I've been reading Enochian Vision Magick by Lon Milo DuQuette. I hadn't read it before writing that post, and he couldn't have read my post and written about the same idea, but nevertheless, he talks about the same thing in the book regarding the Enochian Angels. He talks about how as you write out the Sigilum Dei Aemyth, you are building it into your sphere. He doesn't put it that way, but the same idea is reflected throughout the book. He talks about how making the tools of Enochian magic programs the magician, and prepares them to perform the magic. It's like an initiation into the system.(1)
But today I'd like to talk about the Magic Circle, specifically the names found in the one from the Lemegeton's Goetia.(2) It's possibly the most thorough protective circle I've ever seen. Understanding that circle is key to being able to work with the spirits of the Goetia. It builds around the magician a miniature representation of all the forces of all the spheres between here and the throne of God. It places the magician right smack dab in the center of the manifest and unmanifest universe. It represents the path of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes. It is key, in my opinion, to all the other forms of grimoire magic that are available.
The names and planetary symbols in the outermost circle are taken from Agrippa's Scale of the Number Ten. Joe Peterson points this out in his notes on the Magic Circle. Prior to actually making a life-sized circle, I never bothered trying to read this information. I figured I had either read it before in Kraig's Modern Magic, or it wasn't that important. I assumed an LBRP would be fine for years. I had no idea what I was doing.
When I finally made the circle, I began to understand why this thing is so important. As I painstakingly painted each name or office, I went further into a sort of trance-like state. Lon talks about how he gets into a trance state by tapping the letters of the Table of Practice in the Enochian book while chanting the names of the letters aloud. I understand; this is a powerful technique. I wasn't even chanting the names or offices, I would simply say them aloud to myself while I was painting them so I wouldn't forget them and have to go back to my notes. (They were all the way across the floor on the other side of the garage, after all.)
By the time I was finished, I was in a zone unlike any other I had been in before. I ended up screwing up some of the names, and had to re-prime the circle and start over again, and I haven't finished it yet, but that's beside the point. The point is, it's a form of kinetic meditation.
So let's go over the names in the circle. As noted by Joe, the names and offices of the circle are taken from Agrippa's Scale of the Number Ten. The names included are:
- The Ten Names of God
- The Ten Names of the Sephiroth
- The Ten Orders of the Blessed According to the Traditions of Men
- The Ten Angels Ruling
- The Ten Spheres of the World
I don't use the Tree of Life as my primary working model. I prefer the Ptolemaic geocentric model of concentric spheres centered on the earth. It doesn't really matter though, because I still have ten spheres to work with that match up to the ten Sephiroth pretty well. When I wrote out my circle, I kept the ten names of God, but eliminated the names of the sephiroth. I wrote the Names of God in Celestial Script, my favorite version of the Hebrew Alephbet.
The names of the Ten Orders of the Blessed (this refers to the Ranks of the angels in each sphere) that are used in the Crowley-Mathers Goetia are the Hebrew names. I used the names from Dionysius. (These names appear in the same row of the table on Agrippa's Scale of the Number Ten.) Dionysius helped me understand a lot about the celestial spheres, and how to work with them as a Christian. I believe they are translations of the Hebrew names of angelic ranks or orders, but I don't know for sure. If you look through the descriptions of the spirits of the Goetia though, you'll find they are sometimes referred to as being of the order of Powers, or Thrones, for example. These are Dionysius' terms, not the Hebrew terms. It sort of seems to be more appropriate to stick with the Dionysian terminology, at least to me.
For the Ten Angels Ruling, I left Metatron and Iophiel as the angelic rulers of the spheres of the Primum Mobile and Fixed Stars, respectively. I haven't worked with either before, and have mostly kept to thespheres of the planets in my Work. The rest of the angel names were fine, except for Michael and Raphael. I still use the Trithemian attributions, with Michael in the Sun, and Raphael in Mercury.
Between each sphere, you place a cross, represented here with a + sign. When I was finished, I should have had:
+ AHYH Seraphim Metatron Sphere of the Primum Mobile + YHVH Cherubim Jophiel Sphere of the Fixed Stars + YHVH ALHYM Thrones Tzaphqiel [Planetary Symbol of Saturn] + AL Dominations Tzadqiel [Planetary Symbol of Jupiter] + ALHYM GYBR Powers Kammael [Planetary Symbol of Mars] + ALVH Virtues Michael [Planetary Symbol of the Sun] + YHVH TzBAVTh Principalities Haniel [Planetary Symbol of Venus] + ALHYM TzBAVTh Archangels Raphael [Planetary Symbol of Mercury] + ShDY Angels Gabriel [Planetary Symbol of the Moon +
I don't remember exactly what I had messed up now. I think I had put the Principalities on twice and skipped the Virtues, or something like that. I had also run out of room, and my font size was rapidly shrinking. While it would have remained usable, I wanted it to look better than that, so I let it dry and then had the kids paint it white again.
Now, based on this exercise and the resulting state of mind (even typing it now, I've entered into a different perspective than I normally operate from), I've come up with the following exercise. It's fairly simple, and it results in a harmonizing effect within your sphere of influence.
You want to draw 11 concentric circles, each a half-inch wider than the previous.
You'll be writing out the names of God, the Orders of Angelic hosts, the Rulers of the Angelic hosts, and the symbol of the sphere in each circle, once from the center moving outward, and again moving downward.
In addition, as you write out the names of the Angelic Rulers, for a little added umph, you can include the sigils of each angel of the Planetary Spheres.
In the next image, I've got the names of God, the Orders of Angels, the sigils of the Planetary Angels where available from the Magical Calendar (reproduced in PowerPoint to avoid copyright issues), the Angels' names, and the Planetary symbols for each sphere.
In the center sphere, write out your name or Magical Motto. As you write it out, vibrate the name in a low chanting voice. In the circle above, write out the God Name for the Sphere of the Moon, vibrating the name as you write it and picturing the letters in your mind's eye at the same time. Write out the Order of Angelic host next, and again, vibrate the name. It feels a little silly vibrating "Angels," or at least it does to me. If you prefer the Hebrew names of the orders, they're in Agrippa's Second Book of Occult Philosophy, Chapter 13. Next draw the seal of the Angel of the Sphere and his (her, its) name, again vibrating the name as you do. Finally draw in the symbol of the planet, or Sphere of the Zodiac/Prime Mover while vibrating "The sphere of [insert appropriate planet/sphere here]."
Do this going up from your name through each Sphere. When you get to the top, go back down, this time drawing a cross at the front of each list of the sphere's attributes as you vibrate all the names again. When you get back to the center, you should be feeling something pretty groovy.
There are a host of other ways to do this. This particular exercise harmonizes your sphere, and prepares you to work with the grimoires of the Lemegeton in general, and specifically the Goetia. I'm interested in how others experience this, if anyone tries it. Feel free to leave comments about your experiences below, or email them to me directly if you want them kept private.
(1) I think we're working within the same current on this kind of thing, he and I. I'm sure he's much further along than I am, as well he should be after practicing as long as he has. While it's neat to find the ideas I'm having and the foundation of my own magical practices reflected in his work, you know, like a confirmation that I'm doing something right, it's also frustrating. Eventually I'd like to be a published occult author, but the way things are going, it'll look like I'm parroting his work. I'm totally not. I swear I didn't read about this before, it's based on my experiences. So is his stuff. I guess that magicians that do similar work have similar results, reach similar conclusions about how the seals and circles work within the magician. Shocking, I know.
(2) I'd like to take a minute to thank Joe Peterson for putting all these old manuscripts on his site. They have helped me incredibly over the past two years, and whatever blessing I have to give I give to him in thanks.