Tag Archives: wicca

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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Daily Mail Attacks Pagans – Again

 

The appalling threat to today's society ... an unguarded flame in an enclosed space.

 

Slow news day at Nazi propaganda rag the Daily Mail, so they trot out another article about Paganism. Samhain, if you will recall, was twelve days ago … so basically what the Beaverbrook press have done is rehash a lot of what they did about a fortnight ago. It is obvious by the sting in the tail that the article is meant to leave the reader with the impression that Pagans are actively threatening Christianity (the journalist spoke to a supposedly-naughty pagan who conveniently “would not be named.”)

Yet despite trotting out various alleged Christian rentaquote people as well, the article is in fact surprisingly well-balanced – for the Daily Mail it is, attempting to give equal voice to both Pagans and the nay-sayers. They even try to be fair to paganism by asking Ron Hutton for a quote, so this might be a bit of a left-handed compliment after all 😛

IMHO, the Daily Mail is clearly secretly fascinated with something it doesn’t completely understand. I really think that Pagans, instead of reacting to every banal piece the Mail comes up with should instead aspire to remain aloof from its brand of journalism. One can no more expect the Daily Mail to produce a piece wholly uncritical of paganism than one can expect a dog not to bark. In that sense the Daily Mail does not deserve Pagans’ anger or hatred, but rather compassion instead, as one would show compassion to a wayward child. 😛

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Happy Lugnasadh!

Lugnasadh or “Lammas-tide” (July 31st) is an ancient pagan feast which yet again has been assimilated into the Christian church, in much the same way that Samhain has been assimilated in the form of Hallowe’en. Lugnasadh is the origin of the Harvest Festivals which take place in churches up and down the land.  Apparently in Pagan times it was also when the divine priest-king was sacrificed in the fields and his body scattered.

Poor old dying god! He keeps getting sacrificed and reborn all the time!

According to my book of witchy things (“What Witches Do” by Stewart Farrar), on this day cakes and wine are meant to be taken as well – so doubtless I shall observe this obligation later.

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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 Pentagram

News today of naughty Pagan goings on in the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire, UK.  Apparently, a local well has been the subject of a severe case of well-dressings to celebrate the Equinox. Shock, horror! Apparently St Anthony’s Well, which is the renowned for its miracle cures for skin conditions, has been haunted by several teenage delinquents who have also been leaving pentagrams nearby, much to the consternation of local Christians.

Let us gloss over for one moment the fact that Christians ought to be praising God for any teenager that ventures near a cure for skin conditions, no matter how odd. Let us also gloss over the fact that this ancient well, though supposedly a Christian site is almost certainly an old pagan one that got saved for the Lord. What – pray tell – exactly is wrong with a Pentagram?

The Pentagram is a symbol of Nature – literally. Its proportions are based upon the Golden Ratio – 1:1.618… etc – which itself is based upon the Fibonnaci series.

Now there is a curious (and not unrelated) fact – if one were to imagine that the orbits of both the Earth and the Planet Venus were circles, then the major occlusions of the Sun by Venus as seen from Earth would mark out the points of a pentagram! There is a simple reason for this: the ratio of the distance of Venus from the Sun, to the distance of the Earth to the Sun, corresponds to the Golden Ratio – 1:1.618. Because orbital speed is also proportional to its distance from the Sun, it follows as a Math that a Pentagram-like arrangement would occur.

I was chatting on this matter to some Companions of mine in the pub – where all matters of cosmic importance are always discussed.

“What I find most remarkable,” I said, “is that the planet Venus just so happens to be that particular distance from the Sun in relation to Earth.”
“Yes,” one of my Companions answered. “And we are the only planet with intelligent life to see it.”

In this sense the Pentagram is quite exciting – it is a greater argument for Intelligent Design than a lot of the tripe put forward by Bible-bashing fundies. Christians have a unique opportunity to embrace this symbol because it really does indicate that a divine being created the Heavens and the Earth – yet they shy away from it because they think it is a symbol of the occult. Pagans are smarter in that respect.

Of course there are some Christians who like to appropriate the Pentagram as a sacred symbol – simply because it is a symbol of the number 5. There were 5 wounds of Christ, and there are 5 letters in the Hebrew spelling of the Qabalistic name of Jesus – “Yeheshuah.” This, incidentally is the basis for the Pentagram ritual of the Golden Dawn, which itself has passed into the neo-pagan tradition.

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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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Planetary Invocations #7 – Jupiter

The final – for now – entry in this series is taken from the Greek Magical Papyri. Appended to this invocation is the note: “It loosens shackles, makes invisible, sends dreams; it is a spell for gaining favour. (Add the usual for what you want).”

As usual, words in BOLD CAPITALS should be vibrated.

Jupiter

I call upon you who created Earth and bones and all flesh and all spirit and who established the sea and suspended the heavens, who separated the light from the darkness, the Supreme Intelligence who lawfully administrates all things.

Eternal Eye, Dæmon of dæmons, god of gods, the lord of the spirits, the invariable AION IAO OYEI, hear my voice.

I call upon you, master of the gods, high thundering Zeus, sovereign Zeus, ADONAI, lord IAO OYEE;

I am he who calls upon you, great god, in Syrian: ZAALAERIPHPHOU, and you must not Ignore my voice, in Hebrew: ABLANATHANALBA ABRASILOA;

For I am SILTHACHOOUCH LAILAM BLASALOTH
IAO IEO BEBOUTH SABIOTH ARBOTH
ARBATHIAO IAOTH SABOATH PA TOURE
ZAGOURE BAROUCH ADONAI ELOAI ABRAAM
BARBARAUO NAUSIPH,

High-minded one, immortal, who possesses the crown of the whole world,
SIEPE SAKTIETE
BIOU BIOU SPHE SPHE
NOUSI NOUSI SIETHO SIETHO
CHTHETHONI RIGCH
EIA E EOA AOE IAO
ASIAL SARAPI OLSO
ETHMOURESINI SEM LAU LOU LOURIGCH.

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Planetary Invocations #6 – Mercury

Another invocation taken from the Greek Magical Papyri, specifically to Hermes. As before, the words in BOLD CAPITALS should be vibrated.

Mercury (Hermes)

Hermes, lord of the world, who’re in the heart,
O Circle of Selene, spherical
And square, the founder of the words of speech,
With golden sandals, turning airy course
Beneath earth’s depth, who hold the spirit’s reins,
The sun’s and who with lamps of gods immortal 
Give joy to those beneath earth’s depts, to mortals
Who’ve finished life. The Moirai’s fatal thread
And Dream divine you’re said to be, who send
Forth Oracles by day and night, you cure
Pains of all mortals with your healing cares.
Hither, O blessed one, O mighty son
Of the goddess who brings full mental powers,
By your own form and gracious mind. And to
Me, NN, a pious man, reveal a sign
And send him your true skill of prophecy.

OIOSENMIGADON ORTHO BAUBO NIOERE

KODERETH DOSERE SYRE SUROE

SANKISTE DODEKAISTE AKROUROBORE

KODERE RINOTON KOUMETANA

ROUBITHA NOUMILA PERPHEROU AROUORER AROUER

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Planetary Invocations #5 – Mars

An Orphic Hymn. In the rubric it gives the suffumigation as Frankincense, although in modern terms this would be Dragon’s Blood.

Mars

Magnanimous, unconquer’d, boistrous Mars,
In darts rejoicing, and in bloody wars
Fierce and untam’d, whose mighty pow’r can make
The strongest walls from their foundations shake:
Mortal destroying king, defil’d with gore,
Pleas’d with war’s dreadful and tumultuous roar:
Thee, human blood, and swords, and spears delight,
And the dire ruin of mad savage fight.
Stay, furious contests, and avenging strife,
Whose works with woe, embitter human life;
To lovely Venus, and to Bacchus yield,
To Ceres give the weapons of the field;
Encourage peace, to gentle works inclin’d,
And give abundance, with benignant mind.

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Planetary Invocations #4 – The Moon

This is a ritual drawn again from the Greek Magical Papyri. I often use this in the context of Dream Divination. The invocation is adapted from a spell to invoke the Moon for the purposes of Divination. The rubric of the spell says that this chant should be repeated “7 or 9 times” – although Qabalistically it makes sense to always chant it nine times. The repetition combined with the “barbarous names of evocation” creates a hypnotic or altered state of consciousness by itself.

As before, words in bold type should be “vibrated.”

The Moon

Hail! SAX, AMUN, SAX, ABRAXAS;
For thou art the Moon, the chief of the stars,
He that did form them.
Listen to the things that I have said,
Follow the words of my mouth,
Reveal thyself to me,
THAN, THANA, THANATHA, THEI
This is my correct name.

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