Originally posted on Visionary Fiction Alliance:
Writing visionary fiction requires three simple steps:
- Have visionary experiences
- Learn to write
- Write about your visionary experiences.
You may feel that this list oversimplifies an intuitive and cognitive discipline that plumbs the heights and depths of the soul. That’s true, but it’s a useful way of looking at the problem.
1. HAVE VISIONARY EXPERIENCES
I have found that there is one common characteristic of people who often consult fortune tellers. They repeatedly go to these places until they are told good words.
I’m just relaying what the voice in my head’s saying
Don’t shoot the messenger…
So there I was, navigating some of the more recondite backwaters of the astral plane, when someone whom in waking-life I strongly suspect of being a Secret Chief gave me three new Tarot decks as a present. “Aha!” I thought, when I returned to this planet. “This gives me an idea for a blog post!” So here is a little magical technique which I have developed in my own practice, for incorporating the Tarot with Spellcasting.
This is suitable for all general Magia spells. I have dealt at length with using Tarot for Theurgia in my book Taromancer. The principles are simple enough, although it does assume that one is already familiar with the basic techniques of ceremonial magick. It goes like this:
- Carefully form a clear idea of what it is you want to achieve with your intended spell.
- Perform a Tarot divination for yourself, using the following as the question: “I intend to cast a spell to…” [INSERT SPELL INTENTION HERE]. “What will happen if I do so?”
- Now as you are performing your Tarot divination, it will start to become obvious that at least one card is more important in the spread than all the rest – I shall refer to this as the “Key Card.” Now it could either be a Positive Key Card or a Negative Key Card, i.e.:
- A Positive Key Card is the card that most points to success;
- A Negative Key Card, on the other hand, represents the one thing that is most preventing you achieving success.
- Armed with this knowledge, you can now put together the magical ceremony to achieve your spell intention, basing it around either invoking the energies of the Key Card if it is a Positive one; or banishing if Negative.
- You may also consider that more than one card in the spread has the potential to be a Key Card, as it were, so it may be appropriate to do a more sophisticated ritual involving multiple invokings / banishings.
Now the GD system of magick has the advantage that because each and every one of the 78 cards in the Tarot deck can be related to the Qabalah, it is possible to formulate a very specific invoking / banishing ritual, to wit:
- For the Major Arcana -
- For the elemental cards, i.e. The Fool, The Hanged Man, Judgement (both qua Fire and qua Spirit) and The Universe (qua Earth), use an appropriate elemental Pentagram Ritual;
- For the zodiacal cards, i.e. the Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Hermit, Justice, Death, Temperance, Devil, Star, Moon, use a Zodiacal Pentagram ritual;
- For the planetary cards, i.e. the Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Wheel of Fortune, the Tower, the Sun, the Universe (qua Saturn), use a Hexagram ritual.
- For the Minor Arcana, you need to use two rituals, i.e. -
- the elemental Pentagram ritual corresponding to the suit; and either
- the Hexagram Ritual of the Sephirah corresponding to the pip number of the card; or
- another Pentagram ritual for the Court cards (i.e. Princess = Earth; Prince = Air; Queen = Water; King = Fire).
- the elemental Pentagram ritual corresponding to the suit; and either
Remember, the Hexagrams for the Sephiroth are those of the corresponding planets, but with the Sephirothic names and attributions instead of the planetary ones. The Saturn Hexagram is used for the Supernals, whilst the Luna Hexagram is used for both Yesod and Malkuth.
Example from my own practice:
Some time ago a lady of my acquaintance had lost her job, and was getting quite desperate to find a new one. I therefore did a tarot divination for her, and came to the conclusion that her chances of getting a new job would be quite high… were it not for an awkwardly placed Five of Swords (Defeat) in the spread. I therefore performed a ritual (in private) to “banish” this card. This included me performing an opening, the Supreme Banishing Pentagram of Air Ritual (for the suit of Swords); the Supreme Banishing Hexagram of Geburah Ritual (because it was a 5); and then closing.
Within a week, she had found a job, and texted me news of her “unexpected” good fortune.
There was a time when I thought that I knew or possessed all there was to know about the occult, and I thought, “Is that it?”
I was wrong.
The fact is that although one may be tempted to assume that Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn between them dispose of the majority of the occult teachings of the present day, there is a vast amount of material out there of equal if not greater quality, which seldom gets talked about. The truth of the matter is that Crowley and the GD only account for the majority of the occult in the English language. If, however, you want to venture outside the influence of the Anglophone sphere, there is a trove waiting to be discovered.
In this respect, the most important foreign languages for an English-speaking occultist are not Hebrew, Coptic and Enochian, but French, German and Italian. There is a large corpus of marvellous occult material in these languages, but because it has never been translated into English, most people in English-speaking countries have never heard of it. It is of course possible that there is yet more in other languages.
I currently am busy translating a load of French rituals into English. To save time I am attempting to use an automatic translation program – but then proof-read the results thoroughly to get the correct nuances and iron out the inevitable errors that these things throw up. One trivial example: the French word Gardien means “Guardian” but also “goalkeeper.” I am therefore having to deal with a French ritual for attaining Knowledge and Conversation of one’s Holy Goalkeeper Angel
Got this from one of the GD Yahoo Groups – check out Ciara’s boots:
BUT… the real question is: since when did Cathy over at Azoth Art start making ghetto fabulous footwear as well?
The moral test was a more serious one. Suddenly, without the least preparation, the would-be disciple would one fine morning find himself imprisoned in an empty, dismal-looking cell. A slate was given him and he was coldly ordered to discover the meaning of one of the Pythagorean symbols, as, for instance: What is the signification of the triangle inscribed in a circle? or: Why is the dodecahedron, confined within the sphere, the symbol of the universe? He spent a dozen hours in his cell with his slate and the problem, and no other companion than a vase of water and a piece of dry bread. Then he was taken into a room to face the assembled novices. Under these circumstances the order had been passed round that they should ridicule without pity the wretched youth, who, hungry and sullen, stood before them like a culprit. “So this is the new philosopher,” they would say. “How inspired he looks! He will now tell us of his meditations. Do not conceal from us what you have discovered. You will in the same way go through all the symbols in turn. A month of this régime and you will have become a great sage!”
At this point the master would attentively observe the young man’s attitude and expression. Irritated by his fast, overwhelmed with these sarcastic words, and humiliated at not being able to solve an incomprehensible problem, no small effort was needed to control himself. Some would weep with rage, others gave sarcastic replies, whilst others again, unable to control themselves, dashed their slate madly to the ground and burst out in imprecations against school, master, and disciples alike. Then Pythagoras came forward and calmly said that, as they had failed in the test of self-respect, they were begged not to return to a school of which they had so bad an opinion, in which friendship and respect for the masters should be the most elementary of virtues. The rejected candidate would shamefacedly retire and sometimes become a redoubtable enemy of the order, like the well-known Cylon who, later on, excited the people against the Pythagoreans and brought about their downfall. On the other hand, those who bore everything with firmness, and gave just and witty replies to the provoking words they listened to, declaring they were ready to repeat the test a hundred times if only they could attain to the least degree of wisdom, were solemnly welcomed into the novitiate and received the enthusiastic congratulations of their new companions.
Updated version of a post from 2011
The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated by Christians on January 6th. It is thought to be the date upon which Jesus was visited by the Wise men, and in many non-English speaking countries (e.g. most of Africa) is regarded as the actual date that Santa Claus comes to visit (Europeans – though not those in the UK – believe he comes a month earlier on December 6th – the feast of St Nicholas). However all this is by the by as in this blog post I intend to analyse the symbolism of the feast of the Epiphany from a Qabalistic perspective.
It is widely thought that there were three Wise Men i.e. Magi, however this is a misconception – the number three only arises because of the number of gifts specified. There could in actual fact have been any number of Magi – they might for example have decided to ignore a literal reading of the constitution and quietly re-elect one on the sly! The actual wording of Matthew’s Gospel in fact seems to indicate that there were many so-called Magi living in Jerusalem – perhaps making up an actual cult or secret society.
Nevertheless, let’s examine the symbolism of the three gifts: Gold, Frankincence and Myrrh. It has been said many times in the past that they are symbols of Jesus’ ministry: Gold – because it symbolises his Kingly role; Frankincense – His Priestly role; and Myrrh – the mastery over Death. Now let’s compare this with the Tarot. Although there is a rather obvious card associated with “Death,” there is at least one less obvious one as well – “The Empress” – because in Rosicrucian terms, Daleth / Venus is “the Door” to the Tomb. The Kingly role is most obviously associated with “The Emperor” and the Priestly role with “The Hierophant.”
Now you see the pattern emerging? The three gifts represent paths leading to the sephirah Chokmah. And, in the Rosicrucian tradition, an initiate of the grade of Chokmah is called a Magus. What actually makes this most remarkable is that the name of the Rosicrucian grade of Magus pre-dates the assignment of Tarot trumps to the Tree of Life by over a hundred years or so, coming as it does from the Gold + Rosy Cross.
What we have in effect in Matthew’s Gospel is Jesus, whilst still a small child, effectively being advanced to the grade of 9=2 Magus. I say with no intended irony that it is the very model of a modern Magus ritual. Seriously though, the fact is that thereafter, “being warned in a dream they returned to their own country by another route.” In other words, these Magi were not Jews at all but foreigners – i.e. Pagans! Moreover there is at least one Gnostic gospel that claims that Jesus’ coming was foretold by “Zeredusht” (i.e. Zoroaster). What this means is that Matthew – and indeed perhaps the early Church itself – intended Jesus not just to be the Messiah of the Jews, but of the Pagans as well.
If this is true, then it represents a notion which would have proved far too radical for later and more modern Christians, if indeed they even dared to conceive it all. For example – how many times have you heard preachers trying to explain Jesus’ life by reference to the Old Testament? A lot. How many times, however, have you heard preachers trying to explain Jesus’ life by reference to Pagan scriptures in the same manner? I am keen to wager it is somewhat less. Yet the implication of Jesus being initiated as a Magus by Pagans would seem to imply, to my mind at least, that it would be appropriate to do so.