Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Genius and Evil Daimon Spreadsheets...

Quite a few people share Anuksunamun's sentiments about wanting to see the spreadsheet, the fruit of many months of research and study. So I've made it available, but I'm charging for it.

Some people think I shouldn't charge for this, but I'm a capitalist. If you want it for free, go to Agrippa's Book 3, chapter xxvi, and Google can fill in the blanks he doesn't provide.

The quicker and easier way is here:

You get a blank Lamen, everything you need to do the conjuration, and the conjuration ritual for the Genius. You also get detailed steps to come up with the Genius name, including an example. And the Tables with the corresponding signs, degrees and letters of both the Genius and the Evil Daimon that everyone wants the most.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

2.7 - The Genius and the Evil Daimon

The Genius and the Evil Daimon are entities with a long history in the Western Mystery Tradition. The idea of the good and evil spirits assigned to people is so ingrained in the American culture that I grew up watching cartoons that frequently showed a character with a little angel with a harp on one shoulder and a little red devil with horns and a tail on the other, each giving the person advice. More often than not, the character would listen to the devil. How typical of mankind.

2.7.1 - The Genius

The term "Genius" as I'm using it in this post loosely comes from Agrippa's Third Book of Occult Philosophy, chapter xxii. Technically, "Genius" is supposed to refer only to one part of the three-fold good Daimon that preserves the person it's assigned to. The three parts are the Holy part, which is roughly speaking the Holy Guardian Angel (HGA) of the Abramelin ritual, the Genius or "Nativity Angel," a Spirit whose nature is determined by the placement of the stars at birth, and the Daimon of your Profession, who influences how successful we are at our chosen line of work. Agrippa refers to all three parts singularly in the title of the chapter, "That there is a threefold keeper of man." Since it's a singular entity, and he only gives instructions on deducing the name of a Genius, and not the HGA or Professional Demon, I'm referring to all three parts of this one entity as the Genius.

The earliest reference to the Genius that I've found so far is in the Corpus Hermeticum, written in Hellenized Egypt. In The Divine Pymander, it says:

54. I (the LOGOS, Pymander, shepherd of Men) ... come unto men that are holy and good, pure and merciful, and that live piously and religiously; and my presence is a help unto them. And forthwith they know all things, and lovingly they supplicate and propitiate the Father; and blessing him, they give him thanks, and sing hymns unto him, being ordered and directed by filial Affection and natural Love. And before they give up their bodies to the death of them, they hate their senses, knowing their Works and Operations.

This is the Logos talking about how he works with those who are pious. While it might look like a bit of a stretch, the Logos and the HGA are of the same Spirit. In Agrippa's record written roughly 1200 years later, this corresponds to the Holy part of the Genius. Agrippa frames it thus:

The holy Demon is one, according to the Doctrine of the Egyptians, assigned to the rationall soul, not from the Stars or Planets, but from a supernaturall cause, from God himself, the president of Demons, being universall, above nature: This doth direct the life of the soul, & doth alwaies put good thoughts into the minde, being alwaies active in illuminating us, although we do not alwaies take notice of it; but when we are purified, and live peaceably, then it is perceived by us, then it doth as it were speak with us, and communicates its voyce [voice] to us, being before silent, and studyeth daily to bring us to a sacred perfection. Also by the ayd [aid] of this Demon we may avoid the malignity of a Fate...

Agrippa says of the Genius specifically:

...when the soul is coming down into the body, it doth out of the quire of the Demons naturally choose a preserver to it self, nor only choose this guide to it self, but hath that willing to defend it. This being the executor, and keeper of the life, doth help it to the body, and takes care of it, being Communicated to the body, and helps a man to that very office, to which the Celestials have deputed him, being born.

In other words, the Genius is what can guide you to the roles and responsibilities you are incarnated to accomplish.

In addition, being the only part of the threefold keeper of human beings that you can get the name of from your horoscope, the Genius can also be used to establish conversation with the rest of the threefold keeper, including the HGA and the Daimon of your Profession. By "used," I mean you can converse with it through conjurations and establish a relationship, discovering the things that are needed to be done in your life to prepare you for the next step in your Work.

As you Work with your Genius, a momentum builds up. You don't have to choose to be a decent, pious person always choosing to do good and be kind to small furry animals, or help old ladies across the street. You don't have to choose to be offended by injustice when you see it. You don't have to try to find wisdom or insight in your studies. And you don't have to make yourself seek your Race and Value in God.

Instead, you find yourself naturally doing these things. You find character flaws revealed, and the means to change them. You find yourself naturally pursuing Virtue over Vice. You stop sabotaging your progress towards your goals, and you find yourself knowing and understanding things intuitively about yourself and others around you. Glimpses of the future come in sureties felt in evaluating potential outcomes of situations. Mysteries unravel before your very eyes.

This spirit's influence on your life can be enhanced through practical exaltation of the spirits name, which I'll discuss below.

2.7.2 - The Evil Daimon

Heading back to The Divine Pymander, it goes on to say:

56. But to the foolish, and evil, and wicked, and envious, and covetous, and murderous, and profane, I am far off, giving place to the revenging Demon, which applying unto him the sharpness of fire, tormenteth such a man sensible, and armeth him the more to all wickedness, that he may obtain the greater punishment.

57. And such an one never ceaseth, having unfulfiled desires, and unsatisfiable concupiscences, and always fighting in darkness; for the Demon always afflicts and tormenteth him continually, and increaseth the fire upon him more and more.

Here is the Evil Daimon, sent by God to punish the wicked with insatiable desires. My experience with this entity leads me to believe that this Demon drives you to the point where you have to turn to God to find relief from your passions, or die of despair or overdose. If you refuse to do so, when you die you return as a more brutish man, or an animal, or even a plant according to Plotinus. The further from God you turn in your life, the further from God you result in your next, each incarnation resulting in less and less opportunity to turn from God until you are a plant with no choice but to turn to the Sun to live.

People always have some degree of a relationship with this spirit. Like the cartoon characters listening to the little red demon on their shoulder, we have spent our lives listening to and following the advice of the evil daimon. A momentum builds up with the Evil Daimon just like with the Genius, and soon you find yourself surrounded by chaos and madness, if you give too much into the temptations this spirit whispers to you.

Like the demons discussed in Section 2.6, The effects of the Evil Daimon can be curbed.

2.7.3 - Working With the Genius and the Evil Daimon

To Work with these entities, the first thing you'll need is their name. These are discovered through your horoscope, as discussed in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book 3, at the end of chapter xxvi:

There are also the Arabians, and many others, and some Hebrews, who finde out the name of a Genius by the places of the five Hylegians, and making projection alwayes from the beginning of Aries, and the letters being found out according to the order of Hylegians with the Astrologers, being reduced into a known order, and being joyned together, make the name of a good Genius: but they draw the name of an evil Genius from the opposite Hylegian places, projection being made from the last degree of Pisces against the order of signs.

Ok, did you catch all that? No? Well, fortunately I’ve got a spreadsheet I use to make the process a little easier. I don’t know how the renaissance magicians managed without the power of modern technology.

I’ve got all the Hebrew letters associated with the degrees for the Good Genius and the Evil Daimon lined up with their appropriate degrees. To determine the name, you get a horoscope of the your birth, and write down the degrees of the sun, moon, ascendant, and part of fortune. Then you find the syzygy, and that’s the fifth letter of the name. The syzygy is the location of the moon at the closest full or new moon to the date you’re charting. To find this, you get another horoscope of the time of the nearest full or new moon, and write down the degree the moon is in. Pretty simple, eh?

No, not really. It’s a bit of a pain in the hindquarters, honestly. But this is worth it.

Once you've got their names, you can conjure and commune with your Genius by creating a Lamen of the spirit. Spell out its name in Hebrew in a circle with the names of God written around the perimeter. I use the Celestial Script from Agrippa, and the Lamen looks like this (That's YHVH in the script, you'd need to change the name to use it):

Poke a little hole in the top, and you wear it during the ritual. Conjure the spirit in a crystal or other scrying medium and you're all set.

On the flip side, you've got the Evil Daimon's name. I intend to bind mine in a lead-lined spirit pot.

In fact, I've got this idea for a multi-purpose talisman. I've got a log that I'm carving to serve as a means to exalt the Genius and bind the Evil Daimon at the same time. I'll be burning incense and candles in the top where the Genius name is inscribed in gold leaf, and the Evil Daimon will be bound in the hollowed-out, lead-lined base.

It should look something like this when I'm done:

Saturday, March 17, 2007

2.6 - Them Pesky Demons are at it Again...

In the Neo-Platonic tradition, in the grimoires that comprise it, in the writings of Hermes Trismegistus that frame it, and in the writings of Agrippa that provide the most comprehensive resource of the modern occult, there are mentions of demons, maleficent spirits that cause trouble. I would personally rather believe that all spirits are basically neutral, and they don't have any ill will in and of themselves towards humanity. Unfortunately, the Neo-Platonic writings (and my experience) fail to support this belief.

Going back thousands of years, mankind has known that there are spirits that are out to make life miserable for humans. It's in the Bible, the Hesiod, and in the African Traditional Religions. From the steppes of Siberia to the Amazon rain forest, shamans deal with evil spirits every day. Modern cultures have lots of rational ways to explain away the existence of demons, from anti-Christian rhetoric that says the Church is to blame for misrepresenting gods of other cultures (which is true, to a degree), to psychological models that say they're all in our heads (which is also true, from the perspective implied by the notariqon ARARITA). Regardless of the veracity of these explanations, the pragmatic truth is that if you are doing magick regularly, you will run into spirits that will behave as if they are Demons.

2.6.1 The Role of Demons

Fortunately, we have the benefit of thousands of years of occult research on our side. We know from sources like the Bible and the Divine Pymander that the evil spirits are under the authority of God. If you're into paganism, you'll find in the story of Pandora's box that evil spirits contained in a divine spirit pot were sent to plague mankind by Zeus after Prometheus gave us fire. They're serving god. In the Divine Pymander, Pymander tells Hermes that the Evil Daimon is sent to the impious to drive man further away from the Logos by filling the senses with desire for more sensations than can ever be appeased. In the Bible, evil spirits are sent to set up kings to fall, to reveal the glory of God.

They are sent by God into the world to wreak havoc in the lives of those who are ignorant of God. Their primary victims are those who have grown ignorant of their Race and Value in God and instead of seeking their Source, people who seek satisfaction in the things of the material world. Demons serve as tempters, bringers of illness, and they serve to create situations that result in spiritual advancement. They perform evil acts, but they do them to draw people closer to God.

2.6.2 How Demonic Influence Manifests

In your life, you're going through all kinds stress that I can't begin to know about. Job insecurity, financial woes, emotional problems, and sickness plague us all. Most of the people reading this blog have it pretty good compared to poorest of the poor on the planet, but that doesn't make the problems we face any easier to bear in the moment.

I don't believe every bad thing that happens is the result of a demon, but they do happen to be present every time bad things happen. I'm sure it's a coincidence, really. They could just be attracted to bad things... sure... that could be it...

Alright, I really do think all bad things that happen are the result of demonic activity. I'm a Christian, for Christ's sake. "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities, and wickedness in high places." It's the simple truth.

They set the stage for pain and suffering, they sit at the edges of our sphere whispering thoughts that sound a lot like our own, speaking fear and doubt and anger and anguish and despair into our minds. They entice our senses with lights and shining things. They use the people at work like pawns to challenge us, to bring us to the brink of catastrophe. They influence kings, presidents, princes, senators, congressmen and women, people in power across the lands of the earth to create a realm that will drive those with an understanding of their race and value closer and closer to the Logos within.

Pretty nasty, really. And as annoying as hell.

2.6.3 How to Deal with the Bastards

Demons are under God's authority. God's within. We deal with spirits in every ritual. We have the names of the demonic princes from Agrippa's Book 2, chapter 7. We know how to make talismans and spirit pots. They can only do what they're allowed to, and God sets the boundaries.

The fastest way to lessen the effects of the evil spirits is to put the Demonic Kings in spirit pots and bind them with melted lead sealed with the Names of the four Elemental Kings. I've got a makeshift version of this on my altar at the moment. It hasn't completely eliminated bad things from happening, but it sure has cut down on the extremes of my emotional reactions to bad things when they come. That in itself robs the demons of their powers over us and our lives.

2.5 - Spirit Pots

I hope you enjoyed the update on the Bune spirit pot earlier. That particular vessel is an example of the brass vessel described in the Goetia within the Lemegetton. The Lemeggeton is a Solomonic grimoire, and like all the grimoires I've seen, it is fundamentally rooted in the Neo-Platonic system we've been discussing. Personally, I place the spirits of the Goetia in the elemental realm, mostly within the sphere of the Aire.

Spirit pots are an interesting subject. I don't think they are the specific product of the Neo-Platonic system, but like the brass vessel in the Goetia, they certainly fit nicely into the scheme of things. In Greek mythology (at least in Hesiod from over 500 years before Christ), there's the story of Pandora's "Box," which in the original Greek was a jar. The jar as a vessel for trapping spirits can be found in many cultures, and frankly, I can't tell whether it originated in one culture and traveled, or if it's a universal constant across all cultures. The use of pots to contain spirits or their effects can be found in Persian stories in 1001 Arabian nights (along with rings), African Tribal Religions, Hesiod in the Greek traditions, and even in the Bible in the form of the Ark of the Covenant. (Ok, that might be stretching it a bit, but functionally, it's the same thing.)

The reason I bring up the spirit pot in the context of this system is because it's going to play a significant role when I get back to the Glyph.

My understanding about spirit pots in Palo and Hoodoo practices is that they are usually homes for spirits specific to the magician. That is to say, the spirits in a Palo or Hoodoo pot aren't going to be conjured at any given time by three or four hundred magicians reading from the same grimoire. I don't know how many magicians are working with Bune at any given time, but I've talked to at least three other magicians who have worked with Bune, and God knows how many other mages or would-be demonologists are summoning Bune right now.

Spirit pots can be made for any spirit. They generally seem to function like an icon to a saint. Burning candles in its vicinity with a statement of intent results in a manifestation of the desired outcome in the way the Spirit interprets the request. For instance, asking to get a specific dollar amount has resulted in Bune providing a huge series of very lucrative opportunities in my chosen line of work. Bune hears the request and goes about manifesting it according to his role, his designated nature. It's like the dollar figure gets filtered through a Jupiter-Sagittarius screen and then manifests in my physical sphere.

Other manipulations of the spirit pot have provided results that have led me to the conclusions I currently hold. Polishing the lid resulted in clearer manifestations. Placing it in an exalted status on my altar by putting it on a stand resulted in more authoritative results. I went from working with co-workers on projects to working directly with management. The spirit pot has given me the ability to fine-tune my interactions with Bune in a way that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Making a spirit pot is easy. A friend made one out of a paper box. All you need is a container, the means to get the spirit's attention, and something to inscribe the appropriate seals around it to influence the Spirit's activities in your sphere. I prefer metal containers for their durability. I like to inscribe metal with my dremel tool. It's fun. The Spirit's representation should be at least its name and/or its seal. Any corresponding materials that are in tune with its nature can be included. I have dirt and rocks from my local bank in Bune's pot, along with things from the same line of 777 that Crowley puts Bune on.

The names that constrain the Spirit's influence should be representative of the macrocosm. Ideally, all seven classical planets and the Primum Mobile should be represented in your work with the Spirit. For example, the names on the front of the Mathers-Crowley version of the brass vessel in the Goetia are "AShR AHIH: GBRiAL: MIKAL: HANIAL:". From the GD interpretation of things, these are the God-Name of Kether, the GD Archangels of the Moon, Venus and Mercury. On the back is the notariqon ARARITA (One is His Beginning: One is His Individuality: His Permutation is One) followed by ChShMLIM, the name of the order of angels of the Sun, and Tzadkiel, the Archangel of Jupiter. Mars and Saturn can be found on the Secret Seal of Solomon, and Michael on the Triangle of Art.

At the very least, the Spirits in charge of the Spirit you're working with should be inscribed somewhere on the pot. This ensures the Spirit is constrained to operate with your best intentions in mind. This is more important with the troublesome "demonic" entities than with the neutral or angelic spirits, but it can never hurt.

Every Continent but Antarctica

It's official, people from every continent on the planet have visited this blog, except for Antarctica.

Omnis tui castrum es proprietas ad nobis.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bune Update

Well, it's been a while since I've given any updates on my Spirit Pot operation with Bune of the Goetia, so here's some more recent information.

When I first put the pot together, I was looking to get rich quick. He was the best-looking prospect of the Goetic entities, because his description says "he giveth riches to a man," and I wanted $7MUSD and change. Things didn't quite turn out that way.

Instead, after working with Bune for a long time now, I've learned how he manifests riches. He's a Jupiter-Sagittarius spirit, according to Crowley, and that's the information I used to gather his attributes together. I have had opportunity after opportunity to work my ass off come into my life since I started Working with Bune. Not that that's stopped me from trying to use him to win the Lottery. When the MegaMillions hit $270 Million, I burned a veritable BONFIRE of purple candles after buying the lotto tickets. I still lost, but last week, after burning the candles, I had 26 hours of overtime...

Ok, so we'll start with the job I got. It's about an hour away (a long bow-shot). I'm doing what I've been doing for the last seven years, and I'm making $20 more an hour than I did seven years ago. Everyone at work loves me. That's the Jupiter thing, he bestows graces on people, and one of the ways it manifests is that the people in authority love you. Between now and September, I have 10 hours a week of scheduled overtime. If you've worked on projects with a schedule, you know nothing ever comes in under budget and on time. I'll be making a fortune, and the project is scheduled to last for years, they've only got hours assigned through September.

Now, everything at my work isn't roses. There's this evil nasty woman whose very name sounds like the kind of person she really is, but I won't mention it. She's got the responsibility of managing an artifact that impacts the whole team, but she will only make it useful for her own department. When you try to make the artifact useful by getting her to add the information that you need the tool for, she refuses. She's the reason I got to make 26 hours of overtime; she made three people create documentation manually that could have been drawn from the artifact automatically in ten minutes.

So I mentioned her to Bune one day, as his properties include putting spirits in their places. This bitch needed to be put in her place. So Wednesday she came out of a meeting nearly in tears because she was adding information I'd been telling her needed to be in the artifact for WEEKS. I was so happy. (Not very enlightened, but hey, I'm WORKING on the Great Work, I ain't done yet!)

I engraved the seals on the side of the pot too, a while ago, and polished up the lid. I'm stuck with my phone camera for now, so the images you see here aren't the best, but they're the best I can do at the moment.

I also made a small talisman for Bune out of Copper (he's a Duke, and their metal is copper) and Tin (because he's a Jupiter spirit). This was the first time I made an alloy, and I used a propane torch (from Walmart) and a little steel pan (also from Walmart) and my stove to get the amount of heat I needed to melt the copper. I had to put the materials right up against the edge of the pan to get the heat to reflect off the steel and create a furnace effect hot enough to melt the copper into the already-melted tin. Here's what it looks like:

After working with Bune, I have come to understand the description of this Spirit in the Goetia a little better, and if you're interested in a Bune working, here's how I would describe him (my changes to the traditional Spirit description are in {brackets} below):

The 26th spirit is called Bune [or Bime]. He is a strong, great & mighty duke, & appeareth in ye forme of a {little green froggy-looking guy, about three feet tall, and he sits in the corner of the astral temple most of the time.} He speaketh with a {voice like a breeze, barely touching your consciousness, and in choppy, post-industrial wasteland settings in dreams.} He {is an excellent exorcist, adept at putting the spirits of the dead back in their grave when they are bothering the living,} & causeth those spirits that {are beneath his rank, including people who aren't particularly spiritual), to {be put back in their place, if they get all uppity.} He giveth Riches to a man {by providing good-paying, but hard work, or by inspiring you to do a lot of work that will pay off in the long run} & maketh him wise & eloquent {by improving your vocabulary and giving you ease when you're talking to people in authority. Neat huh?}. He giveth true Answards to yr demands, & governeth 30 Legions of spirits.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

2.4 - Elemental Kings

Ahh, the Elemental Kings... I'm just going to jump into this with minimal preamble. It's been a long week already.

In the Second Book of Occult Philosophy, Chapter 7, Agrippa provides a table that presents the Scale of the Number Four. In this Table, the Kings of the elements are listed as the Four Angels ruling over the corners of the world. Under them are the Four Rulers of the Elements, the Four Princes of Spirits, and the Four Princes of "Divels, offensive in the Elements."

Four Angels ruling over the corners of the world.Michael
Four rulers of the Elements.Seraph
Four Princes of divels, offensive in the Elements.Samael
Four Princes of spirits, upon the four angels [angles] of the world.Oriens

2.4.1 - Four Angels - The Kings

Personally, when I work with the Kings of the Elements, I prefer to work with these Angels. I've got an angelic connection in general with my Work, and I figure if it's working as well as it is, why mix things up?

For years, I've thought the LBRP got the angels from the Bedtime Sh'Ma, a Jewish version of "now I lay me down to sleep." I was very pleased to discover they are also considered the angels of the corners of the Earth in Agrippa's system. The GD got most of their stuff from Francis Barrett's The Magus anyway, and that was plagiarized from Agrippa almost 100%. Seeing the angels here as the Kings of the Elements has helped me further understand that Angels can share names without sharing their personage. I mean, Michael, King of Fire isn't going to be the same as Michael Governor of the Sun. There are similitudes, of course, but that doesn't make them the "same" being. Even if they were the same being, in the office of the King of Fire, Michael will not be behaving as the Governor of the Sun.

One nice thing about discovering these guys are the Kings of the Elements is that I've been doing the LBRP in ignorance for years. I've managed to build up as decent a relationship with them as can be hoped for, considering the depths of ignorance I was wallowing in.

2.4.2 - Four Rulers of the Elements - Angelic Orders

If you look at the sigils of the ten countenances of God in the Magical Calendar, you'll see that the names of the angels ruling the planet/sphere are written on one side of the talismans along with the names of their respective Angelic Orders. I believe these are the Orders from which each Angelic King draws their legions of helpers. In working with these spirits, I'm placing the names of the Angels on their talisman along with the name of the Order of Angels presented here.

2.4.3 - Four Princes of "Divels," Offensive in the Elements

These spirits represent the malefic aspects of the elements. While Michael might represent a controlled flame, like a candle or a hearth, Samael would represent a burning house. Both are aspects of Fire, and it is important to note that the Princes of Divels are under the authority of the Kings of the Elements.

2.4.4 - Four Princes of Spirits

These four Princes represent the "neutral" spirits of the elements. They are like the worker bees of the elements, in my experience. They, and their assigned legions, are the ones that oversee the manifestation of the elemental manifestations of the directives of the spirits higher up in, uhm, hierarchy.

2.4.5 Working with the Elemental Kings and their Princes

Now, with the above overview in mind, and remembering the way magicians work with the hierarchies of the spirits, a multitude of possibilites becomes available to the resourceful magician. In terms of the Great Work, we know from the Divine Pymander chapter of the Corpus Hermeticum that the Logos (manifested as the HGA in my interpretation of this system) abides with the righteous and sends an evil Daemon to confound the impious through their sphere of sensation, causing them to be further removed from their memories of their race and value as manifestations of God.

Later in the series, I'll be getting into more practical work with the Kings that specifically relates to the topic of the four Kings and the eight Princes listed by Agrippa.

I did a ritual the other day with the Four Kings that has shed a lot of light on the subject in general in my personal Work, and I'll be posting about it separately.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

2.3 - The Joys of Making Talismen

Sorry about the hiatus. It's been a long couple of weeks. Don't conjure Jupiter spirits for wealth and prosperity if you don't want to work your tail off.

On with the Joys of Making Talismen!

Note: A friend suggested that the plural of talisman is talisma. says it's Talismans. I prefer Talismen, because it makes me think of them as little "men," entities in their own right. However, I make fun of people who would rather be wrong because they like it better, and hypocrisy has been rearing its ugly head in my sphere too much recently. I'll leave the title for consistency's sake, but going forward, it's "Talismans."

2.3.1 - What's a Talisman?

A Talisman is a symbol or seal inscribed or drawn on an item in order to attract the forces represented by that symbol. In Solomonic work, you can draw a seal of a spirit on paper surrounded by the appropriate names of God or what have you, and that is a talisman. Solomon's Ring is a talisman. My Spirit Pot is a talisman. Franz Bardon's Fluid Condensers are talismans. Your consecrated elemental weapons can be considered talismans. A talisman is any physical representation of a spiritual force or being that draws the powers of that force or being into the manifest realm.

My favorite talisman story is Joseph Smith's (thanks, Scott!). He carried a tin Jupiter Talisman drawn from Agrippa's planetary tables with him wherever he went. I think there's a record of it on his person when he was arrested on the way to Utah with his Mormons, and he was wearing it when he died.

2.3.2 - What is a Talisman good for?

Talismans are used for a number of things. Agrippa has the planetary tables that can be inscribed on their appropriate metals, and these will bring healing, joy, love, martial prowess, or whatever planetary energy you're interested in drawing down at the moment. The astrological weather is important to consider when inscribing these things though. A planetary talisman is a long-term snapshot of the qualities of the rays of that planet when it was created. I have a Mars talisman I created while Mars was in Sagittarius and nicely aspected by other planets.

In the previous post, I talked a little about how we work with the planets using their Intelligences and Spirits. A key way to get these guys' attention is by calling them by name while holding their planetary talisman in your hand. The Talisman is already drawing the forces conducive to the spirit's manifestation, and when you conjure it by name or seal, it's easier for that spirit to appear. That's great for specific Workings, but there's a more sublime purpose behind creating talismans in your pursuit of the Great Work.

If you've read my book, A Modern Angelic Grimoire, you know about the Table of Practice. The Table of Practice I discuss in that book is based on the one from Trithemius' Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals. A magician conjuring a spirit places their skrying media (a crystal ball or bowl of water, for example) in the center of the Table. The Table has the seven planets' symbols and the names of the angels that rule them around the outside edge, the names of the four angelic elemental Kings, and a Triangle with symbols in the corners:

From a friend in Australia, I learned of a more elaborate Table of Practice described in the Ars Paulina. She created a beautiful Table of Practice, painting the seals of each planet on wood, then coating it with a few coats of polyurethane. It's incredible.

I had been making various talismans for specific Workings, a couple of lead talismans to bind some wandering spirits for my mother-in-law, and a Michael talisman for some other exorcism rituals, and it "occurred" to me to create a talisman for each of the planets that could be easily transported, a portable Table of Practice and seven specific talismans of each planet for specialized planetary work. I did so, and as I completed each of the talismans, the beams of that sphere would be focused directly into my own sphere. When I had finished the seventh talisman, I had a complete microcosm of the planetary spheres. Shortly after this, I received an epiphany, which will be discussed in more detail when we get to Section 3.0. For now, know that putting the talismans together in their appropriate places on your altar space creates a harmonizing and stabilizing effect in your sphere, and serves as a long-term ritual that continues to adjust and attune your sphere as you go on about your business.

The Table of Practice, by its very existence, eliminates the necessity of the pentagram and hexagram rituals of the Golden Dawn. It takes longer to make, but the investment of time and effort takes place early on, and the return on the investment is awesome. You end up with the permanent effects of the pentagram and hexagram rituals in your sacred space.

2.3.3 - Making the Talismans

When you make a talisman, you are interacting directly with the spirit that rules the forces you're "trapping" in the object. The result is a change in your own sphere in relation to the forces you're working with. You get a little wiser, a little more knowledgeable. At the same time, as you're engraving the metals, or smelting the alloys, or sanding the nearly-finished product, you receive guidance, instruction, and are led to insights about the nature of the entity or forces you're working with. It's a very contemplative and meditative exercise that requires long periods of trance-state brain activity. Making a talisman results in taking a step in the Great Work.

Making talismans is fun, too. I use a dremel tool, fiberglass resin, the metals of the planets (Lead, Tin, Iron, Gold, Copper, Mercury, and Silver), wood, and other appropriate materials. I've learned a bit about metallurgy, wood carving, embossing, and how not to use a propane torch in your kitchen. There are risks associated with heavy metals, like lead and mercury, and risks associated with natural things, like the toxicity of Yew, and proper precautions must be made. This should never keep you from making the talismans though.

Taking the proper precautions is part of the experience, and teaches you aspects of the planets the metals represent as well. Saturn inappropriately concentrated in your sphere will have the spiritual equivalent of the effect of inappropriate amounts of lead in your body. Integrating the Moon into your sphere has a similar effect to drinking silver nitrate, and combining the lunar energies with solar energies inappropriately will block the ability to absorb and process the solar powers, the same way silver nitrate blocks the ability of the body to process sunlight into Vitamin D when you go into the sunlight after taking too much silver.

The process I follow when I make a talisman consists of identifying an opportune time astrologically, when the planets associated with the talisman are well aspected. Then in the right hour, I'll conjure the appropriate spirit, and then perform the Work required to make the talisman. While I'm working, the spirit communes with me, and that interaction is wonderful. Then when it is finished, I've got a physical representation of the powers I want to work with. Then I can use it at the right time.

When I do a solar rite, I'll use my solar talisman. Right now, for instance, I've got a stand with a picture on it over the top of an orgone generator that's resting on my talisman of the Sun. The Talisman's forces are being focused up through the orgone generator, enhanced by the properties of the generator, and then "beamed" into the picture. It's an entire ritual performed without requiring the conjuration of any spirits, or the drawing of any circles, or the waving of any elemental weapons.

That's the beauty of talismans, but at the same time, you don't want to make a talisman for every magickal act. There are occasions where you don't need a permanent or even long-term representation of a spiritual force. It's tempting to make a talisman for every spirit you want to work with, but ultimately you'll end up with a few hundred talismans and nowhere to put them. As your ritual space becomes more and more cluttered, your life will get more and more cluttered. Use good judgment in determining what you really want the talisman for, and remember it's a long-term investment.

I've got this spirit pot with Bune in it, for instance, and I. will. for. the. rest. of. my. life.

Unless I decommission it.

2.3.4 - Decommissioning Talismans

When you're ready to move on to the next step, you can decommission the old talismans you've got hanging around. When creating them, you poured a lot of time and effort into identifying the seals and symbols required, gathering the elements, and putting them together. Some indications that it's time to decommission the talisman are that it has accomplished its desired outcome, or you've discovered the properties of the forces you worked into the talisman aren't in harmony with your intent. The spirit of the talisman might be directing you to decommission it, or you might be prompted by your HGA to eliminate this force from your sphere. When these things happen, you need to break the talisman down to its component parts and thank the spirit of the talisman for its work. For metal talismans you've engraved, melt the metals again to restore them to their "blank" state. Wood materials you can burn and scatter the ashes somewhere where they will be sent to the ends of the world, like a convenient river or a stiff breeze. Paper talismans should be burned as well.

Note: Mercury and lead cannot be dumped in nature. You've got to extract Mercury and store it properly in glass or iron. Lead you can melt under a filtered ventilation system, and reuse later.

Tin and copper and any other planetary metal can be pretty easily melted using a propane torch and some creative research on Google.

If you can't melt your talisman, like if it's iron that you've engraved, you can file down the images, and then sand them down until the iron is blank. Drop the lump in some salt for a while too, or anoint it with Holy water. Try to keep the materials you've put into your talismans, if possible. You'll have another use for them eventually.