© Alex Sumner 2021
Ask yourself: why is there this herb or this crystal in the spell in the first place?
The person who originally came up with the spell didn’t put it there at random, they did so because they had a specific plan in mind – a specific reason. You work out what that reason was, and you may realise – there are other methods of achieving the same goal not necessarily using the original herbs or crystals, or indeed any at all.
So yes, if you can breakdown how and why spells are constructed you could do witchcraft without either herbs or crystals, even to the extent of learning to create your own spells. You might even realise that you know more than the person who originally wrote the spell!
Incidentally, I can offer my opinion about herbs and crystals which may help you. The main reason they are used in magic is because they have Astrological properties which coincide with the purpose of the spell. There is more than one way of invoking Astrological energies, this is the sort of thing which can be researched.
Or of course, you may get to the point where although you technically can work without herbs or crystals, you can make an executive decision that working with a herb or crystal is most convenient for you in a particular instance.
Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to Can I still do witchcraft without herbs or crystals? – Quora
A Succubus. Note that in real-life, Succubi tend to appear without horns, wings, tails, and indeed clothes!
In a novel I wrote, The Magus, one of the characters has an authentic experience with a “Succubus.” Whilst trying to evoke a demon and get it to do its bidding, the demon tries to get out of the pact by distracting him with sex in the form of a beautiful woman. Whilst the experience is highly erotic, the man realises that if he is to succeed with his magic he needs to refuse sex with the Succubus and instead force it to agree to do his Will.
In other words, despite the fact that a Succubus might seem attractive to a lonely but horny teenager who is not getting enough in real life, such a demon only manifests when an evocation goes wrong. One cannot deliberately summon a Succubus, as that would entail deliberately failing at an Evocation – but if you set out with the intent to fail, it wouldn’t work to begin with.
The Magus, by Alex Sumner
Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to How can somebody summon a succubus? – Quora
“Magical thinking” may be out of place in the hard sciences, but Scientists tend to forget – not everything in this world is Scientific. The most obvious example of which is Art – by which I include literature, music, film & theatre, and just about everything we do for cultural and aesthetic reasons.
In order to appreciate a work of Science Fiction, one has to has to have a Magical Thinking mindset, not a Scientific one, because the plot necessarily requires a suspension of disbelief. The same could also be said for horror fiction, fantasy fiction, etc
It is also necessary to accept Magical Thinking in order to appreciate history itself, since as late as the middle of the twentieth century, the Arts were given greater emphasis in education than the Sciences. There was indeed a time when it was thought that you could get farther in life with a knowledge of the works of (e.g.) Shakespeare than of Isaac Newton. This is not necessarily the view of modern education, but if you didn’t actually realise this then you would fail to understand the decision making processes of the world’s most influential people of the comparatively recent past.
Finally of course, Magical Thinking is a requisite for understanding actual magic. 😉
Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to Why are people so ready and willing to accept magical thinking? – Quora
Banishing pentagram. Start from the lower left point and continue around, finishing where you started.
Those swines at Quora.com deleted one of my answers there on the grounds that it violated one of their policies. They didn’t say which policy, and on the basis that my answer did not – for once – contain any smut or bad language, I must assume it was because I included a link to Aaron Leitch’s website in it. (NB: I’m sure they had nothing personal against Aaron Leitch, it was just the fact that it was an external website).
Anywho, I was just answering a simple little question, to wit: “How can you return black magic back upon the sender’s own head?” My reply:
Witches Janet & Stewart Farrar wrote that all that is needed to send such magic back to its caster is a sufficiently powerful magical defence. With this in mind you cannot do better than the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, which is the classic basic protection ritual.
It occurred to me that I wrote this a few years ago, so would I have anything to add to that? If I had not been in a hurry I might have added that there are other ways apart from the LBRP, of course. For example: just by living a virtuous life. Porphyry told a story that a philosopher called Olympius once tried to curse the great Neo-Platonist Plotinus – only for the curse to bounce right off and affect the embittered upstart instead. Plotinus was by all accounts a highly spiritually advanced person, but he did not practice ritual magic as far as anyone knew, so his powers of magical protection must have arisen as a side-effect of his other spiritual practices.
There are probably many other miscellaneous techniques but the only other one of which I have direct experience is that if one actually knew what skulduggery any given sorcerer were up to, it would be possible to craft a magical defence specific to that situation. This is a rare occurrence, as usually if a sorcerer is powerful enough to cast effective magic, they will not be stupid enough to broadcast the fact they are doing so (fourth power of the Sphinx and all that), but it has happened.
(a2a) Yes: you are not alone, I myself and I guess every tarot reader has been where you are when they began. There is no shame in feeling that way. As to what to do about it, I would give the following advice based on my own experience.
But really the most important piece of advice I would have to offer is
- EMBRACE THE CONFUSION. It’s actually the challenge of trying to figure out the meaning of a difficult or seemingly out-of-place card which makes you a better tarot reader. It’s that flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants feeling which makes you realise the real secret of Tarot reading, which is that it’s not really about the cards, but about your own intuition. Ideally therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid of Confusion – you shouldn’t even resign yourself to accept it grudgingly – you should embrace it as an opportunity to grow and develop.
Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to As a beginner in tarot reading, is it normal to be confused at the results and even feel like the answers don’t make sense? – Quora
(a2a) It can be magical, and in the tradition which I practice, it is magical. By “magic” I am here referring to what is sometimes referred to as “magick” or the art and science of causing in change in conformity with Will, or in other words, the occult.
Tarot is magical at many different levels. For example: the actual act of interpreting the symbols of the cards stimulates the intuition of the reader, in which case Tarot becomes a key to unlocking the reader’s psychic powers. More generally there is at least one tradition of ceremonial magic which integrates tarot reading into the actual magical ceremony, so that one realises that the same techniques of clairvoyance and magical invocation for use in an occult ritual generally can unlock the full potential of tarot as a divinatory tool specifically.
Ultimately, because having a Tarot reading can be viewed as a quest to go out of the Darkness of ignorance into the Light of knowledge, one can draw parallels between it and the quest for spiritual illumination which is at the heart of true occultism.
Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to Is tarot reading magic? – Quora
(A2A) The answer to this has changed over the course of history.
In every Tarot deck inspired by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – including, most importantly, the Rider Waite Deck – Tarot Key 11 is “Justice.” However in every other deck, including every deck devised before the Golden Dawn, Tarot Key 11 is “Strength.”
Confusingly, the Crowley Thoth deck, which undoubtedly is GD-inspired in part, has its equivalent of “Strength,” i.e. “Lust” as number 11, and the counterpart of “Justice,” i.e. “Adjustment” as Key 8. This is not, as some believe, because Crowley was using his ipsissimus super-powers to change the order of these two trumps, he was simply keeping the numbering found in ancient tarot decks.
VIII Adjustment, in the Crowley Thoth Deck. Numbered 8, but nevertheless attributed to Lamed and Libra all the same.
The reason there is any confusion at all is that the GD came up with the idea that if Keys 8 and 11 were Strength and Justice respectively, they would correspond to Leo and Libra, and if you put the Fool at the head of the Tarot Trumps, the whole sequence would qabalistically map onto the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Hence the innovation was made by the GD in making Justice number 11: Crowley just changed the numbering back – although he did retain the astrological signification.
Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to What tarot card is number 11? – Quora
I do not like the word “determine,” as it sounds too much like “deterministic,” which in my mind Astrology is not. Instead, I like to think of Astrology in the following manner:
A Horoscope is a snapshot of a moment: hence it represents the Energies manifested at that moment, I.e. the powers of the planets relative to the astronomic features (the Signs) and their reflection on Earth (the Houses).
Hence, a Horoscope does not predict the future so much as describe the Energies at work at the moment the Horoscope was drawn up.
However… the seeds of the Future are sown in the Present, hence it ought to be possible for an Astrologer to make a prediction along the lines of “this is what’s likely to happen as a result of these forces if nothing happens to change them.”
As far as I know, Astrology does not claim that the future cannot be changed. Indeed, the highest goal of certain ancient mystery teachings was to deliberately transcend the forces described in a Horoscope – I.e. to achieve true Free Will in spite of one’s planetary influences.
Answer to How can a horoscope determine ones future? by Alex Sumner