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JOURNAL OF ESOTERIC THOUGHT AND PRACTICE IN IRELAND
NUMBER 1: JANUARY 2007
Hidden Spirit Journal © 2007 individual contributors. All rights reserved. Printed on recycled paper.
ABOUT HIDDEN SPIRIT
Hidden Spirit is a half yearly journal of esoteric thought and practice in Ireland. We hope to reflect a more in-depth look at esoteric subjects, as well as a more variant cross section of esoteric traditions and streams. We hope to see Hidden Spirit becoming a forum for serious expressions of the spirit, but through many and varied mediums. As such we welcome essays, columns and series’, ritual, poetry, reviews, and a variety of other artistic mediums including artwork, photography and technical diagrams. The journal, in its search for a more in depth look at esotericism, welcomes and shows preference to longer articles, although the quantity is secondary to the quality of the work. We welcome essays from 700 words up to 5,000. Longer pieces may also be considered. Other mediums are considered on a case by case basis. Material on any esoteric subject is accepted, and a partial list would include: animism, Anthroposophy, anthropology (religion and social), alchemy, astrology, Brujeria, Alice Bailey and the Tibetan works, biography of esoteric “personalities”, Classical Paganisms, divination, draconian traditions, neo-Druidry, earth mysteries, Eastern philosophy and spiritual practices (especially as valid to the West), Esoteric Christianity, esoteric history, esoteric language/ alphabet, Enochian, Gnosticism, the Golden Dawn, kaos, magick, Merkabah mysticism, mythology, neo-Paganism, qabalah, Rosicrucianism, Tantra, tarot, Theosophy, Thelema, Wicca and Voodou. This is a partial list at best and any expansion in our subject matter thereafter is much appreciated and eagerly anticipated. The journal (and more detailed submission guidelines) can be found online at: www.hiddenspirit.cjb.net / www.geocities.com/hiddenspiritjournal Submissions can be directed to: Brian M. Walsh, Camphill Glencraig, Craigavad, Holywood, Co. Down, BT18 ODB Northern Ireland E-mail: email@example.com Opinions expressed in Hidden Spirit are not necessarily those of the editorial.
Patton Create Your Own Divination System Mike Finucane Dark Initiatory Witchcraft Thomas Karlsson Introduction To Gnosticism Frater Yechidah The Lesser Banishing Ritual Of The Pentagram Brian M. Walsh The Whip And The Wand: BDSM & Sex Magick J.CONTENTS Editorial: Threshold Of The Gaimos Year Brian M. Walsh Contributors 5 9 13 22 28 30 37 -4- .P.
most commonly celebrated as Halloween. The process of this cycle is not only in the flowers. and by association the season which they fall in. the forces at work at each of these major festivals. a severing of the past and a reaching into the future. In Anthroposophy the changing face of the planet is marked by the four primary Christian festivals being Christmas. the force that has held them upright has withdrawn into the earth. different yet also the same. St. and in turn between the light and dark side of the year. These earth processes. In the withering in autumn of the flowers. but also in the changing of the forces at play in the rest of the earth. and the physical remnants serve as nutrition for the next year’s growth. whether viewed from a paganistic or christios path form archetypal truths to live by. I find myself conceptualising this eightfold cosmology at the time of Samhain. The perennial flowers which brighten our spring and summers each year die down. The following thoughts on this threshold experience formed the contents of talk I gave just before Halloween in the context of my work in Anthroposophy. and for this reason are often neglected as important times in the years turning. Thus we are left with an image of an eightfold year as shown on the following page. If one looks at the series of seasonal “Imaginations” offered by Rudolf Steiner. In the Celtic calendar these festivals are complimented by a further four fire festivals placed at midpoints between the four solar/ primary festivals. As I look at these themes in the cycles of the earths turning I find they are most strong at the Celtic festival of Samhain. This transition is one which I have lived consciously with for a number of years now through the Celtic calendar.EDITORIAL: THE THRESHOLD OF THE GAIMOS YEAR Dear friends. The four primary Christian festivals mark also our relationship with the heavens as each of these festivals are positioned at or around significant solar alignments. The contents of this editorial are written in the context of this New Year we have just entered. a school of Christian esotericism which incorporates the changing seasons and the forces at work therein. These cycles are a renewing cycle. These thresholds are not as pronounced energies as the heightened experience of the primary festivals. Johns and Michaelmas. Summer Solstice and Autumnal Equinox respectively. a time of new beginnings. through an imaginative process. Each of the fire festivals form literal transitions or thresholds between the seasons. they describe. In the Celtic calendar these festivals fall in the middle of each of the seasons and mark the zenith of the forces at work in the earth. these being Winter Solstice. Spring Equinox. ____________ I would like today to speak to you about the threshold experience found at the time of transition between autumn and winter. -5- . and reappear again the following year in an explosion of colour. The process of the turning earth is ever changing yet ever the same. Samhain is a pre Christian festival of the Celtic peoples and forms an important time in the Hibernian mysteries. Easter. Placed upon the image of the year as a wheel the four primary festivals form a cross in the circle.
or the three days of the end of summer. It is from the latter their informed eightfold cosmology of the year descends from. Even Dr. penetrated the Hibernian mysteries. Steiner offers us the image of the Earth as Natura. This is a process which is occurring both in ourselves and in the earth. These were a wise caste of priests learned both in intellectual knowledge and a knowledge coming from a soul experience of the forces of nature at work. As a threshold experience Samhain marks not only the transition between autumn and winter. Steiner spoke of Christian men before the incarnation of Christ. Camphill Correspondence November/ December 2006 Dr. from Gaea of the Greeks. preparing the way. In the winter the forces of the earth. and a feminine one at that. In the Coligny Calendar. The festival of Samhain is called thus as a marking of the end of the samos. observing not only the heights. the samos year and the gaimos year. König places this nicely in context when he gives the potent image of the breathing process of the earth1. the womb of the Earth and are rejuvenated. as she is breathing in during the gaimos year. we are offered an image of the womb. So too the physical work of the samos year is taken inwards. Dr. Of its exponents. Midgard of the Germanic people and Danu in the Irish tradition. With the image of the earth as a living and breathing being. but also the subtle and changing forces of the seasons. Steiner also. In his explorations of the major mystery schools of history. or light side of the year. This image of the earth as a feminine force has roots in many cultures. Dr. Karl König The Being Of Man And The Festivals Part 1 (May 1932) 1 -6- . and out during the samos year. the draoi. and transformed as our inner processes are given expression. transformed and enlivened. but between the two sides of the year. tired and old. an ancient calendar based on Celtic cosmology it is referred to as Trinouxtion Samhani. Samhain marks further the Celtic New Year and the rekindling of the sacred fires. withdraw into the earth.I consider the mysteries of pre Christian Ireland completely compatible with a Christian impulse stemming from Anthroposophy. after great struggle. Dr.
at the point of infinity has many stories of spirit beings passing into our world. takes the symbol of the point in the circle. To have this image we may look back. in relation to the image of the point periphery. I can truly sense The autumn’s ever-budding Spirit Watch: Fresh gath’ring winter wakes. Samhain. Samhain. the point of infinity. The transition between these two modes of consciousness is most eloquently expressed in Verse 30 of Calendar Of The Soul: What germinates in sunlight of the soul For me. In very present certainty of Self All feelings have transformed themselves. It stands as a time between these two modes. and passing beyond the point of infinity the circle becomes the point. where they had previously only been able to do so through dream and imaginal faculties. At the point of infinity there is created a time outside of time. I would feel it pertinent to look at some of the themes found in this time of threshold. Looking again to the festival of Samhain.This process is further seen in the point periphery exercise given by Dr. we are snapping the thread of our past. One theme which we meet at this time is an opening of the borders between the spiritual world and this one. working from the imaginative perception of projective geometry. will ripen. picture the span of your life as a silver thread spanning from your birth to your present. Various traditions exist. Rejoicing. But to revisit the centre. covering the proceeding two days. and from the centre of the chest streams forth ahead of you. To use an image I frequently visit. For me. It is a tradition to engage in divination at Samhain. for my appraisal. The inner floods of summers rich creation. and its later incarnation as Hallows Eve. among which is the tradition of setting a place for the ancestors at the table on Samhain. This process finds further expression in the following two verses of Calendar. and how at the point of infinity the point becomes a line. Steiner. and -7- . In the point periphery exercise Steiner. we have a sense of the supporting hand of the past on our backs. and the point which became a line at infinity begins to curve and become the circle. Equally there are many stories tell of heroes of Irish mythology entering the sidhe (hills. This lifting of the veil between the two worlds also allowed access to the spiritual experience and knowledge directly. is a traditional time for remembering and honouring ones ancestors. at which point it enters your back at the level of the heart. both in our past and in our future. I would see this as an opportunity to step outside the stream of time and look at life. represents neither the samos consciousness. of our processes. This lifting of the veil also opens to us those who have passed into spirit before us. Samhain. This is further reflected in the Christian feasts of All Saints and All Souls. and experiences which we need to give purpose and perspective to the path that spans ahead. So our outer life becomes our inner life. and our inner life our outer. nor the gaimos consciousness. To try to race forward into our future. This is also sometimes referred to as a seat for Christ. but to become too embroiled in the past we can get tangled. as verdant fruits. believed to be gateways to the otherworld/ spirit world).
In these times of physical darkness and short days the fire which is lit outwards must be internalised as a spiritual light which lights the domain of the gaimos year. after which the light is slowly growing. the first of hopefully many editions of Hidden Spirit. We see this kindling in the Christian observances through the lanterns of St. while simultaneously the earth mother breathes inwards in a process of rejuvenating all that lives in nature. It is also our responsibility as members of community to shine this light outwards to our brothers in this time of increasing darkness. and look inwards to work with all that this light illumines. *** In this. and their fires kindled. It is a light intended for a growing and diversifying community. mutually illuminating each other. we are kindling a light. But at Samhain all fires were put out and a new fire was lit at Tlachtgla. the Jesus child at Christmas. Martin (the celebrations for which are in places quite similar to those of modern Hallowe’en). May light be extended upon you. From a place named after this woman. a hill named after a woman with spiritual gifts. and all of the Celtic festivals is the image of the bonfire. At every festival a fire burned brightly. Walsh -8- . the time of year with shortest days. and the inbreathing. She stood on the threshold between the spiritual world and our own. and it is hoped many different lanterns can burn side by side in these pages. At this threshold of the year it is possible to gain a healthy perspective on ones life direction and gain a conscious understanding of our life processes. Brian M. in the belly of the Goddess to be exhaled at Beltaine. light was carried to all the centres of Ireland. rejuvenated. All of this is in preparation for the Light of the World. the human soul and its inner processes. In Ireland sacred fires burned at all the sacred centres. outbreathing process found in the spiral of light in the Waldorf Steiner Schools Advent Garden. an image of the divine feminine. It is at this time we kindle the inner flame. One element of this. At this time of a new year the sacred fires which keep us during the gaimos year are rekindled.a streaming forth towards the future.
BDSM may be described as a multifaceted system of practical methods. using a whip as part of Wiccan spell casting (reflecting ancient pagan fertility custom) and of course many submissives worship their Dom/me as a God/dess. contraception. where devotees would make love in graveyards and with corpses. whether personal or social. The wand and cup (lance and grail) of the magician are recognised as sexual symbols.’ a friends wife or a same gender union. The realisation of fantasy is thus one means of generating power. such as eating meat. founder of modern neo-Pagan Witchcraft. whether your ‘kink’ is doing it with a PVC clad policeman. experience and experimentation are given a free reign. again whether it is making love with a ‘ leather nun. Freud and Jung have made us all examine our sexual selves and helped to develop a more open and honest look at human sexuality. In BDSM fear is often used as a sexual generator in such practises as S -9- . There is an intrinsic power in taboo and in the breaking of such is the release of that power. but the parallels remain relatively unexplored. The waning rule of patriarchal slave religions. Primarily by enflaming desire.THE WHIP AND THE WAND An Exploration of BDSM and Sex Magick John Paul Patton exual magick is at the core of practically all esoteric tradition and there has been a relatively recent upsurge of interest in the subject. shock and or disgust as a generator of energy. Sex mysticism may be defined as the use of sex as a means of spiritual attainment and/or worship. as poetic metaphors for semen. under a general ethos of it being ‘safe. I will now in turn seek to illustrate the range of areas where BDSM and sex magick meet. diversity and experimentations. Tantra has become a household term and the dove of Jehovah can be discussed along side the swan and shower of gold of Zeus. There is now a relatively large body of literature on the subject from a variety of angles. this again is a traditional method in tantra particularly exemplified in the worship of the Goddess Kali. for raising intense sexual energy and or achieving a state of transcendental ecstasy. The third method is through using fear. It was on this same principle that the best schools of tantra worked through breaking the traditional taboos of orthodox Hinduism. as are the key symbols of alchemy and many ancient cultures. sane and consensual. but rarely explicitly so. BDSM may be useful in this respect in a number of ways. drinking wine and engaging in sexual congress. In the practise of BDSM the deepest desires and lusts may be explored and given expression in a safe and consensual environment. The first point is that for practitioners of sex magick a key factor is to raise as much sexual energy as possible. One such area of growth is in the world of BDSM (Bondage-dominance/disciplinesadism/submission-masochism) which has become a catch all term for a scene where the sexual imagination. We do have the example of Gerald Gardner. Sex magick may be defined as the use of sexual energy to cause change either within the practitioner or upon the outer world.’ It is the purpose of this essay to explore the links between BDSM and sex magick/mysticism. the internet and transsexual surgery have all contributed to a welcome growth in sexual freedom. A second use and magical method of raising power is the breaking of taboos. Thus these fields are intrinsically linked. a French maid or gently being tied to the bed with silken scarves. In the world of BDSM no fantasy is unattainable.
The point is that controlled ‘pain’ given by someone experienced in BDSM is received as pleasure and is found sexually stimulating and exciting. with the ‘wound’ to serve as a reminder of the discipline and as an aid in further concentration. this is especially manifested in sexual relationships. As we banish the patriarchal aeon of the -10- . Such is really a natural practise and the most passionate lovers will scratch. pull hair and spank instinctively. any breach of such discipline will usually result in some form of punishment. To this end yogis will learn to control and master every thought. the monk released from ‘sin’ by self-flogging. The power of disgust is also used by practises from oral congress to coprophagia . visionary experiences and feelings of bliss being achieved through bondage. particularly the chakras. such actions may serve to greatly heighten the pleasure of both parties. In asana one is bound by ones own will to remain perfectly still. However on a deeper level pain may also be used as a means of spiritual attainment and transcendence. action and ultimately even thought. no easy task. Interestingly. This is high discipline on the path to self mastery. even if the power play ‘switches’ from time to time. The knots in Shibari are skilfully placed to activate or stimulate certain power centres of the body. bite. such as always call me ‘Sir’ or ‘Mistress’. In terms of mind control. Now consider the parallel between asana and the submissive who is tied up. The point of asana leads us into the question of bondage. a Master or Mistress in the context of BDSM will often have certain disciplines agreed with their submissive or slave. penance and denial and the agony of asana (yoga posture achieved by sitting perfectly still for long periods of time until the body is numb with a pain that turns to peaceful bliss). for it is in this art that the techniques of yoga form the most clear parallel. For the student of sexual science it will be noted that all these modes of operating may be used as means for generating particular types of sexual energy. taste and desire.‘knife play’ and even a fear of the unknown through the simple use of a blind-fold. It will often be found that there is a Dom/sub element in many relationships. but also meridian points. the mind may be bound by the will to an object of devotion. BDSM is perhaps a practise not only about sexual honesty. As with the body there is also the yoga of the mind. such as are stimulated in acupuncture and used as pressure points in martial arts. Many submissives speak of sensations of flying. in accordance with necessity. any breach in such yoga discipline is in some traditions ‘punished’ by self inflicted pain. Perhaps an area most perplexing to those unfamiliar with BDSM is the use of pain in the act of lovemaking. This is due at least in part to the release of endorphins. but also honesty in power relations. With empathy. Pleasure. Consider the famous Native American Sun-dance. transcendental experience. bound and blindfolded. The bondage forms are often given names such as ‘Open leg Crab’ which parallel certain tantric asanas in which animal forms are taken in sexual union. word and action. Who would want to submit or be a ‘slave’ to someone else? Many people! In fact it happens all the time. The link between bondage and yoga is perhaps most explicit in the art of Shibari (Japanese rope bondage). The activation and stimulation of these subtle energy centres is crucial in sexual magick and in mystical attainment. pain and ecstasy are very closely linked and the simple fact is that pain may also be used as a means of generating sexual energy and of achieving sexual. through the practise of dharana (concentration). as in the practise of dharana. In this way a good sub will learn to master their every word.
High Priest/ess in their own right.’ Where being a husband means being Lord. or Master/Mistress and slave (as exemplified in ‘Venus in Furs’) is also a tradition used in contemporary western sex magical practise. choose to be bound. In this sense BDSM has often been seen as a healing art. especially sexual magick. please look down with favour on your humble servant. This is of course a natural reaction to the gender biased ‘BDSM contract’ of the Christian marriage vow: ‘love. or with brown eyes. Lord. as free agents before the contract. It is of note that many people in positions of public power often find such relief through private sexual submission. Such may achieve illumination and ecstasy through exaltation. passive/active. The relation of Master/slave. The Master/Mistress must first of all actually become a Master or Mistress.’ but trendy and cool now for females to become more ‘dominant’. based on explicitly consensual contract and not subject to gender or any other bias. such as characterises the traditional worship of the slave gods. ‘O. as well as in the eyes of any who might ‘worship’ them or through them. a form of sexual healing. Dom/sub also reflects the principle of yin/yang. fire/water etc. The sub is often seen as a canvas upon which the Dom may practise his art for the pleasure of both. Master and Dom and being a wife means being a sexual submissive and domestic slave (this is still common practise in many orthodox relationships and actively promoted by the likes of Opus Dei).000 years or so. to raise sexual energy -11- . though I be but a mortal maggot and unworthy. Of course being fully passive and submitting to a trusted. which is mystically achieved through union with God/dess. It is a means of clearly defining any particular relationship and the consensual constraints by which each party. In this context the ‘slave’ is of course such by choice and free will and the ‘Master/Mistress’ can only be such by virtue of that choice. becoming a God/dess. sun/moon. Sex magick is a form of ritual or ceremony and it is the same with a BDSM session or lifestyle. but Mastery of the Universe. not only ‘socially acceptable. BDSM recognises that some people are born submissive and some dominant. much as people might be born gay. but either way through learning to Master themselves. adored and loved other can be an extremely liberating experience. In a similar way the slave or submissive may achieve ecstasy and illumination through abasement. I suggest that both being a Master/Mistress and being a submissive or slave are ultimately equal and opposite means of liberation and potentially of illumination. with the Dom as alchemist and the sub as the prima mater. often through training as a sub/slave. as such requires effectively not only self mastery. especially in bed. In a similar way the Dom may find liberation of their true self and nature by having an equal and opposite force through which their true will might be expressed. Through identity with these sacred forces both parties may achieve power and a union with the divine through their interaction. through training and discipline to the achievement of divine ecstasy and illumination.’ Ultimately the devoted slave/sub may be granted union with their God/dess and achieve the fulfilment of their will. Dom/sub relations are as old as humanity. what is required today is that such things are viewed honestly. The parallel with magick. In an ironic contrast there is an increased taboo in the realm of men dominating women. the raw material to be transfigured into pure spiritual gold. it has even become. honour and OBEY. There is effectively an alchemical relation between sub and Dom. is obvious. as in a temple. One is no better than the other and such things are beyond the issue of gender. Thus the ‘dungeon’ sets the scene.last 2. The BDSM tradition of contracts being written between a sub/Dom.
Pain and Self-Transformation. Foucault. Sexual magick is the most powerful form of magick and as such is be treated with the utmost respect and caution. BDSM is as a colour palate for sexual artists and as one mans meat is another’s poison: it is a world of love and let love. Sexual mysticism is the surrender of the self to the beloved and is implicit in all sexual acts. The sex instinct is the most powerful force that humans have to deal with. dare and be silent: it is a science and art to be expressed and explored. Michael The History of Sexuality vol 1. the chains are as the magical oath. Thus PVC and leather become the robes. and heterosexual monogamy in the missionary position. but for those who can know. In the words of Foucault ‘humans are perverse’. the whip is the scourge of purification and stimulation. regardless of the means used. it is purely a matter of it being made explicit through having the right attitude. will. we all have our own unique sexual nature and will. 2 and 3 Penitente by Albrecht Durer -12- . God/dess/worshipper.’ Sex is sacred and beautiful. so long as it is enjoyed) and the prayer or message of God is the words of the scene: be it ‘kneel worm’ or ‘please Sir’. Stephen Carnal Alchemy: A Sado-Magical Exploration of Pleasure. the torture rack is the holy altar. sub/Dom become the Sun/moon/earth. the wand/sacred phallus is the penis to be worshipped or beaten. Recommended Reading Flowers. where each is free to feast as they will. it is time that human society learnt to celebrate the diversity of sexual expression.through the means desired. The combination of BDSM and sexual magick/mysticism is a means of turning up the voltage and bringing down the fire of heavenly ecstasy: as the whip-crack of orgasmic lightening. the cup/yoni is the vagina to be adored or stretched (it is all the same. for purposes of procreation without the sin of sexual pleasure. We must overcome the programming of outdated modes of operating based on ‘celibacy as an ideal. bringing illumination to the world. as a second best option for those unworthy of the priesthood. At the end of the day it is the attitude of the consenting adults concerned that define what is a sacred rite or a cheap/pretentious thrill.
imagination. and to make it less spontaneous by making sure that the process involves two-way communication. Some propose that these forces are external. Book 4. The difficulty is to distinguish communications from other types of dream. Although this can be enhanced in certain ways. Basic Theory and Assumptions In any area of Magic. and this essay presents useful ideas on how to create your own system. Images circulate in our minds. Furthermore the posing of the question to the subconscious presents some difficulty. and often we can retain these images long enough to remember them when we wake up.more nearly than it does calling forth.” Aleister Crowley. Boston. Intuition is another way in which the subconscious mind presents information to our conscious minds. but it is always more ideal to do the work yourself. and vice-versa. others that Magicians harness unexplained powers emanating from within. tends to be somewhat sporadic. at least through the subconscious3.CREATING YOUR OWN DIVINATION SYSTEM Mike Finucane2 A ll of us sometimes feel the need for guidance in our lives.com I take here the same attitude that Aleister Crowley does in Book 4 where he discusses the evocation of spirits. …It is at least convenient to represent the whole work as if it were subjective. rather. Developing this skill will also allow you to help others in need. Perhaps the most direct form that this communication takes. “When we ‘conjure Nakhiel to visible appearance. Construction of a divination system – an Oracle – can therefore be equated to developing a method of transferring information effectively from the conscious mind to the subconscious. 3 2 -13- . if not from.’ it may be that our process resembles creation – or. 1. others are processing information internally. Divination therefore depends on developing an effective communication with the subconscious. live out events from which we have been frustrated in our waking lives. as a great deal of Magical technique also has as its goal the overcoming Mike_Finucane@yahoo. because you have more insight into yourself than anyone else.142 4 There is also the difficulty in that many dreams are unrelated to intended communication from the subconscious. Dreamwork is therefore a form of empty-handed divination. there are usually several competing theories to explain the forces in operation. Weiser Books. I prefer not to speculate on the ultimate origin of the information received at this juncture. 2004 ISBN 0-87728-919-0 p. but the level of skill required both in remembering and in interpretation is formidable4. and can interpret the results more clearly. It leads to less confusion. if you can develop the skill. occurs in sleep. Divination systems are an attempt to regularize the communication between the subconscious and the conscious minds. It should be noted that this has obvious further implications. the information received. Developing your own personal divination system is superior to purchasing a ready-made deck of cards. Consulting another person can prove useful. Some. both by improving its efficiency. but the theory presented here depends on the assumption that the information arrives. for example. like that obtained from dreams.
127-131 6 The subconscious might pop images into our minds. The second alternative.of the subconscious/conscious barrier. The solution is therefore either to train the subconscious in the use of language. It is no coincidence that this is a common practice in divination systems. as appears to be the case when individuals have reported hearing voices telling them not to get on a plane. and language and mathematics use symbols as the base of their operation. as we are used to programming the conscious mind. Although the left brain has difficulty in manipulating symbols and images as adroitly as the right. is that while the conscious mind prefers to operate in a linear manner. training the logical mind to communicate with symbols seems a better bet on the whole. or it may direct our attention to one point of the augur rather than another. Training the subconscious in this direction is probably not the wisest course. through dreams. Scientists and Magicians are well-used to using symbols in their work. “Sigils belief with protection”. then the latter will make use of it if it has anything in particular to say6. omens or prophesy. The principal difficulty in communication between the conscious and unconscious minds. the domain of the conscious mind. These are unasked for messages from the subconscious. such as we see when staring absently at clouds. 5 -14- . to train the conscious mind in the use of symbols. it seems that this is likely to be a more productive approach than the first. England. Sigils owe their potency to their effectiveness in presenting desires to the subconscious5. by using images. in an emergency. To use an analogy with foreign language communication. and the left hemisphere of the brain. Methodology Communication of the question from the Conscious to the Subconscious. the province of the right brain. sometimes it makes sense for each to speak in their native tongue. and the responses have usually to be deciphered to be understood. The Book of Pleasure. even if the request is not explicitly made. It should also be stated briefly that the method best used by the conscious mind to communicate with the subconscious is not necessarily the one suited to the reverse communication. Questions are posed in the vernacular. although context can often provide an implicit provocation. 2001 ISBN1-872189-28-8. Concepts can be described specifically and accurately by using language. analogies and feelings. I-H-O Books. With some systems. this can be subtle or non-existent. 2. For example. in ETHOS. the subconscious is as likely to take the opportunity that Austin Spare. The subconscious probably can communicate linguistically. intuition. even if a method could be devised. the subconscious prefers to operate in non-linearly. or they can be described less specifically perhaps. because the very strength of the subconscious mind depends on it being able to work with concepts as a whole. If examination of a chicken’s entrails is usually followed by a conscious decision to accept the findings as a communication from the subconscious. or to develop a language with which both have some competency. but more completely. inspiration. and using symbology to decipher the response. instead of step-by-step using discrete logic and language. Often the subconscious spontaneously communicates with the recipient. If there is no important message waiting. Regular ritual will make it clear to the subconscious what is required. as understanding is often easier than speaking a foreign language. if both conversational partners are not fluent. pp. In those terms it is worth considering using language to communicate to the subconscious.
Thus ritual is a communication from our conscious minds to our subconscious. 7 -15- . Another point of note is that a light trance often helps to connect the conscious mind to the subconscious. In each of these methods. the colour Red. or simply stilling the mind. A loosely similar practice is that of Geomancy. and secondly. can be thought of in this way. it could be an external force such as a demon controlling the planchette. all stimulate the same symbol-complexes in the subconscious. but then you have the difficulty of learning how to interpret the language of your subconscious. Again. which are triggers for the subconscious. keeping a dream diary will inform the subconscious that you are taking the dreams that it generates seriously. or there may be no spirit presence. As noted earlier. At this point however. much as evangelical Christians enjoy speaking in tongues. amplifying them with simple equipment such as sticks or pendulums. as can mild hypnotics. it is no coincidence that rituals make great use of correspondences. and so on.the occasion presents to amuse itself as our conscious mind would be in the same circumstance. we set up a situation using sensory inputs – sounds. or by using a graphical language (sigil work). with your subconscious mind operating as an accurate relay. Blood. Likewise. and the Diviner should use whatever method works best for them. The subconscious can deliberately ignore signals which do not further its message. The question can then be simply stated in English. but given that other magical workings often benefit by reworking the material to be communicated. For deliberate communication from the conscious to the subconscious. just the subconscious mind playing around. the process becomes highly personalized. either using “barbarous” language of one sort or another. the nature of the request. By developing ritual. some way is found to allow the subconscious to control its communication. Dowsers allow their subconscious to control minor muscle movements. in which the diviner scribbles a random number of ticks on a line as the first step in the process. just as graphical symbols are. The specifics of the communication (for divination that usually means a question) have thus been placed in a context conducive to effective communication. The next part of the process is to develop a format in which the subconscious mind can communicate in return. or other common opening form). the same principle can be usefully applied. plants with red sap. and can highlight others which do. and this has been found in practice to improve both the quantity and the quality of dream-based information. You may trip over 5 owls unknowingly before you spot the raven that you take to be portentous. Shuffling yarrow sticks can induce the right frame of mind. That is to say. it does not seem unlikely that this may be of benefit here also. waiting for a dream is one simple way. Even less obvious forms of divination such as the interpretation of omens. Incense such as Dragonsblood. sight. The Delphic Oracle allowed their subconscious to take over control of their speech. informing it first that communication is desired (through a banishing. The English Sorceror Austin Spare allowed his drawing to become automatic. or the will to power. under subconscious control. Iron. smell – which inform the subconscious that we wish to communicate with it. informing it that the communication will relate to war-related material. Mars. See also footnote (1). Communication of the reply from the Subconscious to the Conscious. A lot of the problems associated with casual use of Ouija boards could well be explained in this manner7.
8 -16- . To understand what our symbols mean to our subconscious. then clears the mind and goes into a light trance. but be prepared to use a lot of scratch paper in the beginning. the I-Ching of the Chinese. whether 5 days or nine months. What kind of questions will you be asking? What kind of responses are possible? There is no point in developing a deck with 78 cards if you only intend asking simple yes/no questions. these will act more accurately and more precisely than those developed by others. If I want to know how soon a critical event will occur. a lot of work has to be done to add these meanings in to the standard deck. the Tarot associated with the Gypsies. you should spend some time considering the uses to which this deck will be put. Before beginning. Although many symbols – the language of the subconscious – are common enough to be generally applicable. wagons. the diviner quietly thinks of the question. and with the depth required to give a full response. the Runes of the Norse. that the symbols used should be clear to your subconscious. in practice. and obviously did not include ice. their layout is interpreted according to a previously understood set of rules. the potsherds of the Jews (casting Lots). and so will have to be designed simultaneously. Some symbols depend on the For example. There are two requirements to consider when designing the deck. assisting it in choosing which items to present to the diviner and in which order. the more easily they will be assimilated by the subconscious. thorns. In each of these systems. In particular. An area where I find the standard Tarot weak. If used. these days. an image with which many are more familiar with. Choice of Symbols. Practice with analysis allows the subconscious to become familiar also with these rules. that the full deck of cards should cover the full range of possible responses. First. 3. it is very helpful if you can use symbols with which you are intimately familiar8. during which the items at hand are shuffled and sorted. but replaced horses with camels. each of us has our own private garden of symbols. The closer that the symbols used are to those with which it is already familiar with. which we have accumulated as we have grown. Practice Construction of a Divination system Over the years many systems have been developed which are based on sortilege. Would it be simpler to include some graphical device on each card? It is not essential to work out all of these kind of details to begin with.The rest of this essay will discuss considerations in how to develop your personal divination system. ice and the sun. “the Chariot” as a Formula 1 Racing Car. Thus the Norse used symbols for cattle. for example. I will concentrate on developing an Oracle using Cards with symbols drawn on them. interactively. When constructing your own Oracle. is the first stage of developing a communication with our deeper selves. the Rohrig Tarot represents the standard Tarot Major VII. while the Hebrews used similar symbols. and many more. or can be made so with practice. horses. with sufficient unambiguity as to make the answer clear to the practiced operator. Once the items are arranged. Secondly. These two requirements are interdependent. such as cattle and thorns. is in timing events.
take note of symbols used that resonate with you. so that often we don’t remember the journey. if our personal symbol for wealth is gold. The ideal is to have each symbol used already have meaning for us. Among these. The divination systems which are in widespread use are so because they frame common answers to common questions. our desires and our personalities are developed from these. as is often the case. is that you may find yourself accepting meanings that don’t really fit into your inner system – always remember that it is your associations with the symbols that take precedence.images we have been exposed to. Quite scary that. rather than learn unfamiliar ones. even of you already have a symbol assigned to this idea in your developing deck. Deck Design The second part of Oracle construction. But watch out for these symbols in everyday life also. the better. even conflicting meanings – so take your time and work with the symbols you find until you understand what your associations with these symbols are. will have an overall grasp of what the cards are telling us. the sooner we can transition to a semiunconscious way of reading. are the cards in the Tarot which are immediately obvious to you. Is the Cup a loving cup? Or a cup of sacrifice? Filling the cup with blood in your image can disambiguate. for sake of practicality. it is also possible to drill in new meanings by practice. and take a note of any you find striking. Dreamwork (outside the scope of the present essay) is a powerful way to understand the symbols which our subconscious already use. the better our results will be. The realm of phobias. or a man lying face down with swords in his back. but deeper symbols relate to meaningful events in our lives. Although in the beginning we need to drive a car with conscious care. If your currency is not green. But every compromise we make. the smoother the communication will be from the full unconscious to our conscious minds. cover the range of the answers that you expect to encounter. will eliminate another advantage of our deck over a standard one. This is where the preparatory thinking on what kinds of questions and answers you will be using comes into play. is a situation where we can deal a set of cards. a skilful driver will hand the task over to his subconscious. It is worth while looking out for these. How vague should the answers be? How -17- . The danger in using cultural symbols. If you read mythological stories. we might arbitrarily decide to attribute wealth to green. but we also use gold to represent the Divine. In addition to our own symbols. perhaps a heart transfixed by swords. When we learn tables of correspondences. Here is an example of how the process of designing our deck is interactive. in practice. and we have no associations with the colour green. The less we think. and without having to think too deeply. or may come to prefer the second after some reflection. then green may not be a suitable colour to represent wealth to you! Having said that. even events which have been blocked by our conscious minds because of their intensity. we may have to resort to teaching our subconscious by constant practice with some unfamiliar symbols. we do just that. The more we use our native symbols. for example. What we are aiming at eventually. Although in the beginning while reading with our decks we may need to work intellectually. recurring dreams. there is a range of common symbols which have already been accepted by our subconscious minds. and including them in your symbol-bank. You may need a nuance version later. But remember that cultural symbols can accumulate several different. is to ensure that the cards which you create.
This of course is linked with the style of your reading. If you ask how many weeks will it take to get a return on your investment. have many meanings. singly or in combination. than a catering company can prepare food for a hundred people. or restrict the readings to a limited number of cards drawn at one shuffle. If your reading consists of turning a single card. The first context to consider. One extreme is to use an ordinary deck of cards. Will he have red hair? No. it would be considerably more difficult. The standard Tarot deck has been engineered both in its original design. Will he be honest and true? Yes. Each card can therefore provide answers to many different questions. and Black the negative. and the use limited. the more possible responses the Oracle will be required to generate. with some redundancy. Shuffle through the deck at regular intervals. but the deck will be very cumbersome. weeding out too many copies. How you reconcile these two imperatives is up to you. there are some nextbest cards which can fill in. the two of Cups for the Lovers. The opposite extreme is to have a thousand cards each with the phone number of one possible mate. and your preferred style of reading. Alternatively. or which people may ask of you. the answer would be to focus on creativity and ideas. with Red cards signifying the affirmative. If your question asks more simply in which direction you should best focus your energies over the next year. that it has become widely accepted. But if you lay down four lines of ten cards each. so that the widest possible range of answers is possible for a given number of cards. If the question is a simple yes or no. Either allow some redundancy. The Rohrig Tarot which follows the Thoth -18- . If I were writing this with the restriction that I could only use any word but once in the course of the essay. is to take context into account. for example. such that it presents a good wide-ranging deck. At the same time. such as yes and no. you want to reduce the redundancy. you can answer question after question repeatedly between shuffles. one way to proceed is to keep careful record of questions which you may have from time to time. In the standard Tarot. In the standard Tarot. Individual decks will also have unique symbols on them which may also prove useful. it will not be an issue. but keeping a few similar copies of frequent answers. you will be forced to find ways in which cards. you had better have some redundancy to allow the deck to perform. In practice. you will have to generalize the responses in some way. the card would have to be interpreted in the affirmative. if you ask whether your current romance is likely to be a good one. if the Oracle has something to say in line four for which you have already drawn the card in line one. and range of questions.specific? The more specific the answer you require. Some repetition of cards or meanings is also desirable. in the same way that a careful host can select a menu better for his guests. but enough specificity within a reasonable size. you can ask but one question: what is the phone number of my next lover? Very specific in its response. With such a deck. Without a deck containing hundreds or thousands of cards. Never doubt however that you can improve on it – at least for your own purposes. in the refinement of the minor Arcana symbolism by Rider-Waite-Coleman and in the interpretation by more recent users. much like a game of twenty questions: Will I meet a new lover? Yes. Write each one on a blank card. The trick to maximizing the amount of information available for a given number of cards. the answer is four. for example. is that of the question. Ask yourself what the alternatives are. And so on. the four of Wands will answer yes. With such a deck. The Rider Waite has a castle with a red roof.
so that if you ask a question about someone’s character. For example. You can give each card a dominant colour. or blindingly so. suppose that you follow tradition and have four suits each numbered 1-10. the answer will be aggressive. and sub-symbols to sub-concepts. The 10 of Swords is doing double duty in the extreme. and the intensity to the second (here. thus your question: “Will my business prosper” answered by the 4 of Wands followed by the ten of Swords would mean Yes. you have cast the meaning to be other than the usual meaning. Each of these symbols may help in answering questions. The symbols can be expanded. Note that this is contrary to the usual meaning of the ten of Swords. In designing your own deck you can give every three cards the meaning little. This refinement of the deck will take some time. or simplified. From this point. which is absolute ruin. indicates progress towards some goal. Additional symbols can be used on cards. -19- . much. With each seventh card repeating the red sentiment (if you have so designed it). in the second position (if you have so decided in advance) purely about the intensity of the first card’s response. Solely because you chose to attribute the answer to the first card (in this case. and added intensifiers and so on. what their future may hold. there will be no shortage of cards representing that sentiment remaining in the deck. a ten. but nevertheless a ten is a ten. there are cards which will reflect aggressiveness. and the dominant colour is red. one suited to the unique way that both halves or your mind communicate with each other to best advantage. in whatever way seems useful to you. There are common spreads indicating the nature of the Querent. quite successful. and so on. you may design your spread such that the first card you draw determines the answer. it might be helpful to know whether it will be somewhat successful. a new set of blank cards can be used to create your final Oracle. Spreads. Remember that the context of the cards will not be determined merely by the design of the deck. some. such as the Chariot or the 6 of Wands. so design this contemporaneously. True. or to combine close relatives into a single card. what blocks them. which will answer questions to the types of questions that you are most interested in. and once the process seems to be converging on a finalized form. you should write on the cards when it occurs to you to modify the meanings in some way. and you are asking. the maximum). a new layer of information The second form of context to consider is that of positioning within a spread of cards. and with the range of answers at the level of detail that you prefer. you have a preliminary deck with which to begin work. Drawing an Ace followed by a three. A relationship spread for you and your lover. and then a nine. for example if ambiguities arise. Once you have assigned symbols to each concept. the four of wands. Greatly (in that order). if you want to know if your business venture will be successful. each card has a different meaning depending on where within the spread it falls. the possibilities are endless. depending on which card represents you and which they. For example. can indicate your respective positions. Adding these attributes to cards which can juxtapose your primary cards can be useful indeed. a generally positive card). while the reverse indicates regress.deck tradition calls the card “Completion” and depicts a sphere. Of course the ten of cups would be more reassuring. but these cards may be already fulfilling a role elsewhere in your spread. but by the manner in how you lay them out. Feel free to use every way you can think of to make your Oracle work harder for you. if you prefer – you could even use the intensity of the colour on the card. or perhaps to add new cards if required. and the second the intensity.
and the symbols that you choose must reflect as closely as you can determine. Crowley’s. Strongly recommended guide to designing your own deck by this groundbreaking sorceror. 2004) ISBN 0877289190..E. Concerning Divination. it will be sufficient and effective. which is in essence a private communion between you and your subconscious. 2002) ISBN 0486425231. this set of blank cards may be a place to start in designing your own images. The centre of the card is blank and left open for your designs. (Samuel Weiser US. 9 -20- . so play loosely. A Dictionary of Symbols. Magical Alphabets. Resources/ Recommended Reading: Austin Spare. Not Mr. Waites. those of your right brain. The Inspiration Tarot Deck. you could develop a system to analyse the final position of the board after a game played with your querent. While there are many people who have attributed the cards in one way. I would suggest While on that point. Your analysis must reflect your methods of left brain communication. Book 4: Magick in Theory and Practice (Weiser Books. As here. Whatever system you choose. (Fulgur. And so much more when dealing with an Oracle. in Zos Speaks. but also to most divination systems that you could construct. The theory presented here applies not only to creating a deck of cards. An encyclopedic collection of symbols. For example. and to adjust the range of the responses to best answer your most frequent questions. So long as the images are understandable by you. By following these guidelines. Fifth Formula: Of fortune telling by cards. pp 225-227. remember that your personality is more of a determinant than any outside authority. But remember that the subconscious must be allowed to play the deciding role in how the game plays out. UK 1998) ISBN 0953101906. nor Mr. but he proposes that the standard symbols are invariable. When any tradition stops living. P. 1992) ISBN 0877287473. For those who want to work with a standard 78-card deck. US. for reasons of their own. it dies. he allows that the information may come from within the sorceror. your subconscious may differ in many cases. you should soon have a divination system which will prove far superior in your hands to any commercially available system. remember that the deck is a tool for you. Cirlot. Aleister Crowley. as well as a survey of several examples. pp. remember that religion loses its soul when dogma overcomes truth. A useful source for the principles behind sacred alphabets.4. and equally intelligent and well-meaning folk who have altered this. Boston. or as an aid in understanding your own symbols. from The Zoëtic Grimoire of Zos. Astrological and Tree of Life attributions as well as the suits and pip numbers are on the cards. A general outline of Crowley’s ideas on the subject. Remember though that although these symbols pervade human culture. Pennick. (Dover. 250-264. keep working to improve both the accuracy of the symbolic translation. Provo. N. J. so it doesn’t matter how skillful a draughtsman you are. but yours – and it should also grow as you do9. (US Games Systems 1996) ISBN 0880795247. Conclusion In all of this. if you enjoy playing Chess. useful as a source of symbols.
as well as giving lots of examples of questions and advice. A rather dense examination of the symbols from the standard Tarot. C. Likely to prove a rich resource of imagery. the Masks of God. noting anything that particularly strikes you as meaningful. (Penguin US 1964) ISBN 0140043063. and covers the hero’s journey as well as many other mythic types. I Ching. This version has a good introduction on how to consult the Oracle. “A systematic and fascinating comparison of the themes that underlie the art. All of Joseph Campbell’s books are worth a look as he was incisively aware that myths reflect common symbols of our subconscious minds. S. Campbell. (Samuel Weiser US 1980) ISBN 0877285152. but rather usefully. Markert. linked directly to Jungian analysis. Occidental Mythology. worship and literature of the western world”. Nichols. Jung and Tarot. an Archetypal Journey. rather than as painting-by-numbers. as well as theories as to how it works. (Weatherhill US 1986) ISBN 0834804573. -21- . J. Ancient wisdom for modern decision-making. Any one of a number of good I Ching texts is useful to understand the general principles behind divination.perusing this book and similar as bathroom literature.
The modern witch movement has a number of important sources. which is Slang for “witchcraft”. In any case. The etymology behind the root “wicc” is debated. The witch was a character who could be found at a sacred site. and who gazed into the unknown. This etymmology would reveal that the word “witch” and the German “hexe” and the Swedish “häxa”. or the Gospel of the Witches that was published in 1899 by the American Charles G. It was commonly an enclosure. Practising witches often claim its authenticity. Although witchfinder generals generally burned normal people at the stake. which are associated with the words “hage” and hagga”. which makes it suitable for dark magicians. Frequent discussions have debated if the text is an authentic source to traditional witchcraft or if it is fiction made up by Leland. during his runic research in the 17th century. while scholars remain more sceptical. called Wicca. One of the main documents of witchcraft and the witch movement is Aradia. originally has an identical meaning. If we follow the meaning of the word witch we will find links to the Draconian tradition. The modern witch movement is based in the anglo-saxon countries and has become a new religious movement. Occasionally the words “witch” and “hexe/häxa” seem to be synonymous. The word “witch” can be traced back to the word “vitki”. It can also have its origin in the Old North term “vi” that means “holy”. we can suppose that some actual witches existed and that a real witchcraft – that also previously had been secret and hidden – after the witch trials became even more clandestine. 1999) by the academic Ronald Hutton three main opinions about Aradia is presented: 1) It is a genuine document describing traditional Italian witchcraft. the Old Norse word for a seer or a magician. We will return to etymology below. or a sacred grove. After leaving him with the documents she disappeared and never contacted Leland again. the witchcraft trials can have been used to cleanse out dissidents and asocial elements. It could originate from the proto-Germanic “wik” which has to do with something spinning. or the “pythonicus” in Latin. The word witch can also be traced back to the same roots as the words “see” and the Swedish “veta” (to know) and “the one who sees”. 2) the text is written by Maddalena based D -22- . Rather the opposite seems plausible. which corresponds to the Greek “derkein” and “drakon”. This is also a way to separate the witchcraft from the modern Wicca religion. The Danish runologist Ole Worm had. but simultaneously the word “hexe/häxa” seems to carry darker and more sinister connotations. It is claimed to be a holy text from the Italian witch cult and allegedly it was handed over to Leland on New Years Day 1877 by a woman named Maddalena. a large part of the pre-Christian tradition was forced underground. a “vi” or a grove. turning or twisting (Edred 1999: 71). It could also be linked to the dances of witchcraft or the association with the turn of the seasons. “holy place”. In Triumph of the Moon (Oxford University Press.DARK INITIATORY WITCHCRAFT Thomas Karlsson uring the violent witch processes thousands of women (and men) were killed by men of the Christian church but far from all had supposedly any connection with witchcraft or pagan beliefs. Leland. Icelandic informants who willingly divulged information about the runes. which denoted a magician or seer. but when the witch trials reached Iceland with a devastating force they all turned silent (Palm 2004: 408).
such as William Rufus. The definitive arising of the modern witch cult came with the book Witchcraft Today by the Englishman Gerald Gardner. The dark initiatory witchcraft is not in itself linked to the annual festivals. in the medieval church art and in the stories are on the other hand a more sinister witch who is in alliance with the Devil and travels to Brocken or Blåkulla to celebrate orgiastic sabbaths. It is still one of the most important sources of Wicca. which was published in 1921 and presented the thesis that the witch cult was an organised anti-movement to Christianity with roots in pre-classic heathen fertility religions. demons and familiars. are thought to be fictious. pacts with the Devil etc. as well as several grimoires. that are associated with the witch and the witch cult that are of interest. The witch we encounter in the court protocols from the witch processes. The opposite couples “natural” and “non-natural” is meant to be understood from the -23- . had developed its own hierarchy. with dances and annual festivals. which later was completed by worship of a horned male fertility god. according to Murray. Among scholars and scientists her theories has won little support. the degree system of the Freemason. and not least the Necronomicon which despite its fictious origin has shown itself to be useful for many magicians. ideas from Aleister Crowley and other occultists. Wicca and the modern witch cult is more reminiscent of a constructed religion than an initiatory system. while the witchcraft that focuses on journeys to Brocken and other worlds can be called dark non-natural initiatory witchcraft. the goddess worship was repressed and replaced by a worship of solely the male god. The witch is described as a misunderstood wise woman (or man) who helped animals and men with her traditional knowledge about herbs and natural medicine. Wicca acts as an earth religion (notwithstanding that most of its adherents most probably can be found in the western cities). the modern witchreligion. The next important source for modern witch cult is The Witch Cult in Western Europe by Dr.upon her own family tradition. 3) it is made up by Leland based on his knowledge about folklore. which is not merely an earth religion. She also asserted that the witch cult. festivals and an organisation consisting of groups of 13 witches. The form of witchcraft that is based on the annual festivals can be referred to as a light natural cosmic witchcraft. but they are important to the modern witch cult. were members of witch covens. but a complete system of initiation – dark magical tradition that can be fitted into the Draconian tradition. as late as in the seventeenth century. In time. grimoires and books of black arts. But the perhaps most sensational statement is that certain English kings. Regardless which alternative is correct. even if several of these moments open up the gate between the worlds and thus are of interest for the dark witch. above all the latter. The dark witchcraft is often non-worldly minded and it is focused on journeys to Brocken. Sabbaths. published in 1954. the book can be of interest. which great parts of modern esotericism is based upon. Also the manuscript of the Rosicrucians. If one attempts to explore the witchcraft from a magical and initiatory perspective it is mainly the phenomena and functions. in which the god and the goddess are central. She claimed that the worship of mother earth was the original religion. Margaret Murray. the symbols and attributes. Through the studying of these a new image of the witchcraft appears. Although we can find elements of initiation rites. The modern witch cult is a potpourri of material gathered from pre-Christian European religion.
but there seems to exist substance behind that usage. but the witch seems to have had a more dangerous role than the wise woman and was associated with perilous and divergent women. they are associated with the night and the dark or black magic. It also formerly meant "an evil or frightening spirit" or "nightmare." or Female demon. while the non-natural or unnatural magic belonged to Lucifer. hagzissa. Many “wise women” were burned at the stake as witches. Old High German. dangerous and forbidden. Hagzissa denotes someone cunning in witchcraft who rides on a stick taken from a fence. a predynastic matriarchal ruler who knew words of power. or if the witch moves independently between these like Lucifer. In modern oral tradition it has frequently been used as a pejorative name on women. crossroad. A more elementary difference between the two extremes in witchcraft could be named light nature-witchcraft and dark initiatory witchcraft. breaks laws and strive to become a god. the demons and opposed the laws of God and nature. To be able to fully understand witchcraft we must begin with a closer examination of the word “witch”. "Harpy. The deviating character of the witch has on the other hand inspired feminists to view the witch or the hag as a role model for independent women. The word “häxa” originates in the German “Hagezussa” or “Hagzissa” which is earliest confirmed in the 15th century and has an etymological connection to “inhägnad” (pasture). The opposites “light” and “dark” signify which forces the witch is working with. But in many instances they may overlap each other. an ugly repulsive old woman.” One of the more fanciful etymological explanations regarding the word ”häxa” is that it is related to the Greek goddess Hekate which is the goddess of the moon. which meant. This word spread during the witch persecutions in the late middle ages and beginning of -24- . Different from what many modern practitioners of witchcraft claim the witch does not appear to have been the “wise woman”. The opposites “cosmic” and “initiatory” indicates if the witch submits to the annual cycles. witch. the courses of the heavenly bodies. or to the Egyptian word “Hike” which denoted “magic” and “magical force”. To the latter belonged such acts like necromancy or other things that were believed to be reserved for God alone. The most accepted explanation regarding the word “häxa” is that it comes from a German word that reached Sweden in the 17th century. Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler define the term in the following manner in A Feminist Dictionary (Rivers Oram Press/Pandora 1990): “Hag: Originally "Holy Woman. “häck” (hedge) or “stängsel” (fence). Hags may now be considered wise women of independent spirit. An inspiring but possibly even more unlikely derivation links it to the Egyptian frog goddess Hekt/Heqet. Gods of light are socially accepted and are associated with the day and white magic while dark gods are perceived as sinister.differentiation in the renaissance magic between the accepter of divine magic which only works with nature and the heavenly bodies. The Swedish and German Hexe/Häxa has the same roots as the word “hag”. ghosts and witchcraft. and they move away from the term “häxa”. Loki or other characters that travels between the worlds." One must ask though " 'Evil' by whose definition? 'Frightening' to whom? Whose nightmare?" Feminist contemporary definition derives from this archaic past." a cognate of Egyptian heg. The negative associations that the word “hexe” and “häxa” brings has driven many practitioners to call themselves Wiccans. not least in the traditions of herbal magic in which the witches ointment are rooted in nature and assists the witch on her journeys between the worlds. It has also been suggested that the word “hage” (grove) is linked to the older word. Old English haegtesse.
This odd character contained both the socially marginalized and kings like Odin. where she entered trance. a person who sits in a fenced area. mundane human identity. If witchcraft has historical roots it is not mainly in the social accepted pagan fertility cult that we should seek it. the ability to travel between the worlds and which was protected by the goddess Freya. The witch would hence revel in an asocial and perverted behaviour. ghosts and demons (Fries 1997: 77). In such a sacred area there was a tree or a raised wooden pillar which acted as the “world tree” or world axis” where one could travel between the worlds. Seijd was an art of ecstasy that was frowned upon. Odin was one of the first men who learned to Seijd and the other gods made pejorative remarks about it. or passes through it.). she passed through a rite of passage. gods. relating the world of mortals with the realm of spirits. (Raudvere 2003: 37). A person who sits in the hedge. but in the sinister and feared art of Seijd. It is not the cosy forest beings of John Bauer but quite abstract and sometimes completely immaterial forces. The practitioner just like the witch was an odd character in the society but with very special gifts. Already the meaning of the word itself seems to point towards that the stick.” This description corresponds to how the practitioner of Seijd entered into the asocial and perverted states under their ecstatic trance during which they travelled into other worlds and communicated with higher powers. In Kunskap och insikt i norrön tradition (Nordic Academic Press. she lived in the outskirts of the village. i. enchantress etc. that is. interacts with known reality (the village) and the dangerous realms beyond. but which was also believed to grant supernatural power. to protect settlements (. from Neolithic times.e. from the south of Germany to northern Europe. Hedges were used. “trollkona” or “trollkärring” comparable to sorceress. but still Seijd is described in the Ynglinga saga as “the art that gives the most power”. -25- . 2003) the religious scholar Catharina Raudvere writes that: It seems as if the different uses of the root ”Troll” acted as signals that powerful forces was in movement. ”Troll” denotes the mythological background to the conceptions and acts that are discussed. The witch was equivalent to the practitioner of Seijd in Old Norse times. but also astrally and magically that the witch existed on the limit between the earthly and the other worlds. The fact that she was on the border can be interpreted both socially and in space. believed to be perverse. magi och trolldomsprocesser” (Uppsala university. She was now in Blåkulla. wand or broom is a part of the criteria of being a witch.. writes in his book: ”Blåkulla. Jan Fries presents one explanation of the word Hagzissa in his book Helrunar: It means ’hedge sitter’. A witch was a character who sat on the border out to the unknown. which in olden times could be a sacred “vi”.. and they were used for women who practised forbidden magic. The Nordic words that denoted witch was “trollpacka”. Witchcraft was associated with the dark forces.D. The practitioner of Seijd was generally a woman who during the Seijd sat on a “sejd-häll” (flat part of mountain or rock). Thus has the word Hagzissa also been interpreted as “hedge-sitter”. In the final phase the witch returned to her normal. 2002): ”The witch existed in between the known and the unknown (…) In the same moment that the witch pronounced an incantation that caused her to fly to Brocken/Blåkulla. The scholar Per Anders Östling Ph. (…) After this passage the mundane social order was not relevant any longer and she had passed into another role.the new era.
The conception of witches. This is why the moon and other symbols are pivotal in witchcraft. The phenomenological view can also be associated with an astral and psychological view of the witch in which the experience of the identity of the witch is central. They are demonic beings that act as a collective of destructive forces. In early Nordic Christian literature the word troll is used in general regarding devils. The two viewpoints can. Here one views the witchcraft from two main standpoints: 1) a historic view of the witch. unlike what is common in Wicca. even in those cases that we are talking about male practitioners. but at the same time been an important part of society and only at the arrival of the Church been persecuted and killed. for example: the dark and sinister and boundary breaking character of the witch. no matter if called trolls in pre-Christian times and devils in later Christian interpretations. but historically she had a role in the Nordic society which was altered after the arrival of Christianity. travels to other worlds. sinister and breaking boundaries. was dark. Witchcraft largely belongs to the astral levels. in which certain characteristics seem to be recurrent.Trolls are. good of heart and which were misunderstood and persecuted when times changes. and pacts with dark forces. this can have corresponded to the dark properties of the witch. according to Raudvere. demons and monsters etc (Raudvere 2003: 38). Rather the opposite. protocols from witch -26- . the herbs and poisons and the spirits etc. The Tunrida was a form of witch. Modern practitioners generally attempt to reconstruct an old initiatoric witchcraft that they believe that they are bringing into practise ”again”. This view of the witch enables us. as in the case of Odin and Seijd. to not be based on the conception that the witch was a wise old woman. If we would assume that the witch in the North was equivalent with the practitioners of Seijd. a connection with dark forces is included. Persisting is also the cases of the forbidden orgies. or 2) a phenomenological view of the witch. which can be found among witches in Africa. In the concept of being a witch. China and South America. this point of view is based on the fact that the witch always has had contact with dark entities. names of a rather vaguely defined group of supernatural beings in the Old Norse mythology. The other viewpoint is the phenomenological. but it is also the view that most modern practitioners of witchcraft are based on. and attributes such as the wand. but that were often associated with the Mare and nocturnal sexual dreams. important to emphasize that the witch did NOT worship the Devil. Phenomenologically she was a witch with all the characteristics of a witch. The term ”troll” is used also to denote people with special and supernatural abilities. Since both the word witch and the word ”häxa” comes from Germanic words there has been arguments that witchcraft must be based in the Nordic tradition. In many cases it was not people. The phenomenological viewpoint is based on the thought that the witch. The problem with this is that the material is very limited and that the majority of the sources are from the Christian records. the cauldron. The magicians and the witches were in alliance with dark forces. but astral beings. partly. The first is of course interesting for historians and ethnologists. be united. From this perspective it is not. but are also occasionally individually active. as in Wicca. For this reason. we can find witchcraft in almost all times and cultures. with certain attributes and characteristics and abilities can be found in most traditions. The witch or the sorceress was the character which was in the zone between the world of man and the world of the supernatural. which in turn was associated with the giants (Jotnar) which are other dark beings of the Old Norse pantheon. If we would base our selves on a phenomenological view of the witch. to be called a witch. The association with the female is central.
Jan. Catharina. Witchcraft is a universal phenomenon and we can identify the dark practices of the witch in Mesopotamian manuscripts. A Feminist Dictionary 1990. Vikingarnas språk 2004. Edred. Bibliography Flowers. Ronald. This is the reason why witchcraft belongs to the Nightside or Draconian Tradition. Palm. The Triumph of the Moon 1999. since it reveals the image of the witch that existed in people’s minds. in anthropological studies from Africa or in the old Nordic traditions. otherwise witchcraft becomes something else – a farmer cult which is powerful and meaningful in its own right. Witchdom of the True 1999. where the forces of the unlimited Chaos rather than the structured Cosmos are the goal of the Initiate. Helrunar 1993. but not the same as witchcraft. Per-Anders. magi och trolldomsprocesser 2002. Her practises are examples of a dark intiatory path where she gets in league with the nightside to become independent of principles of cosmos and society. Kramarae and Treichler. Raudvere.trials and church art is interesting. Rune. Östling. -27- . Blåkulla. The witches of today must embrace the fact that the witch in ancient times was a dark and sinister figure. Fries. Hutton. Kunskap och insikt i norrön tradition 2003.
and Samael). misinterpreted. Judaism. influenced to differing degrees by Platonism. who certainly would not have coloured them in an unbiased or favourable light. in turn. Stoicism. the Archons (“Creators”). The followers of this religion. We also have limited information on the ancient form of Gnosticism. an incomprehensible all-permeating divine being/principle. there have been some common threads or predominant themes and concepts that are worth mentioning. Neo-Platonism. and even demonised throughout the years. but there is often a common view that the last and lowest of these was Sophia (Greek for “Wisdom”. or simply “the One”. Saklas. with a revitalisation of interest in this subject stemming from the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library of ancient Gnostic texts in Egypt in 1945 and the general reinvigoration of Esotericism in the West in the last two hundred years. held a common belief in “Gnosis” (Greek for “Knowledge”). The earliest known text that we have from Gnostic sources is the Gospel of Thomas. The Gnostic view of Divinity usually postulates that there is an “All Father”. became jealous of Sophia’s power to create and created the Earth and the race of man (very much in the manner of Genesis in the Old Testament). These. or Sige (“Silence”). This text. Buddhism. Christianity. created beings of her own. etc. While the beliefs of the different Gnostic sects were as varied as the groups themselves. known variously as Ennoia (“Thought”). as apposed to in the Afterlife. proclaimed himself as the One God.INTRODUCTION TO GNOSTICISM Frater Yechidah nosticism is a huge area of religious and spiritual tradition that has been confused. Then the One G -28- . while differing on many key issues of belief and practice. failing to acknowledge the One above him. and correlating verses can still be found. a kind of spiritual experiential knowledge of the Divine in the “here and now”. the chief of these Archons. forms the groundwork of many other texts that followed. and this Something was the first Feminine Principle.). From this “Nothingness” (somewhat equivalent to the Three Veils of Negative Existence in Qabalah) was created “Something”. the Demiurge (known also by the names Yaldabaoth. Then. Sophia was dismayed by this event and travelled down through matter. being increasingly megalomaniacal. the Monad. a compilation of 114 logoi (sayings) of Jesus. delineated differently according to the sect in question. albeit sometimes greatly edited. the Divine Spark active in everyone). impregnating herself within the souls of man (as the Holy Spirit) in order to provide the potential of returning to the One. Luckily the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library and other key Gnostic codices has given us primary material from the ancient Gnostics themselves to use and study. who. because most of the ancients that we would now consider under this term would not have actually called themselves this. with most of our information stemming from key heresiologists of the day (Irenaeus. or “gods”). which dates from early in the second century CE. From the union of these came a succession of Aeons (divine emanations. within our modern incarnation of the Bible. and the Pythagoreans. The term “Gnostic” is actually misleading. We have never been so fortunate as today. Charis (“Grace”). known to some as the Father. jealous of the Monad’s ability to create. Much of this was an amalgamation of key beliefs at the time. The first occurrence of this word comes from the Sethians (followers of the biblical Seth. the third son of Adam and Eve). who were one of the major sects.
teaching the way of Ascension by example (“follow me” meaning “do as I do”). -29- . but most of these base it on the concept of Gnosis alone and have little bearing on the original teachings of the Gnostics.sent down the Logos (the Christ) to “rescue” her. and here it was that Jesus was born. Hoeller. though there are many other groups springing up. There are also a large body of esoteric schools that have adopted the title. currently led by Dr. for example). with the main leading body being the Ecclesia Gnostica. Gnosticism as a religion is slowly regaining some of its popularity (through the recent obsessions with “The Da Vinci Code” and the “Gospel of Judas”. Stephan A. freeing and rescuing Sophia. so that she (and humanity through her) may return to the pleroma (Fullness) that constitutes the higher spiritual realms where the Aeons reside. While the mythologies of each sect differ greatly. and some of its main concepts have been accepted throughout most esoteric work – but while there is a rich system of mythology for each tradition to immerse in. However. Modern Gnosticism mainly comes in a Valentinian form. the key concept of Gnosis itself will always outweigh any cultural difference in the ultimate goal for experiential knowledge of the Divine.
banishing and strengthening. ALIGNMENT The inner mechanisms of occult science find some kinship in the science of psychology. or life body is often observed as an auric field surrounding the body. The first of these is the rite of alignment. One is both clearing the space. Complexes are most often of a non-deliberate nature and can be quite debilitating. Following this comes the rite of banishing. Walsh Those who regard this ritual as a mere device to invoke or banish spirits. but none the less has a debilitating phobia of swimming and large bodies of water. being symbol and gesture. we hold the potential to build ideas of our higher ideals which echo forth into our daily actions. yet also charging it in a manner conducive to further work. Thus we have three headings under which we may dissect this ritual . Aleister Crowley anishing rituals can be roughly broken into three analytical stages or headings. assist in the building of the Life Tree in the aura and help a shift in consciousness at the beginning of ritual by building a bridge from Assiah (physical) to Yetzirah (astral) consciousness. 10 -30- . as the name suggests. In the realm of psychology there is the idea of the complex. By aligning ourselves with a primary schematic of the supernal soul we not only project into the infinite expanse of the divinity. but we also tap into the life power which engenders change in our lives. but also upon the etheric body. The etheric. it is the Medicine of Metals and the Stone of the Wise. are unworthy to possess it. and the physical activities stemming from it. To finish the ritual we also add an affirmation and a further alignment. Complexes can also be built as deliberate and positive influences on our life. In the longer version of this paper this ritual is also given a thorough analysis. not only an immediate effect on the conscious mind. an idea seeded in the subconscious. for example the use of the earth banishing pentagram in the LBRP and the vibration of the holy names to clear the space. The banishing is then strengthened by a conscious building of the four points in the circle through Briatic forces. through its streaming forth. Rites of Alignment such as the qabalistic cross create balance in the magician. For example a child who almost drowns at a young age grows up and has no conscious memory or explicit knowledge of the event. As esotericists we acknowledge the affirmations which stream forth from our intention echoes into the spiritual worlds.alignment. B The Calyx is an equivalent to the Qabalistic Cross of the Golden Dawn used in the magical order Aurum Solis. Through the language of the subconscious. forms a strong influence on the thought processes of the conscious mind. Properly understood. The dynamic of alignment found in rituals such as the Qabalistic Cross and the Calyx10 further builds.THE LESSER BANISHING RITUAL OF THE PENTAGRAM Brian M. which although without any immediate presence in the conscious. The auric body is strengthened by.
For example a clear space is defined in the beginning of the ritual. yet also a streaming forth. for indeed the gesture forms the cross. ו-גבורה. Ateh has a gematric value of 406. and -31- . the glory. אתה. The alignment is finally a balancing of the various cosmological forces at play in the ritual of the esotericist. When coming to the point of vibrating Ve-Geburah. the temple of the body finds its equivalent development in its astral counterpart. מלכות. each of the letters in one of the four worlds. This is strengthened with the interlocking of the hands at the chest and the vibration of Le-Olahm Amen. Thus we are given the image of the cross. From the crown of Kether there is an alignment with the sephiroth. meaning forever. penetrating the breast and following to the left shoulder. heh. and the translation of the words form a sleight variant on the closing of Our Lords Prayer. heh into “He Will Be” we are given YHWH. meaning thou art is vibrated while the esotericist touches their head. where veGedulah. a ritual of a specifically mercurial nature is performed in the space created. The aura is strengthened by all rites of alignment that stream forth to the supernal soul. AHYH. Of its purpose Israel Regardie said: That it is utilised in magical practice due to the fact that it constitutes an ideal method of equilibrating the personality and raising the mind to the contemplation of higher things The name Ateh. So we turn to the imagination of the tree on the body. unto the ages. Ve Gedulah has a gematric value of 6-48. ו-גדולה. In the work of building the tree in the aura. This occurs whilst touching the chest. The words and the gestures of the qabalistic cross are intimately familiar to those raised in the Christianised world. the formula of the Tetragrammaton. With this the image of the solidification of the cross of light in the aura. So in making the statement of thou art we not only align with the sephiroth of Kether. Sinai where Moses is given the divine name of God – AHYH AShR AHYH – Aye Asher Aye. but align with the logos through the Tetragrammaton which spans the length of the tree. we are given the image of a light growing in the right shoulder. Now if we. or the name of their own HGA if it is known to them. aleph. Malkuth translates as the kingdom. This can be seen as a reference to the logos statement of the Judaic God to Moses on Mt. is vibrated. The Golden Dawn Qabalistic Cross In the sequence of the LBRP we first come to an alignment which is expressed through the Qabalistic Cross.and made radiant from the building of the tree in the aura. Malkuth has a gematric value of 496. like the Judaic people. Thelemites add the vibration of the name of Aiwass. Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh. travelling down the tree. Ve Geburah has a gemetric value of 6-216. yod. and at the end of the ritual when the alignment is performed it balances any excessive mercurial energies in the ether body of the esotericist. The streaming forth from Kether follows down to the feet to which the esotericist points whilst vibrating Malkuth. the power. the area of the sephiroth of Tiphereth. make the name “I Will Be”. the Holy Guardian Angel of the Master Therion. In modern biblical arguments and indeed in the Western esoteric movement this is commonly translated as “I am the I am”. but in actuality a more true translation would be “I will be who I will be”.
The ritual form of the qabalistic cross has its immediate origins in the hermetic order of the Golden Dawn. being in the case of the LBRP the elements. In looking at banishings we are using a complete set of forces to clear the working space. an idea and an entity of great mystery. BANISHING The temple not made with hands. it has origins much older. Based on this thesis. The forces. This is building the image of God in the aura. but as eminent.the affirmation of the structures eternity. and then the right. it was said the experience killed them or drove them insane. That said. whilst facing it. However. whose exponents passed through a series of chambers in shamanic states of consciousness. Lesser Banishing Of The Pentagram Part 1 -32- . and as a continuing structure in the life body of the esotericist. This is further affirmed in the Merkavah mystics. So if one has an image of the tree in front of them. at the left shoulder is the power. Chesed. A parallel is also to be found between the physical gestures of the Qabalistic Cross and the Christian equivalent of the Sign Of The Cross in that both form a cross on the body (and in the life body). From the viewpoint of the esotericist the tree represented in the qabalistic cross is a building of the tree in the aura. he is placed facing away from us. The Catholic church has further said that any image you may have of God is more unlike God than like God. Under the previous heading we have opened up a channel to the supernal intelligence spanning the four worlds of the tree. are placed around the esotericist forming a circle. yet also somehow unreal in its inversion. Geburah. both as an archetypal form. It is as if a mirror image. a central pillar of the Christian system. The most immediate parallel can be found in Our Lords Prayer (Gospel of Matthew Chapter 6: Verses 9-13). when orthodoxy looks at God on the tree. Of these forces. It is not looking towards a distant light but shining a light outwards. the divine work. not as something cut off and distant. The most common of these forces used is that of the four elements. This should not be seen as empty symbolism. but as a divergence of philosophy. towards the goal of gaining entry to the throne of God and looking upon His face. serves as a working space for safe ritualism. although this process can also be done with planetary and zodiacal symbols. an entire set is generally used to clear completely this space. Growing up in an Orthodox Christian religion the image of God was always somehow out there. which has almost identical wording. This stems from the 2nd Commandment given to Moses which stated “thou shalt not make thee any graven image”. the orthodox Christian form works with the touching of the left shoulder first. which is in turn an expansion of the etheric body of the esotericist or the group etheric presence of a lodge. and the right the Glory. intrigue and awe. The implication is that one cannot know God or look upon His face. Of its exponents. an active part in the great work. depicting a real image. a highly influential esoteric order formed at the end of the 19th Century which represented a convergence of several streams of esoteric thought. the etheric body.
We now come to banishing. the same basic structure in each quarter starting in the east. This relationship will be later looked at. Fire of Malkuth and Earth of Malkuth. Stepping forward with the left foot the divine name given is vibrated on an “out” breath as the out breathing is accompanied by a pushing forward of the hands. as if to throw this name through the centre of the pentagram. vibrated to the East it stands as our illuminating light. From dawning in the East and the height in the South. the kingdom and the significance of this name is the implication of divinity in flesh. This will be repeated in each quarter. placing thumb projecting between the first and second fingers. יהוה. This is after all creating a temple of the physical body. the silent God with the finger over the lip. are placed around the esotericist forming a circle. I Will Be. and corresponds to the sepiroth of Chokmah. and AGLA to the North. So it represents a journeys end. Adonai to the South. yet uses the Earth banishing pentagram each time. being in the case of the LBRP the elements. palms at either side of the head. -33- . referring to the four sub elements of Malkuth . Until the esotericist is again facing East. אדני. is the God name of Kether. the image of the Godform of Harpocrates. The forces. In banishing a complete set of forces are used to clear a space. the name meaning lord is connected with Malkuth. During this time proper breathing is practiced while an image of the seal of the pentagram sealing the direction is visualised. The name should be imaged as if a wind. or through the projective mudra used by Thelemites. אהיה. a completion of sorts. It has a gematric value of 26 or 13x2. It further speaks this through it gematric value of 65. the sun finds its journey ended in the West. unity in division. hitting the far wall beyond the pentagram. well thought out ritualism. Eheieh or Aye. Eheieh (Aye) to the West. The esotericist circles to the next quarter with an imagination of an etheric line carried from the centre of the previous pentagram to the centre of the next quarter. The names used in each quarter are as follows. As the Godname which spans the length of the tree. The same ritualism is followed for each quarter. YHVH is the most holy name of God in the Jewish tradition. blowing out any unwanted energies from in front of the esotericist. Adonai. the schematic of God. After this the hands are withdrawn to the shoulders. Water of Malkuth. all the fingers clasped into a closed fist. Aleister Crowley states both the LBRP and the assumption of the Godform of Harpocrates are necessary for building an impregnable temple. The esotericist can also direct this power through using a ritual dagger and “stabbing” of the centre. The Lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram uses both a banishing pentagram and one of four divine names in each of the four directions. the same number as the esoteric formula of LVX. First a banishing pentagram is drawn.Yod Heh Vau Heh unto the East. The mechanisms of this process form a dramatic. sealing again the aura after the streaming forth of the Godname. The banishing pentagram in question is the banishing pentagram of earth starting at the imaged bottom point on the left before you tracing upwards to the utmost point. The esotericist then steps back again performing the sign of silence. and continuing from there.Air of Malkuth. Its further significance is touched upon in the previous section. It has a gematric value of 21.
In the LBRP this is done through a Briatic force. For example.Air . The pentagram. In the LBRP this is done through a Briatic force. the five pointed star is a symbol of protection but through the use of Gemetria we find the number five is also related to the Hebrew word bahbah meaning -34- . the Archangels. Thus we are acknowledging through this manner of pronunciation the divine nature of these beings. the Godnames. he who is like god. the names of the archangels are vibrated whilst stationary facing the East. But the name Michael is Mich-a-el. but it is necessary to hold this space from these forces reentering. but an abbreviation for Atoh Gebor Le olam Adonai ( )אתה גבור לעולמ אדניwhich translates as Thou art great forever Lord. אוריאל.Aurial Lesser Banishing Ritual Of The Pentagram Part 2 The space has now been cleared through a Atzulithic force. is not a God name corresponding to a sephiroth. The double vowel sound at the end of the names is essential. in common conversation one often speaks of Michael as a double syllable word. AGLA has a gematric value of 35.Water . גבריאל. Auriel translates as the “Flame of God”.Fire . the spirit flame of shin. The name has a gematric value of 311. AGLA. It is at this time of darkness we are forced to look inwards for the inner light of divinity. and this last el is the Hebrew for God. The name has a gematric value of 246. The archangels stand as gatekeepers of the four quarters. The archangels refer to the elemental quarters as follows: East . This is often done in either cross or pentagram formation. מיכאל. At this point we are strengthening. the Godnames. The image of the archangels can be imaged at each of the quarters in their appropriate colours and may also have the ritual tool of the quarter. Michael translates as “like God”.Gabriel North . STRENGHTENING The space has now been cleared through a Atzulithic force. Unlike the Godnames. In clearing the space an active force is used.אגלא. The name has a gematric value of 248. as opposed to the other names. but it is necessary to hold this space from these forces reentering. or even a God name by a traditional understanding. but for the maintenance of this state a more passive force is called upon.Earth . רפאל. The name has a gematric value of 101. Gabriel translates as “mighty one of God”. keeping the gate closed to unwanted forces and allowing a controlled channel to any elemental forces being worked with. the Archangels.Raphael South . In the darkness of the north this formula stands as a powerful exclamation of belief even in the darkest hour.Michael West . Raphael literally translates as “Healing Of God”. and the expanded form has a value of 858.
L. AFFIRMATION In the Siddur. The pentagram represents the four constituents of the body of man. which to the best of my knowledge comes via Aleister Crowley. This places the esotericist between the symbols of the microcosm and the macrocosm. connecting microcosm and macrocosm. The above and below is unbanished but forms a pillar of the spirit or aether. there is a column of light activated automatically through banishing and strengthening the four elements. water. These are expressed by the most holy of Hebrew God names. air and earth respectively. South. But the pentagram has a -35- .V. the all pervading power. In his version he places a single hexagram behind the esotericist “and behind me shines the six rayed star”. And continuing with “and in the column shines the six rayed star” whilst envisioning a hexagram both above and below which forms a column of light. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras believed the nature of God was expressed in number and translated into word. The numeration of 6 and 5 further elaborates the place of man in relation to the cosmos. The numbers five and six are corresponded to the pentagram and the hexagram respectively. marking not four but six directions . and above and below. As this is done a flaming blue pentagram is pictured on the body as in the image of man as a pentagram by Leonardo De Vinci.to the North. primarily stands for the Latin word Lux meaning “light” and we as workers of the divine light use it as a many tiered symbol of our work. and two times 6 brings us to a total of 32. and how these two relate to each other. the enumeration of the Aleister Crowley version of 4 times 5 for the quarters. The archangels stand as gatekeepers. In doing so we have defined the six directions of Sepher Yetzirah. This forms an apt symbol of the microcosm in the microcosm. As a final note. every word linked to an aspect of the divine will. In affirming we are declaring our place.gate.V. the place of God. In the word L.X. the Tetragrammaton . or Book of Formations gives the creation of space through the speaking of combinations of Hebrew letters. the L has a value of 50. water. The version I list here differs from the version given by Israel Regardie. Standing in this column of light the esoteric formula of LVX stands to elucidate the nature of the divine light. fire and earth of the Greek elemental system. the number of paths including sephiroth on the life tree. a daily Jewish prayer book it gives a similar text to the above strengthening with an additional “and above my head the divine presence” Equally the Sepher Yetzirah. Lesser Banishing Of The Pentagram Part 3 In the ritual the esotericist spreads the arms and legs to either side and boldly declares “about me flames the pentagram”. Within these three letters we see the hidden forces of God and man manifest through the hidden mystery of number. the letters representing fire. Yod-Heh-Vev-Heh. V a value of 5 and X a value of 10 in the Roman system of numerology making the combined value of LVX 65. keeping the gate closed to unwanted forces and allowing a controlled channel to any elemental forces being worked with. East and West. being the air. In this version.X.
commands the cosmic forces surrounding. Using this Gemetria we find the name ADNI. and many ways in which this spiritual manifestation is expressed. the God we each encounter. The initiated man is the microcosm and all the work and spiritual ascension occurring in him is manifest in his surroundings. So we see that which we have discarded becomes the very foundation stone of the spiritual. This force is attributed to the Christios. one invertedthey represent the elements of fire and water. on raising up to God we see the dwelling place of God as within. Adonai. Aradia and other manifestations of spiritual impulses in the physical body of man. Thus the purpose is to manifest the light in the macrocosm. but for us. the Holy Of Holies and the Vault Of The Adepti. In the ritual of the Lesser Banishing Of The Pentagram and as active light workers we are affirming that all wisdom and power is of the one power. When using Gemetria words with the same numerological value are considered to be of the same spiritual nature. Furthermore we affirm the one light is the wisdom and power of the one God seated firmly in the heart of man. it is the same cohesive spiritual impulse known variously as Christ. both are manifest from and manifestations of the one spiritual force commonly known as “God”. a light shining from the temple not made with hands. in the cosmos and in our fellow man. forces commanded by his higher purpose. translating from the Hebrew as “Lord” has a value of 65 also. In an age which has seen so much dwelling on ascension. the throne of Shekinah which was the very centre of the temple. known variously as the Sanctum Sanctorum. the Higher Guardian Angel. the macrocosm. Horus. *** -36- . In this case the literal translation of the name Adonai tells us a lot about the unique relationship between the indwelling divinity and the larger universe. in real and tangible terms the Temple is the temple of the individual and our own sanctity as individuals. It represents the combined cosmic forces surrounding man. Emanuel. ALIGNMENT (AGAIN…) The Qabalistic cross is performed again to come back to “centre” and ensure the forces just worked with are brought into balance. Horus. The Shekinah is the radiant presence of God. Yod-HehShin-Vev-Heh. The inner divinity. In the qabalistic text “The Book Of Formations” we are told the temple is located at “the centre”. It speaks to the one cohesive nature of both. but one of a spiritual cohesiveness. This command is not one of material indulgence. or Haikal meaning “temple”. Shin is the symbol of spirit and in the context of the Pentagrammaton. In the Temple of Solomon just such a room was built. represented by the additional character in the Pentagrammaton. In the mythologies of the building of the temple of Solomon a stone which was rejected for the building became the keystone. and the Higher Self. and esoterically speaking the combination of all opposites. the letter is spirit manifest in the physical. The hexagram or the shield of David shows two triangles. one upright. It is the “I AM” force which forms the cosmic tapestry encapsulating everything. The temple. man manifesting the spirit in flesh. 65 is also the numerological value of the Hebrew word HIKL.fifth point. located in the Sanctum Sanctorum. the microcosm and the macrocosm. the human being. was said to be central to Jewish temple architecture. It is ultimately the same work for every initiate of the Western mysteries because although there are many traditions. It is the God with us. being the indwelling God force.
Turning to the North. 7. Touching the right shoulder.Geburah 4. On my right hand MICHAEL 14. the “Qabalistic Cross. 5. Pointing down.Gedulah. 11. In the East. vibrate Malkuth. make a pentagram. 3. Gareth “Practical Guide To Qabalistic Symbolism” 2001 Regardie. (spreading legs to take form of pentagram) For about me flames the pentagram 16. Stephen Techniques Of High Magic 1997 Knight.And in the column shines the six rayed star. say le-Olam. covering the genitals. qabalistic texts and Thelema.. pentagram and vibrate Adonai. Turning to the South. Turning to the West. pentagram and vibrate Aye. Behind me GABRIEL 13. Aleister Notes On The Lesser Ritual Of The Pentagram (document) King. -37- . Stand with arms spread in the form of a cross and say. Chic & Tabatha “The Middle Pillar” 1998 The previous analysis of the mechanisms of the LBRP is part of a larger paper in process exploring the mechanisms of this and other banishings including ritual forms from the Aurum Solis. vibrate ve. vibrate ve. touching the forehead vibrate Ateh. 17. to 5. Vibrate Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh (or Ye-ho-wah). Amen . Starting faced East. Francis & Skinner. 6. Repeat 1. 1. Touching the left shoulder. Israel & Cicero. pentagram and vibrate AGLA 10. 8. Before me RAPHAEL 12.For the reference of those interested in using the LBRP the following brief synopsis of the ritual is included. 2. 9.” Bibliography Crowley. . Clasping the hands over the solar plexus (lower chest). On my left hand AURIEL 15.
Haidong Gumdo. He is studying Audio Visual Media and works as a Martial Arts Instructor part-time. He is also editor of Hidden Spirit Journal.'.A. and the United States.net).L.'. and has published under this and other names. He works and lives in a lifesharing community with people with special needs. John-Paul has published in a limited edition ’The Living Ogam’ his original and creative research into the magical usage of Ogam. He is a keen author and poet. restriction and ignorance from the past: to reveal a multi-coloured mirad of new possibilities. based on the esoteric stream of Anthroposophy. He is also the vocalist in the heavy rock band Spiral Force (www.cjb. he has no affiliations to any particular tradition. -38- .). Hermeticism and Esoteric Christianity.‘. Correspondence may be addressed to him at: mike_finucane@yahoo. from Alchemy to Zen.'. He has recently been synthesising the philosophies of sex magick and tantra with BDSM. he is enjoying a year out. He may be contacted via the editorial. He is author of Uthark – Nightside Of The Runes and founder of the magical order Dragon Rouge (www. He works in service to the Orders of A . England. he is currently completing an intensive study on the relations between Ogam and the old Gaelic harp. To develop a more wholesome and liberated attitude to sexuality.co.dragonrouge. He can be found online at: www. and the OTO Foundation in Ireland. reconnecting with the plants and trees he has planted many years ago in Ireland.spiralforce. and he now holds the Office of Scribe in the Order of the Sons and Daughters of Light (O.S. Following the scientific approach. as part of the battle for absolute individual liberty for all.CONTRIBUTORS JOHN-PAUL PATTON is a teacher.'. as the dawn of the New Aeon casts away the shadows of guilt. which has a primary focus on Enochian work through its ceremonial facet. For several years he has been developing a theory on how magic may function. THOMAS KARLSSON is a historian of religion at the University of Stockholm. He is linked with several spiritual streams including Pagan expressions.co. while applying an eclectic appreciation of most systems of magical and mystical attainment. adhering primarily to the ethos of Thelema and the Irish magical tradition. teaching the Korean sword art. with many years of experience in the field. although this approach is shared by many Chaos Magicians.‘. He is Founder and Administrator of Occult Ireland Forums (see ad) and can be contacted via the editor.uk BRIAN M.net MIKE FINUCANE has published over 10 scientific articles.ancathach.'. His background includes Golden Dawn work (with a fervent interest in Qabalah). His studies in this field are ongoing. poet and occultist.D. the Ordo Dei Aemeth (O. working in Ireland.'. WALSH is an esotericist working in the Western tradition. A . At present.uk).'. ramserpent@yahoo.D. Thelema. and is currently researching a book on this subject.).com FRATER YECHIDAH is an Enochian Magician with a strong Gnostic influence to his work. His work in this area will be presented in a wider publication soon.