  (Everything You Want To Know About Magick covers Love Magick in Chapter 7, including how to create powerful love magick talismans.)  Sex magick, on the other hand, is utilizing sexual energy to make magickal changes in one’s life.  Sex magick is neither white nor black magic inherently and can be used for a variety of goals.

Common Goals for Sex Magick

            Sensuality, romance, and orgasmic-trance states blend perfectly into a ritual framework.  You are free to use sexuality anywhere in magick and for whatever purpose.

Here are a few powerful and specific uses for sex magick:

1.  Raise and channel sexual energy to charge a talisman or sigil.  This is similar to what you do in rituals already, except that orgasm becomes the climax of the ritual.

2.  Use the orgasm and resulting juices as a sacrament.  This naturally follows after orgasm since the only sacrament and holy oil you’ll ever need is produced by your own sex glands.  Either one or both of the partners consumes the resulting elixir, or it can be used to anoint a talisman.

3.  Invoke the divine into your partner and make love to a god or goddess.  You can invoke any god, goddess, planetary, or elemental force into your partner and make love to them.

4.  Using post-coital states as a clairvoyant trance.  After long and extended periods of sex, when one is completely worn out, there arises a passive state conducive for any sort of clairvoyant work, such as daemon invocation.

5.  Feeding a daemon or servitor.  You can make a pact with a daemon that you give it all the energy from a sex magick ritual in return for your desire.

6.  Increasing romantic and sensual pleasure.  This is a side-effect of all sex magick, but can become a primary goal if that is your desire.   Your sensitivity to the joys and harmonies of the body and its subtle energies will be increased, as well as your ability to reach deep levels of intimacy with others.

            These goals are not mutually exclusive. You can easily perform many of these actions in one ritual.

Don’t be intimidated by constructing your own sex magick rituals.  Use your imagination.  While it’s true with all types of magick, it’s even more true with sex magick:  Nothing but experimentation will teach you anything valuable.  A week in the field is worth centuries of book learning.

I’ll give a usable examples of sex magick rituals at the end of Chapter 9, but please understand those are just samples.  There is no limit to what you might come up with on your own.

The Ego-Mind

 

The ego-mind is that incessantly yappy part of our mind that always says “I,” “I,” “I,” and “me,” “me,” “me.”    Most humans are so identified with this ego-mind that they don’t realize that there is anything else.

The ego-mind could also be appropriately called the “monkey mind” as it is that incessant rattle of jabber running non-stop in our heads.

Monkey mind is originally a Buddhist term[1] meaning “unsettled, restless, capricious, inconstant, confused, indecisive, and uncontrollable.”  This sums up the ego-mind perfectly, and yet it is only too common to mistake this endless chain of self-talk for our True Self.

The ego-mind’s greatest trick is getting you to believe you are your ego-mind.  You are not.  You are so much more.

 

What Am I?

Underneath all the neurotic, narcissistic, and obsessive layers of the ego-mind is pure being—pure existence.  This is also known as our “higher self” or True Self.  In magick this is called the  Holy Guardian Angel, or simply the HGA.  One of the highest goals of magick and Hermeticism is reclaiming this link to our divine and higher self.

 


[1] Xinyuan in Chinese and  shin’en in Sino-Japanese.

The Astral Plane: Meaning in Chaos

Just what is the “astral plane” anyway?

The astral plane is the vaguely defined and overlapping area between thoughts, emotions, and the five senses.

The astral plane ebbs and swirls around us during dreams, idle reverie, while playing “mental movies,” even when you mistake something out of the corner of your eye for something else.  All these are events of the astral plane.

 

Is Yesod the astral plane?

While the astral plane can most simply be attributed to Yesod, it also includes influences from Hod and Netzach and the paths radiating between all three.   In practice, the lower spheres and paths become increasingly hard to separate from each other the closer you get to Malkuth.  The emotions of Netzach affect the “rational mind” of Hod all the time, for example.

In this book, the astral plane and Yesod are interchangeable for the most part, but the astral plane is a more open-ended term, while Yesod is much more specific.

 

Meaning in Chaos

In Yesod, the mind loves to find patterns in chaos.  This is the part of the mind where life’s “coincidences” turn into “synchronicities” and “omens.”  This part of the mind tends to label things and find patterns where there may or may not be any.

Yesod is the sphere that becomes overactive when cut off from external sensation (Malkuth), which is exactly why powerful hallucinations and extreme anxiety occur in sensory deprivation chambers.  However, if the practice of sensory deprivation is taken far enough it can lead to experiences at the very highest levels of the Tree of Life—much like meditation.  At the beginning of meditation, all is distraction (an itch or an obsessive thought, for example).  If one can make it through this unpleasant and uncomfortable stage of delusion and distraction, enlightenment soon draws near.

The astral plane is also the realm of addictive fantasy situations ranging from online role-playing games to real life swinger’s clubs.  All these “alternate” worlds thrive in the lower spheres of Netzach, Hod, and Yesod.  It also explains why people who are excessively into these types of fantasy scenarios can be so imbalanced.  They have lost connection with the higher aspects of the Tree of Life, and hence writhe around blindly in the lower aspects of their psyche, unconnected to true Godhead.

As the light of the Moon is but a reflection of the Sun, so is the light of Yesod but a murky reflection of Tiphareth.  Do not get stuck here.  The light of the astral plane is false and illusory.

Demonology: What are daemons, demons, and djinn?

Demons.  Few things capture the imagination of a magician as much as the idea of spiritual beings who will carry out the magician’s every whim or desire.

Many cultures throughout the millennia have had similar concepts of “lesser” deities who could be persuaded to help man with his life and his problems.  The word “genie,” for example, comes from the Latin genius, which is a guardian or “tutelary” spirit.

Arabic and Islamic mythology have the concept of the djinn.[1] The djinn are spiritual beings, lesser than angels, that can help or hinder man depending on their own nature as good or evil.

The root of the word demon itself comes from daemon (or dæmon) which is the Latinized form of the Greek δαίμων (“daimôn”).  Daimons in Greek were lesser divinities, or the souls of dead heroes.  Originally, the Ancient Greeks had no concept of “evil” daemons, but as Christianity took hold, the concept of daemon slowly acquired the menacing and evil associations that the word “demon” has now.  This sort of demon has become popular in movies beginning with The Exorcist in 1973.  Needless to say, this sort of demon has nothing to do with the sorts of practical and useful daemons we use in magick.  Therefore, I use the spelling daemon to refer to any spirit less than an angel, such as Goetic demons.

 

What is a “lesser” spirit?

A lesser spirit is anything lesser, or lower, than an angelic force.  They are generally used for practical concerns.

In magick, there is a divide between the “angelic” forces and “daemonic” forces, which is essentially a measure of how close they are to the material plane.

Angelic forces are those closely related to God.  They are spiritualized and tend to naturally inspire us and lift us closer to Godhead.  Daemons are “lower”, “lesser”, or “blacker” because they exist closer to the material plane, hence their great power over it.  However, being so close to earth and man, the heaviest of the planes, daemons are also more stubborn and likely to lead us astray than the angelic forces, hence their reputation as potentially negative or “evil.”

 

So why not just use angelic forces?

In medieval magick, things were extremely hierarchical.  First, you invoked God and angelic names, and then you used their power to command the daemons.  It was not considered an evil act to work with daemons as they were to submit to your Will, and your Will is considered to be an extension of divinity.

To ask an angelic force to do something as mundane as pay off your mortgage or get you a mistress would have been considered insulting to the angel.  Instead, the dirty work of solving day-to-day needs and problems is left to the daemons.



[1] From the Arabic جني (jinnī).

What is Black Magick?

“Black magic”, or more appropriately “black magick”, fascinates new students to the occult as no other type of magick can.  However just what “black magick” is seems generally mysterious and vague.  It’s not always easy to find two magicians or occultists who agree on the exact same definition. A common definition of black magick is magick performed for any sort of selfish goal whatsoever. Therefore, any magick that isn’t aimed at attaining a better connection to God (True Self, HGA, etc.) would be considered black. In that case, any magick for physical results, such as love or money, is black magick. Then again, some people consider any sort of magick to be evil.   From this perspective, the only magick that then exists is black magick. Then there is the influence of Hollywood movies upon the whole concept of magick.  Besides a lack of realism, Hollywood movies generally simplify everything into black and white, good vs. evil.

To keep it simple, in this book it means any magick in which you would have physical harm come to someone. Normally, I feel a wiser man or woman would find a better course.  It doesn’t make much sense magically or Qabalistically, especially as you advance upon your way to adepthood.  Your sense of oneness will be so complete you would not want to harm anything outside you because you see it as a reflection of yourself. Instead of black magick, you’ll always be better off by channeling that frustration towards the root of your problem.  Do unto yourself before you do unto others. If you want to murder someone, first murder your ego-mind!

But ultimately I feel like terms such as “white”, “grey” and “black magic spells” become meaningless;  magick is magick. It is energy and what you do with it will have repercussions, but magick isn’t any inherently more “black” or “white” than electricity or a firearm. So whether a magick act is evil or good is more about the person performing the magick and his or her goals, than the style of magick or what “demons” or “black magic spells” are used.

What is good and evil anyway?

No one is completely “good” or “evil”–and who is to reliably judge such things?    To a primitive watching an open heart surgery, it might look the doctors are “evil” and are torturing a man, but ultimately they are trying to save him, so that is actually “good”–unless of course the man is a known serial killer, and they are going to put him back on the street afterward–then that might be considered “evil” again–unless of course the serial killer only kills bad guys like Dexter, in which case it might be a “good” act again. Oh it goes on an on! So who can judge?  This is why having one’s own spiritual center, your HGA, higher self, intuition, or whatever you want to call it, is so important.

Find your own spiritual center and every act you perform will be right one, one that leads you to further joy and happiness and to those around you.

 

[For a longer article I wrote on black magick: Who is Afraid of A Little Black Magick? ]

 

Sacred Space: The Circle

There are many reasons that a clear space–drawn with a real or imaginary circle, is part and parcel of all types of magick.  People will tell you it’s for your own protection. Sure, that’s true enough, but there is much more than that–even when working with energies that are completely harmless, you still want to create a safe space you feel comfortable to do magick in–more often than not a circle.  In Wicca, you “cast circles”, and in high magick you perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Both these methods are just ritualized forms of saying: “Hey, this space in the circle over here is sacred and special.”

The real reason I wrote this blog today is that I was actually reading a book on songwriting by Jimmy Webb (called Tunesmith) and he has a nice story about him and David Geffen. David Geffen had set him up with a room to compose in, and said to Jimmy: “In this room, you can never make a mistake.”

Jimmy Webb then goes on to explain how he interpreted that statement:  “Creativity is a blameless process.”  He felt that David Geffen was essentially saying to him, “I will not blame you for failure or keep a scorecard of your efforts as long as they are earnest, as long as you are sincerely dedicated to the things we will try to create here.”

Yes, exactly! He is talking about a place to write music, but it applies perfectly to magick as well.  We need a safe space where we can make no mistakes.  That doesn’t mean we will never flub up a line or spill a wine glass; it simply means that within our circle, any “mistakes” are not mistakes at all but stepping stones, part of the serendipity of the creative process–which applies equally as well to magick as it does to music.

Jimmy Webb then goes on to say, “That is why it is so important to draw an imaginary protective circle around ourselves and step inside.”  What? Is he talking about music or magick??  “The place where we write is important whether it is a physical room or a spacious loft in the heart and mind.”  He nails it. What more can I add to that?

We all need a sacred space to create, whether it be a song, a painting, or a magick ritual.

 

 

 

How do I make a magick potion?

The final chapter of my book gives rituals for any purpose. Using the Tree of Life ritual, once can channel energy (for any goal or purpose!) into an appropriately colored/flavored concoction thus imbuing the drink with energy, much the same way a similar ritual would charge a talisman.  In this sense, the potion becomes the talisman and is then consumed.  Potions are thus a subset of talismanic ritual magick, and by the end of the book you will find these as easy to make as dinner :-)

Sex Magick

Sex Magick

 

“Blake said that the body was the soul’s prison unless the five senses are fully developed and open. He considered the senses the ‘windows of the soul.’ When sex involves all the senses intensely, it can be like a mystical experience.” – Jim Morrison

Sex magick is using sensuality, sexual energy, or orgasms in a ritual setting.  It is not a religion or a belief system, but an open-ended and evolving system of techniques.

Sex magick is neither difficult, nor dangerous, but it is an advanced topic because it strings together almost every other concept covered in this book.

It is not necessary to perform sex magick to be a magician.  It is not “better” than the non-sexual magick taught thus far, but simply another way to accomplish similar ends.

That said, a little sex magick can enrich your enjoyment of magick and life in general.  It can supply a whole new dynamic to your magickal proceedings, and gives you yet another set of techniques to add to your ritual-building toolset.

Qabalistically speaking, Yesod, the Ninth Sphere of the Tree of Life, governs the sexual organs–which throws sexuality into the astral mishmash of the lower planes.  Venus already dominates sexually in Netzach and now we get another dose of her sexuality in Yesod—the most illusory sphere on the Tree of Life.

In my book, sex magick is discuss in Chapter 9, which is distinct from Chapter 7’s lesson of love magick, which is about finding romance or a mate.  This section is about using sexual energy, solo or with partners, for various magickal goals.

Gender is not relevant for most sex magick.  Far more important are the roles you play during rituals.   Either sex can perform any role with a little imagination.  A woman can invoke Mars, and a man can invoke Shakti—it’s all good.

Sex magick, or divine eroticism, is about bringing your spirituality into close contact with your sexuality.  In the book I explain some basic concepts of sex magick and then give you sample rituals.  More than any other chapter, allow yourself to use your own imagination in discovering ways to use sexuality in your magick…

What is the zodiac?

The basis of the modern astrological signs goes back to the Babylonian period  (around 1000 BC), but they were refined into their present state by Hellenistic Greece. They are twelve in number and are represented by the symbols of the ram, the bull, the twins, the crab, the lion, the virgin, the scales, the scorpion, the centaur archer, the sea-goat, the water-bearer, and the fishes.  These twelve signs are collectively known as the zodiac.

These symbols are immediate, suggestive, and fertile for resonate interpretations.  Why have these signs remained so popular (now used on t-shirts, key-chains, etc.) for nearly 3000 years?  They resonate as archetypes in our collective subconscious.  They make sense to our minds as metaphor and so we continue to use them.

 

Do you believe in astrology?

It’s a fun way to get to know people, and it is a good way to familiarize yourself with the zodiac, but if taken too seriously, like other forms of divination, astrology can be a distraction from real magick.  Magick is about taking action based on being present in the moment.  Though I love the symbolism of the zodiac (and the planets) for defining certain human tendencies, I prefer to define my own fate rather than look for it in the stars.  However, if you eventually choose to practice astrology, the symbolism you learn here will go a long way in your studies.

Beyond astrology as a form of divination, I find that many people subconsciously take on the traits of their Sun sign, so astrology definitely has a psychological validity.  I find this to be true even in cases of those who know nothing of astrology.  Everyone usually knows their zodiac sign even if they don’t know exactly what it means.  These symbols resonate somehow, hence their continued popularity with mankind.

 

Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable

The signs of the zodiac are broken up into the four elements, and then further subdivided into cardinal, fixed, and mutable categorizations:

 

  Cardinal Fixed Mutable
Fire Aires Leo Sagittarius
Water Cancer Scorpio Pisces
Air Libra Aquarius Gemini
Earth Capricorn Taurus Virgo

 

Cardinal signs are the onrushing energy of that sign.  Fixed signs are the most stable versions of their element.  Mutable signs are the element as they tend to change into something else.  Therefore, cardinal signs tend towards starting things.  Fixed signs tend to stay the same.  Mutable signs are adaptable.

 

The Rulers of the Zodiac 

Each of the twelve zodiac signs is “ruled” by one of seven traditional planets given above.  This means that the ruling planet of the sign adds another level of interpretation to the zodiacal sign.  Perhaps more importantly, the ruling planets show how to “stir up” the specific energy of the zodiac we are looking for.   More on this in later chapters.

The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac

 

Aires

“The Ram”

Ruled by: Mars

            Aires is the initial burst of energy that starts any new action or project.  Aires is the fresh, new energy of Spring.  Aires energy is direct, straightforward, and sometimes rigidly determined.  This energy may be short-lived and can be destructively impetuous.

 

 

Taurus

“The Bull”

Ruled by: Venus

 

Taurus is steady, persistent, and durable.  It is difficult to sway Taurus energy from its current path since it is Earth energy in its most stable and reliable form.  There also is grace and beauty in this sign granted to it by its ruler Venus.

 

 

Gemini

“The Twins”

Ruled by: Mercury

            Gemini is dual-natured, quick-witted, and intuitive energy.  Mercury rules this sign and so Gemini’s energy is fascinated by the power of language and responds well to savvy intellectual stimuli.

 

 

 

Cancer

“The Crab”

Ruled by:  The Moon

            Cancer is protective, secretive, nurturing energy.   Being ruled by the Moon, the passion of the crab is stirred by mystery.  This also suggests the mood and energy level of Cancer tends to ebb and flow like that of tides.

 

Leo

“The Lion”

Ruled by: The Sun

            The Lion is “King of the Jungle.”  The royal Leo is as much the center of attention as the Sun is the center of the solar system.  Leo loves to be the source of good energy, thus dominating everyone and everything in his sphere of influence.

 

 

Virgo

“The Virgin”

Ruled by: Mercury

            The virgin is pure potential, i.e. the potential to give birth.  So this entire card is about the hidden mysteries of procreation.  The path itself is attributed to Yod, which means not only the hand, but also symbolizes spermatozoa.  Virgo energy is prudent and detail-oriented.

 

 

Libra

“The Scales”

Ruled by: Venus

            Libra is all about balance, which includes energy tipping from one side to the other in the name of equilibrium.  This includes energy moving towards a final result such as marriage or court cases.  Ruled by Venus, Libra energy also exudes elegance, beauty and harmony.

 

Scorpio

“The Scorpion” and “The Eagle”

Ruled by: Mars

            Scorpio is passion and brooding intensity.  Scorpio has the ability to destroy oneself (Scorpion) or the ability to transcend (Eagle).  This energy is magnetic and darkly seductive.  Obsessive, sometimes dangerous, sexual impulses can originate with Scorpio.  This is Cancer’s only rival for “most secretive” of the signs.

 

 

Sagittarius

“The Archer Centaur”

Ruled by: Jupiter

            Sagittarius is focused intelligence and directed action.  Sagittarius energy is optimistic and freedom loving.  Imagine the image of the centaur (body of a horse with the head and chest of a man).  The centaur roams carelessly free across the plains, but when it’s time to hunt, the archer is deadly accurate with his aim.

 

 

Capricorn

“The Goat-Fish”

Ruled by: Saturn

 

Capricorn, a goat with a fish-tail, ascends from deepest emotions (the fish-tail) all the way to the highest mountains of action and accomplishment (symbolized by a mountain goat).  Capricorn energy is practical, yet still contains a certain emotional sensitivity.  Capricorn is persistent, determined energy that will not be easily shoved aside from its ambitions.

 

Aquarius

“The Water-Bearer”

Ruled by: Saturn

 

            Aquarius  is original, independent thought.   An intellectual sign, Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, suggesting that the grandiose ideas of the Aquarian are best governed by practical and realistic concerns.

 

Pisces

“The Fishes”

Ruled by: Jupiter

 

Pisces is mysterious, reflective,  intuitive and imaginative energy.  The weakness here is that Pisces energy can be led astray by external influences.  Also it can stagnate and lead to malaise.
 

Do Goetic invocations/evocations have to appear as described in the Goetia?

Ultimately it doesn’t matter what a daemon looks like, says, or does, or even how intensely it materializes.  If your real life shows improvement or otherwise manifests the changes you are looking for, that is all that matters.

The converse is true too.  The detailed and vivid appearance of a daemon isn’t of much use if it never manifests any sort of change upon the material plane.  The entire point of using daemons is to affect the physical world.

For me personally, I had some early experiences with the Goetia…they looked quite like what I expected them to look like. The experience wasn’t particularly intense.  Later on I had deeper experiences where the daemons/djinns were more like energy patterns or signatures (i.e. nothing like the pictures in the Goetia), and those experiences were intense and also manifested greater results.

The Caduceus

Mercury (Hermes), god of magick and writing,  carries a staff called the caduceus, which is a pictorial representation of all he stands for, including his job as protector to merchants, thieves, and liars.

It is interesting that the medical association has erroneously taken the caduceus as their own, which has nothing to do with medicine.  The symbol that should be associated with medicine is actually the Staff of Asclepius which has only a single snake and no wings.

 

Wand of Hermes

Staff of Asclepius, God of Healing

Along with his caduceus, Mercury also carries a money-bag.  As master of magick and the spiritual world, he still firmly understands the concerns of the material plane, and is quick to exploit its laws for his own advantage.

I find it funny and ironic the medical association is now firmly associated not with the wand of the great healer, but that of the great trickster, prankster, and thief.

The Seven Traditional Planets of Magick

The seven traditional “planets” of magick are the five planets visible without a telescope plus the Sun and Moon.  The way the planets are used in this book has little to do with astrology or predicting fortunes.  It also has nothing to do with astronomy so traditional astronomers will just have to forgive the convention of calling the Sun and the Moon planets.

Consider the planets to be specific archetypes living in our subconscious.  In other words, each planet is symbolic of deeply rooted personality traits within the human psyche.  Understanding these traits, which are essentially straightforward, will help a student understand other aspects of magick, such as the symbolism of the tarot and the Tree of Life.

These symbols are also psychologically powerful in themselves and their meanings are used throughout magick on a regular basis.  These symbols are utilized in rituals and in the construction of talismans.  They are also fundamental to the language used amongst magicians.  The planets are shorthand for seven specific types of energy, a complete system by itself, even without the zodiac:

 

Symbol

Roman (Greek)

Symbolism

Diana (Artemis), usually known as Luna or the Moon

Mystery and intuition.  Purity, grace, and inspiration. 

Jupiter (Zeus)

Royalty, expansion, benevolent rulership, stability.

Saturn (Kronos)

Time, Karma, and death.  Heaviness.  Life lessons.  Discipline.

Mars (Aires)

Destruction, violent change, and power.  Typical “male” energy.

Venus (Aphrodite)

Love and romance, but also sometimes debauchery.  Nurturing protection, Mother Nature, and vegetative growth.  Typical “female” energy.

Apollo (Apollo), usually known as Sol or the Sun

The center.  Warmth, sight, light, and healing.  Music and joy.

 

Mercury (Hermes)

Wit, intellect, speed, alacrity, and trickery.  Mercury is also sexually ambiguous—it’s never clear if he has no gender or both.  As you’ll learn as you make your progression through this book, Mercury is a wily one—seemingly everywhere at once, yet impossible to pin down. 

 

            These definitions are a bit succinct so if you wish to know more about a specific planet’s energy, just research the corresponding Greek or Roman god in any mythological resource.  Other gods from different pantheons are also appropriate.  For example, Krishna from Hinduism fits under the Sun, while Loki from Norse mythology is a trickster, thus putting him under the dominion of Mercury.  Much more on how to use the planets in rituals and spells in the magick book.

What is better? High Magick or Wicca?

This, of course, is a trick question.  High magick is not better than Wicca, nor is Wicca better than high magick. I’ve always found the categorization of magick into “low” and “high” to be counter-intuitive in practice.  Low magick, witchcraft, Paganism, etc. is supposed to be more in touch with nature, using more natural items in the rituals, and tends to work with large groups.  Often high magick is thought to be expensive, sometimes solitary, but ultimately very erudite.  Supposedly it’s the magick of the learned upper class instead of the “common folk.”

In the modern practical world of magick, all this breaks down. The overlap between magickal systems is vast and great.  Some high magicians choose to go skyclad and perform magick outside like a “Pagan” and some Wiccans are better with the complexities of Enochian than a sterotypical “high magician” trained in Golden Dawn.   Both Wiccans and high magicians have been known to dabble in the Goetia, though traditionally it is a high magick grimoire through and through.  And as far as the expense of items? Most accomplished magicians I know buy some things, find others, and basically just use what works.

Even the history of Wicca and high magick blend.  Both high magick and Wicca can be traced to Crowley, but in the case of Wicca, there is the influence of Gerald Gardner’s legacy which helped shape it into something quite different than Thelema. So while differences abound, their common history, and even many of their underlying principles are closely related–even down to the similarities between “casting a circle” and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

In modern magickal circles, I feel there is a push towards not only mixing and matching magickal systems in an effort to find what works best, but also at looking at the nuts and bolts of magick, and not just the superficial trappings of various styles.  Whether using high magick, shamanism, chaos magick, voudou, or medieval grimoires, an astute magician learns to take what works from any source and leave the rest behind.  A true magician is never pedantic and always evolving, taking, learning and growing from all magickal and spiritual systems of the world.

How will this book teach me magick?

Everything You Wanted to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid to Ask) provides straightforward answers to the most common questions related to practicing magick.  It teaches with plain-speaking language (no occult mumbo jumbo) and modern views of psychology and the subconscious mind.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid to Ask) also includes historical references for context and authenticity, and when needed, gives straightforward and modern explanations of how and why magick works.

The focus of this book is tangible results and its salient features reflects this, including:

  • Fun and easy mediations
  • Step-by-step rituals with diagrams which make even complex magickal ceremonies easy to perform
  • Answers to the embarrassing “newbie” questions
  • Detailed footnotes containing helpful, interesting, and topical information without distracting from the natural flow of the lessons
  • A powerful system of magick, simple enough for a beginner to get started, but robust enough for even advanced students of magick

I treat magick with utmost sincerity and seriousness, but always with a light-hearted touch.  This is a fun and powerful book, not a dreary grimoire.

What can I do with magick?

Magick can be used for any earthly goal or purpose such as to land a more lucrative career, marry a soul mate, or even just to help find a lost or stolen object.  Magick is also about becoming more spiritual, i.e. being in tune with your own deepest goals and desires.

Popular areas for magickal work include:

  • Love and romance, including help with wayward lovers, and even the ability to steal mates from others.
  • Wealth, career and good luck in financial endeavors.  Magick can make you into a money magnet.
  • Optimum health, both physically and mentally.  Most of the rituals in this magick book have the lovely side effect of making you more fit mentally, physical and emotionally.  Also spells can be devised to help heal specific diseases and problems as well.
  • Help with learning, school, sciences and the arts.
  • Help with becoming famous or successful in competitive careers, such as acting and music.
  • Help banishing negative people from your life.
  • Protection from negative influences, curses, evil-eye’s, etc.
  • Improve your own psychic and astral abilities.  Learn to have an almost supernatural intuition.
  • Communicate with spirits, angels, djinn, and other powerful entities.
  • Improve your dreams.
  • Increase your level of attraction from others.
  • Increase your sensual pleasure in all areas of love, sex, and romance with partners of your choice

There really is no limit to what goals magick can be applied to.  You can have goals without magick; but why?

Magick gives the EXTRA EDGE needed to thrive in this difficult and competitive world.

Who is this book for?

Everything You Wanted to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid to Ask) is for anyone who has been interested in real magick but been confused, scared or overwhelmed by other books on the subject.  Beyond that, this book includes subtexts and layers of advanced magickal thought that will appeal to intermediate and advanced students as well.

To illustrate the wildly varied experiences one can take from this book, I present two happy endings, but with completely different means to that end.

The first example is from a former student by the name of Emily.  Emily was in the midst of severe money problems, legal problems related to her animal activism, and going through a mid-life crisis all at once.  Emily did not grow up religious, did not pray, or have a religion or spirituality of any sort.  She had a fear of most things “dark” or occult, but liked “good magick.”  Emily was only able to work with basic meditations and the simplest of rituals in the book; however, they were enough to turn her attitude and life around.  Now she is working at a job in her new profession, and her first film is now in production in Hollywood.

Another student by the name of Natasha illustrates a more gung-ho plunge into magick.  A bright, but uneducated girl, she grew up in a religious household, but had no real connection to her original religion.  She was fascinated by all aspects of magick as presented in Everything You Wanted to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid to Ask), including charging talismans and plunging directly into work with daemons and astral entities.  She found a “familiar” spirit who encouraged her to quit drugs and alcohol and inspired and guided her to turn her life around on all levels.  This spirit is currently helping Natasha make her way through college.

While both students had completely different goals and levels of interest in magick, both were able to take what they needed from Everything You Wanted to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid to Ask) to rectify their spiritual and material problems and thereby resume enjoyment of their lives.

What is a Chaos Magick Servitor?

Chaos Magick Servitor

Chaos magicians create their own demons/daemons called “servitors.”  Chaos magick is completely open-ended and evolves constantly so there is no single prescribed ways to make servitors.  Research it online, because that’s always the most up-to-date place to find what Chaotes are up to.  I give detailed instructions on how I make servitors in Chapter 10.

Servitors function just like regular demons but with none of the baggage.  You define them, give them lots of energy, and let them go like any other type of magick.   These are a little more advanced in some ways.  We trust the subconscious mind to understand our structures the same way a computer operating system understands a program.

You may consider servitors and demons both as “sub-processes” running in background of your mind, quietly carrying out their tasks as best as possible given your personality and current life situation.

What is your background in magick?

I have been studying, practicing, and teaching magick for over twenty-two years.  You might even say I have done so ravenously.  I have studied high magick, Wicca, Eastern religions, Hermeticism, and just about every other form of occultism or religion.  I have worked with Enochian magickal groups, Thelemic and Golden Dawn orders, and private sex magick groups.  To this day I am a student of all things magickal, and I always am hungry for new methods and ideas to further improve the efficacy of my magick and those I teach online and through private instruction and classes.

Layour emotions

love all your open undernourished raw emotionsIn working magick for others, I have found love spells to be of number one interest  by a healthy margin (even above money and wealth).  One thing I noticed is that people are really alike when it comes to love, breakups, objects of desire, obsessions, self-esteem, etc..   The similarities I’ve seen cut across ethnic, religious, and financial lines.  The open, wounded state after a breakup is universal.  Breakups are painful and yet they are ripe for life-changing transformation as well.

Layour emotions is a term I coined for those highly recognizable characteristics that emotions go through during and after the break up of a relationship.  It includes our normal spectrum of feelings, good and bad emotions over the newly ended relationship.  It includes thoughts of revulsion, anger, hatred–sometimes varyingly directed at oneself, the other person, or both.

 

Be open to all of Layour emotions for they are ripe for magickal exploitation.

 

Originally “Layour” was a Chaos Magick Servitor I created meant to put a positive spin on all that intense emotional energy felt after a breakup.  It stands for LOVE ALL YOUR OPEN UNDERNOURISHED RAW emotions.  More on Chaos Servitors in an upcoming post, but the point was that the servitor would feed off all the generally awful experiences I was going through and transmute them into more positive things (in this case I channeled the energy into career.)

 

What is the Goetia?

The Goetia's King Beleth

Beleth

The Goetia is by far the most popular “phonebook” of demons. It contains a mixed bag of spirits, of various demeanors, for goals as various as learning musical instruments, finding wealth, gaining love, or conquering in war.

 

            The Goetia is part of a longer work called The Lesser Key of Solomon, which is a collection of medieval grimoires attributed metaphorically to King Solomon.

The first section is the Ars Goetia.  This is the legendary Goetia, book of 72 daemons and their sigils.  A classic in every sense, it’s the standard whereby other grimoires are judged.  It was an early favorite of Crowley’s and his version is still the most popular one to this day.

 

How do I use the Goetia for my own goals and desires?

Chapter 8 of my magick book describes in detail how to work with the Goetia including full invocations and a selection of popular demons to pick from.

Is your your magick book difficult to read and practice? Or is it dumbed down?

Neither!  I’ve tried to make the difficult and erudite subject of magick EASY for you to learn and practice without losing any of the nuance and details of real magick.  While there are simple and clear rituals and meditations to change every aspect of your life, there is no dumbing down here.  Have I simplified and trimmed magick down to the essentials?  Absolutely, but the core techniques and ideas are those passed down from Ancient Greece, filtered through a variety of occult geniuses (such as Crowley, Regardie, Levi, and Agrippa), changed a little by me based on modern sensibilities, and then presented to you, the reader, in an easy-to-follow magick book.

Complex parts are broken down into small and manageable bite sizes, but nothing is lost.  Clarity is paramount, but never at the expense potency or nuance.

Why did you write this book?

There are many reasons to write any book, but the two most practical concerns were that one, I always wanted a book with all the information I regularly use for rituals in one place.  And two, I’m regularly asked for help with magick and what book do I recommend, and I’ve always had to suggest books that weren’t quite what someone needed.  Now finally, with Everything You Wanted to Know About Magick (But Were Afraid to Ask) the essentials are presented in such a way I can hand it to a beginner and they can quickly get up to speed with magick.

More than all that, I hope to impress upon my readers that magick is not something you do; it’s something you are.  This world has so many problems, but all of them can be cured by understanding the connection between art, magick, creativity, and our deepest desires—not just those implanted by peers or mass media.  I hope that my book helps rejuvenate the psyche of not just individuals, but that of our troubled Earth as a whole.