Not counting the public rituals, which are a disaster I will get to soon, I did three major rituals at Heartland Pagan Festival this year. The last, I have already described. The first was the creation of a Moon Talisman, taking advantage of the Lunar Election; the second was my most effective performance of the rite of the Stele of Jeu to date.
Friday morning there was a window of opportunity to create a lunar talisman. Due to a variety of factors (idiocy on my own part chief among them) I was not able to print out a copy of Christopher Warnock’s lunar talisman to assemble and charge at the appropriate hour. Instead, having the pdf on my phone, I transcribed the invocation into my sketch book and reproduced a crude sketch of the general figure and the characters above him. When the hour came, I expanded upon my crude sketch from memory, using my nice fountain and brush pens.
The invocation was potent, and I felt the familiar Lunar power flow through me as I incanted. I had to leave my ritual jewelry sitting on the talisman when I was done, because it was tingling too much for me to continue wearing it (as is my wont at ritual occasion such as the festival.
I think it turned out nicely. One of these next days, I’m going to produce a nicer version, as well as Lunar images from the other sources Warnock quotes above.
Saturday night, after the main-ritual-gone-awry, Alopex and I went back to Camp WTF to decompress. The sun was setting, Alopex went for a walk, and I’d been wanting to perform the Stele of Jeu since I arrived, but hadn’t quite found the right moment. That seemed to be the right moment: Memorial Grove, Camp Gaea’s small graveyard was near the encampment, there was a trivium crossroad on the way, and the sun was setting. I made the walk and found a stone slab of an altar in the middle of the grove. Beside it was a fist-sized rock, ideally shaped for me to paint the Beneficial Sign upon it.
I opened with my Pentagram Rite, and made my offerings of pomegranate mead. The wind, which had stilled for a while, rose as I incanted and just kept rising. I really don’t know how to describe the effect of the ritual except to say that I was high, and that I stayed high for hours. I was going to leave the stone, except that it insisted I take it with me.
The next night, while Aradia and Aurora combed my aura and I tried to let go of all the accumulated pain and bullshit I hadn’t quite managed to deal with and/or banish over the semester, shortly before I performed my overzealous blessing, I was struck by my first real insight into the Stele.
Although one source gave the rite explicitly as an exorcism, the other people I’ve talked to about it insist that there’s more to it. And there is. The first two thirds seem to be an exorcism or banishing of sorts—“Mighty Headless One, deliver him, NN, from the daimon which restrains him”—but the final portion suddenly identifies the magician with the Headless One he has been calling upon:
“I am the headless daimon with my sight in my feet; [I am] the mighty one [who possesses] the immortal fire; I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds arc done in the world; I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll;/ I am the one whose sweat is the heavy rain which falls upon the earth that it might be inseminated; I am the one whose mouth bums completely; I am the one who begets and destroys; / I am the Favor of the Aion; my name is a heart encircled by a serpent; come forth and follow.”
Suddenly, after months of practice, this seems to be a ritual which first hollows out the magician—blasting him free of “negative” influences and forcing his aura into the shape of a vessel—in order to make room for the Headless One to fill him. In a very loose sense, the Stele of Jeu may be the badass great-great-great-grandparent of Drawing Down the Moon. It is an exorcism, and simultaneously a literal invocation. Or seems to be, anyway, at this stage in my practice. Would anyone who has experimented with this more care to comment?