Tag Archives: Crowley

Enochian Magic In Tamworth – update

Plate found in Hopwas Woods, Tamworth

This is a follow-up to my post Enochian Magic In Tamworth. The local paper has finally seen sense and published pictures of the various artefacts found in the local woods, including the plate inscribed with Enochian Letters. Apparently the site, Hopwas Woods, has been a hotbed of occult activity – apparently 27 years ago there was an infamous incident of some occultists dancing naked in a clearing and smoking cannabis!

Tut tut tut! I cannot condone this sort of behaviour! Getting caught by the police and not hiding your stash, I mean. Obviously I’m not about to condemn skyclad rituals, and I can hardly condemn use of da Herb. Anyway – the group that got their collars felt (metaphorically speaking) was called the “Order of the Silver Star,” though whether this was anything to do with Thelema is not indicated.

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Holy Guardian Angel

News today that over a third of Britons apparently believe they have a Guardian Angel, with “17% unsure.” This plus recent discussions I have been having over the interwebby-type thing have got me thinking about the subject. The “Holy Guardian Angel” is a term that crops up a lot in the occult, mainly thanks to a certain Mr A Crowley. I wrote an article about this a little while ago, but I thought I would expand upon the subject with an attempt to debunk some myths which crop up about it.

Fiction: Attaining Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel is the be-all and end-all of Magick

Fact

If one reads the Book of the Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage, one finds that the “Abramelin Operation” is a preparatory step before embarking on a career as a ceremonial magician which will involve evoking all the demons of hell, charging magic squares, etc.  Moreover, if one consults other grimoires such as the Pauline Art, Trithemius’ Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, etc, one finds that the invocation of a Guardian Angel is an important first step before communicating with other intelligences. Finally, one should note that according to “777” the so-called “Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel” is the spiritual experience not of Kether, nor even of Tiphereth, but of Malkuth.

The reality of the situation is that from being the ultimate end, KCHGA is the exact opposite – it is only the beginning of the path. The end is “Divine Union.” KCHGA on the other hand should be seen as the simple basic qualification that one is now an actual magician, as opposed to a mere theorist.

Related to this realisation that KCHGA is the beginning, not the end, is the unfortunate phenomenon one sees of people who let their egos inflate egregiously when they say they have achieved KCHGA, as if this is supposed to mean something. The true experience of KCHGA is not exalting, it is humbling – rather like one feels humbled when coming into the presence of something of great beauty like a great work of art.

The only gratifying thing that can truly be said about KCHGA is that it may be the bottom rung of the ladder, but at least it is the right ladder.

Fiction: The Holy Guardian Angel is identical to the Higher Self.

Fact:

I have dealt with this in a previous blog post. This is an assertion put about by Crowley, but the evidence breaks down when one starts to examine and compare the grimoires from the past which actually mention Holy Guardian Angels. The HGA is the Guardian Angel of the Clairvoyant process – be that a crystal ball, magic mirror, or one’s own ability to skry generally. The HGA ensures that only the spirit with which you desire to communicate speaks to you, and that it speaks the truth when it does so. In mediumistic terms the HGA is a “Spirit Guide.” Franz Bardon in his book “Initiation into Hermetics,”
and in the present day the Kabbalist Z’ev Ben Shimon Havlevi, state that the souls of departed human beings can fill this role as well.

The Higher Self is better thought of as the Yechidah, the Divine Spark within one’s own soul, which corresponds to Kether. The point being that whilst Knowledge of the Higher Self is a valid aim of magick, it is theoretically possible to achieve this without having anything resembling conversation with anything resembling an angelic being.

Fiction: The “Holy Guardian Angel” is a term used by Crowley which was not part of the GD teachings.

Fact:

This is something I have seen crop up from time to time. Yes it is true that Crowley used “KCHGA” to describe the work of the 5=6 of the A.’.A.’. . Yes it is also true that this term is not used in the 5=6 teachings of the Golden Dawn – phrases like “higher self” being used instead. On this basis I have heard it confidently asserted that the term “Holy Guardian Angel” belongs to Crowley only and does not form any part of the GD’s teachings.

WRONG. In the Stella Matutina the Holy Guardian Angel crops up in the 6=5 Adeptus Major ceremony. In a paper in W B Yeats’ collection – which is published in George Mills Harper’s Yeats’ Golden Dawn – whilst the aspirant gazes into a bowl of water during the passage of the path of Mem, his “Holy Guardian Angel” wraps him with its wings, whilst he gazes upon the image of his “resurrection body.” This is all part of the astral working that formed the structure upon which the Stella Matutina Adeptus Major ritual was based.

Hence we have primary evidence (or at least – the National Library of Ireland does) – that at least one faction of the GD incorporated the concept of “Holy Guardian Angel” at least in some respect into its Higher Grade teachings.

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Magick, Wicca, Witchcraft, Christianity

Magick is an old English spelling of Magic which was revived by Aleister Crowley. He defined it as “the science and art of causing change in conformity with Will.” The crucial word in this sentence is Will. This does not mean any passing fancy, but refers to the great spiritual forces which are driving ones soul. Magick is therefore really about finding your Soul’s purpose – and then giving effect to it.

The concept of True Will is something Crowley took – like most things – from the Golden Dawn. True Will is what occurs when your ordinary everyday conscious Will is perfectly united with your Higher Will – which is your aspiration to that which is highest and most spiritual.

Wicca is a term most associated with the movement first brought to public consciousness by Gerald Gardner in the middle of the last century. It is primarily concerned with worship of the Goddess and God, and the observance of the traditional pagan festivals (Sabbats) and full-moon ceremonies (Esbats). There is now evidence to suggest that what we now know as the modern Wicca movement was founded in the 1920s by former members of the Golden Dawn who believed that they had been Witches in previous incarnations. Gardner did not found Wicca, but he was the first person to actively publicise it. See, for example, Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration by Philip Heselton (which coincidentally I once reviewed in the Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition).

Witchcraft is a general term for the historic Witch tradition. Many Wiccans would say that Wicca is Witchcraft, or at least a part or an example of Witchcraft: I do not particularly want to get into an argument upon the matter.

Can a Christian ever practice Magick – and remain a Christian? Certain elements of Thelema and Wicca have a religious character, so in these instances, probably not. However, one should also remember that for 1900 years prior to the 20th century, magick was being preserved and studied by Christian scholars. Not, of course, those who slavishly followed the dictats of the Church, but freethinkers who believed that the Kabbalah was the perfect synthesis between magic, mysticism and religion – even though at times they were persecuted by the mainstream Church for daring to say so.

So for a modern day Christian who is thinking of magick I would say if you are such a Free-Thinker then yes it is possible – you would then find Christian overtones in Martinism, the Elus Cohens, Waite’s Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, Dion Fortune’s Society of the Inner Light, and even in the Golden Dawn.

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The Equinox, Volume 2 *

March 21st is the Vernal Equinox in those parts of the Northern Hemisphere which lie above the tropical zone – so I shall spend some time analysing how various occult traditions treat this seasonal event.

In Wicca, the Vernal Equinox is celebration of Light. The central part of the ceremonial consists of the following invocation, which the High Priestess recites before a bonfire is lit.

We kindle this fire today
In the presence of the Holy Ones,
Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
But the High Gods
Thee we invoke, O Light o fLife;
Be thous a bright flame before us,
Be thous a guiding star above us;
Kindle thou within our hearts
A flame of love for our neighbours,
To our foes, to our friends, to our kindred all,
To all men on the broad earth;
O merciful Son of Cerridwen,
From the lowliest thing that liveth
To the Name which is highest of all.

(Source: “What Witches Do,” by Stewart Farrar).

In the Golden Dawn, the Equinox is the time when the old Hierophant steps down, and the new Hierophant is installed. It is also the time when the pass-word for the Equinox has changed. The choice of pass-word is significant, for it represents a Magical Affirmation to inspire and guide the Order for the next six-months. The Equinox ceremony of the Golden Dawn when worked with all the inner magical working, is in fact a magical ceremony to put that Magical affirmation into effect.

It was for this reason that Crowley referred to the reception of the Book of the Law as “the Equinox of the Gods” – because he saw it as a cosmic Equinox ceremony to give effect to the new Word, not of the next six-months, but of the new Aeon, i.e. “Thelema.”

Those of us who are not so much interested in becoming the Magus of a new Aeon as using the Equinox formula in our own workings, may find an insightful analysis of the ceremony in Circles of Power by John Michael Greer.

The final equinox working to which I will briefly refer is that of the Elus Cohens. This was a theurgic order founded by one Martinez De Pasqually in the  eighteenth century. It ceased working in the late 18th / early 19th century, but was revived in modern times by Robert Ambelain. Ambelain’s own group was allegedly closed sometime in the late 20th century, although it is within the author’s personal knowledge that the Elu Cohen rituals are still being worked by various people to this day.

The essence of the Elu Cohen Equinox ritual is that it is a great Exorcism rite, designed to banish all evil spirits from this planet. It is in fact quite intense, as it takes five days to complete (i.e. it was worked on five successive nights).

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Refreshes the Parts that other astrologers can’t reach

NB: My recent research into Astrology has lead me to place a great deal of importance on the so-called “Arabian Parts”: i.e. Part of Fortune, Part of Spirit, etc. It appears that the whilst the rest of the horoscope talks about generalities, the “Parts” supply details about specific subjects. In my personal experience, the Parts can be the deciding factor as to why two people who are born on the same day in the same hospital half an hour apart (= a difference of 7.5º in the Ascendant) can have completely different personalities.

My working hypothesis is that anyone who has a natural talent for the occult, will find that their “Part of Spirit” will form one or more major aspects in a significant area of their chart. The precise details thereof will indicate their own particular spiritual path.

Crowley
Crowley’s “Part of Spirit” was in his 6th House (Capricorn), and Square to both his Caput et Cauda Draconis. This would seem to imply that to him, expressing his spirituality was a routine matter for him; that it would be natural for him to see himself as a leader in this regard; but most importantly that he was driven by a compelling sense of both destiny and karma. His assumption of the role of Prophet of the New Aeon was his attempt to incorporate them into his spiritual life. Had he not done so,  they would have been powerful forces for causing him trouble all his life.

He also had the Moon in his 9th House, which would imply he would naturally have a talent for astral projection or psychism generally.

Paul Foster Case
Case on the other hand has a far more subtle astrological chart. His “Part of Spirit” was in his 9th House (Scorpio), in conjunction with Mars in its own sign. Hence it would be natural for him to turn to psychism and mysticism. He would have had great drive to do so, although it is also likely that he went further in his spiritual quest than he ever publicly revealed, even to his confidantes. Yet despite this tendency towards secrecy, he still felt that he should be communicating his thoughts for a living: hence his founding of an occult correspondence school, which he felt would be a vehicle for achieving more ambitious things (“Part of Fortune” conjunct Mercury in his 6th House).

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666-step Reframing: NLP and Goetic Evocation

In this blog post I shall be discussing the Dark Side, and attempting to argue that that which is commonly called “black magic” may in fact be turned to a wholesome end.

“Goetia” as a general term refers to magic which deals with “evil” spirits. More specifically it also refers to a portion of the mediæval grimoire The Lesser Key of Solomon, which was made famous in modern times by being a favourite of Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947). The term “goetia” derives from a Greek word for “howling spirits,” and is thus a direct translation of the Arabic Djinni (Geni), who were the howling desert spirits of middle-eastern folk-lore.

I have heard some people try to claim that the spirits of the Goetia are somehow not evil. However I disapprove of this notion: because denying they are evil is one step away from denying they are powerful. The fact of the matter is that they are dangerous. Somewhat like electricity is dangerous. But if properly handled, Goetic spirits – also like electricity – can be made to do remarkable things.

Also, going from past experience, I would say that all of the well-known horror stories – of bizarre creatures appearing, of succubi, of demons trying various schemes whereby to trick the magician, etc – are in fact all true. There is a saying in the occult: “it does not matter whether the gods exist or not, because the Universe behaves as if they do.” Unfortunately, the same can be said for Goetic spirits as well.

The only qualification I would make to the statement that they are all true, is that these phenomena do not appear physically, but to the psychic consciousness of the magician – before the “mind’s eye” as it were. Nevertheless, these visions do produce actual effects in the real world.

I have also discovered that, during my researches into Lucid Dreaming I noticed that such magical operations also affect one’s dream-life as well. To illustrate this I will give an example of a Goetic operation which I did badly: I offer it to my readers so that they can learn from my mistakes. The night after performing a goetic operation I retired to bed and had a vivid but non-lucid dream of a highly erotic or pornographic nature. This I went along with, stupidly not thinking anything of it. Many days later it transpired that the intended result of the operation had not come to pass, thereby indicating that it had ended in failure. It was only later that the penny-dropped: the dream I had experienced was in fact the spirit I had evoked, appearing as a Succubus! Clearly, what I should have done was: (a) recognise it for what it was; (b) become lucid; (c) astrally use the techniques of ceremonial magick to compel it to do my bidding, e.g. force it into a Triangle of Art, command it by the various Divine Names, etc. Since then, with the benefit of experience I have performed operations which were more fruitful.

The fundamental point to understand is that the person who follows the path of pure Theurgy is seeking after something that is good, is trying to make contact with beings (e.g angels) who are more than willing to assist the individual, and who are inherently beneficial to him or her. Goetia however is a completely different technique: the Goetic magician has to do the magical equivalent of wearing protective clothing and using force to conjure a spirit, because of its troublesome nature. I write all this not to encourage the reader to practice Goetic magic, but to give you fair warning. None of this should be taken as implying that one should treat the subject with superstitious terror, but rather with a sense of due caution.

Now some people may balk at the idea of actually wanting to deal with a supposedly-evil spirit (whilst others might embrace the idea a little too readily), but I say this: qualitatively, what is the real difference between this and, say, working on re-integrating the Shadow Persona, as C G Jung would describe it? Or, to adopt a Freudian idiom, the abreaction of psychoneuroses contained within the unconscious? Mental problems, emotional problems, behavioural problems – mankind has suffered from them since antiquity, the only difference being that in ancient times they were demonised and given names like “Paimon,” “Buer,” etc, but nowadays they are called “Repression,” “Neurosis” and all the rest.

Therefore, if I am correct in my suspicion that Goetic-magick is really ancient man’s attempt to confront the demons of his unconscious (by taking the metaphorical for the literal), how much more would it be improved if it were re-interpreted in the light of what is known about psychology?

With this in mind, I have been working on a particular method of Goetic-Magick-As-Therapy, by incorporating some of the principles of neurolinguistic programming therein. Specifically the NLP technique of “6 Step Re-framing.” The rationale for this is that supposed problems are assumed to be caused by parts of the psyche which are in fact well-meaning, but which apply their powers in methods which are incongruent and thereby cause disharmony. Hence, by confronting these parts of the psyche, the technique aims to persuade them to fulfil their objectives by abandoning their old, unhelpful, and incongruent methodologies with harmonious new congruent ones.

I immediately saw the parallel with Goetic Magick. The parts of the psyche which “6 Step Re-framing” attempts to address are analogous to the spirits of the Goetia, whilst the actual process of confrontation, negotiation and re-framing is akin to the kind of interaction with a spirit which takes place in an evocation ceremony. I have thus sketched out a structure which attempts to show how one would indeed incorporate 6-Step Re-framing into an actual Goetic operation, below. In the method I refer to the actual Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon itself.

1. Determine the cause of the problem – probe in depth to see the underlying characteristics. Compare to astrological chart if necessary.
The Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon is a grimoire which is closely based on astrology. Hence by relating the perceived problem to an astrological basis, one will be able to translate it more easily into the Goetia’s idiom, and that of ceremonial magick generally.

2. Identify which Goetic spirit most “personifies” the cause of the problem identified in step 1 above.
This can be done in two ways. By following the astrological method, one will notice that the spirits of the Goetia are associated with certain parts of the Zodiac, and with certain planets. Hence, by noting the position of the planets in one’s own astrological chart and comparing with the Goetia, one may work out which of the 72 spirits are likely to be most relevant to oneself.

3. Prepare for and proceed with evocation in the normal manner. In my personal work I try to be as authentic as possible, with regard to temple furnishings, preparations, etc. Once everything is in place and I am ensconced within my magic circle, the order of the ritual would go like this:

a. Banishings – i.e. with Lesser Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram.
b. The Preliminary Invocation (otherwise known as the “Bornless Ritual.”)
c. Specific pentagram and / or hexagram rituals as appropriate. These will be determined by the astrological sign with which the Spirit is associated, and also the Spirit’s planet.
d. Evocation – the “First Conjuration of the Goetia.”
I usually only use the First Conjuration, as the subsequent ones sound less and less like forcefully commanding the Spirit, and increasingly like plain old whining.
e. The “Welcome to the Spirit” (from the Goetia) on its manifestation.
Note that, as I have explained elsewhere, this refers to manifestation to the psychic consciousness or within the skrying medium (e.g. dark mirror), not literally appearing out of thin air.
f. Negotium – this is the actual Reframing. I describe it in detail below.
g. “Licence to Depart,” followed by final Banishings to close the ceremony.

4. The Negotium follows this specific structure:

a. Identify Spirit; identify problem to be changed; express appreciation for what the Spirit has done so far (i.e. for the intention, not how it has done it); reassure Spirit that you are not going to get rid of it.
b. Go inside and ask “Will N. communicate with me in consciousness now?” Be alert for internal sights, sounds, feelings. If signal occurs, try to repeat consciously; ask again until signal occurs which cannot be controlled consciously.
Ask Spirit to increase the signal to indicate “Yes,” and to decrease it for “No.” When it does –
c. Thank Spirit for co-operating. Ask: “Will N let me know what it is trying to do?”
On “Yes” signal and revelation, thank for information and for doing this. If there is a “No” signal, explore circumstances in which Spirit would be willing to reveal its intentions. (Otherwise assume positive intentions).
Ask: “If you were given ways to accomplish this intention at least as well if not better than what you are doing now, would you be willing to try them out?”
If “Yes” – proceed to next step. If “No,” the Evocation is flawed. Go back to step 4(b) or start the whole thing again.
d. Ask the Spirit to communicate its positive intention to your own Higher Genius.
Ask your Higher Genius to generate ways that will accomplish the same purpose.
Ask Spirit to choose only those it considers good or better than original behaviour, which are immediate and available. Ask it to give “Yes” signal when it makes choice. Do this three times. Then thank your Higher Genius when finished.
e. Ask Spirit if it will agree to do new choices rather than old behaviour in next (e.g.) two weeks? (NB: this is an arbitrary figure – choose a time-frame to suit if more appropriate).
On “Yes,” proceed to next step.
On “No,” tell Spirit it can still use old behaviour but you would like it to use the new choices first. If it now gives “Yes,” proceed to next step.
If however it still gives a “No,” reframe the objecting part and take it through the 6 steps again.
f. Ecology. Ask: “Do any other spirits object to these new choices?”
Be alert to signals.
If there are no signals, thank Spirit and proceed to Licence to Depart.
If there is a signal, ask the new Spirit to intensify it if it really objects.
If not, proceed as before to Licence to Depart.
Otherwise, either go back to step 4(b) with regard to new Spirit, or ask your Higher Genius to come up with new choices in consulting with the new objecting part. (Submit these to Ecology Check as well).

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