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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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Alex Sumner’s answer to How and where could I start to practice Magick? (14 years old) – Quora

I am now an experienced Ceremonial Magician. However, when I was fourteen years old myself, I got turned on to the occult not through reading occult books per se, but through Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, and the fiction of H P Lovecraft.

This is not so crazy as it may sound, since because Call of Cthulhu is based in a fictionalised version of the real world, the creators actually included a lot of historical data of real-life occult organisations and personalities such as Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Israel Regardie, the Golden Dawn, etc. Because this piqued my interest, I remembered them when I came to researching the occult seriously when I was older.

Indeed, several serious occultists I know claimed that they were first inspired to take up the dark arts after reading Dennis Wheatley novels. Dennis Wheatley actually met Aleister Crowley, although he was a bit of a hypocrite in that he told his readers not to get into the occult real-life, as it was a sure path to be enmeshed by the powers of darkness, etc.

So yeah, if you do your research, you will probably find that a lot of fiction is inspired by genuine occultism. A lot however is not. The one thing I would advise against doing is watching The Irregulars. This is probably one of the worst programmes out there when it comes to historical accuracy about occultism. Or about the Sherlock Holmes universe. Or indeed about life in Victorian England generally.

(NB: if you are on Netflix and you want to watch something decent about the occult, try The Midnight Gospel instead).

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The Irregulars. Not as authentic as The Midnight Gospel


Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to How and where could I start to practice Magick? (14 years old) – Quora

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Can I still do witchcraft without herbs or crystals? – Quora

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© 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

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How can somebody summon a succubus? – 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

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Why are people so ready and willing to accept magical thinking? – 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

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How can you return black magic back upon the sender’s own head?

banishing earth pentagram

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.

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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

The Universe

(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.

  • Treat Tarot Reading like an Art. A concert pianist does not worry about how much money he will make playing the piano, he concentrates on playing the best he possibly can – i.e. perfecting his Art. Conversely, if he did think about where his money his coming from, that would distract him from the pure art of playing. Similarly, if you really want to get good at Tarot reading, be like the Artist aiming to be the best Tarot reader you can possibly be – don’t go into tarot reading thinking about trying to please others or making money from fortune-telling.
  • Learn to get rid of the Little White Book as soon as possible. The LWB does not and cannot provide for every eventuality, so you should aim to get to a point where you don’t have to rely on it at all. This is another way of saying – learn to memorise the meanings of the individual cards – however! This does not have to be more difficult than need be. For example, picking one or two keywords for each card. I also found it helped to imagine that the Minors in the form of a grid of 4 columns (suits) and 14 rows (Ace to 10 and the Court Cards), realising that all columns have a similar meaning; all rows have a similar meaning; therefore a rough & ready way to remember a Minor is to mentally cross reference the two.

    I also found it helpful to compare each tarot card with its astrological associations, and to analyse and look for patterns.

  • Read widely. Especially the thoughts of other practicing tarot readers. Not just books, but blogs as well. There is always the possibility that someone with more experience has come up with an insight which helps you.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The Three Ps. You can and should practice on yourself to begin with, but eventually you can take the plunge and try to give readings for other people – I found doing so myself boosted my confidence.

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

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Alex Sumner’s answer to Hi! When I was about 16 yrs old, I was napping and was slightly woken up by this bright figure. Could this have been an angel or something? Also, I don’t see spirits anymore like I used but oftentimes I see glimmering orbs. What would this mean? – Quora

Angel

Hi! When I was about 16 yrs old, I was napping and was slightly woken up by this bright figure. Could this have been an angel or something?

I once had a vision in which I saw an Angel. At the same time as I saw it, I felt a tremendous ecstatic feeling which I can only describe as like the way in which books on yoga philosophy describe spiritual enlightenment (samadhi). From that point on, I became convinced that they way to tell whether a being is an authentic angel or not is whether its presence causes samadhi. With maturing years, I have come to believe that in a certain sense, the samadhi is the Angel.

So to answer your question directly – was what you saw an Angel? Well, think carefully about how you felt at the exact time it happened. Did you feel excited, exhilarated, surprised, astounded, or anything else that could be described as noumenal? Or did it just pass you by like something fairly unremarkable? Ultimately you will know yourself whether your experience was genuine.

Also, I don’t see spirits anymore like I used but oftentimes I see glimmering orbs. What would this mean?

If you can see them floating in the actual air in front of you, they might be manifestations of some kind of spirit. There are different kinds of spirit that could appear in such a way, for example it could be an elemental or nature spirit. I tend not to believe that the spirits of dead people appear in this way, as if they made a successful transition to the other side, they would not be hanging around the physical plane in this manner. The exception to this was if there were something wrong, in which case it could indicate that the spirit needed help in making a successful transition.

If, however, the orb just appears as a spot on a photograph, I would strongly advise against reading too much into it – apart from a peculiarity in the way that the camera has captured light reflecting off a dust particle.


Source: Alex Sumner’s answer to Hi! When I was about 16 yrs old, I was napping and was slightly woken up by this bright figure. Could this have been an angel or something? Also, I don’t see spirits anymore like I used but oftentimes I see glimmering orbs. What would this mean? – Quora

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Alex Sumner’s answer to Is tarot reading magic? – Quora

The Hermit

(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

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