Category Archives: Supernatural

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

On Consecrating A New Water Cup

I stared at the broken fragments in despair: what could have caused my precious Chalice to shatter? I felt particularly galled since it had accompanied me for at least twenty-five years in one form or another. I had to face the unfortunate fact: if I wanted to continue practising ceremonial magick, I would need a new Water Cup

New Water Cup

I immediately decided that in order to do this properly, I would have to cut no corners and consecrate a new Cup in the traditional manner, using the ritual for the consecration of elemental weapons in full form. An unexpected benefit of doing so arose in the form of being able to appreciate this ritual with the benefit of many more years experience. In other words, when an Adeptus Minor first consecrates his tools, it will be not long after he has attained that grade, and hence, presumably, still rather naïve. Whereas I was coming back to it with the benefit of what I had learnt since.

Nowhere was this more obvious than in the realisation that when consecrating the Tools, the new 5=6 is expected to use Enochian magick, the full details of which he is only expected to learn after he has finished consecrating the same Tools!

The actual ceremony is pretty straightforward in structure. There is a general opening: following which there is a three-part invocation for each of the Tools – Wand, Cup, Dagger and Pentacle. The first part is a Qabalistic invocation of the element in general, by appealing to the Hebrew Divine, Angelic and Elemental names most of which are contained in the outer order knowledge lectures.

The second part is Enochian: the Adept is imbuing or linking the Tool with the properties of the specific parts of the Enochian Watchtowers. Firstly: the three secret names of God born upon the Banners of that respective quadrant, as well as the King. The three names (from the Linea Spiritus Sancti) command the spirits of the Tablet in general, whilst the King, whose name spirals around the centre, creates the Invoking Whorl which rouses those spirits to action in the first place. Secondly, the Six Seniors, who represent the planetary energies at work in that Element. Thirdly, the spirits of the individual lesser angles who are each represented by the primary Kerub associated therewith.

When one makes this invocation, one is facing the relevant Enochian Watchtower over the altar on which the Elemental tool is currently resting. Despite the fact that no Enochian calls were being used at this point, I could still sense the presence of the link being made between the Watchtower and the Altar / tool – and the presence of these Enochian beings – simply by calling upon them confidently.

The third of the invocation is to take the Elemental Tool on its “maiden voyage” as it were, by performing a Supreme Invoking Pentagram Ritual of that particular element whilst using it. This I interpreted as a regular Supreme Invoking Pentagram ritual, but with the addition of an extra Elemental Pentagram to invoke the relevant Lesser Angle of each Watchtower.

After all the tools are consecrated, there is a general closing, with the lesser banishing rituals. As on this occasion I had only consecrated one Tool, I performed an extra Supreme Banishing Ritual Pentagram of that particular Element, before wrapping it in silk – and placing it in a box to make sure it would not suffer the same result as its predecessor.

As for my new Water Cup, the hardest part was carefully drawing out all the sigils that I would need to paint on the thing – and use in the ceremony when making the Qabalistic invocation.

Sigils for the element of Water, drawn from the Rose Cross Lamen

Once I had done that, painting the Cup itself was quite straightforward: I used a small tin of orange enamel paint, purchased from an art supply shop; and a tumbler made of blue glass which I had picked up from a charity shop. Total cost of materials approximately £5, and a couple hours of my time. I also printed out the consecration ceremony, making sure that I had figured out the correct pronunciation of the Enochian names involves, so I would not have to resort to guesswork or stumble over a bunch of eldritch consonants in the critical moment.

In conclusion, I cannot help but think of the various arguments for and against whether it is possible to self-initiate into the Golden Dawn tradition. To my mind, the path of the Adeptus Minor itself starts off as a regular initiation, followed by a series of Self-Initiation Rituals in all but name: i.e. when one consecrates ones own lotus wand, rose cross lamen, magic sword, and elemental tools, one is deliberately taking one’s spiritual destiny into one’s own hands.

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Enochian Magick: Who Watches the Watchtowers?

What I have to say might sound so shocking that sheer cognitive dissonance will cause many readers to react by crying aloud and saying “No! It can’t be so!” Or: “Surely Alex you must be mistaken?” It is a small detail from Enochian Magick, but important enough to derail one’s entire appreciation of the system if one were to overlook it. It is this:

Everyone who has being doing Enochian Magick relying solely on Aleister Crowley’s texts has been doing it wrong.

Why? Because there is a fundamental mistake in published versions of Liber Chanokh.

The attribution of the Elements to the individual squares of each of the lesser angles has great importance in determining the astrological, tarot, geomantic and qabalistic attributions thereof, as well as each ruling godform. Ultimately, it will affect the vision that one will have if one were to attempt to scry into each square.

The Golden Dawn’s rationale for assigning the elements was stated by Israel Regardie thus:

“Referring to the other squares of the lesser angles, in the Kerubic Rank the outside square is always attributed to the letter corresponding to Element of the Lesser Angle. In the Tablets of Air and Water, the Name read right to left in the upper two quarters; in the two lower quarters it reads from left to right. In the Tablets of Earth and Fire, left to right in the upper, but in the two lower quarters right to left.

Regardie, The Golden Dawn (Emphasis added)

To summarise, the directions would look like this:

Whilst the Elements of the columns would be arranged thus:

However: what appears to have happened is that in published copies of Liber Chanokh, and in versions of the Tablets derived therefrom, the elements appear to have been arranged thus:

The order of the elements in each lesser angle, according to Liber Chanokh.

Spot the difference? This makes it clearer – note the third row, which corresponds to the upper portions (Air and Water lesser Angles) of the Earth and Fire Tablets.

(left) Golden Dawn; (right) Liber Chanokh. Note the third row down.

What appears to have happened is that Crowley (or his illustrator) appears to have interpreted the directions like this:

(left) Golden Dawn; (right) Liber Chanokh. Again, note the third row down.

What is Crowley’s explanation for him ordering the elements in this way? Whilst Regardie set out his rationale in the quote I reproduced above, Crowley however says:

“3. Kerubic Squares.

The upper sides pertain to the element of the Tablet, the lower sides to the subelement. Right- and left-hand sides in this case correspond, according to a somewhat complex rule which it is unnecessary to give here. …

4. Lesser Squares.

The upper side of each pyramid is governed by the Kerub standing on the file above it. The lower side is governed by the Kerub also, but in order descending as the are from right to left above.”

Crowley, Liber Chanokh

“Unnecessary to give here” ! If only it had been given, Crowley’s readers would have found the discrepancy without assistance! If one refuses to believe that Crowley could possibly have made a mistake – perhaps because the aforesaid cognitive dissonance is too much to bear – then the only other conclusion one can draw is that Thelema uses a different version of the Enochian Watchtowers to the Golden Dawn. It is certainly a mistake to think that one can use both the Golden Dawn and Thelemic versions interchangeably.

Golden DawnThelema
The Southern (Fire) Watchtower

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Alex Sumner on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

In which I give an interview for Magic Tool Box UK on their YouTube channel on the Golden Dawn.

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Christa Vee on The Goetia, The Lesser Key of Soloman. OCCULT/MAGICK & Spiritual Development

Sharing this because it features my good friend Christa Vee talking to my other good friend Jackie from the Magic Tool Box on the Goetia.

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Monthly Mystical Alex Sumner Abramelin

In which I talk to Jacqueline Wilson of Magic Tool Box UK about all things Abramelin. You actually get to see what I look like in real life in this video, so those of a nervous disposition may want to look away now.

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Why the secret symbols of magic and witchcraft fascinate us – BBC Culture

Why the secret symbols of magic and witchcraft fascinate us – BBC Culture

Why the secret symbols of magic and witchcraft fascinate us – BBC Culture

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Would it have any harm if I get The Pentacles of Mercury tattooed on me? (Quora)

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The first Pentacle of Mercury from the Key of Solomon: “It serveth to evoke the spirits under the firmament.”

Alex Sumner answered:

OK speaking as a ceremonial magician here… the rationale behind the Pentacles of Mercury or indeed any other planet, from the Key of Solomon, is that when you uncover them, you attract Spirits towards you, even causing them to manifest: and when you cover the Pentacles up, you send the spirits away.

My first thought on seeing this question was “Mercurial spirits might be cool to evoke every once in a while, but do I want to evoke them all the time? When it would be inconvenient for me? To the exclusion of other types of spirits?”

Let’s face it, taking this literally, you could not get naked without being interrupted by a Mercurial spirit. Taking shower or having sex would become a nightmare! Conversely, if you were at work, and you needed the assistance of a Mercurial spirit to help you make an important business decision, you would have to strip off in the middle of the office. If you were at school or college, and you wanted a Mercurial spirit to help you with whatever you were working on, you would have to get naked in the middle of the classroom or lecture hall.

More seriously, there is a school of thought that says that by getting a tattoo of a spirit, you get owned by that spirit, which is not the kind of pact you might be wanting to achieve – i.e. better to establish a healthy relationship with the spirit by evoking it in the proper manner.

So tattoos may be generally cool, but I’d personally think twice about getting one in the form a pentacle from the Key of Solomon.


Alex Sumner’s answer to Would it have any harm if I get The Pentacles of Mercury tattooed on me? – Quora.com

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What happens when the gifter of my first tarot deck stole it back out of anger? Can I still buy my second deck? I was super attached and they were working for me. (Quora.com)

OK there are two things you have to realise. Firstly, the idea that you must be gifted your first tarot deck is actually a superstition put about by charlatans who don’t want it widely known that if anybody can learn the tarot, they would be out of a job! It is “gatekeeping” at its worst. Do not let anyone shame you into not buying a new tarot deck, you are free to do so if you want.

However: the second thing to realise is that there is another option which you haven’t yet considered, i.e. that of getting your first tarot deck back. If it has truly become yours then this is what I (if I were in your position) would be first considering. My personal inclination would be to go to my favourite spirit of the Goetia, Andromalius, who is exceptionally good at recovering stolen items, although if you have any feelings left for the person who stole your tarot deck, you would have to word your petition to the spirit very carefully.

Andromalius by Davey Baker
Andromalius

Alex Sumner’s answer to What happens when the gifter of my first tarot deck stole it back out of anger? Can I still buy my second deck? I was super attached and they were working for me.

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Pacts With Spirits – and How Not To Make Them

This is a Spiritual successor (!) to a blog post I wrote almost two years ago (Review: Angels of Wrath by Gordon Winterfield), in which I would like to focus specifically on the subject of making Pacts with Spirits, and how to avoid the problems associated in the popular mind therewith. In so doing I hope that I can demonstrate that Ceremonial Magick when performed responsibly can be a rewarding and uplifting experience, whilst avoiding all types of unpleasantness.

Within the past day or so, there has been news that the murderer of two young women in London was in fact a Satanist supposedly carrying out a pact he had made with a demon, based upon information he had found on the internet. NB: I too spotted the irony of the BBC just so happening to come up with a story about a Satanic killer on Friday the 13th … but I digress. The information in question emanated from an American occultist who up to now had been notorious in the occult community for the egregious manner in which he hawked the magical services he had to offer. On the one hand, the teaching he puts out is based upon well-known grimoires dating back over a hundred years, but on the other, these same grimoires pander to a salacious and lurid interpretation of magick which reinforces popular prejudices against the subject – and which ought to be discredited nowadays in the light of modern scholarship.

In short: the pact that this killer downloaded off the internet is the wrong way to go about making a Pact with a Spirit. Later in this post, I will give you an example of how to create a Real Pact – but suffice to say, if any occult teaching tells you that you need to sell your soul, or harm any person or harm yourself, or commit any act which goes against the law of the land, or against your own conscience – you can confidently reject it as bogus.

Instead, I would invite you to consider the following – this is excerpted from The Book of Treasure Spirits, a grimoire dating from 1649. In relation to an evocation of the spirit Agares, who in some places is also referred to as a demon or fallen angel – the grimoire prescribes first conjuring Agares to visible appearance by the Holy names of God, including Jesus Christ, which done, the Magician compels the Spirit to “sign” the following:

I Agares, the first Captain under the King of the East, not Compelled by Command or Dread, but willingly and on my own accord, do Especially bind my Self by these Presents firmly, to Obey at all times & in Every place [INSERT NAME OF MAGICIAN HERE] to Do his Command In all things, appertaining to my Duty, & Especially by these words, the most powerful In this Magick Art, Lay, Alyzm, Mura, Syron, Walgava, Ryshin, Layganum, Layarazin, Lasai: And by that Virtue wherewith the Sun & moon were Darkened, before that terrible Day of the Lord (as in the Gospel) and shall be turned into Blood, And by the head of my Prince, & by his Circles & Characters: and Chiefly by this Seal firmly binding, In Witness of which Guilty Person, I have Signed this Obligation, with mine one Seal the Commanding one, to which I Always Stick Close.

This is the Pact with the Spirit Agares. Note how the wording of this Pact does not mention anything about selling one’s soul, or doing anything evil, or even getting the magician to make any kind of offering or sacrifice. This Pact is simply an agreement in written form that Spirit acknowledges the authority of the magician, that the magician has validly called it forth, and that it agrees to carry out the magician’s requests. That Agares would consent to this depends purely on the magician having evoked it in the proper manner in the first place, and nothing else.

By taking this as a template one can see that it ought to be possible to take the concept of making this sort of Pact and integrate it into the practice of responsible Ceremonial Magick. One could even turn this into a ritual like this:

Example: A Pact with Bethor to gain Wealth and Riches

Firstly: in advance of your ceremony, write out two copies of the following. One is for you to read from and so can just be printed on regular paper, but the other you should go to town on by compositing in Calligraphy script on fancy vellum which you can get from an Art supply shop.

PACT between Bethor, and Frater (vel Soror) Utpay Ouryay Amenay Erehay

I, Bethor, Olympic Spirit of Jupiter, of my own free will and accord, swear as follows:

I recognise the authority of the divine and angelic names of the sphere of Tzedeq: EL, Tzadqiel, Iophiel and Hismael; as well as the Holy Guardian Angel of Frater Utpay Ouryay Amenay Erehay; and that the said Frater has validly and properly evoked and exorcised me;

I promise to fulfil the said Frater’s commands in general insofar as they relate to the sphere of Tzedeq, including the increase of his wealth, good fortune, and power and influence, and knowledge of all things astrologically and qabalistically associated with the planet Jupiter;

I shall always speak truthfully to the said Frater;

I shall always keep safe the said Frater, his loved ones, and the place in which he resides;

When manifesting to visible appearance I shall always appear in a fair shape before him;

I shall only depart when licenced to do so, which I shall do promptly and quickly;

I shall send the said Frater a familiar spirit who shall act as trusty and reliable Spirit-guide in all matters Jovial;

And finally, in the future I agree to appear to the said Frater without the need for a full ceremony, but instead when he chants my name four times.

In witness whereof I cause my Spirit-Signature to appear magically upon this Pact document.

Secondly: perform a ceremony of Evocation of the spirit Bethor along traditional lines, but placing the fancy copy of the pact within the Triangle of Art. When you are satisfied that Bethor has manifested, conjure the spirit with the appropriate divine and angelic names, and tell him you want him to agree to the pact you have prepared: whereupon you read out what you have written. When you “see” Bethor’s spirit-signature appear on the fancy version of the Pact which you have placed in the Triangle, you may take this as an indication that Bethor has agreed and that your ceremony has been successful – in which case you may then address Bethor on any specific Jupiter-request that you have on your mind at that moment. After which you may conclude the ceremony in the appropriate manner.

Afterwards, take the fancy version of the Pact document and put it carefully away for safe-keeping – this is now a magical object, and should be treated with the utmost of respect. Do not damage it in any way, because that would be an insult to the spirit. Ideally a specially prepared document holder should be prepared, so you can preserve it safely.

In this manner you have created a Pact with a Spirit – in this case Bethor – without any of the nastiness associated with the vile practices that the deluded Satanist got himself involved in, and instead maintained the integrity of a real ceremonial magician throughout. It ought to be obvious that by changing the names and associations in this Pact as appropriate, one could use the same approach for any spirit that you might care to work with.

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Abramelin Adventures: Magical Books

Square 2 of Book IV, chapter 11 – “to obtain lost Magical books.”

I would like to express my gratitude to Duke Magoth and his servant Hyrys for my latest Abramelin work with this square. It occurred to me that this is one of the few word-squares that a serious magician could use to further his or her own magical development – i.e. to research obscure magical lore. The other one I have used so far being that for obtaining the secrets of Alchemy. More prosaically it helps when one has dropped an important volume in one’s wizard’s tower, and now one can’t find it!

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