Category Archives: Supernatural

Including references to the Supernatural, Praeternatural, Paranormal, Occult, and magick generally.

The Rosicrucians and the Alchemists: by Florence Farr

Originally published in The Occult Review, 1908, v7 May p259.

Florence Farr


A LEGEND arose in the time of the Lutheran outburst of a mysterious master called Christian Rosenkreutz, who was buried for a period of all years in the central cavern of the earth. His shrine was seven-sided, and all the symbols of the universe were said to have been found disposed round him in this place. The Egyptian tradition of Seker, the god in the central cavern of the Duat, evidently found an echo in the heart of the inventor of this legendary father 01 mysteries, and it will be interesting to try and discern the meanings of the main symbols of the Rosenkreutz legends in Egypt and in Germany.

The Egyptian Duat, or Underworld, was represented by a five-foldstar, or star of five radiations, enlarging as they receded from the centre, and therefore not bearing the same symbolism as the pentagram. The Rose is fivefold in its structure and is a well-known symbol of silence. The stages of its existence pass from the bud, or potential state of pralaya, to the unfolding of its leaves as the pleroma, or fulness or manifestation of creative power. Consciousness, thought, reasoning, will, and the sense of individuality are five of its powers; the five senses are other manifestations of the same symbol. When the pollen of a flower is ripe the creative work begins, the petals fall and the fruit and seed are formed. The processes of life are a rhythmic coiling and uncoiling; a radiation and attraction, and an emanation or separation. The fruit coils round the seeds, the juices pass to and fro, and finally the busk of the fruit bursts and the seeds fall out separately as emanations, each complete in itself.

So in the degrees of human enlightenment the purest state is Being so unified and perfect that the kind of consciousness that depends upon comparison cannot exist. The second state is the sense of being without bounds, which is often called wisdom. The third state is discernment, or understanding, and may be attained by concentration of the subjective mind upon an object until full understanding is attained. And these states of the unmanifest consciousness arc called Sat-Chit-Ananda in the Vedantic philosophy and Ain-Soph-Aur in the Kabalistic philosophy; and Ptah-Seker-Osiris was the concrete image of these ideas ill Egypt.

Now the Rose of the Rosicrucians was a more complicated symbol than the Cup. As we have seen the Cup was a symbol of creation, and its form was connected with the symbol of a circle in contrast to the Cross. The symbol of the Rose contains five petals and five divisions of the calyx. It is evidently the symbol of creation in activity, not in potentiality only. Perhaps we may believe the Rose to be a symbol of the subtle body of man, which is one with nature, and the Cross the symbol of the body and the name of word of man. The union of the Rose and Cross would symbolize a man able to unite himself to the great powers of Nature, or tatwas, familiar to us under their Hindoo names Akasa, Vayu, Tejas, Apas and Prithivi, or the kingdoms of sound, sensation, perception. absorption and reproduction more commonly called hearing, touching, seeing, eating and generating.

Now the notion of obtaining the natural powers of an adept is most apparent in the traditions that come through Egypt and Chaldea, and the idea of the super-essential state in contrast to power is most apparent in the Oriental traditions. The high caste Oriental has the aristocratic spirit that conceives the height of life on this world to consist in the delicacy of perception associated with perfect self-satisfaction, while the democratic spirit of the West cannot conceive itself without desires, struggles and potencies for gratifying desires : democracy wishes to do and to have; aristocracy is sufficient unto itself.

Rosicrucianism and Alchemy are both allegories constructed by these working democratic minds, and in the alchemical symbolism we can trace the exact degrees of initiation through which the man, still under the great race delusion of progress, must pass before he realizes that his real self is the same yesterday, to-day and forever.

It is true in a sense that this treasure of all sages, this knowledge of Being which all mystics seek, forms itself vehicles in time and space in which it carries out the imaginations which spring from the relative side of absolute consciousness, and it is interesting to trace the different degrees of attainment.

Alchemical symbolism is mainly the symbolism of distillation.

To take a simple process, let us imagine that we desire to obtain the white and the red tinctures from honey. The alchemist would put the honey in the cucurbite of an alembic. Placing it over a gentle heat be would drive the essential part of the spirit into the bead or beak of the alembic, whence it would pass as steam into the neck of the receiver end become liquid once more as it cooled. This liquid was the white tincture, or spirit of honey mixed with water. This is the symbol of that concentration and meditation whereby the mind of man becomes subtilized and fit to perceive philosophical impressions. The white tincture is the symbol of light and wisdom.

But to obtain the red tincture of power a far more complicated process had to be performed. It consisted mainly of pouring back the distilled spirit upon the black dead-head that had been left as residue in the cucurbite and by the exercise of great care and the addition of certain matters acting upon the mixture in such a way that finally the whole of the original matter .was distilled and no black dead-bead remained and a wonderful red tincture was the result of the transmutation of the black nature.

This symbolical process involves the passing through definite stages of progress in the world of changing life. Let us imagine it carried out to its logical conclusion upon our own earth. We know that the mineral kingdom is the state in which form lasts for infinite ages and can stand great heat and cold without destruction. We know that the giants of the vegetable kingdom last many hundreds of years, but although the process of their growth and decay it prolonged they are not capable of resisting fire or of existing in the frozen zone. We know that certain animals, such as elephants, tortoises and parrots, live for very long periods of time. All these creatures have greater tenacity of existence in the forms or vehicles of life than the human creature.

It is also plain that as the earth becomes more and more subject to violent change, when the great floods and the ice and the burnings visit it, in its old age conscious life must exist in more enduring but 1ess complex, sensitive, visible forms than it does at present. Now consciousness of Being is the name we give to the white tincture which the adept distils from his human form in the alembic of the mind. It is brought about by the fire of imagined emotion and devotion under the stress of intense concentration. To focus thought has the same effect as to focus sunlight. It becomes & force analogous to heat. It is, in a word, emotion evoked by the skill of the sage. In this fire the Adept raises his consciousness until it is separate from the gross body, and no longer aware of the objective world. Passing through the gate of dreams it enters the subjective world and lives in its own brightness. Here it learns that it can create infinite visions and glories, and here the saints rejoice, each in his own heaven. Here finally the sage perceives his own divinity and is united to his God. This is the white initiation in the eyes of the Rosicrucian doctors, and according to the scriptures of the alchemists the sage has gained the white tincture. The objective world only remains in his consciousness as blackness and ignorance and death. In his divine nature he seeks to redeem the dark world, to draw it up into the divine nature and make it perfect. His vision can now show him a world in which man can no longer exist in material human form. His own desire for wisdom has drawn up the human element out of the visible or objective state. He is no longer merely a man in a human body because his subtle body has possessed itself of the characteristic human faculty of self-conscious comparison, the origin of wit, laughter and criticism.

The humanity that is beyond animal consciousness has the power of acting and knowing at the same moment; it can seem one thing and know at the same time that it is another. It is not a noble quality; it is nothing more than the power of laughing at ourselves: and yet it is the great redeeming quality, for it is the germ of all wisdom and enlightenment.

The ordinary dreamer lives in his subtle body as the fool of his own fancy, and the dream shows how little human wisdom his subtle body has obtained: but the subtle body of an adept can perceive the illusionary formulation of panoramas of light and form arising from the half-seized impression of light falling at a certain angle across the red edge of a blanket and the linen of a sheet just as he closes his eyes. The dream of the sage is a consciously guided dream. Like an author, he writes his own dramas and delights in the joys and tragedies of his creation, He no longer suffers from the attacks and sorrows that his own mind creates, but observes them with excitement and interest. He watches his own tears and cuts into the heart of his own emotions.

These are some of the experiences of the sage who has transferred the human principle from the body of matter to the subtle body.

The material body may in this stage of enlightenment be considered as a beautiful and healthy animal; it carries on the physical functions in temperate ways, unaccompanied by the fantastic imaginations of a human being. And there is little doubt that the bull of Apis was considered to take the place of the body of the adept Osiris in this way. The body of a sacred animal would answer every purpose for the divine man whose invisible body bad attained some degree of complex, conscious life. The nervous forces of the animal world act as the physical basis for the dream-powers of the subtilized or deified man.

In China the flying dragon, the mythical combination of all kinds of animal life, represents the body of the deified man that can command all the elemental states of matter that can exist in the air, the fire, the earth and the water. The dragon is the symbol of the material body of the being who has complete command of the elemental world and afterwards becomes the subtle body in the further stage of being of which we are told in Druid tradition.

When the earth grows older and complex animal forms such as flying-fish and sea-serpents and monstrous alligators, can no longer exist, another symbol must be taken from the writings of the Rosicrucian doctors and the alchemists, and we enter upon the study of the Tree of Life. He who eats of the fruit of the Tree of Life will become one with the Elohim, or creative gods, and will live for infinite ages.

Imagine the world enveloped in a great white cloud, moist and warm like a hot-house ; giant palms and ferns and mosses dripping with moisture: a climate like that of the Cocoa-palm Islands off the west coast of Africa, where animals and men can only live a little time. In this world the adept would use some marvelous tree as the physical basis of his life: and his subtle body would have drawn up into itself all the forces of motion that make a tree less powerful to our minds than an animal. The subtle body in this state would have become a veritable dragon of complex forces. It would have drawn into itself the mixed sphinx-natures of the birds and the fish, the creeping things and the four-footed creatures. The dryad of each tree would be a mighty Druid; the great Pendragon would have his oak as a physical form and would exercise his power in reality as we can imagine the ancient Druid sages exercised theirs in imagination.

This state of the subtle body may perhaps have been symbolized by the Green Dragon of the alchemists, but the Red Dragon arose after still further distillation.

Now we have to imagine a world all fire and molten glory of flame, in which. no tree or flower could exist: a world in which wonderful agate trees would circle the white crystals of their pith with bands of violet and hyacinth and blue melting into stretches of pale chalcedony and shrouded in dark crystal bark, their branches glimmering with emerald leaves: a world in which mineral life has learned at last to show itself in perfect form, where light and fire glowed alternately and played with elemental shapes and images of beauty. And so, at last, we come to the last symbol of the alchemists – the symbol of the final perfection, the Summum Bonum, the Philosopher’s Stone.

Let us imagine what that state would mean for the adept : his gross body a pure ruby, a perfect crystalline form with all the powers of growth, of nourishment, of reproduction drawn from the vegetable kingdom into his subtle body, carried on without disgust or satiety through the beautiful mediums of fiery blossoms and shining leaves ; his subtle body almost visible as a light shining in the fiery world; his children flowers of flame and his physical form an everlasting memory of beauty; his mind an all-pervading consciousness in which blossoming imaginations arose or subsided under the law of his will: a perception unified with a faculty that ordered joy to succeed sorrow and sorrow to succeed joy because he knew that one cannot manifest without the other. A supreme artist, he would rejoice in creation; a supreme critic, he would rejoice in contrast.

So the red tincture would be attained and the black, the white and the red worlds explored and analysed in the imagination of the Rosicrucians and alchemists of the Middle Ages.

We still see the same desire for progress among those who strive for the ancient stone here in this western democratic world of men who desire “to have” and “to do.” But these circles of everlasting recurrence so dear to Friedrich Nietzche are not what he called them. They are not aristocratic.

The aristocracy of mind is shown in the philosophy of Villiers de I’Isle Adam, who cried; “As for living, our servants can do that for us.” It is the feeling of the great Buddhist intellect who sees that in the words “I am not” there is a wonder and a vision and song far exceeding the mere ideas of limited ecstasy and knowledge concealed in the words “I am.”

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Binding Trump

… and following straight on from my last post…

I read with amusement on Facebook today of apparently there are a load of witches in America who want to “bind” Donald Trump from doing any evil. Hmm! If they are powerful enough to do that to Trump, why didn’t they cast a spell to make sure he didn’t get elected in the first place???

Anywho. What I find most amusing though is how the organiser, a Mr Michael Hughes, attempts to justify his actions. I quote:

For anyone worried about their karma, Hughes writes that binding “seeks to restrain someone from doing harm” and is “differentiated from cursing or hexing, which is meant to inflict harm on the target(s).”

I hate to break it to Hughes, or to any witch that is considering taking part in this event that Binding is itself a form of Cursing. More precisely, they are both Curses, but a Binding is a Curse with an “unless” clause attached, i.e. it usually takes the form of “I curse you, so-and-so, unless you refrain from doing evil.”

If you do not believe me when I say that Binding is Cursing, ask yourself this: imagine that although the Binding spell works, Donald Trump tries to resist its effects as best he can. What do you suppose will happen to him if he does so?

If your answer is “nothing,” or something light and fluffy – then you have not actually succeeded in Binding him.

If however you answer that something unpleasant will happen to him, then that is the very definition of a Curse.

Don’t get me wrong. There is evil in this world, and sometimes one has to take robust measures… but one should not kid oneself that there will not be karmic consequences. If one were being honest with oneself, one ought to man-up and take ownership of the karma that arises from ones binding spells and what not! Binding is most definitely is not good against evil, it is about using evil to fight evil.

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Love Spells

Recently I seem to have been answering the same question multiple times on, to wit: about Love Spells. The question is normally along the lines of Is placing a love spell on an ex morally wrong for a Christian?, or even Why are love spells considered white magic?

To answer the latter first: they are not. The term “love spell” is a euphemism. Historically, so-called “love spells,” as featured in classic grimoires of magick, are actually very nasty curses in which the caster wishes death / pain / unbearable torment / etc on the “loved one” (read: victim) unless they do exactly what the caster wants: e.g. fall in love with him, have sex with him, leave the safety of her parents’ house and run away with him, refrain from cheating or straying, etc.

Hence “love spells” ought really to be called “Rape Spells,” or “Sexual Harassment Spells,” or “Jealous Revenge Spells.” Not only would it be morally wrong for a Christian, it would be morally wrong for just about everyone.

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How can I summon Zepar?

My answer to How can I summon Zepar?

Answer by Alex Sumner:

First of all, Goetic demons, like Zepar, are not human friendly. They are in fact very dangerous. It is because they are dangerous that they are powerful.

This does not mean that one should be terrified of them. The elaborate procedures laid down in the Lesser Key of Solomon for evoking Demons are safety precautions for dealing with spirits properly.

Perhaps the reason for your apparent failure to summon is Zepar is unrealistic expectations of what happens when Goetic spirits manifest? If so, I recommend reading the accounts of what other magicians have experienced when working with the Goetia, e.g. Lon Milo Duquette’s My Life With The Spirits.

How can I summon Zepar?

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Qabalistic Qigong

You are able to discover new and hidden depths to the whole Golden Dawn system by periodically re-reading the classic texts, written by Mathers et al., and by paying close attention to the parts you might have skipped over the first time around. Even I manage to surprise myself from time to time, such that if ever I start to feel jaded, I find myself re-invigorated by going back to the books and putting into practice what the creators of the system originally intended.

Recently, for example, I was revising the section of Z-3 “The Enterer of the Threshold,” viz. “The Symbolism of the Admission of the Candidate,” and I became convinced that Macgregor Mathers had done something far cleverer than I first appreciated: he had come up with a system of Qabalistic Qigong, long before the concept of Qigong (or “Chi Kung” to use the old spelling) had become widely known in the West (which arguably was only as recent as 1972). In particular I mean the three formulae of magical vibration derived from the opening of the Neophyte ceremony, namely: the Formula of Aspiration; the Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar; and the Formula of the Four-fold Revolution of the Breath.

The Microcosmic Tree of Life. © Alex Sumner 2017

The Microcosmic Tree of Life.
© Alex Sumner 2017

The Formula of Aspiration

In the Neophyte Adeptus Minor document “The Enterer of the Threshold,” in the part entitled “The Symbolism of the Opening of the 0=0 Grade of Neophyte,” Macgregor Mathers describes the magical currents at work at the very beginning of the ceremony, when the Hierophant addresses the Temple for the first time. He then goes on to comment:

The whole is a rehearsal of the properties of the reflection of the Element Air down through the Middle Pillar of the Sephiroth, representing the reflection of the Air from Kether, through Tiphareth to Yesod, and even to the Citrine part of Malkuth. For the subtle Aether is, in Kether, inspired from the Divine Light beyond; thence reflected into Tiphareth, wherein it is combined with the Reflexes from the Alchemical Principles in that great Receptacle of the Forces of the Tree. In Yesod, it affirms the foundation of a formula and from Malkuth it is breathed forth or reflected back.

And this formula the Adept can use. Standing in his Sphere of Sensation he can, by his knowledge of the Sacred Rites, raise himself unto the contemplation of Yechidah and from thence aspire (in the sense of Adspire, i.e. to attract towards you in breathing) downwards into himself the Lower Genius as though temporarily to inhabit himself as its Temple.

Regardie, I, 1989, The Golden Dawn, 6th edition, Llewellyn, St Pauls Minnesota, p345.

In practice, this is really what I would consider regular vibration, although the point that Mathers is making is that one should take a moment to contemplate that one is invoking the divine name in question as a manifestation of genius from the Yechidah (i.e. the microcosmic Kether).

The Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar

Straight after the preceding passage which I quoted above, Mathers goes on to say:

Another formula of Vibration is here hidden. Let the Adept, standing upright, his arms stretched out in the form of a Calvary Cross, vibrate a Divine Name, bringing with the formulation thereof a deep inspiration into his lungs. Let him retain the breath, mentally pronouncing the Name in his Heart, so as to combine it with the forces he desires to awake thereby; thence sending it downwards through his body past Yesod, but not resting there, but taking his physical life for a material basis, send it on into his feet. There he shall again momentarily formulate the Name – then, bringing it rushing upwards into the lungs, thence shall he breathe it forth strongly, while vibrating that Divine Name. He will send his breath steadily forward into the Universe so as to awake the corresponding forces of the Name in the Outer World. Standing with arms out in the form of a Cross, when the breath has been imaginatively sent to the feet and back, bring the arms forward in “The Sign of the Enterer” while vibrating the Name out into the Universe. On completing this, make the “Sign of Silence” and remain still, contemplating the Force you have invoked.

This is the secret traditional mode of pronouncing the Divine Names by vibration, but let the Adept beware that he applies it only to the Divine Names of the Gods. If he does this thing ignorantly in working with Elemental or Demonic Names, he may bring into himself terrible forces of Evil and Obsession. The Method described is called “The Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar.”

Thus, to summarise: if one were to vibrate, e.g. “Eheieh,” one would

  • Stand in the form of a cross;
  • Contemplate link to Kether (Yechidah);
  • (Mentally) vibrate “Eheieh.” In effect one has started off with the “Formula of Aspiration,” but one is now adding to it.
  • Draw the invoked force into one’s heart and mentally formulate there “Eheieh” whilst contemplating what it represents and what you are trying to invoke (i.e. in this instance, the spiritual properties of Kether);
  • Send the current down, via Yesod, to Malkuth (i.e. the feet). Formulate “Eheieh” in Malkuth, imagining that you are using your whole physical being to manifest those spiritual forces.
  • Now imagine the current springing back up, rising up to your head.
  • Forcefully project it out with the Sign of the Enterer, vibrating it loudly, so that it manifests in the Universe.
  • Finally, make the Sign of Silence, to seal off your aura.

Thus there are three distinct points at which one contemplates the force in question: the head (Kether), the heart (Tiphereth) and the feet (Malkuth), with Yesod here figuring as a stage in the downward and upward journey. It is here that we begin to see the similarity with Qigong, in that it is a combination of breathwork, visualisation and movement. Obviously it is not literally identical to any Chinese method, being based on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. I find it helpful here to pause a brief moment – though not too long – at each point, head, heart, and feet, to really feel the energies involved.

Crowley in Liber O describes vibrating the divine names in the LBRP with the Signs of the Enterer and of Silence. It seems clear to me that he probably had the Vibratory Formula of the Middle Pillar in mind, although in describing it cursorily he misses out on the full subtleties contained in Mathers’ original description.

The Four-fold revolution of the Breath

The third magical formula derived from the opening of Neophyte ceremony relates to the currents of energy which are formed during the Mystic Circumambulation. Mathers writes:

The Mystic Circumambulation is called symbolic of the Rise of Light and from it drawn another formula for the circulation of the breath. It is the formula of the Four Revolutions of the Breath (not, of course, of the actual air inspired, but of the subtle Aethers which may be drawn thence and of which it is the Vehicle – the aethers which awaken centres in the subtle body through the formula). This formula should be preceded by that of the Middle Pillar, described previously. By this method, having invoked the Power you wish to awaken in yourself, and contemplated it, begin its circumambulation thus: Fill the lungs and imagine the Name vibrating in the contained Air. Imagine this vibration going down the left leg to the sole of the left foot – thence passing over to the sole of the right foot – up the right leg to the lungs again, where it is out-breathed. Do this four times to the rhythm of the Four-fold breath.

By saying that “this formula should be preceded by that of the Middle Pillar” it is evident that the three formulae of vibration are cumulative – the Four Revolutions of the Breath incorporates both of the preceding methods.


Speaking personally, I find that invoking a divine name by all three methods together is very powerful – the least one can expect is to feel incredibly energised by doing so. I remember once doing the lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram, using all three formulae to vibrate the appropriate Name in each quarter. Because I was necessarily observing more care over each one, the LBRP ended up taking around ten minutes longer than it had done previously, but by the end of it I was fairly floating in space! The three formulae, combined, are a powerful means for invoking Divine names generally – each time leaving one buzzing with energy, and hence filling one with confidence that one is psychically contacting the forces invoked, and working good ritual.

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What the stars have in store for… America

If no-one comes from the future to stop you from doing it, then how bad of a decision can it really be?
It’s the US Presidential election, folks! Using my powers of Astrology, I will attempt to bring consolation to everyone hanging upon its outcome.

The Election itself.

The last polling station will close – hence sealing the fate of the election – at 8pm in the far Western reaches of Alaska – equivalent to 1am Washington DC time the morning of Wednesday 9th November 2016. This effectively represents the “birth” of the new administration.

Chart cast for Washington DC, 1am local time, Wednesday 9th November 2016.

Chart cast for Washington DC, 1am local time, Wednesday 9th November 2016.

The new administration will enjoy favourable relations with the nation’s media. It will do much to bolster US trade and commerce, but it will also seek to gain greater control over the internet as it tries to do so. Conspiracy theorists will be delighted to learn that it will be working hand in glove with corrupt and secretive people of influence!

During the term of the new administration, the case of the Dakota Pipeline will make it to the Supreme Court, who will rule in favour of the oil companies and those who seek to profit therefrom. However: Wikileaks will expose a tremendous number of flaws in the judicial process which lead to that decision, causing some of the worst rioting in US history.

The American people will mostly be concerned about the healthcare system – in particular, there will be great public dissatisfaction with the way it is covered by the media. Ironically this will lead to greater public activism and engagement in the political process.

Hilary Clinton

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By analysing the transits of each of the Presidential candidates at the time of the election, one can gain an idea as to whether, at the time of the close of polls, they will be celebrating or not.

Hilary Clinton was born on 26th October 1947, in Chicago (not having her birth time, I have approximated this to 12 noon). A chart drawn up comparing the time of close of polls to her natal chart would be thus:

Comparison between Washington DC at the time of close of polls, Wednesday morning, and Hilary Clinton's birth-chart.

Comparison between Washington DC at the time of close of polls, Wednesday morning, and Hilary Clinton’s birth-chart.

Hilary has an interesting Mars / Pluto conjunction in her natal chart which greatly affects how she is feeling at this time. Transiting Jupiter suggest she is in high spirits, is strong and determined, hungry for adventure, and broadening her horizons and transforming her career in a positive manner. Transiting Saturn meanwhile shows that she is disciplined, in control, with a clear sense of purpose, and ready to undertake painstaking hard-work.

Transiting Mars is square her natal Sun (probably indicating the illness she had several weeks ago) – however it is also sextile Natal Jupiter, of which it is said

You possess willpower, verve, and energy that you can direct toward achieving your more lofty goals. You have the urge to expand, branch out, or take on more challenges. The desire to take action for the good or to better your life is strong now.

Courtesy of Café Astrology.

Sun transiting Natal Venus suggests a high degree of popularity – especially amongst female voters.

The transiting Sun is also square her Mars and Pluto, although I shall comment upon this further below.

Donald Trump

Hilary Clinton

Hilary Clinton

Donald Trump was born on June 14th 1946 in New York (again I don’t have the birth time, so I have approximated it to 12 noon). Hence, his chart, drawn up in a similar manner to that of Hilary, would be as follows:

Comparison between Washington DC at the time of close of polls, Wednesday morning, and Donald Trump's birth-chart.

Comparison between Washington DC at the time of close of polls, Wednesday morning, and Donald Trump’s birth-chart.

(NB: when I first saw Trump’s natal chart, I noticed that he has Mercury square Jupiter – his big-mouth often gets in the way of his ambitions!)

Donald has some favourable transits right now: for example transiting Jupiter is conjunct both his natal Jupiter and Chiron. This would suggest this could be a year of great fortune for Donald… either that or it is time to make big changes in his life. Moreover, this is an excellent time for Donald to travel to or study about foreign lands and cultures, as he will return home with a more tolerant and accepting attitude toward his neighbours (Mexico?), as well as a renewed desire to share his newfound knowledge and experience with others. However, he should resist any temptation to preach to others or push hisideas too hard, for this would surely lead to disagreements and conflict.

The transiting Sun, meanwhile, is trine to both his natal Saturn and Venus, indicating both his personal charm, and his ability to stay grounded. Hey, I’m just calling it like I see it!

On the other hand, transiting Pluto is square to the same Jupiter & Chiron conjunction noted above… Café Astrology says of this:

If you have been working along lines that are in conflict with your religious and philosophical views, this could be a time of tension. A change either in the direction of your life or in your values will thus be necessary to deal with your growing sense of frustration.


Your main effort now should be in trying to live up to the best in you, rather than lowering your standards to achieve a more transient worldly success. … You certainly need to spread your wings now, but be wary of taking major risks and gambling on a venture that promises you prosperity, freedom, and adventure. …Your career can end up at right angles to your own inner sensitivities and need for growth and change. Emotional material welling up from within you may challenge and threaten the current path you travel, causing you to stop and consider it with care.

Finally, Donald has the transiting Sun square his natal Mars … but, as noted above, so has Hilary! Of this aspect it is said:

You could find yourself driven by a restless desire to do something; but without a well-defined goal, you tend towards impulsive actions and get yourself into needless arguments … As long as you channel this excess energy constructively, instead of wasting your time arguing, you can accomplish much.


Hence, although it may seem like stating the obvious, I am plumping for Hilary Clinton for the win. The reasons being:

  • Hilary will gain almost all of the female vote, as well as most of the male vote;
  • Both candidates have lots of energy and dynamism right now. But because Hilary has the sensible policies and Trump only has the intemperate rhetoric, this energy and dynamism will work in Hilary’s favour and against Trump’s.
  • Donald Trump may very well make a success of his life, so long as he does not become President. If he were to pursue an alternate career path, he would become a better person for it.

This is not to say everything will turn out alright, as Hilary will certainly have her problems when she does move back into the White House.

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Zodiacal Angels

Aries / Melchidael

02 Taurus

Taurus / Asmodel

03 Gemini

Gemini / Ambriel

04 Cancer

Cancer / Muriel

05 Leo

Leo / Verchiel

06 Virgo

Virgo / Hamaliel

07 Libra

Libra / Zuriel

Scorpio / Barchiel

Sagittarius / Advachiel

Capricorn / Hanael

Aquarius / Cambriel

Pisces / Amnitziel

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August 13, 2016 · 11:33 am

What could possibly make magic or spells fail to work for someone?

My answer to What could possibly make magic or spells fail to work for someone?

Answer by Alex Sumner:

(A2A) A lot of fluffy-bunny new-agey type magic folk are not going to like my answer, but what the hell, here it goes:

The primary cause of spell-failure is because the magician has tacked a “an it harm none” clause onto the end of his or her spell-intention. Then, when the spirits who have been charged with causing the spell-result to manifest calculate that the only possible way of success is in fact by hurting someone, they are forced to give it up as a bad job.

The idea of a “an it harm none” clause comes mainly from Wicca, which I believe was a ploy by Gerald Gardner to make his brand of witchcraft seem respectable, although I have seen similar practices in other magical traditions. In each of them, including Wicca, the idea of adding the “an it harm none” clause is taught quite dogmatically.

In my experience, far more success tends to happen if instead of specifying “harm none,” one says “and no *innocent* person shall be harmed.” This has the added bonus of creating some hilarious scenes, although obviously not all the people involved will find it amusing. 😉

What could possibly make magic or spells fail to work for someone?


Filed under Supernatural

The Real Benefits Of Magical Lodges

Possibly due to the powerful intuitive processes which occur in consciousness when during a magical fast, or more likely I was hungry and wondering about getting a takeaway – I read a book on how curries are cooked in British Indian Restaurants, and it occurred to me that it was a perfect analogy as to how a properly run Magical Lodge should operate.

How a properly run magical lodge should operate

How a properly run magical lodge should operate

Humour me on this – I will develop the point.

You see, there are basically two ways to cook a curry – one is to prepare it from scratch, e.g. following a reliable recipe book, and the other is to adopt the practices used by professional restaurateurs. Essentially, an Indian Restaurateur uses a formulaic approach, with each dish on the menu being regarded as a variation on the formula. Moreover, the meat and vegetables are usually pre-cooked, to save time when preparing individual dishes. Hence the “magic formula” can be expressed as:

Generic base gravy + spices specific to a particular dish + pre-cooked meat / vegetables = finished curry.

All of the time outside restaurant hours is spent preparing the basic ingredients, so that they are ready to be deployed immediately, when the time comes to actually serve a customer. Hence to make a curry in this way takes only about twenty minutes in this way, but of course the only reason it can be done so quickly is because of the groundwork performed by the restaurant staff beforehand.

Now to explain how this relates to Magical Lodges.

The sole justification for a Magical Lodge – put forward by proponents of Magical Lodges – is that it is supposedly a better structure and environment for performing magic than could be accomplished by a Magician working on his own outside the Lodge setting (“supposedly” being the operative word here). The solitary magician working on his own from a grimoire is analogous to the cook trying to prepare a meal from scratch, following a recipe book. However, a Magical Lodge potentially has the benefit of facilitating the magical work of its members in a similar way that a restaurant can facilitate the cooking of individual dishes – assuming of course that the Lodge is properly run.

So here, therefore, is the Alex Sumner Method of Creating a Magical Lodge:

Firstly, the founder or founders of the Lodge inaugurate it by establishing contact with the magical forces that they intend the members will work with. Too much trouble cannot be taken at this point – if, for example, the founder needs to contact the seven planetary archangels – or just one angel, for that matter – the founder ought not to rest until such contact has been made – and the Being agrees that in future it will come to the assistance of the founder and the members of the Lodge on whose behalf the founder is working. The Founder needs to secure agreement from the Being that in future the Lodge-members will be able to invoke its assistance by a far-shorter and more convenient method than the Founder used originally.

This is the proper method of establishing “inner-plane contacts” – and also of turning a Magical Lodge into a more efficient magical vehicle than just by being a solitary practitioner. The foundation work thus becomes analogous to the pre-prep and pre-cooking done outside opening hours in restaurant. By following this to its logical conclusion, there should come a point when the Adepti of the lodge ought to be able to create effective spells thus:

Generic magical support from the lodge’s inner plane contacts + established structure + invocations specific to particular spell = finished spell.

In other words – one ought to be able to tell whether it will profit anyone to join a magical lodge for their spiritual development, by examining the quality of the work the chiefs of the lodge do for the benefit of the general membership. Or even: do the chiefs do any such work for the membership, or are they content to just bask in the glory of being in charge of everything?

Furthermore, one can also speculate as to the kind of magical work that the lodge ought to be capable of by discerning who or what they have as their IPCs. If (purely for the sake of example) it is the Archangel Raphael, then presumably the Lodge will be good for the type of magick that falls under Raphael’s purview. If on the other hand it is some other spiritual entity, the Lodge will specialise in workings consistent with that entity’s nature. Unfortunately there are orders in which little discrimination has been applied to choosing one’s IPC, and they have ended up with Just A Bloke. If they do any working at all they tend to generate quite a bit of channelled communications, but nothing in the way of practical magical works.

Finally: could a solitary practitioner nevertheless adopt this sort of approach themselves to make their own practice easier? Well yes – this is essentially the whole point of doing something like the Abramelin Operation – it is the pre-preparation and pre-cooking for one’s own magical restaurant. Hence such a practitioner ends up doing magic like this:

Generic magical support from one’s own inner plane contacts + established structure + invocations specific to a particular spell = finished spell.

It can be done – but having an efficiently running magical lodge structure ought to make the process easier.



Filed under Supernatural

It’s Grimoire Up North…

"... if you have cast the spell properly, the demon will be safely bound within the triangle." © Copyright Alex Sumner 2016

“… if you have cast the spell properly, the demon will be safely bound within the triangle.”
© Copyright Alex Sumner 2016

The place: darkest East London, Bethnal Green, the closest place you can get to Shoreditch which has not been gentrified… yet. The time: December 2015. I assumed the form of a human being and bravely entered the local working men’s club, where there was being held a Satanic Flea Market. It was full of hellish tattooed freaks and pierced weirdos, bizarre fetishists, cross-dressing denizens, straight(ish) dressing goths, Torture Garden clientèle, metalheads, witches, daemonolators, and whole host of others generally up to no-good. The kind of people who don’t have to change out of their normal clothes to go to a performance of The Rocky Horror Show.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people I knew there!

Anywho… the main reason for me being there – apart of course from meeting up with old friends, and buying Christmas presents for my friends and family – was to attend a talk on Goetic evocation, hosted by Astrid Haszprunarova. The gist of it was that Astrid had developed her own system for working with the spirits of the Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon. Her method retained the use of a circle and triangle, but apart from that bore little resemblance to anything in the original grimoire. For example, she eschewed the use of traditional divine and angelic names, did not use the “Preliminary Invocation” (otherwise known as the Bornless Ritual), did not use any of the traditional conjurations (instead relying on “Demonic Enns”), and had her own methods of invoking power and opening a portal to hell as part of the ritual. I believe she had adopted this eclectic / experimental approach because of her prior interest in chaos magick. Yet: despite her methods being completely unlike anything which could be remotely called “traditional,” she claimed that they worked for her. (Incidentally, whilst we all had a good old chuckle over Rufus Opus’ experience with Bune, she claimed that she had worked with the same spirit several times and not had anywhere near as much trouble as he had done).

Speaking personally, whilst I am far closer to conventional grimoire usage than Ms Haszprunarova, I can hardly claim to be a purist myself. I was originally inspired in my practice by Lon Milo Duquette’s account of his evocation of Orobas in his autobiography. Since then, however, I myself came to the conclusion that the conjurations from the Lesser Key can largely be dispensed with in favour of the Enns, which simplify the evocation process greatly. A typical ceremony for me would consist of the Lesser banishing rituals of the pentagram and hexagram, the Bornless Ritual, the invocation of the Qabalistic names which make up the magic circle and the triangle of art, the Invoking Pentagram and Hexagram ritual of Spirit which corresponds to its Zodiacal sign and its rank (e.g. Duke = Venus, etc), the versicle of the corresponding Shem Ha Mephoresh Angel, the Enn itself, the Welcome unto the Spirit, followed by the actual negotium, and finally the Licence to Depart (polished off with further banishing rituals if necessary). A full evocation done this way takes between half an hour and an hour.

What I find fascinating though is that the use of Demonic Enns – short phrases purportedly written in a demonic language – represent a revolutionary innovation in modern Goetic evocation. The story behind them is that one of the associates of the daemonalator Richard Dukante, who was active in the 1970s/80s, claimed to be in possession of a family grimoire written by his ancestor, one Abraham Willit, in the mid 16th century. These contained a series of “Enns” which (it was claimed) the demons themselves had dictated to Willit. As far as I know, no-one outside Dukante’s circle has seen this 16th century grimoire, if it ever existed at all, so it is impossible to check the historicity of this story. However, that is not the important thing: what is though, is that despite their provenance, demonic Enns actually work.

In other words, to evoke, e.g. the spirit Andromalius, this –

I DO invocate and conjure thee, O Spirit, Andromalius; and being with power armed from the SUPREME MAJESTY, I do strongly command thee, by BERALANENSIS, BALDACHIENSIS, PAUMACHIA, and APOLOGIAE SEDES; by the most Powerful Princes, Genii, Liachidæ, and Ministers of the Tartarean Abode; and by the Chief Prince of the Seat of Apologia in the Ninth Legion, I do invoke thee, and by invocating conjure thee. And being armed with power from the SUPREME MAJESTY, I do strongly command thee, by Him Who spake and it was done, and unto whom all creatures be obedient. Also I, being made after the image of GOD, endued with power from GOD and created according unto His will, do exorcise thee by that most mighty and powerful name of GOD, EL, strong and wonderful; O thou Spirit Andromalius. And I command thee and Him who spake the Word and His FIAT was accomplished, and by all the names of God. Also by the names ADONAI, EL, ELOHIM, ELOHI, EHYEH, ASHER EHYEH, ZABAOTH, ELION, IAH, TETRAGRAMMATON, SHADDAI, LORD GOD MOST HIGH, I do exorcise thee and do powerfully command thee, O thou Spirit Andromalius, that thou dost forthwith appear unto me here before this Circle in a fair human shape, without any deformity or tortuosity. And by this ineffable name, TETRAGRAMMATON IEHOVAH, do I command thee, at the which being heard the elements are overthrown, the air is shaken, the sea runneth back, the fire is quenched, the earth trembleth, and all the hosts of the celestials, terrestrials, and infernals, do tremble together, and are troubled and confounded. Wherefore come thou, O Spirit Andromalius, forthwith, and without delay, from any or all parts of the world wherever thou mayest be, and make rational answers unto all things that I shall demand of thee. Come thou peaceably, visibly, and affably, now, and without delay, manifesting that which I shall desire. For thou art conjured by the name of the LIVING and TRUE GOD, HELIOREN, wherefore fulfil thou my commands, and persist thou therein unto the end, and according unto mine interest, visibly and affably speaking unto me with a voice clear and intelligible without any ambiguity.

can, as indeed can the half dozen other conjurations to call forth the spirit with increasing desperation, be replaced entirely with

Tasa fubin Andromalius on ca.

I find it works best repeated mantra-like, until I feel a definite “presence,” at which point I continue with the “Welcome to the spirit.” For me the preceding rites, when done conscientiously, serve to elevate my mind into a magical state of consciousness which ensures success for the whole ceremony.

In conclusion, I am wary about people being dogmatic when it comes to “tradition” in Ceremonial Magick. Strictly speaking, unless you are part of a chain in which teachings have been handed down from teacher to student, you are not part of a “tradition” at all! Even so-called Grimoire magick is a living practice, subject to modernistic re-interpretation, depending of course on whether what is actually proposed works or not.


Filed under Supernatural