For those who are less familiar with the Lemegeton, it is divided into five "books" and some of these have more than one section. These books are copied from Latin, Greek, and Hebrew source materials which are now lost, and the Lemegeton is one manifestation of the lineage which I have found sufficient for practice. My experiment has been to apply all of the instructions and explore what can or cannot be done if one were to confine the limits of occult practice to this one exemplary text. I believe that, due to being copied from Hebrew texts which read back-to-front and right-to-left, the books of the Lemegeton are printed in reverse order, so that one ought to properly begin with the Artem Novem, followed by the Almadel, the invocation of the Guardian Angel, the use of the Table of Practice, the two forms of Theurgy, and finally the Goetia which is invariably attempted before anything else.
The use of the Table of Practice occurs in the section called "The Pauline Art," which is an obscure reference to visionary and revelatory magic according to J. Peterson and his source Lynn Thorndike. This is described, by means of illustration, as a round table with a Star of David, in which there are seven pairs of concentric circles, one at each point and one in the center. Between each pair of circles are six esoteric figures representing the planets, and in the center of each smaller circle there is a planetary symbol. The Sun is in the center with a letter R (resh, probably intended as the solar face), and the other planets are arranged clockwise beginning with Saturn at the top. Beside the top angle, there is the name of Jehovah.
I made this table from a round piece of wood about 22 inches in diameter and one inch thick, engraved with a chisel and rotary tool, sanded and stained with darker areas in the concentric circles. This is set over a bronze table base about a foot high. For travel purposes, I used colored silk thread to embroider the same design on a linen cloth of equal size.
The method of invocation is rather simple, but it is described in a manner that would confuse the casual reader. The seal of the spirit is not a personal seal but a means of identifying the longitude and latitude of the conjuration: the magician identifies his own position upon the earth. This is done by drawing two concentric circles, in the center of which one first writes the character of the Lord of the Ascendant, the Ruling Planet of the Rising Sign in modern parlance. Next, the Zodiac Sign that is ascending on the 12th House is drawn in the same central circle, thus representing the span of the 12th House and the longitude and latitude for that particular time. The text then specifies that the other planets are written in their order. In the example given, for Wednesday, March 10th, 1641 in London, the planets are written in the same order each time, beginning with Saturn and going clockwise.
My own experience has taught differently, and it must be noted that I draw the remaining six characters in the order in which they appear in the sky or would be arranged around a circular astrological chart. I also separate the Lord of the Ascendant and the Sign Ascending on the 12th House by a horizon line, over which the Lord of the Ascendant marks the upper half, and the planets positioned accordingly. This arrangement, though not terribly precise, marks not only the place but the time of the work as it might be determined from the positions of the planets.
The seal is laid over the section of the Table of Practice corresponding to the Lord of the Acscendant. In my own work, I use a clean sheet of paper, which is afterwards used as a record. Though I have not performed the work in such a manner, it may be convenient for those working in partnerships to have one person recording during the ceremony using this paper. The text instructs one to lay a hand on the seal and make the conjuration, which implies that the spirit will manifest through a gazing sphere. In this, my approach is to hold the sphere in my palm and lay the back of that hand upon the seal. The sphere itself, according to the Theurgia-Goetia, may be glass or crystal. I expect that it may be a variety of things and that it is not necessary to use a sphere at all, but my own approach is to use a sphere of quartz crystal about the size of a peach which is about 85% clear of inclusions.
The conjuration, in three parts, is spoken aloud, and the spirit is invited to speak on all things which God permits and which address your concerns in the realm of the planet ruling that particular Hour.
A friend of mine recently commented that he was interested in pursuing various aspects of occult work, but that he felt his conditions were less than adequate. I asked him to consider what he might do if his loved ones were being threatened by a strong man with a big stick, while he was restrained, drugged, and blindfolded. Without hesitation, he replied that he would do whatever he could to hurt and stop the offender, regardless of his afflicted condition, because it was important. I think most folks feel this way: if it's important, we do whatever is needed, regardless of the restrictions.
I asked him also how long he had taken to become a high-level character in his Warcraft game. Many years, he replied, and at least a few months of being no good at all in the beginning. That's what a few hours a day will do: you become better, even if you are awful for the first few months. It is my determination that for these people, who profess an interest in magic but will not engage the subject on account of circumstantial excuses, that there are things which for them are simply more important. They do not wish to be masters of magic, but of Warcraft or some other thing, and are simply embarrassed to admit it. Better to be honest! This has taken a lot of time and work, and those who want to pursue it will do so on their own or not at all.
I have been working with this text and this method semi-regularly for a while, keeping more or less to myself about the whole process. I have never, and still do not, profess to be any sort of expert crystallomancer. I think that there is some confusion in the public imagination about what to expect from this kind of art, or I am simply inept at it, but my experience in this work is significantly less visual than I had originally expected. It is, ironically, much more like the ascensions of St. Paul's fellow than the Wicked Witch and her misty globe. Though the gazing sphere is the focus of my attention, the revelations take a variety of forms, the most vivid ones coming to me with the strength and seeming reality of a recent memory.
My approach is to allow the spirit to reveal to me what is in its interest to show, which so far has adequately addressed my concerns that I would have voiced if I had taken the opportunity to do so. These are definite, clear, insistent receptions; and not hazy daydreams in which I have a great deal of control over the content. A central feature in all of this is the recognition of an awareness and intelligence on the other end of the line.
Nothing of what follows should be terribly shocking. I do not print it here to make a point about anything, prove anything, or even to describe the Pauline Art which is also greatly under-represented in print. As far as I am aware, there are no accounts of this process online, aside from hodge-podge versions with a mix of paganism and fantasy, but even that is not my reason. The spirit requested, last night in the Hour of Venus, that I write this material and make it available to the public, for reasons beyond me.
A great deal of what transpired is difficult to convey in a way that makes any sense. A brief summary would be a command to love my wife, to love other creatures, and to let people be free to choose who or what they love. That leaves something to be desired in terms of spirit revelations, but ultimately that is the sum of the communication.
It is the way in which these things were conveyed that makes the interaction remarkable. I had the impression during the full episode that I was being led sharply downwards. The spirit itself -typical of my experience with this art- did not show itself in the least way as a being separate from the communications it provided, which were in every part filled with sincere compassion and patience.
Also typical of this art, various people known to me were shown, but only insofar as their actions or opinions came into contact with my own life. Their plans and activities, their associates and the names of their associates, were shown in clarity with the features of each seemingly "washed" of iniquity so that I was moved to sympathetic understanding even amidst things I might normally find offensive or insulting.
At every step, the spirit was conscious of my reactions, and as questions or concerns arose, the spirit made an effort to tailor its communication to address those thoughts. I do not typically speak during these conjurations once the spirit is called, and this was no exception, but I should stress that this is not a form of altered state or "trance" any more than the attention required to read this entry. the spirit was aware of my concerns as they came to my mind, and addressed them adequately.
Have we come to such a low point in civilization that it is necessary to bring in the celestial hosts to remind people to love their wives, care for animals, and give a brother a break? That is frightening, and I would hate to think that this was the real need for the spirit to make such revelations public. Perhaps the spirit wished to encourage people away from demonic evocation while not discouraging them from occult rituals. Whatever the case, such was the revelation and I have done my best to relate it faithfully.