The Elemental Attribution of the Magick Weapons The four main implements employed by magicians are often called
the Elemental Weapons because of their primary natures. These are the four familiar tools of the magician as they appear in the Tarot, The Wand, The Cup, The Dagger (Swords in the Tarot) and the Disk or Pantacle. While these weapons are all rightly associated with the elements as they are expressed in ceremonial magick they are not uniquely elemental and nearly all of the other implements used in the performance of a magickal ceremony corresponds to one of the elements also. According to the strictest discipline of ceremonial magick everything that the magician uses to prepare for and to perform an operation of magick should be consecrated to the accomplishment of its objective. This makes them just as much a magick weapon as the more obvious implements and so objects like the Magick Book and the Pen that are used to record the ceremony are weapons of magick art. Most literature on the magick weapons focuses solely on the four central elemental weapons and often includes something about the magick sword. Occasionally they will also mention the need to keep the paraphernalia of magickal practice quarantined from normal day to day usage but this falls well short of the true importance and use of these magick tools. The most complete work on the Magick Weapons of the Ceremonial Magician is Book 4 by Aleister Crowley which lists eighteen implements and gives detailed explanations of the uses and symbolic attributions of them. This represents only a fraction of the total number of implements used by ceremonial magicians and in his Liber 777 Crowley lists a fuller list of 50 or more magickal tools and paraphernalia. This list is an exhaustive compilation of all of the working tools used by him in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn while the collection in Book 4 represents a basic working set of weapons. Liber 777 is a book of qaballistic correspondences so the list of magick weapons included there are each ascribed to a Yetzirac attribution and from these correspondences most of the magick weapons can be shown to be an elemental symbol. The weapons that are attributed to the Sephiroth are generally more conceptual and correspond to the planetary natures of the numbers so the Outer Robe, the dark, hooded robe of the Neophyte is attributed to Saturn because it symbolizes the temporal illusion of the physical body. Hidden within this is the Inner Robe which represents the eternal spiritual principal that resides within the illusory body and so it corresponds to the stars in Chokmah. Beyond this, in the heights of Kether where the magick energy is still pure and undivided the weapon is the whirling force of the Rashith ha-Gilgalim itself symbolized in the Fylfot Cross of nineteen squares, the Swastika. Because Kether means a Crown, symbolizing the magician's dominion over all of his consciousness, this weapon is also attributed to the first Sephirah. The weapons of Chesed all reflect the authority of the state or the church that govern the temporal life and so the Sceptre and the Crook are attributed here. The force the supports the authority of Chesed corresponds to Geburah and so all of the weapons that are attributed to this Sephirah are martial. The Sword, the Scourge, the Chains and the Spear all belong here. The central position of Tiphareth makes its weapons the central conceptual symbol of ceremonial magick, the Lamen or the Rosy Cross. This weapon symbolizes the harmony required between all of the weapons in order to perform a magickal act. Thus the Lamen is a symbol of the Path and of the method of its' traversal at the same time. Below Tiphareth the elemental influence
becomes more pronounced although still more conceptual than practical. Netzach which corresponds to both Venus and Fire has both the Girdle and the Lamp attributed to it. Hod, which corresponds to Mercury has the Names and Magick Words that are used in the ceremony. Hod is also Watery and so the Apron, as is used in Freemasonry is intended to absorb the injuries of the Great Work, corresponds elementally to this Sephirah. The Perfumes or Incenses that are to be employed in the ceremony are attributed to Yesod because of the correspondence with Air while the Lunar attribution connects this Sephirah with the Altar and the sacrifice that is made upon it. Perhaps the best well known and yet the most conceptual weapon of ceremonial magick is not even thought of as a weapon at all, the Magick Circle and its compliment the Magick Triangle. These constructions of magick art correspond to the Sphere of the Elements in Malkuth and create the environment wherein all of the other weapons and their symbolism find their complete expression. The Magick Circle is the microcosm symbolically spread out and arranged in a working space that allows the magician to access the different components of his consciousness and to change them in accordance with his will. Just as Malkuth is the fulfillment of the upper nine Sephiroth so too is the Magick Circle the product of the influence of all of the weapons above it, including those that are attributed to the Paths of the Tree of Life that join the Sephiroth. The Magick Circle is the central symbol of the ceremonial magician and even without the other weapons it is still possible to operate the Magick Circle while without it the effect of the other weapons is meaningless and so ineffective. The Elements as they are found represented in the symbolism of the Magick Circle have more to do with the Four Worlds than with the elements as they are found in the physical world. While these physical elements may be useful for invoking the construction of the magick circle, especially for beginners, the object of creating the Magick Circle in the first place is to transcend these physical elements and ascend through the Four Worlds to the Unity of Kether and the completion of the Great Work. This is reflected in the natures of the four primary Elemental Weapons of ceremonial magick which correspond to these archetypal elemental forms rather than to the earthly elements that are their shadows. The Magick Wand, the quintessential weapon of Fire, isn't used for stirring up actual burning embers but for directing the essential fire of the magician's True Will. This deeper correspondence of the Elemental Weapons of classical Hermetic Magick allows them to bridge the abyss between the conceptual nature of magick and the practical application of performing a magickal ceremony. They also correspond to the four actions of the magician as Crowley described them in Liber I B vel Magi; With the Wand createth He. With the Cup preserveth He. With the Dagger destroyeth He. With the Coin redeemeth He. His weapons fulfil the wheel; and on What Axle that turneth is not known unto Him. The forces that are being manipulated by the four Elemental Weapons are those that lie at the essence of the elements themselves, that existed before there were elements and which are the ultimate expression and reflection of the four worlds in our temporal and illusory perception of creation. The four primary Elemental Weapons are most correctly referred the Powers of the Sphinx; to Will, to Dare, to Know and to Keep Silence. These four powers represent the nature of the work
that each weapon performs. The Magick Wand, being fiery, expresses the magician's will, the Magick Cup represents the magician's discipline by which he dares to make his assault on heaven. The Magick Dagger represents the magician's ability to discriminate and to define and so expresses his power to know while the Disk, or Pantacle, is the physical form of the magician which he must yoke to the Great Work. These elemental weapons that are used to conjure and direct the more physical elements are those that express a specific aspect of that elementary force such as it might be found physically in the material world. These implements fall under the general presidency of the primary Elemental Weapons but lack their universal nature while possessing very specific and worldly properties. This second tier of elemental weapons are attributed to the Paths of the Tree of Life and so are more practical than conceptual making them the ones that will be chosen for specific tasks when planning magickal operations. The primary weapons of magick are present at all ceremonies (in most instances they should all be present in the magick circle to maintain the balance proper to the operation and so as not to handicap the magician in his ability to manipulate any of his elements) but these secondary weapons are only employed when they are specifically needed and then they act as an extension of the primary elemental weapon and are generally subservient to it. The Magick Weapons of Fire The weapons that correspond to the Element Fire are all expressions of the practical application of the magician's will. The primary weapon of Fire is the Magick Wand, also often called the Magick Rod. This implement represents the direct application of the magician's will in its pure form and is the tool that is used to direct the magick force of an operation. As the conduit of the creative force the Wand usually has a polar nature with one end considered to be female and the other male. The usual practice is to direct energy from the female end, which is the proper place to grasp the Magick Wand, to the male end. It is common for the Magick Wand to have a metal rod running through its length and there may also be metal bands at either end, depending upon the design employed by the magician whose will it represents. It is usual for the magician to inscribe his magickal name and the Divine Names of Fire onto the Magick Wand as well as the central word of the magick discipline that he is following. The Magick Wand is capable of taking many forms and the ultimate development of the Magick Wand is the Caduceus, the Staff of Hermes which is entwined by a pair of serpents and is surmounted by a lotus or, more commonly, the head of an ibis, the symbol of the god Thoth. The Caduceus is the symbol of Hermes office as the messenger of the gods and so his staff is the symbol of the Divine Will that he communicates. After the magick wands the most significant weapon in the armory of the Hermetic magician is the Magick Sword. While this weapon is commonly and erroneously associated with the Element Air it lacks the discrimination and articulation of an airy weapon and instead represents the destructive power of the magician's will. Most properly a weapon attributed to the planet Mars it identifies the force of the magician's true will and is the weapon used to dispel any opposition to it.
Perhaps the most obvious of the weapons of Fire are the Magick Fires and Lamps. While the censer and the thurible are both attributed to air because of their association with the perfumes and incenses the fire within them corresponds to the Element Fire. Generally there is more than one kind of lamp used in a Hermetic Temple with a central lamp being the prototype for all of the rest. This primary light in the temple, often called the Lamp of the Eternal Light, represents the Magick Light that is the source of the energy of the operation. The Lamp of the Kerux, the illumination from which guides the steps of the Neophyte out of the darkness and into the Light of LVX, is the Lamp of the Eternal Light's representative in the Temple of the Elements and finds its most material expression in the lamps and lights that are used to illuminate the Magick Temple for the ceremony. This hierarchy of lights and fires represents the path that the light takes from its origin in Kether to the material world in Malkuth lighting the entire path from the lowest to the highest. One Magick Weapon that is often overlooked is the Holy Oil which, due to its power of consecration, corresponds to Fire. Because all of the other implements of ceremonial magick are consecrated with the Holy Oil it is the most essential of the weapons of Fire. Its power is cumulative as its influence permeates the Magick Temple, mirroring the gradual development of the True Will of the magician that is using it. The Crown, although primarily a symbol of Kether, corresponds to the pure Fire of the Father and represents the pure, True Will to which the magician is aspiring. Counterpart to this are the Inner Robes that the magician wears underneath the Magick Cloak as a symbol of his Light which is concealed within the darkness of his physical form. This white tunic is the reflection of the Divine Fire of the Crown from Kether to the more material level of Chokmah, and at its most essential is a symbol of the power that is concealed in the Magick Word that the magician is employing for his ceremony. Another piece of the magician's attire that corresponds to Fire is the Magick Girdle or Cord. This weapon is also often associated with Venus and represents the Discipline that binds the magician in his Great Work. This belt is usually braided from three separate cords that are equal in length to the magician with one end as female with a loop and the other end as male with a knot. There are a secondary set of weapons that correspond to the Element Fire that, while not universally in use, have specialist uses that makes them significant enough to consider. The majority of these secondary weapons of Fire are martial in nature and some, like the Magick Spear and the Magick Pike are variations on the Magick Wand and perhaps the Sword. The Magick Arrow, always associated with the Lunar Bow represents the direct application of the magician's force of will. The Bow represents the discipline that the magician exercises while the arrow, a hybrid weapon between Fire and Air, defines and directs his will. Weapons of discipline and dominance also belong to Fire and the Magick Chains with which the magician compels recalcitrant spirits and the Magick Scourge by which he punishes his departures from the discipline of the Great Work both correspond to the Element Fire. The Magick Mace is a weapon that is totally destructive and indiscriminating making it a symbol of the magician's ultimate power to enforce his will. The Magick Sceptre and Orb also correspond to Fire as they represent the dominion that the magician has over the elements and which is
backed up by the True Will of the magician and his power to dominate and destroy them that he is exercising in his Great Work. While it may be easy to think of the Magick Pen, or Burin, as a weapon of Air, because it possesses no edge and exerts all of its influence through a single point it is classed as a weapon of the Element Fire. This tool is variations on the Magick Wand and exerts its influence onto the Magick Book, an obvious pantacle and symbol of Earth. This makes it the symbol of the material influence of the True Will of the Magician and so it is used to record his Great Work. An interesting magick weapon that is rarely used but which has a long traditional history is the Magick Horns. The spiral shape of the Horns makes it a symbol of the Divine Will as it appears in its natural form. Usually used as a repository for energy, the Magick Horns are the most passive of this active class of weapons and operate on a cumulative effect, representing the enduring power of True Will. The most important Magick Weapon of Fire that the magician keeps in his armory is the Discipline of the Great Work. Without this the other weapons are powerless to express his Will or to cause any change. The Discipline corresponds to Fire because it enflames the magician and identifies his True Will while being the driving force behind all of his magickal ceremonies. The Magick Weapons of Water The weapons of the Element Water all represent enduring energy and are passive, receptive and preservative tools of magick. The central Elemental Weapon of Water is the Magick Cup or Chalice. The function of the Magick Cup is to receive and preserve the energy that is directed by the Magick Wand and more symbolically the Magick Cup is the Holy Grail that the Neophyte must fill with his life's blood through his devotion to his Great Work. In practice the Magick Cup is filled by the divine force that is invoked at the climax of the ceremony and then applied to attaining the objective of the ceremony. Because the Magick Cup is the initial repository of the magick force all of the other weapons are dependent upon it in some measure to perform their own functions and, as it corresponds to He of Tetragrammaton, it is the representative of the divine Mother in the Magick Circle who is the counterpart of the divine Father that is represented by the Magick Wand. The Magick Cup is usually crocus shaped or parabolic and should be inscribed with the Holy Names and the symbols of Water, usually an eagle. The size of the Magick Cup should be proportionate to the magician who is using it; too small and it will be insufficient to contain the force of the operations and too large will make it awkward to use. The most obvious symbol of the Element Water that is used in the Magick Circle is the water that is held in the Magick Cup and which is often referred to as the Lustral Waters by Hermetic magicians. Usually this water has been consecrated to be used to purge the Magick Circle of any adversity to the operation at hand, and the regular practice is to mix it with the salt that is brought to the temple to represent the Element Earth. Another liquid that is commonly used in the Magick Cup is the Sacramental Wine which is the symbol of the magician's life's blood and is used as a eucharist in the ceremony.
A Weapon of Water that is often confused is the Vial or Decanter where the magician keeps the Holy Oil. This bottle should be shaped like a teardrop and made of red glass to belie the fiery nature of its contents. The Holy Oil itself is attributed to Fire but the Vial that holds it is a variation on the Magick Cup. When full of oil the Magick Vial is a symbol of the object of the Great Work, the union of active with passive elements that is a precursor to the apprehension of essential unity that is the goal of magick. An aspect of the Magick Temple that may not have been considered as a Magick Weapon at all is the Twilight of the Place in which the ceremony is being performed. Magickal ceremonies are usually performed in a half light which represents the glamor of the astral planes, the darkness into which the magician will manifest the Magick Light. It is this twilight that is reflected in the Magick Mirror which is perhaps the most practical of the Magick Weapons of Water. Any reflective substance that the magician uses for the practice of skrying, because of the passive, reflective nature of the implement, will necessarily correspond to Water. While the Names and Magick Words are most properly attributed to Air the Oath corresponds to Water. It is the specific instance of the application of the Magickal Discipline and receives all of the exertions of the magician's will as it is the central focus of the entire ceremony. The Magick Oath corresponds to Scorpio, the transformative power of water and represents the enduring devotion of the magician to uniting his microcosm with the macrocosm. Associated with this is the Pain of Obligation, the sacrifice that the magician makes in order to pursue the Path, and the Devotion that he shows to the Discipline of Magick, and which binds him to the Path of Initiation. The Magick Cloak, or the Outer Cloak of Concealment, is a weapon that may not at first be thought of as corresponding with the Element Water. The primary correspondence of the Magick Cloak is to the darkness of Binah, the Great Mother of the Qabalah, and the primeval waters from which the created universe issues. The Magick Cloak represents the magician's temporal form that dwells in the darkness of the material world, separated from the pure Light of Kether. The Magick Cloak is the counterpart of the Twilight of the Place, another weapon of Earth and as the cloak conceals the magician, the twilight conceals his operation. Although they are more properly counted among the furnishings, both the Shrine of the Temple and the Kerubic Emblems that are used to mark the quarters of the Magick Circle are attributed to the Element Water. Because the shrine is the central nexus of the entire temple and acts as the repository of its spiritual force its enduring powers of preservation and devotion make it distinctly watery. The Kerubic Emblems, also known as the Emblems of Death, are watery for the same reason except that the force that is focused in them is specific to the element that they represent. The Magick Weapons of Air The Magick Weapons that correspond to the Element Air represent the magician's intellect and its power to discriminate and differentiate between things. The weapons of Air also represent the breath of the magician and generally include the orisons that are spoken during the ceremony. The primary weapon of Air is the Magick Dagger, or occasionally the Magick Fan which can be
interchangeable with it. The Magick Dagger is often confused with the Magick Sword, most likely due to the Tarot suit of Swords being attributed to Air. The function of the Magick Dagger is to define the area of the operation and it is used in conjunction with the Magick Cord to mark out the Magick Circle. The Magick Dagger is most properly used to perform the banishings at the beginning of the operation and to strike the Magick Bell to mark the portions of the ceremony. The Magick Bell itself is not a weapon of Air and corresponds most correctly to Spirit but it is usually included amongst the weapons of Air because its tone corresponds to this element. The Dagger should have a double edged blade to represent the polarity of the intellect and its general shape should be a cross and the overall design of the Magick Dagger should be of a utilitarian tool to represent the working intellect. While the Magick Dagger is well suited to the work of defining the circle and inscribing the pentagrams, in cases where the dispersive power of Air is needed it may be more appropriate to employ the Magick Fan. The main use of the Magick Fan is in association with the Magick Fire and with a secondary yet vital set of weapons, the incense and the paraphernalia that is used with it. The Altar of Incense that is stationed in the east of the temple is most properly considered as one of the furnishings but it is very obviously attributed to Air and supports several of the weapons of that element. The Altar of Incense is also the place where the Magick Fire is kept as a symbol of the spirit of the Father being at the heart of the Son. The most obvious weapon used on the Altar of Incense that is attributed to Air is the incense itself. Not only is the smoke of the incense attributed to Air but the actual materials that are burnt like the resins and gums, woods, spices and plants, also correspond to Air generally. The other implements that are used to burn the incense, the Magick Censer or the Thurible also correspond to Air as they have the Magick Fire at their centre and issue clouds of smoke, making their attribution fairly obvious. A weapon that might not be commonly be thought of as airy is the Aspergillum, a brush that is used to sprinkle the Lustral Waters in the Temple. The object of the use of the Aspregillum is to dispel any adversity to the performance of the magickal ceremony making it a weapon of banishing and so it corresponds to Air. The weapons of Air are the most conceptual of all of the Magick Weapons and the crosses and lineal figures that are employed are most useful for defining the nature of specific operations of magick. These figure are usually classed according to the numbers that make them up so a triangle generally corresponds to Binah and a pentagon to Mars as follows the Sephiroth. The crosses also use the number of squares that are used in their composition as a basis for their symbolism so that a cross of five squares is held to be elemental with each of the elements occupying an arm and spirit taking the centre while a Latin cross of six squares corresponds to Sol and is a symbol of the Light of LVX. The most prominent use of the cross is as the Lamen which takes the shape of the Rosy Cross in most Hermetic varieties of magick and which is most correctly attributed to Sol and to Air as the Son. The Magick Slippers or Sandals that the magician wears in the Magick Circle are attributed to Air as they are based upon the shape of the cross, most specifically the ankh. This ancient
symbol for life was carried by the gods of Egypt as a symbol of their power to go and their use in the Magick Circle symbolizes the essential and divine course of the Path. Perhaps the most abstract of these conceptual weapons of Air are the Divine Names and Magick Words that are used in the performance of magickal ceremonies. These words are all articulations of the magician's True Will and taken together they invoke the accomplishment of the Great Work. The Magick Weapons of Earth The weapons that correspond to the Element Earth are the most passive implements used by the magician and are generally designed to receive the force of the operation. The primary weapon of Earth is the Magick Disk or Pantacle which is usually a circle made of beeswax which has the five pointed star, the pentagram, inscribed on one side and the colors of Malkuth on the other. Beeswax is a basic hydrocarbon and symbolizes the foundation of all organic life while the pentagram represents the magician in his elemental, temporal form. In this way the Magick Disk is connected to all of the other weapons used by the magician as it represents his macrocosm as it is manifest in his environment the Sphere of the Elements. The form of the Magick Disk is repeated in the Paten upon which the eucharist is placed and which is counterpoint to the magickal function of the Magick Disk as a shield. This makes the Magick Disk the symbol of the foundation from which all magickal action begins as well as the vehicle for redemption that results from the performance of that Great Work. The Salt is the most material representative of the Element Earth in the Magick Circle. It is often used in conjunction with the water in the Magick Cup to purge the Magick Circle as a precursor to performing the banishings. Salt is the consummate symbol of Earth as it is inert, crystalline and essential to life. As the water is related to the wine so the salt is related to the bread that is used as the eucharist in operations of pure white magick. Bread, the staff of life, corresponds to the agricultural Virgo and represents the nourishing power of Earth. For the purpose of ceremonial magick it is usual to use the Cakes of Light in place of bread and it serves the purpose of the eucharist in just the same way. Hermetic magick is focused on the passage of the Light through the Magick Temple and the Path of the Neophyte through the outer temple follows that path symbolically as it leads to his apprehension of the Light, personified in the form of his Holy Guardian Angel. In the Golden Dawn this guide is represented in the temple by the Kerux who leads the candidate from the darkness to the light and who carries a lamp to light the way and a staff to guide his steps. These implements will be familiar to many from the Tarot Atu IX The Hermit which corresponds to Virgo and so to the element Earth. At first these weapons may appear to be fiery as the lamp contains a flame and the staff is a long wand. The Lamp of the Kerux is the practical working light in the temple and corresponds to the magician's focus on immediate details within a temporal frame and the light that is within it is the symbol of the consciousness that drives and directs that focus so while the flame is fiery its vehicle, being temporal, is material. The Staff, unlike the wand, is not an active and offensive weapon even though it resembles a spear or a pike but rather it is the support that the will renders to the physical work of traversing the Path. The
Magick Staff is a material symbol of the one True Will that the magician aspires to in his Great Work. Similarly, the Magick Sickle might at first appear to be a weapon of Air but its function is to reap the results of what has been sown by the magician and it lacks the discrimination of a truly airy weapon. The Sickle is most correctly attributed to Saturn who, as Father Time, measures out the temporal universe and regulates its cycles but the correspondence with the natural cycles of Earth make it a symbol of the finite nature of all material things. The most conceptual weapons of Earth are those that express the physical energy of the element. The Labor of Preparation, attributed to Taurus, is all of the physical effort that has gone into composing the ceremony and arranging the temple for the operation at hand. These labors represent the work of the Great Work and take into account the physical exertions of the magician as a vital implement that has been pressed into the service of magick. More subtle is the Secret Force that lies at the heart of the magician and corresponds to Capricorn. This is the ambition and the passion of the magician and at its heart it corresponds to Harpocrates, the Child God of Silence and Secrecy the Magick Power of Earth. Because it is the record of his operations the Magick Book or Diary is a pantacle of the magician's Great Work and so it corresponds to the element Earth. When the magician uses the Magick Pen to write in his Magickal Journal he symbolically impresses his will upon his physical form and so as he writes the words of the ceremony in his Magick Book he is also writing it into himself and making it a part of his True Will. The Holy Book of the Temple is also a Pantacle or a talisman that represents the Divine Will but it more correctly corresponds to Spirit than to Earth in spite of the obvious parallel. The ultimate weapon of ceremonial magick is also the supreme magick weapon of Earth, the Magick Circle and Triangle. With all of the furnishings and implements in their places the Magick Circle is a symbol of the magician and viewed in this light the Magick Disk is really secondary to it as a Weapon of Earth. Just as the Magick Circle represents the entirety of what makes up the magician its counterpart the Magick Triangle represents the things outside of himself that he is seeking. As the Triangle is the place where that which is adverse to the magician is materially restrained it calls upon the Saturnian quality of temporal impermanence as its source of power over spiritual forces. Commonly the focus of a ceremony of magick will be a talisman of some sort often referred to as the candidate as in most operations the first matter will pass through the temple along the path that is shown to the candidate for initiation. This candidate is referred to as "Creature of Earth" by the magician in an echo of the address of the Hierophant in the Temple of the Elements, identifying the talsimata as implements of the element Earth.