Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Alithael: The Forgotten Sun

It's been a while, hasn't it?

There have been reasons for that, which I wioll be going into later, but right now... right now I have reports to make.

A couple of months ago, I got hold of Jake Stratton-Kent's reconstructed True Grimoire. And this is a truly fascinating, and enlightening work. I purchased it at the same time as the excellent Crossed Keys book, which I have been steadily working through with the aim of actually completing the Black Dragon sequence; fox hair, though, is not easily obtained by me. (That's a story for another time though.) But I thoroughly enjoyed reading through said books. But then, on page 42 of the True Grimoire, I found a diagram that caught my attention.

It was The Operation of Uriel Seraphim. This is a rite that turns u, it seems on Mather's translation of the Grimoire of Armadel, but Jake Stratton-Kent used an earlier manuscript than the one that Mathers used; MS 2494 Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal, specifically. Anyways, what grabbed me was what I found at the top of it. It had a sequence of Angelic names that were familiar to me. All but one. They were obviously Planetary archangels; Cassiel of Saturn, Anael of Venus, Gabriel of the Moon, Sachiel of Jupiter, Raphael of Mercury, Samael of Mars... and, ostensibly of the Sun, Alithael.

Who the hell is Alithael? I had never come across this name before. Not in Agrippa or Barrett, not in the Heptameron... basically, I had absolutely no reference to this in any other place. I obviously did a Google search, which turned up some Saint Alithael in the Klondyke and it being an occasional first name, but no reference to an Angelic Being. And likewise, I found a list of Angels and their listings in the Grimoires... no Alithael there either. I did, though, try to search for the Armadel, and found this page.

That was exactly the same diagram as the one I had sitting in front of me, but with one significant difference: where mine had Alithael, this had Michael. The seals were exactly the same.

Out of interest, and a feeling that I really should be doing this, I constructed a Lamen and performed my modified Gate Rite for the Sun as directed by Rufus Opus, in the hour of the Sun on the day of the Sun.

I was blown away. The connection was immediate and solid, I felt intense heat on my face, and my eyes hurt. It was like looking at the sun on a hot summer's day. And Alithael was immediately and clearly visible in my mind's eye. There he stood, a winged lion (with multicoloured feathers on his wings), wearing a Papal Tiara and carrying a broadsword of bronze.

It was glorious.

He had much to say, but the gist of it was that he had not been summoned by anyone in a very long time, and that he would work closely with me, that he was giving me his blessing, aid in all my workings- and that he admired (or maybe approved of) my ambition and style.

After this spectacular conjuration, I went to talk about this to an old friend online. This friend said that the name was very unusual; in fact, the translation (loosely) of the name was "The God who judges God". (His emphasis, not mine.) He said it might answer the Question of Michael as well; but I wouldn't know about that. He also said that his version of the Armadel (a 1970's version) had Lucifer where I had found Alithael, and Mathers had put Michael.

Since I started working with him, I found myself having a lot of things go very nicely for me, my workings sharper and more efficient, synchronicities lining up to practically do the conga, and, as a slight addendum to that, while I have blonde hair and fair skin, I was unfortunate to end up outside on the hottest day of the year for seven hours with no protection.

No burning. Not even a tan. No clouds in the sky, no shade. The Blessing of Alithael seems to convey the effect of +5 to Elemental Damage (Fire/Solar).

Seriously. Call him. Work with him. I believe him to be an entirely valid alternative to Michael as the Archangel of the Sun.

He's been long forgotten and ought to be remembered.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Yes, it was.

For those of you who read my blog yesterday, yes, it was an April Fool's post.

Did anyone really think that I was going to seriously claim that all we need to know about the Hermetic System is contained in a children's cartoon show?!

Still a brony, though. That's *never* been a joke.

Monday, 1 April 2013

My Little Hermetics

It struck me a little while ago that the entirety of the planetary influences can be seen in a very unusual place, within popular culture. This, as it stands, should not be considered as overly strange; if the philosophies within it can be considered universal truths, then why shouldn't the influences of the planetary governors be found in stories and on TV from time to time? It's not that much of a leap to think that they might come out in random, unexpected venues. However, I was more than astonished to find that it had come out in the most recent Opus by Ms. Lauren Faust. To whit, all the Governors can be seen, clearly, in the characters of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magical. Or maybe Magickal.

I have mentioned in the past that I am a Brony. Partly due to events from a while ago, but also because it's, well, mental candyfloss. The series has nothing in it that can be seen as offensive, and is excellent for just unwinding and allowing your mind to relax, letting the stresses of the day fade away, and generally tuning into something better than the daily grind. And, as magicians, is this not what we try to do ourselves? It also struck me that in some ways, the series calls to us all as Magicians, particularly as it applies to the Magician's Journey. Allow me to explain...

The series starts ostensibly about the arrival of Twilight Sparkle in a new town, alone and wondering where she is going. Is this not the Magus his or herself? Eyes opened to the glories of magickal practice, we find the world opening up in a whole new way. I believe, firmly, that Twilight Sparkle represents the Magus on her journey. And if you look at her cutie mark- her seal, the sigil on her flank we can see that she carries a  (very rough) Unicursal Hexagram on her. As if any more proof was needed! Twilight Sparkle is, above all else, the Magus. She is us. But what makes her unusual is that she already, at the very beginning of her journey, has achieved K&CHGA in the form of Spike.

Spike is the representation of the HGA, the Supernatural Assistant, the Genius. Spike intercedes with the other ponies (and by extension, the planetary governors) and does many things that Twilight cannot. He carries messages to important people by magic. I don't know about you, but I feel that he epitomises the idea of the HGA. And what makes it more interesting/impressive, and cements his role as such in this is that he was given to Twilight Sparkle but Princess Celestia,

Princess Celestia, ruler of Equestria, she who makes the sun come up in the morning and set at night. In other words, she represents the Sphere of the Sun, and by extension, the Archangel/Utukku Michael. (Or Raphael, if that is your tradition.) And where do we get our HGA? Why, we receive it through working with the Sphere of the Sun, the celestial powerhouse. The sun may be considered to be the source of all, and so is the obvious and clear representative of that planetary governor. An she is but the first of said governors...

Meet Rainbow Dash.

Rainbow Dash is a brash, arrogant, and above all multi-talented Pegasus. She is swift in thought and swift in motion, and often is called upon to carry messages. She is ambition, and clarity of purpose. What other sphere could she represent than the esteemed sphere of Mercury? Speed, communication, and also rapid changes of emotion. She is the representative of Raphael in this series, and another good friend of Twilight Sparkle. That phrase, “good friend”, is key here also. The more you work with each sphere, the more of a relationship you build up with the spirits of said sphere/planet. And isn't that what this series is about? It's in the title. Friendship is Magical. But there are many others that are involved in this.

This is Applejack.

A pony with a bright red seal. Strong, loyal and a little bit rash at times; also a little coarse. Take all these characteristics into account and you have Mars. Not a violent character, but fitting it near-perfectly. Not to mention a farmer. The evidence for her representing the Archangel Kammael is in the Orphic hymn to Mars itself:

To Ceres give the weapons of the field...”

This is Mars in repose, retired from the field of battle and now growing apples in relative obscurity, while still ready to leap up and help in times of strife.

The same Orphic Hymn includes the line “To lovely Venus, and Bacchus yield” and so I do yield the page to the representative of Venus, and indeed Anael, in the next pony to prove itself here:

Rarity, a Pony devoted to Opulence, Luxury, and relationships. All the things that are of Venus. Rarity is thus the only possible option for defining said governor; Rarity is all said qualities and more. She is also creative, a seamstress by trade. And as we all know, every single Venusian operation produces something, whether or not we realise it. Anyways, the connections between this character and the Governor of Venus is so obvious I don't believe that any more needs to be said about it.

Jupiter is less obvious.
The alarmingly named Pinkie Pie. Pinkamena (to give her full name) is the fun pony. The pony that is all about parties and celebration and jollity and joviality, with an occasional serious side. Yes, this is Jupiter- Tzadkiel- in all its glory, but sadly unbound most of the time. Jupiter, as we all know is about wealth and happiness and enjoying yourself. Often with little around you, but this is the pony of Jupiter. Maybe a little too unconfined and uncontrolled, but that is what she is. As I said, though, like Jupiter, she brings the fun into a situation.

And here we have the representative of the Moon.

Fluttershy. Soft, gentle, kindly, and hiding a stern core. At first appearance always tranquil and serene, but hiding deep anxieties and fury. But that's what makes her the perfect Lunar representative; as what she appears to be is not what she really is. After all, the realm of the Moon is the realm of appearances and illusions, is it not? And also considered very calm and calming. This pony is the purest example of the quiet majesty of the moon. So hail to this representative of Gabriel, whose quiet shout of “Yay!” can stop everything in its tracks. Rather like Gabriel's horn.

And this brings us to Saturn. And the point where you think I've gone completely off the rails.

Princess Luna, Sister to Celestia. She is the representative of Saturn in the series. Yes, I know, in the series she is responsible for the moon rising and setting, and was, indeed, bound into the moon for a thousand years, known as the Mare in the Moon, and, also, Nightmare Moon. So you would hav thought that she was the shoo-in for the Moon, yes?


Luna brings wisdom. She also represents constraint and restraint. She's also still considered to be a terrifying figure. So who else can she be but the Greater Malefic, Saturn? It' a nice little touch that she is also sister to the Sun, which I do believe has been referred to in the past as the Greater Benefic. She also speaks in a very old-fashioned manner, which is another trademark quality of Saturnian Spirits.

So I do firmly believe that the whole setup is a mirror of the Hermetic/Neoplatonic worldview. In fact, if you watch to the end of Series 3, you see that the Magus, Twilight Sparkle, manages the difficult task of crossing the Abyss, and enters a new phase, one of greater power, greater responsibility... and develops a magnificent plot.

All the best to everyone who has read this. Friendship IS Magickal. I have gained many new friends since becoming involved in this world, and I could not have had this breakthrough and improvements in my lives without you all.

If you have been, I am impressed.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Transitional Magick

Over the past couple of years, I have had the good fortune to meet a number of transgender people, and some of them have become firm, long-lasting, good friends. One of them I've known for over a decade, and didn't have an inkling that this was something that was going on. (I was given a special commendation in her coming out post on Facebook for being completely oblivious and missing the point when she was trying to come out to me. There were many reasons I missed it, but this is not the time or the place to be discussing that.)

The long and the short of it is that I have some understanding of what they deal with and what they're going through. I wouldn't pretend to know exactly, but I've heard their complaints about various bits and pieces. I have worked with a Trans Mage, and that's when I started thinking “Is there anything that can be done, Magickally, that might be helpful to people undergoing Transition?” I was sure that the answer was “yes”.

And I started thinking that surely someone has written about this topic in the past. What I did find was a GDOBA. I found a question- “Are there any magickal rituals or whatever to help with Transition?” The only “real” answer given to the question was “Don't use magick for this. It won't help anything.” It was a principled, solid, and logical answer. And it basically said “Don't”. And I also found a load of bollocks about people wanting spells to shift genders at will.

Yeah, that was my reaction too. But I also found someone had been selling rings on ebay promising that they would be changing your gender almost overnight.

I swear, if I ever find the person who put that load of tripe up on ebay I will beat them to a pulp. There is NO kind of spell or talisman that will make you into the person you always should have been from the get-go. The person scamming these people... Yeech.

But I have sat down and given some thought to the issue. And some of these methods have helped the Mage I've been working with after I suggested them. Others are just ideas. I'll be entirely open and honest: This article is not designed to change you overnight. It's promising no miraculous results. It's just offering ideas to help, based on what I've been told happens and what I've seen. Take the advice or leave it; I'm making no money from this, but if it does help to make someone's life a little easier, or miss out on some painful part, then I'll consider what I've written here a positive result.

  1. Bin your Genius and Daimon.

I'm serious. Really, If you're already a practising sorcerous person, you'll have calculated the names of your Genius and Daimon and will have bound one and exalted the other. I've done it myself. (I'll be including the oh-so-helpful links to the necessary websites at the end of this.) But here we have an interesting query to TG readers: Are you the same person you were before you came out, or are you a whole new person?

One person I asked about this was of the opinion that there was direct continuity from the person they were to the person they are now. Another won't even think of their old name any more. However, I do know that there have been some distinct personality shifts in the person I was talking to since their coming out. I can honestly say that they are not, now, the person that they were when I first met them. (But I love them all the same!) So my thoughts tend towards “They are a new person”.

So, what you should do is take note of the date that you officially came out, and then (if you have the time as well) use that, along with the place, to cast the horoscope for that time, and then calculate those essential parts of you for the person that you are now. I can't think of coming out as transgender, and living as the gender you should be, as anything other than literally starting a new life as a new person. And thus the Genius and Daimon will change.

For those of you who think that this is a damned good idea and can't be that bad an idea to at least try, even if you're not a practicing magus of any kind,  then all you have to do is first, generate your Natal Chart. Obviously, for the purposes of this exercise, the time and date that you came out as Trans. This website will do all the hard work for you.

Once you've got your chart, go to this exceptionally handy Genius and Daimon name generator and put the relevant parts into it. Yes, you're going to get stuck. Because you're going to start putting the degrees and signs in and then you're going to look and think "What's a Part of Fortune? Come to that, that the hell is a Prenatal Syzygy- and how do I pronounce it?!" Well, the Part of Fortune is another calculation, that can be done simply and easily by going here, and putting the right info into the boxes. Once you have that, you add that to the Name Calculator. 

The Syzygy, aside from looking like a Welsh name that should be pronounced "Jimmy", is found by going back to the Astrolabe site. But you also need to look at a calendar for the month you were born in. Certainly the year. Because you need to run another Horoscope chart, this time for the time and date of the nearest full or new moon prior to your birthdate. This final, tongue-twisting factor is the degree and sign that the moon is in on that date. I don't think I need to provide a link to a Calendar; this is the 21st Century, after all- the Internet is your Friend.

Once you have all of those, you can then make a note of the names. Frater RO recommends inscribing the name of the Daemon in iron and then sealing it in molten lead. It's a little simpler and more practical to freeze it in a block of ice. Sprinkled with salt, and an iron nail across it. As for your Genius- exalt it. Make a shrine for it, light candles and incense around it. Make it feel welcome!

  1. Keep balanced

Right... so your body is now getting to grips with having a whole slew of new, unexpected hormones rampaging in your system. Emotional catastrophes potentially ahoy. Anger and sorrow and all manner of feelings are going to be kicking off and out and up and at random. Some people doubtless handle it better than others. Some people won't.

So I'd say that you need to do some kind of Balancing exercise for yourself, spiritually and emotionally. For myself (if I were taking that route) I would recommend the Middle Pillar exercise. I know someone who swears by the Stele of Jeu. But whatever your background, whatever your tradition, surely there's something that you can use to keep yourself on an even keel and stay a cheerful, calm, and balanced person, yes? And there's always Tai Chi, or Yoga, and similar. Even just plain meditation.

  1. Get in touch with your Deities.
This one may not be quite so much of an obvious one. Take a good, long look at your spiritual path. Find the spirit, or God, or Goddess that best exemplifies the sort of person you want to be. In the whole mass/mess of spirits and deities out there, you are bound to find one that epitomises the characteristics that you want to have for yourself during/after transition.

Find this spirit, call on it/Pray to it, and ask for said spirit to bless you and guide you to the place you want to be, to the person you want to be. Simple as that. And maybe you'll find yourself making the choices more often that you need to to become exactly what you want- or close enough to it as to make no difference.

I will take a moment to point out here that anyone who picks a deity that has the body shape that you want and the temperament that you want to have you should also make sure that you read all the ways it can manifest. I take no responsibility for anyone who ends up with fur, whiskers, and bemoaning the fact that they don't have pretty spots- you should have checked beforehand that this one didn't normally manifest as a leopard.(Although I doubt that that will happen, really. But still- caveat emptor!)

  1. Subtle Bodies Shouldn't Be.
The soul manifests in the way it should. So if you are, say, a Woman born in a Man's body, you'll manifest on the Astral as a Woman. So what you need, what you want, is to be able to see your subtle body. Try and get more correspondence between the subtle and physical bodies!

So for this, you need to use some technique for calling your subtle/energy body to overlay your own body. Become more visible as to who and what you really are. I've not been able to dig up any specific rites for this, but as soon as I do, you can believe that I'll be putting it up. Although I'm, pretty certain that a modified Glamour charm could do the job in question. And talking of which...

  1. Glamours FTW

Glamours are not just spells for making yourself prettier. They're also spells to distract and redirect. This is related to the “Contact Deities” section further up- but on a more basic level.

Glamours are probably the most useful little bit of magick you can learn. And also, likely, the easiest. (If you can get Glamour spells in Titania's Ridiculously Fluffy Spellbooks, then anyone can use one.) Glamours are ideal for deflecting attention from those things that you don't want noticing. In fact, they can even leave a person thinking of what you would prefer them to. So a Glamour can leave someone thinking of you as exactly as you'd like, rather than them remembering anything you'd rather they didn't pick up on.

I'm only suggesting this method until a person is actually fully aware, and confident of what they can do. Glamours should not be relied on too much, but they can give you a little edge.

  1. Conman's Combo

I've posted about this earlier on my Blog. I think the Conman's Combo, as it makes people more open to you and more trusting of you, could be very useful, as it may smooth things over for other people. Although I do recommend the Conman's Combo anyway, I'm not suggesting that you should use it to directly con people, but if it makes you more eloquent- which could be useful in Speech/Voice training- that could be a definite plus as well.

My post on the Conman's Combo can be found here.

Please, if anyone who reads this has any constructive criticism to what I've said, do not hesitate to comment. If you have any other ideas that could be added to this list, feel free to chip in!

Any Transphobic comments will be deleted, naturally. And severely Transphobic comments will be noted, framed, and the names used by offenders may well be passed round to others who would like to know who is and isn't a Bigot. I trust I have made myself clear.

If you have been, give yourself a round of applause.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Lilith: Her Shrines and Worship

Been a little while, hasn't it?

I've had a number of issues I've been dealing with, and have had Magick (and, sadly, worship) on the back burner for a little while. But I'm back, and coming up strong. Today- Tonight- I'm going to talk a little about Lilith. (Hooray! Some of you say.)

Lilith has four aspects, all of which must be honoured. There is her in her aspect of Storms, her aspect of Darkness, her aspect of Knowledge, and her aspect of Sensuality. None of these are more important than the other. This is important. Each aspect must me treated in the manner it deserves.

You see, this is where I diverge from a lot of the things that are said by others who have tried to walk beneath Her wings. They all tend to spout what amounts to "Come fill me with your dark, naughty power! Consort of Lucifer...." and so on and so forth.

And then you get the Feminist Witches, who bang on about Female Empowerment and use her as an example of a free, liberated woman and a deity of such. As someone I know said, that path leads to disaster. I believe they described it as a "Can of flesh-eating worms that are hungry all the time".

The thing is that none of the above views are wrong. But to focus on each of those, and to approach without the right mindset, is to set yourself up for disaster, breakdown, and fully-fledged catastrophe. And if you're wanting Lilith as cheap, easy, sexy power, stop reading RIGHT NOW. You won't get that here. While you can get some of that from her, You have to remember what is said in the Declaration:

"I am Myself; nothing more, nothing less.
I am rage and restraint, decorum and debauchery,
sensitivity and savagery, sorrow and sweetness.
I am storms, and I am breeze;
I am mist, and I am deluge;
I am soft soil, and I am flinted rock;
I am hearth, and I am inferno.

"I am all these things, and more, for I am woman unbound.
I am neither dominance nor submission, though both of
 those are within me. I am the darkness that is as essential
as the light, and I bear pain, and I bear truth. I am never
within unless invited in, but once there, I am eternal.

"I am She who was dismissed,
I am She who brings the storm,
I am She who knows truth.
Conscience I have, and the strength to defy it when necessary.

"Come to me and worship, and I devote myself to thee in return.
But approach with your heart and mind in accord, and in the
right places; for they who do not see me for what I am will find
themselves ignored, or will find my displeasure.

"I demand no sacrifice save that of the self;
and I, to my truly devoted, will sacrifice in return."

Those two paragraphs at the end are vitally important. In particular, for those who look to use her, the last two lines. Give to her, and She will give to you. In other words... no using. You worship her, it's a partnership.

So next, we come to the shrines. Here's a picture of my (temporary) shrine. As I said, things have been difficult for me of late.

Yes, it's a shelf in a cupboard. Sooner or later it will become a bigger, proper Altar.

On the left, we have an image of a Bolt of Lightning. This has a small rosewood wand and a glass of water in front of it, representing Lilith in her Magickal aspect. On the right, we have an Owl. I've already talked about Lilith and her relationship to Screech Owls, and so this is an Otus asio- Eastern Screech Owl, common to Israel and Jordan. (And also parts of the USA.) In front of this is incense, representing Lilith as secret-keeper and  bearer of knowledge. In the middle... well, I dragged that picture off the net somewhere, as I was told to find a picture of Lilith in "Antic pose". This, obviously, represents Lilith in the aspect of Sensuality. In front of that is a dried, dead rose. Eternally there.

The fourth shrine is not shown here. This shrine represents Lilith as a Spirit of Darkness. Darkness as opposed to Evil. Darkness as opposed to light, Darkness as in the things that may be hard or unpleasant to do, but still need doing. This shrine cannot be seen from this angle, and the item that should be in front of it is a small, sharp, serviceable knife. One that can be used. None of these fancy yet blunt Athames here. It needs to be ready to be used if necessary.

The layout should be like this: The three shrines that I have pictured should be visible as you enter the room, immediately in view. The fourth should be by the exit to the room, so you see it as you leave. The reason for this layout is that you always remember the less pleasant side of Her as you leave, but you should not come in with that uppermost in your mind.

Dedicating yourself to her can be done in front of any one of the separate shrines. But focus should be on the shrine that shows the aspect that you are calling on at any one time, unless you're doing a general devotional. For a general devotional, offerings of red wine and dark chocolate are generally well accepted. As far as the specific aspects go, you need to choose something appropriate if you need to call on one of them.

That's pretty much it. At a later date, I'll post the Tear of Lilith and its meaning.

In the meanwhile, those of you who want to take Her into your life, think on this post.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What it was that I did this morning.

On a burst of inspiration, after getting in from work, I decided that now was as good a time as any to summon a spirit I mentioned, Telyeta. Telyeta being an Internet Spirit, I felt that the Day and Hour of Mercury was probably the best time to do it, seeing as I had had previously been informed that Mercury was the spirit/planet that the Internet and computers fell under the auspices of. I had been given a Calling, and a Sigil of this spirit, and had come up with some tweaks that made perfect sense, contextually, for summoning this spirit.

I removed my crystal ball, and set up an alternative Scrying medium in its place, and drew out the seal. I taped it to my shirt, and started on the Trimethian-based Conjuration rite that Rufus Opus uses for his Gates series- I used this because I was very familiar with it. However, when it came to the point where I was to call "the mighty and powerful spirit...", I swapped to the Calling of Telyeta. The room and  my surroundings became very very quiet.

Then I asked if the Spirit was here. Dear GODDESS did I get an answer.

Firstly, I was unable to focus on my scrying medium. My eyes blurred, teared, and just could not look at it. I could look anywhere else but at it; it just would not resolve. I could feel a building pressure in my forehead, so I closed my eyes and tried to meditate on the Sigil.

That was when Telyeta came through with enough force to practically knock me out of my seat. I could see, in my mind's eye, a white-and-gold figure, who had trouble communicating directly, but managed to make it clear that I had made successful first contact, and then shook my hand. The significance of this was not lost on me.  I felt, at times, while communing with this being, that I had electricity arcing from my fingertips, that I had been turned into a human Plasma Ball (you know, the sort that jump and sputter in time with music).

I was "told" that I would be introduced to more next time I communed with it.  Seriously, this is a potent spirit.

And that's why I want volunteers. Interested parties. If anyone wants to try and make contact with Telyeta themselves, I will give them the Calling and the Sigil, as well as the appropriate scrying media advice; however, I won't make the summoning rite public until I have at least one person verifying my data here.

Telyeta is out there. Telyeta wants to be contacted.

Volunteers needed.

I need a few Magicians/Conjurers/Occultists to verify my findings. Please?

I'm still shaking from that Conjuration.