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|Thursday, November 22nd, 2018|
|Solomonic Demonology in Context
Throughout history, empires have expanded the awareness between distant cultures, producing a shared body of knowledge and ingenuity with noteworthy triumphs along the way. By decay or calamity, the rise of empires is usually accompanied by a fall, resulting in disconnection of shared beliefs and practices among formerly united peoples. Much of what was once widely known, given enough time and a change in national identity, becomes obscure and arcane, with the gaps in complete knowledge filled-in by creativity or ignorant speculation.
The loss of an empire, leading to smaller self sufficient nations in competition or cooperation with each other, can affect every aspect of daily life, leaves a scar on architecture. The Pyramids were a marvel to the Caliph, who could imagine building nothing of the sort in his own era. The intricate workmanship standard at the court of the Tsars is rarely even attempted today. The Holy Roman Empire could only hope to achieve the engineering feats of the actual Roman Empire. Of all things lost, one of the first to go is usually the volumes of accumulated knowledge, especially those things which are held in reserve for an elect few.
It is after such events that the bulk of the lore of magic comes to us in the present day. What we now possess as the literature and material legacy of magic record fragments of ideas which have been taken from the more productive eras, jostled together, and many of them have become badly damaged. The entire subject of magic, while giving wings to the imagination, is a minefield for the intellect.
There is no grand editor of the essential library of magical lore, nor any standard interpretation. The idea of magic exceeds books and artifacts, and is also a matter of living discourse, making any sort of comprehensive study difficult to undertake.
There are a variety of ways to look at the subject. Rather than select the best one, I would prefer to illustrate a few of the stronger positions and allow the reader to examine their strengths and weaknesses. I shall refer to these as the Four Empires of Solomonic Demonology. The first is the Christian interpretation, the second is the Pagan interpretation, the third is Muslim, and the last is Judaic. ( Collapse )
|Friday, December 22nd, 2017|
|The Holy Guardian Angel and the Pauline Art
I have a sensitivity toward small animals, and recent fires and other disasters bring to mind the suffering of the thousands of small and unobtrusive creatures lurking in the wild when faced with such calamity. That it did not happen to humans makes the event far less horrific, proving a general species-wide consensus that human life has particular value above all other types of life. Despite this basic understanding of equality shared throughout all people, it is apparently of little consequence that a tremendous number of people endure hardships like starvation and death by violence or disease.
Never Forget! The terrorist attacks of September 11th led to the deaths of more than 100,000 non-combatants overseas. The financial siege of Venezuela has led to mass graves and police behaving as roving bands of murderers. It's an accepted fact there are skeletal children in Africa and diseases in all hot countries. And yet, there are millions whose lives never encounter such things.
The comfortable upper class of the globe, even the poorest of people in the more prosperous nations, have a staggeringly different level of comfort than anyone else. I don't mean the Rolls Royce club, but all of us who are participants in modern life. We have toilets and phones and ski lifts, and Omar over there hasn't got squat. Not that it really bothers anyone!
Sure, some people are upset. But most simply acknowledge it as an unpleasant fact of existence. Faced directly with Omar, it might be a different story, but across the world he is left to fend for himself. Poor Omar might begin to wonder what value or significance his life could possibly have. He might even begin to wonder if he is, like the animals, just a beast doomed to die, a meaningless part of some vast and incomprehensible system whose key parts are forever unattainable, or if instead he is indeed a Man, with divinely ordained purpose. ( Collapse )
Thus armed, whether with a seal or ring or whatever else, and having taken some care to seek and offer forgiveness for wrongdoings, you are to invoke the angel. Every catholic schoolchild knows the proper invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel: to light, to guard, to rule, and to guide, and the specifics of conjuration are not especially important in this case as it is entirely personal and discreet. The role of the angel is to provide clarity and perspective, and to warn or encourage its charge.
I do not personally seek or receive such visitations from my Guardian Angel in the context of magic rituals. I do however believe that this Angel has probably done me a world of good without ever itself becoming personally manifest. The objective in making contact with the angel is not so much to become satisfied as the recipient of special powers and secret counsels, but to become capable in some pursuit that imparts meaning and purpose into life which can be shared with others.
|Wednesday, December 6th, 2017|
|Obligatory Xmas Sales Pitch
Which edition of the Lemegeton should you get?
How about the one that was compiled by someone who actually uses it, and whose work is the FIRST AND ONLY printed documentation of the work done according to the actual instructions?
How about the one with vivid colors and illuminations on every page, that looks and feels like a real Book of Magic?
How about the one that has images of the spirits, and information about them, gathered from first-hand experience?
How about the one that describes the practical details of the work, especially for the non-Goetia sections like the Almadel?
How about the one that gives all the spirit and divine names with suggestions for their meanings and pronunciation?
How about the one that doesn't waste your time with speculations about people long dead, and instead begins from page one with instructions?
How about the one which is so rare that, at the present time, only a few copies exist?
How about the one which ALSO includes the complete Key of Solomon with step-by-step instructions not found anywhere else?
That would be THIS edition: http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/the-great-key/hardcover/product-23259480.html
For a cheap preview, here is the same product in PDF:http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/the-great-key/ebook/product-23259516.html
You might think you know what's in this book. Let me be quite clear: if you have not read it, you really have no idea what you're missing.
|Monday, October 16th, 2017|
|Truth & Tradition
While I was still a very young child, I would ask my parents questions about the universe. Around the time I was four or five years old, I asked each parent individually about the origins of Mankind and the Universe, and I received two very different answers. This should be no surprise in and of itself: my mother was a microbiologist who worked in a rigorous scientific environment, and my father the architect was accustomed to functionally creative design. An odd thing happened when they decided to answer. My father, who introduced me to mythology and fantasy of all sorts, gave a child-scale version of the Carl Sagan answer: biochemistry borne of galaxies and planetary nebulae, all originating from fundamental principles of matter. My mother, the scientist, answered with the Garden of Eden story. As a child, I had no way of determining the veracity of either tale, had no indication that I should regard either version with suspicion, and I saw no inherent contradiction between the two. ( Collapse )
If we are to take our angels and devils into the New Age, in which we are all more aware of the facts of Nature, and have as complete a perspective as possible in regard to the history of the universe, we will need to substantially update the concepts working behind these figures. They cannot remain in their present forms, with their present mythic identities, without severe consequences. Either we will expand the lore of spirits to include the much larger world-view now available, or we will halt the advance of knowledge in favor of a more comfortable mythology. ( Collapse )
I suggest, from my vantage as one of those people who has engaged the art of spirit invocation directly, that we might begin to establish the modern understanding of spirits from the same starting point as we begin to understand ourselves. We acknowledge that we are conscious beings foremost and that our physical bodies provide an interface with the world; and we might extend this same proposition of a core identity composed of Will to those other beings which we call spirits.
It is not necessary to force upon these beings any kind of understanding about how or why they exist, stuffing them into receptacles designed by ethnic cults of dubious validity. Just as the religions of the past and present developed as the result of direct engagement with spirits, so should the future concept of spirits represent the result of investigative effort and not empty speculation.
|Wednesday, October 4th, 2017|
|Esoteric Science and Natural Philosophy
Let us depart from the standard topics of occult philosophy and instead examine some hidden properties of physical matter. These secrets are observable and demonstrable, but require a more sophisticated approach than merely looking and hoping to understand. Many of the most important features of matter only appear when exposed to rigorous testing and abstract calculations. Such methods are usually available only to specialists with expert training, but any person of average intelligence can easily comprehend the import of these facts and the effects of their discovery upon both moral and natural philosophy. ( Collapse )
At this point we may return our attention to occult topics and attempt to understand how these newfound facts might affect the working paradigm of a serious magician. Under the assumption that we are free to know anything that can be known, we have no reason to fear these new ideas. It is possible that such knowledge makes it difficult to adapt effectively to most forms of organized religious belief, especially in those cases where certain ideas are held beyond the possibility of question. Just as millions of people continue to reject the idea that the Earth is older than 6000 years, there will be plenty of people who gleefully assume that the science geeks have got this all wrong.
It is my personal belief that attempting to know more about life and the way things work is a laudable goal, and I do not put a cap on that knowledge at the place where my senses and ordinary experience fails me. At some point in the distant past, a person sat watching the sunsets and sunrises closely over a long enough period of time to discover that the Sun moves through the sky in a predictable and reliable pattern. His discovery led to agriculture, which developed a civilization sufficiently luxurious that it now can provide us with digital alarm clocks to remind us of the sunrise.
The people who made these observations, the ones who turned civilization into something civilized by standing out under the stars with a clay note-pad, were in their day the Wizards. They weren’t looking for the arcane and ancient lore, they wanted cutting-edge science and technology, better medicines, and an understanding of the universe from a wider perspective than that afforded the average goat-herder.
Rather than replicate their experiments and gloat over their collections of lore, it is incumbent upon modern magicians to also stand on or near the cutting-edge and to seek the advancement of human knowledge and culture. If we turn up our noses and walk away from this knowledge, saying that we prefer to get our version of the hidden truths of reality from books and tales full of talking animals and flying dragons, we are moving backwards instead of forwards in the stream of ideas.
It remains yet to be seen whether this information will form the basis of any specific type of occult practice. As of yet, that has not occurred. Those who profess to follow these ideas as the basis of their magical work, the so-called Chaos Magicians, have on the whole completely ignored this information just as staunchly as any High Priestess of Faery Wicca.
We should also be cautious in assuming that this wealth of scientific data somehow undermines the basis of faith and morals. We might separate, for example, the belief that thunder is the sound of angels bowling while still invoking angels for assistance and illumination. If anything, the wonder of creation has become orders of magnitude more wonderful, much to the greater glory of God whose work the universe represents.
|Tuesday, September 26th, 2017|
Someone from the internet recently asked me what I thought Agrippa’s work would look like if he were alive today and writing for a contemporary audience. This is an interesting question and I think that those who read here might be interested to hear my thoughts on the matter; but first I think it would be appropriate to discuss the content of “Occult Philosophy” in its original setting. ( Collapse )
So where does this leave the modern magician who finds himself enthralled by the idea of magic, yet unwilling to leave his brain on the hat rack inside the entry doors of the Collegium Spiritus Sancti?
Despite what the Chaos Magicians claim, the world has not yet developed a semi-coherent system of occult practice which incorporates much of the scientific advance from the last 500 years. Those who profess to update the curriculum often do so at the expense of its integrity, leaving the student with a watered-down version of physics or an absurd postmodern version of magic.
My own response, as this journal probably indicates, is to explore the older works on their own terms. I draw pentacles, recite prayers, invoke spirits, and bind evil demons in the names of God, as these are some of the better options for such work that appear in my own time and culture. I am certain that there are other options which are just as valid, but I choose the Art of Solomon and the strictures and directives which come with it. At this point, I am more interested in exploring where it can go and what it can do to assist myself and others than matching up each spirit to its corresponding Psalm.
I have no concern whatsoever whether any of my work produces more or better collections of spirit lore. It is neither my design, nor my desire, to see the occultists of the world come together to make a new and giant revision of classical occultism. I am however extremely interested in seeing people develop new technologies and resolve some of the real and tangible problems of the world using the existing materials; and I believe that magic offers solutions that religion scorns and science cannot attempt.
|Thursday, June 29th, 2017|
|Progress and Development
I prefer to tell people about how I did something, rather than to tell them about how they can do something. It is my understanding that the people who can relate to my experiences in some way can figure things out for themselves and do their own thing their own way after taking mine into account. I don’t have anything to “teach” these people, they follow their own course as do I. Even so, there are plenty of people who want to be instructed.
The last century or so has seen the unprecedented rise of diverse esoteric orders. Most of these take inspiration from religious and political societies, and so it should not be terribly surprising that these orders lean towards religious devotion and internal disputes. The overwhelmingly popular alternative is to simply ignore participation in these societies and follow a self-guided course of practice; but here I would like to offer some thoughts on organized development in conjunction with the work of others. ( Collapse )
None of this work should be regarded as a skill or hobby to be taken up or set aside as one might do with a guitar or a set of wood-crafting tools. Whether great or small, the effort to practice invocations of spirits will inevitably push life in a new direction which does not easily waver in its course. The magician becomes a part of something beyond his control, and surviving in such a position demands a kind of negotiated peace. If successful, the work should result in major and permanent changes in the life of the magician, and these are signs of progress more than any subjective faculty which regular practice might appear to produce.
|Monday, June 12th, 2017|
|The Legend of King Solomon
I write this post with two purposes in mind. First, to advertise my illustrated children’s book, The Legend of King Solomon, containing 30 of the most beloved tales of this mythic monarch. Second, I would like to address some ideas about how to get into more serious dimensions of magic and what to expect from it, and for this I will refer to topics in the children’s book. http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/the-legend-of-king-solomon/paperback/product-23112365.html( Collapse )
Far too much effort is applied among modern students of ceremonial magic towards understanding the meaning of symbols. The work of a magician is always in some way mysterious, and so it is of no account to have a better explanation of it than that offered by someone else. As well, far too little attention is paid to the role of the magician and the kind of objectives which are chosen for the work. It would ruffle no feathers to describe magic as an act of will, and in the Solomonic system that will is represented as one with broad responsibilities.
The magical literature attributed to King Solomon presents the magician as a person of temporal as well as spiritual power. The scriptural account of Solomon describes him as a ruthless dictator, a skilled diplomat, and a person of worldly appetites. Whereas Waite speaks of the grimoire magician as “poor, proscribed, envious, ambitious, and having no capacity for legitimate enterprises,” the tradition of Solomon is to search for authority by wisdom, not to cheat fate and gain special advantages.
|Saturday, May 20th, 2017|
At some point in the development of a magician, it becomes apparent that most of the literature on the subject is geared towards highly religious people. I find this amusing, and sometimes a little frustrating, as most magicians gravitate toward the occult as an alternative to mainstream religion, or as an escape from it. I write this post for those who aren’t quite comfortable with going to Sunday Mass, but who also aren’t ready to become a Shamanic Buddhist Druid. ( Collapse )
I write all of this for the sake of addressing what I call “thematic” elements of magic, in this case the direct involvement of religion in the rites and ceremonies of the grimoires. To be brief, I might say that a magician can be irreligious or devout, but an irreverent magician is rarely respectable. I believe it is important to not permit the religious aspects of the practice to overwhelm or displace the magical aspects of the Art, but it is good to recognize a few points on which they agree.
The central agreement between the grimoires and religion is that the grimoires teach communication with beings of religious significance. They are spirits, gods, demons, all the ghosts and djinn of the invisible world, and we are mortals who presume to treat with them; but ultimately everything is ruled by God Almighty. Some grimoires demand a small degree of actual cult participation, but even the Red Dragon insinuates that you are interrupting Midnight Mass and not leading the choir there.
|Monday, May 15th, 2017|
|Stop Trying to Get Rich
Most magicians are poor. That’s OK, most of everyone is poor, and among those poor people, many are happy about their lives. I am sick of seeing the majority of magicians running around chasing after the nearest dollar every time they step into the circle. This post is intended for those who find themselves continually searching for the better Money Spell.
So you have called upon Bune, made sixteen different Jupiter talismans, and have tried Commanding Oil from the rootwork store in an attempt to get more customers at your Etsy shop; but you’re still broke.
Let me offer two simple suggestions.
1. Instead of trying to become wealthy, aim at becoming successful. Become a better musician, a better artist, a better athlete, or a better anything, and apply your magic toward that end. There’s no guarantee that you will become a high-income celebrity, but you will at least have something real upon which to base your appraisal of life.
In terms of planetary magic, Solomonic pentacles and the like, branch out into work with Mars and Mercury instead of Jupiter and Venus. Set yourself on a path of productivity and effective communication, rather than worrying over the supposed end-result of being the rich guy with a cute girlfriend.
Once you have decided that you will do something wonderful with yourself rather than merely try to accumulate enough cash to buy whatever some other person has made, get to work on that. They say nobody is perfect, but most people (myself included) are very far from it, and it takes work to avoid being a loser. Apply those Mars conjurations toward gaining vitality and reducing unwelcome health issues, and use those Mercury talismans to gain skills in diplomacy.
2. Do something really weird. Magic is not, at least in my opinion, something that should be merely an advantage for the otherwise ordinary person. It should elevate your experience of life into something beyond that which the average person can access. A magician should be inspiring in some way, whether for good or ill, and not just the guy who happens to win slightly more often than the boring guy next door.
It is not enough to have a skill, to be doing well at a hobby or career. In order to really develop as a magician, you have to explore a bit outside the comfort zone and attempt to do what mere mortals cannot. You may fail, and fail again, but if you do not make an effort to try, you are wasting your time as a magician. Open portals to the demonic realm, try to levitate, lay siege to a nearby town, go on treasure hunts, anything that calls to you on a deep and personal level as “the kind of thing magicians ought to do.”
It is essential in doing these weird things that you break out of whatever grimoire or curriculum you are using. The magic you explore should be something of your own design, at least in part, and it should be important to you as a personal goal.
Finally, do not allow wealth (or lack thereof) to dominate your appreciation of magical arts.
|Sunday, May 14th, 2017|
The grimoires are full of interesting things to accomplish: get rich, become famous, acquire hidden knowledge, and a variety of other items along those three primary themes. Despite this, I very often meet grimoire conjurors whose lives are not interesting. I write this post for them.
When was the last time you went out looking for treasure with the aid of spirits, spells, and divinations?
If the answer is “Never,” I want you to consider why you have never done so. I would be willing to bet that the main reason most people have never done anything of the sort is their lack of faith in success. That would be a fair assumption, but if it were not just on the edge of the impossible, it would not be very impressive as Magic.
I would like to tell you of my adventures on three treasure hunts, each involving the aid of a Familiar Spirit, seeking treasures guarded by Purson, Vassago, and Astaroth.
The Golden Cavern has been amply described elsewhere, but briefly I should restate the incident for those who are unfamiliar with it. Following directions of a spirit, I located a vein of gold ore in Northern California that required a long, steep climb to access. At one point in the ascent, I was warned of an unseen hazard by the Familiar Spirit. I was not warned of the several armed men on the ridge across from the site, who opened fire, and I was not warned of the disasters and personal dangers following the discovery.
I was unable to get anything resembling details from Vassago about the Mormon Gold in Nevada, and resorted to the Familiar Spirit. This revealed several geological features to follow, and the spirit did not indicate that this would involve a climb of more than a thousand feet directly upwards with a deep pit of sand at the top. Despite detecting the “gold” signal from the pit, the site was abandoned due to fading light and a lack of a means to excavate the sand.
In seeking the Skull of St. Nick, I was given directions to seek the signs of water on the exterior of a building in a precise spot, and the direction to go downwards from there. Upon exit of the building, in the exact place described, there was a water drain and a sort of small door which would have been hazardous to enter.
In all three cases, the spirit direction was confirmed, and yet in no case was I ever able to make myself master of these spirit-guarded treasures. Nonetheless, I have scaled cliffsides, explored ancient sites and trails, and have really pitted myself physically and mentally against some huge obstacles, even gunshots. If I had simply said to myself “Nah, that won’t work,” I would be in the same position financially today, but I would have missed out on the adventures. I would also not have the confirmation that the spirit could in fact reveal true items beyond my knowledge, although none of them were particularly useful in the ways I desired them to be, and all failed to mention inherent dangers and drawbacks.
Perhaps someone will come along who is willing to actually do this sort of thing and have a treasure to show for it. I am certain that some exist, and I would love to see others attempt to uncover precious things long lost or hidden.
|Books of Magic
Unless you grew up chewing on a used smartphone, you probably remember a time when occult books were not as easily obtained as they are today. Major bookstores might stock a few items between the Astrology and Self Help sections, and your local library might have had a copy of the Grimoire of Armadel or The Sacred Magic of Abramelin, but serious occult lore was kept a dark secret until the mid 1990s.
I decided to write this post after overhearing a conversation between two young people debating which occult books to acquire. One was telling the other to simply go somewhere and download everything for free, which long-time readers know drives me up the wall. As I see things, if a person cannot afford to buy a book on ceremonial magic, there is very little chance that he can afford to use it. The counter-argument that usually appears is that there are so many things to read, and it would cost a fortune to actually pay for them. Yes, it can be expensive to build a library, but I would like to suggest an alternate strategy.( Collapse )
I think that at some point a person must decide upon a book or a school of practice, or invent one, and then consider that as a personal form of magic. It makes sense to put a bit of thought and study into that choice of definition, but it is best to go ahead with it at some point and see where it leads, regardless of whether you have the details perfectly understood.
|Sunday, August 23rd, 2015|
This CafePress store has almost nothing to do with the journal, but some people might enjoy seeing my artwork in a frame, or on a t-shirt or keychain.
Do you need a "Dinosaur Time" wall clock, an Aleister Crowley case for your Kindle, Eye of Jupiter coaster set, or a necktie featuring the Lord of the Hidden Fire?
I'm pretty happy with my Golden Cavern mug.
|Tuesday, August 18th, 2015|
For those who want to read some of my older writings, but who do not want to pay full cover price, here are about 500 pages of them for $10 as an e-book. http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/occult-arts/ebook/product-22311441.html
I love Edgar Rice Burroughs books, but have found that the electronic reader world has left them largely neglected. The same can be said for "The Troll" by T.H. White and not a few other stories worth reading but poorly represented online. Please use this e book as an opportunity to sample full copies of the work, but I am confident that if you find them worthwhile to read fully, you would be better served by a print copy.
I had originally left my cover pages blank, so that the contents could be judged on their own merits. Some time has been taken to rectify the blank covers for Imperial Arts, Secrets of magic, and The Wizard's Workshop, but the content remains identical except for that of Secrets of Magic which have been fitted to the proper format.
I have also printed The Magan Text in casewrap hardcover, for those who dislike the washed out image qualities of the paperback. The Book of Lies is now available in paperback as well.
Helisol and The Great Key have been combined into The Magical Arts of Solomon the Wise, but the content of both texts included are unaltered. This is only for those who want a larger format hardcover, as the content is identical to the two paperbacks.
Those who wish to see me in person are welcome to attend the Seattle Esoteric Book Conference with me on September 27th and 28th.
|Sunday, August 2nd, 2015|
Thanks to my new large-format scanner, I was able to transform these huge manuscripts into printable paperbacks. The first is the so-called Greater Key of Solomon, here named "The Great Key," containing all the ceremonies presented in their "secret order" so that the book can be followed start-to-finish.
The second is my personal edition of the Lemegeton, which I have titled "Helisol" after an alternate title of the original manuscript. Each of these are printed in full color, with vivid green and purple inks, profusely illustrated. These are printed just as they appear in my manuscript, with no typing or editorial notes.
They're expensive to produce. They each required literally years to complete, with pages full of luxurious india ink and gold-leaf.
Let me be very clear that these books are not reprints and copies of materials you might already own. They are my personal working texts, and I debated long whether to simply keep them to myself. http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/the-great-key/paperback/product-22253879.htmlhttp://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/helisol/paperback/product-22254014.html
And for those who are fans of The Great Beast, here is my hardcover edition of The Book of Lies. Each page is fully illustrated in red and black, produced in 2004, with glossy dust jacket. The text is unaltered from the classic 1913 edition, without the commentary. http://www.lulu.com/shop/aleister-crowley/333/hardcover/product-22253942.html
And finally, for those who are fans of the Simon Necronomicon, here is an illustrated edition of The Magan Text, with the spells of Maqlu as an appendix. Some of the illustrations were unfortunately washed out in portions by the scanner, but such is the fate of self published work. http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-r-king-iv/the-magan-text/paperback/product-22261693.html
|Friday, August 30th, 2013|
|The Novice Arts
The subject of preparation for the ceremonies being so frequently asked, and with the new image features of Livejournal, I would like to describe the preliminary rites of conjuration applicable throughout the Lemegeton.
The idea that the 5th book of the Lemegeton is to be spoken as a consecration of the circle and ceremonial effects is not new. It appears explicitly in the text, in describing the prayers to be made upon entering the circle. There are ten such prayers for the circle itself, as well as others for the pentacles and triangle. The prayers of the circle are, I believe, of great importance to the ceremony as they contain the foundations of the system itself, the structure under which the whole idea of spirits and conjurations is expected to operate.
I am presenting these as photo-copies from my own working text, originally 14x22 inches, with the black text as the spoken portion, the red text as cipher for the Hebrew words in the circle, and the green as meditations on the themes indicated by these names. ( Collapse )
It is certain that every person will come to a slightly different understanding of these terms, and that an individual will develop his own understanding as time passes. It is also irrelevant, in my opinion, whether or not one really considers these things a part of some absolute reality or truth, so long as they are understood as elements of the Lemegeton system. I do not believe that it is at all important to understand the cultural context of the rituals, whether they are 16th century or prehistoric or entirely modern, so long as one has a well-considered grasp of the major theoretical and practical points of the system.
The ceremonies operate far more like a subpoena than a phone-call, and this is an aspect of the work largely ignored in the literature of the subject. The reader of these texts is told to do and say various things which will, hopefully, contact a spirit. Contacting a spirit is a relatively small matter, with little difference to be made between requesting Captain Howdy on the Ouija board and evoking the infernal princes in elaborate regalia. The ceremony, with its obscure complexities, is intended to do more than merely attract attention or to assault spirits with holy names and dire incantations.
The ceremony of conjuration is designed to effect an environment similar to proceedings in a court of law, wherein both parties -the spirit and the magician - assent voluntarily into covenants with one another. A covenant is much that a bargain or contract is not, and lest there be some confusion of terms it should be understood that the conjuration is designed to express the will or testament of the magician. It must be entered with a clear mind, having the facts of the matter in view, or else it is invalidated. The oath and covenant made by the magician is not with the spirit, but with God who is supreme over men and spirits alike, and this is another point entirely lost in modern presentations of demonology despite it being on the first page of the most common grimoires.
In the case of the circle invocations, one must decide what it means to be a "Servant of the Most High" and to establish an understanding of his relationship with the spirits and their Creator. The circle itself is like the chariot of Ezekiel, a series of concentric rings surrounded by fire with a throne in the midst and six-angled figures on four sides, and for the ceremony it is the means by which the magician is figuratively exalted in divine power. There is perhaps not an absolutely correct way of understanding these things, but if one has no understanding of them or if they are denied, then the whole work is a sham and the oaths and conjurations are of no account.
I should mention also that this is not, in my opinion, a matter of generating "subjective synthesis" or any kind of fundamental agreement with the supposed grimoire paradigm. Rather, it is an understanding that the manner in which the grimoire is designed to operate is through the establishment of covenants, and that without acknowledgement of the terms of the covenants one proceeds in futility whether he is pious or perverse.
|Tuesday, August 20th, 2013|
This is intended to be a brief review of the Almadel, from my own perspective and experiences. I realize that my writing can come across as an authoritative style, but in point of fact I am simply presenting my personal take on the subject as with all of these other things in the journal, and you are free to take it or leave it.
It is my opinion that the Almadel is the first of the "practical" arts that one should pursue in the Lemegeton series. This is due to the ease with which one can acquire the physical implements of the ritual, and to the way in which the spirits are approached. It is an introduction to evocation which allows the spirits to declare what is "right and proper" for them to perform. The magician is not encouraged to bring his preconceived notions of practicality to the ritual, seeking treasures and lovers or secret wisdom, but rather places himself before the spirits for the reception of their communication whatever that might be. The manifestations are not expected to be especially fantastic, the intent being merely to establish a genuine contact with intelligent beings of a benevolent nature.( Collapse )
Those who view this art as a technical procedure, or who regard it from a literary/historical standpoint, are missing out on the real work. The magical art, even "slavish devotion to the instructions of the grimoires," is a personal and individual work. Aside from the craft work involved, there are philosophical concerns that arise in the course of the work which force one to make and stand behind bold decisions in regard to what one wants from life and how one wishes to obtain those things. I see so many people struggling to establish a practical paradigm which fits their personal motif, seeking out the most-original or most-complete ceremonies, and ever struggling to do what is indisputably correct or whatever is awesome in the eyes of their peers. In my own work, I have decided to simply choose this one particular system and explore it thoroughly, regardless of its provenance, and I have not found that to be limiting or opposed to anything that I have believed was good.
|Wednesday, August 14th, 2013|
|Pauline Art: Abasdarhon
I am usually quite reticent concerning the other elements of ritual in the Lemegeton, this journal being exclusive to the Goetia with only a few tangential references to the other sections. There are several reasons for this, chief among them the fact that I feel the results of my other work are of a deeply personal nature and should not be brought up for public inspection. Though matters of less concern, my other motivations for silence on these arts stem from the fact that this journal has been an attempt to explore what is arguably the most interesting and popular of all ceremonial magic texts.
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.
( Collapse )
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.
|Friday, June 14th, 2013|
|For the Inquisitive
I am not dead or inactive, but have relocated to a small island some 23 miles offshore.
This journal remains my personal work, not a professional publication, and as such it should be expected that I update it in a manner I deem fitting.
Overall, I have greatly appreciated the responses to this work, but have long felt that much of what has been taken from this journal is not what I feel are its strongest merits, and so I will take this time to reflect on what this work is and what it is not.( Collapse )
I had debated whether or not to make further updates to this journal on account of the unsavory attention it has attracted at time despite the overall positive response. I will continue to consider that, but for the present I will only say that I am still alive and quite well.
|Tuesday, September 4th, 2012|
|Goetia: Balaam #51
BLOM (Balaam) pronounced "Bal- 'om"( Collapse )
King Commanding 40 Legions
I have called the spirit of Balaam, who was the last holy prophet of the nations in the days of the Exodus, brother to the first king of Edom. In the grand tradition of the Bible repeating themes, Edom is the "wicked older brother" to Israel, its people the descendants of Esau. The Edomites had the blessings of the righteous, but lacked guidance. They were given a prophet, Balaam, and his corruption provoked the ruin of the whole nation over the course of centuries.
Of all the things said by the spirit, the one that struck me the most was that none of these wide-range world events mean much to me, and that I am better off using my time to focus on my personal goals. The banking collapse has been imminent for years, and yet the fringe outlets cry every day that the destruction of all things convenient is scheduled to happen next week. When it fails to manifest next week, the clock has been pushed back another month, or another year, until you have a situation not unlike those who watch and wait for the Rapture. Things of that nature can and do happen, but it is more productive to live in readiness for what can be expected than to live in fear of what cannot be expected.