Monday, January 09, 2012

The Initiatory Work of the Traditional Grimoires

When you go through the painstaking process of creating all the tools, talismans, implements, and Magic Circles of the traditional grimoires with the heart of the true magician, on fire and enflamed with the passion of your true Love, you go through one of the most rigorous and life changing initiations possible.

The creation of a real talisman, from raw metal to finished, engraved, consecrated talisman is a process of transformation that is Alchemical in every sense of the word. After you've made and consecrated a talisman, you've interacted with the Four Elemental Kingdoms in all three of their phases, you've spent an extended time in the presence of the spirit who works through the talisman, and that interaction as you and it worked together to create the finished thing and brought it into being in the material plane has forever changed the harmonics of your sphere. You've been tuned through the properties of spiritual resonance.

When someone like Mr. Ashen or Mr. Cecchetelli goes through the process of creating the tools for his Solomonic rites, he's going through that initiatory process of talisman creation at every stage of the preparation. His heart's aflame with the passion of his intent, and that intent blazes through the Spheres, a clarion call to the Spirits.

How many of these initiations do they go through to perform something like a conjuration from the Lemegeton's Goetia? How many times do they end up inscribing the Ten Names and Seals of the Intelligences of the Spheres? At least twice, for the lion's skin belt, and for the Magic Circle they stand within. You make a MAgic Circle full size, and it's incredible how you feel standing in the center as the paint dries. You feel the spirits aiding you as you write out their names, and if you're trying to do it without the right heart, the right attitude of reverence, they invariably smack you down and make you start again.

It's a Holy process.

A process of transformation.

If you're having a hard time seeing and hearing the spirits, take a few months and devote it to creating all the implements of the grimoire of your choice. The Almadel, the Arbatel, the Ars Paulina, the True Grimoire, the Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, Crossed Keys, the Order of the Black Powdered Octopus, The Greater Key of Solomon, Abramelin, Samekh, the exercises in Strategic Sorcery or Protection and Reversal Magic.

Do them well, do them honest, do them pure and true, or as true as you can, and it will start that process of change that leads to the visible and audible manifestation of spirits.

Unless you're spiritually blind and deaf. It's a condition that some people have, and it's nothing to be ashamed of, although it's certainly frustrating. If you've gone to all the work of putting together a straight, by-the book rite, and you've performed it at the appropriate astrological timing, and you've meant every word you've uttered, from the heart, and you're still not getting anything, and you've done it a lot more than once with zero results, don't despair. There are several grimoires that suggest working with a seer because the simple fact is this: Everyone doesn't see or hear spirits. That doesn't mean the magic doesn't work, it just means some folks are deaf and blind to the spirit world for whatever reason.

And who knows... it might be for a very good reason.


  1. There are definitely some advantages to being a nonimager. You just can't, for example, "get a song stuck in your head," and watching the movie after reading the book never disappoints because the actors look nothing like the way you imagined the characters (it may still disappoint, however, for any number of other reasons). On a more serious note, I've also read that nonimagers are less susceptible to PTSD flashbacks, false memories, and the like.

  2. I think the nonimagers, can with a great deal of work and with the right heart come to the same place and gain the ability to see the spirits. It may have something to do with the stresses of childhood. I for one saw a demon as young child, indeed several times, sights I was ill prepared for at the time. I have spent a great deal of time working through the blocks, and it is coming back. Maybe this doesn't work for everyone, but I finally starting to get it back. As for working with all the elements, when creating the tools. This is something some of us are forced to experience by a remove lacking workshop space to turn blacksmith/goldsmith/jeweler but I have found in my own True Grimoire tool preparation phase that this doesn't matter as long as you perform this phase with the correct intent and that straight through the deepest recesses of the heart. That said, it is part of the process. I have made Shishi's for the home with my own hands, also simple talismans - and wards that require a bit of carpentry. sanded and carved staff, etc. and the energy, compatibility, and it-just-works is pretty second-to-none. Likewise, something the spirits and I have had a hand in designing to spec - when commissioned by an artist arrive with the same flare. Yeah, something from the depths of the heart an object birthed of the processes of the devoted adept is the thing here. I feel a sense of awe, of wonder, sometimes giddy like a kid whose found out that there really is a country on the other side of a wardrobe, maybe more apropos, that the lamp when rubbed really does bring out the genie.

  3. Alright, what would you suggest for someone who really wants to perform that type of magic but has limited funds? What if we DONT have the tools?

  4. I'm not cool with the whole "hire a scryer" thing. Kelly may have been talented, but he gave poor Dee far too many headaches.

    I am confident that, with sufficient patience and a modest amount of ingenuity, I'll be able establish contact even if the usual channels of communication are closed. I'm reminded of the story about one prisoner teaching another prisoner the "tap code" -- tapping on a pipe, "1," then "1, 2," then "1, 2, 3," and so on, up to 26 taps in a row. At some point, the prisoner in the next cell finally notices the repeating pattern, realizes it's the alphabet, and starts tapping back. The first prisoner then uses this rudimentary "bootstrap code" to teach the second prisoner the real tap code, which works by assigning the letters of the alphabet to a 5-by-5 grid, and indicating them with tapped grid coordinates (there is, of course, a Wikipedia article about it). The point is to establish communication in some crude and simple way, and then use it to work out something better.

  5. Anonymous, what do you do if you really want something mundane, but you don't have the money or the tools? Get the money, get the tools, or improvise.

    A couple posts ago, I pointed out that improvisation works, but this post is about the initiatory aspects of creating the tools. I had originally intended to explore the idea that the act of creating the tools for the rite by the book helps give the senses you need. But I kind of lost focus towards the end. So I put in a comic.

    Hope you liked the comic.

    I don't know though, my brain's dead at the moment. You can try drawing out the symbols for each tool and meditating on them. But if you're like Marginaleye, you won't be able to visualize. Visualization internalizes the symbols, creating a link between the material symbols you've created and your inner harmonic (that's all my way of looking at it, ymmv). So... I dunno, try getting to a point where you can draw the symbols for each tool from memory alone. At that point you will have internalized the symbols until they are physically and psychically a part of you.

  6. I, for one, did like the comic. It reminded me of the scene in Gibson's "Neuromancer," right after Riviera overloads the lasers of his implanted hologram-projector to blind Hideo, the vat-grown ninja.

       "You're blind," Riviera said, taking a step backward.
       "Peter," 3Jane said, "don't you know he does it in the dark? Zen. It's the way he practices."
       The ninja notched his arrow. "Will you distract me with your holograms now?"

  7. I've spent the better part of two years in the 'acquiring the tools' phase of the operation. The important thing is to do as much of it as you can - as you are able. Lot of things in mundane life require working hard and saving money, and the operations of the grimoires are no different. Things get done though when they are meant to get done, and stressing about it just gets in the way of the work.

  8. I've had a student in the past who simply did not have any talent as a seer. He was deaf and blind as far as psychic abilities. I did everything I could think of to help him be aware of the spirits, from helping him to craft his own grimoire tools, to working with meditations to awaken his clairvoyance/clairaudience/clairsentience, to giving him a kundalini energy empowerment/zap to Lodge-style initiations. Nothing, and I mean *nothing* worked! He didn't see or sense ANYTHING! Finally I evoked a spirit to the physical level complete with polergeist-type phenomenon which i asked the spirit to manifest). He then saw and heard the spirit, as well as witnessed the phenomenon, and only then did he believe that there was something else "out there". But months later after his experience he still can't see or hear spirits, and has rationalized his poltergeist-type experience as an induced hypnotic hallucination.... lol. Maybe he should look into hiring a seer? Certainly more talented magicians such as Dee did, and its even spoken about in grimoires like Abramelin, where a child is employed for such a purpose. So why not? Some people just will never develop the talent. Its like being a ballerina or gymnist. Some have the talent and some never will, even if they practice for hundreds of hours.

  9. I made the four traditional magical weapons of the Golden Dawn tradition on my own, just following the procedures in Israel R.'s book as best I could, and supplementing that with materials from other books where his instructions were lacking.

    The boost I got from doing just that little was simply amazing. I don't think I can recommend highly enough the value of making various tools in order to contact the spirit realms.

    Come to think of it, it's probably time to re-energize some of those tools... yay!

  10. RO - I totally agree with this post to the letter and I have a lot of experience in this now. It very much transforms you and causes you untold upheaval, pain, despair, and madness in the process - just before the veil is lifted and standing there blazing is the Light higher than eyesight, and you are totally and permanently changed and empowered by it.

    You discussed the "seeing" and "hearing" of spirits, and I would like to add to this, since those have been my biggest stumbling blocks in magickal practice.

    In writing, you often remind students that if you are sincerely doing the work to the best of your ability, and including the major components and timing, that your magick will have an effect. This has been my experience.

    I do at times see color, movement, outlines and the like in my crystal or mirror, and sometimes I don't. Most of my encounters with the spirits have been during the ceremony while I shut my eyes and go into meditation. It should, IMO, be noted that this practice is equally important and effective for those whose astral abilities are more internal.

    It also should be noted, IMO, that sight and sound should not be the only areas wherein the magician looks for the manifestation of spirits. For instance... My candles burn differently and the wax drippings may do unusual things, the quality of the air often changes, the overall hum of existence takes on a different frequency, my body temperature fluctuates, I have an immediate change in mood or cognition, the trail of incense smoke takes on a different course, my perception of the contrast of light and dark shifts and sharpens. If outside, I will often get a reaction out of nearby animal life -- all the birds will start chirping, the little squirrels and creeping things will run in frenzy, sometimes a gust of wind will rush in.

    Depending on the current of the sphere involved, I may become dreamy, invigorated, edgy and energetic, slow & heavy, horny, noble & inspired, etc. (I am a feely-watery Scorpio, you see..)

    Other times I simply just immediately get clarity on the issue at hand -- my choices in the matter, the events leading up to it, what I must do, and what I must learn - and then where the handy spirit comes into play. Pieces assimilate in wonderfully congruous fashion whereas before they were a bit scattered.

    I add all of this because it has been my experience that the magician should not only increase his visual and auditory senses, but more specifically should increase the whole of his awareness to the maximum extent possible, taking in all the details of his time in Work, excluding nothing. As far as results based magick goes, these things should be kept in mind.

  11. Anonymous, I'm looking at "Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires" right now, and with a few modifications for some of the more expensive bits, I think the tools would be reasonable in terms of cost.

    RO's own method is very inexpensive, and it's given me very good results, as well. I used a 3/4" wooden dowel for a wand (actually I use it as a staff), particle board for the Table of the art, and paints from the dollar store (although it's good to use better paints if you can get them). All told, I think my costs were less than $50, plus incidentals like incense and charcoal probably ending being about $1 per conjuration.

    Try Goodwill, Michael's Craft Store, and especially the Dollar Store -- you can find AMAZING stuff there, and thinking about the tools will get you into the mental space of doing the work.

  12. Guys - Kelly was a spirit, Dee just wasn't looking at it right.


Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.