Tag Archives: Divination

Current Work: July 2022

Recently I introduced myself to a group of magicians, saying “You may know me as Alex Sumner.” To which one of them responded by saying “I thought your name was Eric?” I do hope he wasn’t confusing me with other magicians named Eric, but the point is I am partly at fault for not having blogged much recently. I will explain:

Over the past few months I have been particularly concerned with re-visiting my Enochian magic practice. In addition I am now turning towards divination in general, and Tarot in particular. All the while I keep up with my post-Abramelin activities.

Professionally, the manuscript of my next book “Conjuring Demons for Profit and Pleasure” is with the publishers, so that is still going ahead. I’m actually finding that periodically re-reading my magical diaries from whilst performing the Abramelin operation refreshes and re-inspires me.

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Book Signing in Manchester

Further to what I wrote about in the post New Beginnings I have spoken to my contacts in the Illuminati and I can confirm that I will be appearing at Salford Masonic Hall (click on the link for directions from Google maps) on Saturday 1st March 2014 (next weekend) – where I shall be presenting a talk and making myself available to answer questions thereafter. There will actually be several speakers that day – all taking part in a day of talks devoted to Tarot and Divination.

The fun starts at 10am! 🙂

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A Method of Achieving KCHGA with Tarot Divination

When the pupil is ready, the Guru appears.


Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Luke 12:40 (KJV)

“KCHGA” (“Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel”), refers mainly to the high-point of the Abramelin Operation, which Crowley decreed was the central task of an Adept in his system of Thelema. Since then it has taken on a sort of mythical quality amongst magicians, both Crowleyan and non-Crowleyan, who take it to be the quest for knowledge of the higher self, when in fact a closer reading of mediaeval grimoires such as Abramelin, the Lesser Key of Solomon, et al, would in fact suggest it is no such thing. In grimoire magick, a “Holy Guardian Angel” was a being that one evoked to come and become the Guardian of the Crystal Ball or scrying medium that one would use in subsequent operations to contact other spirits. The Holy Guardian Angel would thus ensure that only the spirit asked for would appear, and that it would speak the truth when it did so. The “Holy Guardian Angel” of traditional grimoire magick is thus what a Medium would refer to as a “Spirit Guide,” though it would be inaccurate to think of it as ones Higher Self per se.

But I digress.

Despite Crowley’s mangling of terminology, KCHGA is nevertheless a convenient metaphor for the quest for the higher self: one could argue that it has virtually become synonymous with the same through persistence of usage over the past hundred years. In identifying the “Holy Guardian Angel” with the Higher Self, Crowley just about associated it with the concept of the “Guru” or inner teacher of eastern tradition. The real meaning of “Guru” does not necessarily refer to any of the supposedly enlightened humans calling themselves Gurus. An authentic Guru can be identified by two characteristics: firstly – they lead the chela (pupil) from darkness to light; and secondly (and most importantly), the Guru takes karmic responsibility for the fate of his or her Chelas. It will thus be appreciated that probably 99% or more of those people referred to as Gurus are not in fact Gurus per se, but “pundits” who have been accorded the title of Guru out of courtesy. More importantly, however, a true Guru may or may not be an incarnate human being, but it is also believed “the Guru” may also be a discarnate being – i.e. like the “Holy Guardian Angel.”

Which leads on to the main subject of this essay – a practical method for attaining KCGHA, knowledge of the Higher Self, the Guru, the Christ-consciousness, etc. Arm yourself with a decent deck of Tarot cards, and do a Divination in the traditional manner, based upon the following very specific question:

“How shall I make myself ready to receive knowledge of my higher self?”

(NB: note how this is phrased – this will be explained momentarily).

The Divination will provide a set of answers which will be a list of practical things for you to do to be getting on with, such as putting your life in order, concentrating on one thing and not on another, etc. Then basically you go and do all of this. The meaning of a Tarot Divination can be cross-checked by making a note of the time, date and place upon which you performed it, and then verifying it with Horary Astrology.

When you think you have done everything your divination has indicated, you may then perform another divination: “How shall I now make myself ready to receive knowledge of my higher self?” – and then repeating the process, performing further divinations subsequently as appropriate.

The reason it is phrased “How shall I make myself ready to receive knowledge of the higher self?” and not “How shall I seek the Higher Self?” or even “How shall I find the Higher Self?” is because there is hidden significance in the old saying “When the pupil is ready, the Guru appears.” One does not “find” the Guru by seeking after him / her / it, but my making oneself ready to receive the Guru’s teachings. The Guru, like the Higher Self, is a spiritual force which is not sought after, because you ought already to know where it is waiting to be found – i.e. Within. The saying “when the pupil is ready the Guru appears” is really saying that instead of concentrating on seeking the Guru, the pupil should concentrate on making him- or herself ready for the Guru. And eventually, when the time is right, the Guru / Higher Self / etc appears, often unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

Imagine the converse of this argument: if you travelled all the way to find to India to find a Guru, but were not ready to receive their teachings when you got there, you would have wasted your journey. Likewise, if you purport to undertake a spiritual quest, like the Abramelin operation, but fail to prepare for what is going to happen when the HGA finally does appear, the results could be disastrous.


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Divination in the Golden Dawn

In the Golden Dawn one mainly thinks of Divination as Geomancy, Astrology, and the Tarot.

“Divination” itself is an ancient concept – and it is only by going back to see what ancient sources said on the subject that one gets to realise how important it really is. One of the most important authorities was an ancient adept known as Iamblichus, who lived in the third and fourth centuries AD, and who wrote an enormously influential work known as “Theurgy, or on the mysteries of the Egyptians.” He was a neo-Platonist: he also admitted to being influenced by the Hermetica, and his writings have influenced the whole Western Mystery Tradition, including the Golden Dawn.

This is what Iamblichus had to say about the subject:

First, then, thou askest that it shall be explained to thee in detail what it is that takes place in the prognosticating of the future. It is impossible to set forth at once what thou art trying to learn. For according to the gist of the question, thou imaginest something like this of the art of prognosticating: as that it is generated, and something existing in the realm of nature. But it is not one of the things that are generated, nor what a certain natural mutation accomplishes, nor some ingenious product which has been invented for useful purposes in everyday life − nor, in short, is it a human accomplishment at all, but divine, and beyond the realm of nature; and having been sent down from the heaven above, unbegotten and eternal, it naturally takes the first place.

“Divine, and beyond the realm of nature” – that is in fact why we call it “Divination” – because what we are really trying to do is not just discover the future, but to discover what is the Will of the Divine in any given situation.

In other words: when you draw up an astrological chart – your first thought should be not that you are looking at an arbitrary arrangement of stars and planets – you are in fact reading off a message sent to you from the Creator of the cosmos. When you draw a tarot card, you are not looking at a piece of cardboard with some pretty pictures, but at a communication from the universe to yourself. And most importantly – when you experience the spark of intuition which unlocks the inner meaning of a tarot spread or astrological chart or geomantic figure, it is not just some psychological process involving the interaction of your conscious and unconscious minds, it is in fact the Divine Will itself speaking to you.

True Divination, therefore, is what turns magic into Theurgy. For example: say you have an idea to cast a spell, or consecrate a talisman for some purpose. What you should do is always perform a Divination beforehand, asking “Is this a good idea?” And often it is the case that a Divination will actually say “No, it’s not a good idea,” or “It will bring about unforeseen consequences,” or even: “It will bring about consequences which you probably could have foreseen if you were brutally honest with yourself.” And so based on that you modify your original intention in light of the Divination, or even abandon it altogether. It can go against your ego, and be a bother, but it has to be done. When you make your magical practice align with the Divine Will through divination, you are entering into a harmonious relationship with the universe. If however you ignore Divination and just go ahead regardless, you are doing nothing better than sorcery, and probably attracting a whole load of unpleasant karmic effects upon yourself.

So: always do Divination with the intention of trying to discover the will of the Divine – not mere fortune telling. Treat it like a divine science – regard your tarot cards and the charts you draw up as sacred objects, if it helps you reinforce these concepts. And when you discern a message coming to you from your efforts at divination, treat it with the respect it deserves and do not ignore it.

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