Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Secret Lives of Magical Beings

There’s a very interesting conversation going on in the magical blogosphere right now.  Riffing off a remark by Gordon, Rufus Opus has sparked a conversation on the blogs of Fr. Barabas, Jack Faust, and Fr. Acher.[1]   These luminaries have years more research and hundreds, perhaps thousands, more conjurations under their belts than I do, so I will not presume to question their assessments.  But, although I am more than a little late to the party, I will answer Fr. Acher’s call to share a little bit of my own experiences.

I have been conjuring planetary powers for little more than a year.  So far, I am largely tapping into the “elemental” power of the Spheres to imbue my talismans, perhaps drawing the attention of lesser planetary spirits … and perhaps not.  On those few occasions when I have conjured specific planetary powers, or gone on spirit journeys to visit them, I have seen little or nothing to hint at what those spirits might do when not trafficking with mortals.

I have, however, been working with a familiar spirit for a bit longer than that.

Tsu has done me numerous favors—some simply out of friendship, others in exchange for offerings.  More importantly for this discussion, however, she has spoken to me, some, regarding her existence outside our contact.  She has, unfortunately, been deliberately obtuse on a number of points.  And, of course, one always hesitates to draw broad conclusions from such limited anecdotes; certainly one cannot draw conclusions about Goetic Demons and Elemental Kings.  Further, given the nature of spirits, one even hesitates to assume that anything I was told was the absolute truth.

However, for the sake of interest and posterity:

* Very early in our relationship, she asked that I name her and create a sigil for her.  She implied two things: that she did not, at that point, have a name; and that the name I was giving her was temporary, that she would eventually take another, greater name.

* In the above series of conversations, she gave me the impression that she was whatever the spirit-world equivalent of a magician.  What, precisely, that entails, I haven’t the faintest idea.

* In a separate conversation, she strongly implied that spirits can produce offspring by pairing with either other spirits or with morals.

* When asked point-blank, however, what she does with herself when not conversing with me, she flat-out refused to give me an answer.

* I know that sometimes when I go to my Inner Temple she is waiting for me, sometimes she is elsewhere, and sometimes she is just hanging out there, indifferent to my presence—almost as if it’s her favorite park.

Nor is Tsu the only spirit I’ve gotten interesting hints from:  I’ve a veritable lifetime of bizzare spirit encounters, many of which more closely resemble Jack’s experiences with elementals:

* There was this one thing, back in the day, that was like walking into a scene from someone else’s life.

* Way back when I first started practicing, my first spirit guide was known to get bored and go bother my more psychically sensitive friends for conversation.

* One time, during my days on IRC chat, one of my online friends’ spirit guide came to investigate me for no other reason than that it was bored.

* More recently, I had an encounter with a genius locii from which a wiser magus than I might be able to draw more concrete conclusions.

* And then there was the time this one daft kid called up the someone he didn’t really have the credentials to, and a local spirit had to intervene on our behalf.  Again: someone wiser than I might be able to draw conclusions from that where I am not.

* Work with Tsu , ZG, and SKM (my Natal Genius and Demon, respectively) has made clear that the three discuss me when I am not there, and that they have planned an astral excursion for me together on at least one occasion.

* When doing my explorations of Elemental Earth and Malkuth for the ceremonial experiment, I encountered a spirit who posed as a guide but who clearly needed things from me that she could not or would not communicate.  When I failed to provide them on my own, she attempted to coerce me.

Again, none of these experiences do not necessarily speak at all to the nature of spirits on the scale of Goetic Demons and Elemental kings.  Conversely, however, they strongly suggest (to me at least) that those spirits which more individual than archetypal (which, from what research I have done, is a fair description of these powers) have lives and ambitions at the same time both more familiar than we would imagine, and more alien than we can possibly conceive.


1 – Others may have joined the conversation by the time this post appears.  I will add them below as they come to my attention.

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Project Null: Satyr’s First Servitor

projectnullI have been planning to experiment in servitor creation since I first set out to study Chaos Magick.  Unfortunately, none of my major sources treat the subject in any real detail.  So I went that vast repository of knowledge, madness, and wisdom which I we all know and love: the Internet.  My hope was that a variety of perspectives would allow me to identify the core techniques by triangulation, and from there come up with my rite.

Here are the sources I found most useful:

* Servitor Creation at Atreus World of Wierdness

* Pope Michae’s Basic Servitor Creation

* Servitor Creation at Spiralnation

CAVE CANEMFile:Pompeii - Cave Canem (4786638740).jpg

Between native talent and practice bordering on paranoid, protective magic has always been one of the things I am best at.  Thus, it was always my intention for my first servitor to be a household guardian.  Because I’m an asshat, I ignored all suggestions to start simple.  I chose the form of a dog in order to tap into the “guard dog” egregore, and in order to use a foo-dog shaped teapot, which I happened to have, as a vessel.  I named him for one of the great guards of myth, in order to tap into that stream as well.  Hereafter I will refer to him as Cave Canem[1], or CC for short.

I wrote and sigilized ten lines of “code”, and chose its master sigil from a number of glyphs which I had produced through automatic drawing last semester.  I wrote a incantation containing the servitor’s name, the instructions I had sigilized, and the terms of the contract between us.  I then drew a stele-image of CC bearing his nIMG_5635ame and all his sigils.

I placed that penciled image and the vessel on an improvised altar in the middle of my temple.  I banished and purified everything.  I got out my Abramelin oil and the brush I use for sigils.  I raised the power, declaimed the incantation, inked the sigils on the drawing, and painted the vessel with the master sigil.  Then I called down an amount of power that easily put this in the top ten most powerful rites I have ever performed, possibly the top five.  I anointed the vessel with the Oil of Abramelin, and the dog awoke.

His presence was immediate, almost tactile.  He responded warmly to my attention.  The next several times I drove, CC sat in the back seat behind me with his nose on the back of my head.  When I drove to Kansas City for Spring Break, he made much of the drive with me, though he grew … thin across Illinois.  Even in Kansas City, though, he appeared instantly when I spoke his name.

I would consider this an unqualified success, except that I haven’t actually seen much of him since I got back from Spring Break.  But I came back from Spring Break ill enough that I probably shouldn’t have driven.  I missed (another) two days of class, and ultimately ended Break even further behind than I started.  So I haven’t really had time for more than a bare minimum maintenance of my spiritual obligations; I hadn’t seen much of any of my Friends Upstairs, actually, for that reason, until last Wednesday when I received instructions on how best to rearrange my altar.  So one is uncertain if he didn’t “last” or if one’s head is merely stuffed up one’s own ass.

Still, I’m pleased enough with the outcome of this attempt that I’m planning a second, more ambitious servitor project: an army of flying monkeys.


1 – Classical Latin:  “Kah-way ka-nem”, trans:  “Beware the Dog”.

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I’m Still Not Certain Enough of What Happened To Come Up With Pithy Header

Way back at the beginning of the semester, I wrote of having picked up some sort of psychic parasites which absurdly difficult to get rid of.  On the advice of Veriditas Dreams, I put off my servitor experiment for another two weeks while I focused on getting my astral body patched up.  I’m glad I did, because things only got more interesting.

The first night of the Full Moon, I started with wine divination.  Interestingly, it pointed to a combination of internal and external factors: internally, matters of balance and power; externally, one Prince of Disks.  I prepared and cast my circle using my newest Circle-casting variant which anchors an Witch’s elemental Circle to the circle of salt I have been using for a bit, now.  Then I performed the Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist[1] and burned the little black worms from my astral body and my temple space with the brilliant and (in my experience) unique power of the Heart Encircled By A Serpent.  It is, I am almost certain, the first time that I have actually managed to use up every drop of power raised by that ancient and magnificent rite.

The second night of the Full Moon I performed the Stele of Jeu a second time.  I went for just a little more elaboration and experimentation.  I started with a simple banishing and suffumigation.  Then I tore space, as described in the Sorcerer’s Secrets[2], performed by Titan’s Cross and Pentagram Rite, and finally the Stele, itself.  Where the first night’s rite had burned away the infection, this one went a long way to healing the wound, separating the psychic “scab” from my physical back and helping restore the energy lost to the ordeal.

The third night of the Full Moon, as I prepared to begin my rites, I changed tactics.  Drawing a crude image of myself and writing my legal and magical names on the “poppet”, I drew a clean, healthy, and healed aura around myself and charged the image with power.  I literally have no words to describe the sensation of feedback that I experienced while working with that magical self-portrait.

With those rites completed, I went about my life for a little while [3].  The itching and pulling sensations of the “scab” or “scar” on my astral body were … very, very strange.  Sometimes I wasn’t certain if I was healing, or getting re-infected.  Despite the fall-off in my practice between then and now, however, one of those strategies, or some combination thereof, seems to have done the trick.  I can still feel a bit of psychic “scar tissue”, sometimes: it stretches and pulls, particularly when I do small magics, but it is no longer an uncomfortable or unwell sensation.  At times it even seems to respond to the places where the Veil has been often parted (like, say, my Temple), much like worn joints responding to changes in barometric pressure.

These things being the way they are, I’ll never be quite certain where the infection came from.  To the best of my ability to determine, however, it was not so much a direct attack as … symptomatic of a certain point of chaos in my life back in Kansas City. 

I’ve spoken of my Web before: of the lines that connect the people and places in my life.  Over Winter Break, Aradia and I did some Work to try to help her neighbor out with her magical practice: she was (is) experiencing a sort of demonic possession[4], either causing or caused by a serious illness and by her abandoned magical practice.  I believe that this possession/infection spread into the house wards and, from them, along the lines of power to the Sunrise Temple and my astral body.

I never did manage to repair the damage done to the Temple Wards; they were supposed to be self-regenerating, but apparently that didn’t work the way it was supposed to.  With my familiar spirits in house, and having established that I was not, in fact, (also, because I lost my shit this semester) under attack, it never seemed a priority. 

Besides which, it was about time I replaced them, anyway.  Whish is pretty much the most interesting thing I’ve done all semester.


1 – Jack Faust has a handy copy up for reference.  He is also the first and only person I’ve seen provide any theory as to which “six names” (PGM V. 159) are meant and what “the formula” (PGM V.160) might be, and this was my first performance of the rite incorporating those additions.

2 – Jason Miller.  Sorcerer’s Secrets. p.42

3 – And then everything went to shit: I stopped writing, stopped my magical practice and barely maintained my devotionals, never made time to try the exercises which the magnificent Melitta Benu was kind enough to share in response to another old post, and have barely kept up with my fucking homework.  Which may or may not have been related to anything besides the amount of stress I’m under and the amount of sex I’m not having.

4 – For lack of a better word.  Unfortunately, the details are not mine to discuss in depth.

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Altar Arrangement Spring 2013

It’s been a while since I posted.  My life’s been crap.  Sadly, not even the interesting kind, so while I will allude to a few highlights in the next several posts, I won’t bore you with the details..  But things are on the upswing.

This past Wednesday, among other things, I received instructions from the gods and spirits I work with on how to arrange my altar for the coming stages of my Work.  I have long suspected that this particular set of instructions would come eventually: the combination of my devotional work and my more practical magic had made for an increasingly awkward arrangement of space over the last months. 

The timing seemed peculiar before I had the opportunity to think about it: I’ve just been getting my practice back together along with my sanity, and that’s often the exactly right time to give me marching orders.  Also, that very afternoon I found out about a couple problems with Financial Aid and the Registrar that I need magic to help me with. 

So Thursday night I took apart my altar and rebuilt it, as instructed, as two separate altars: one for my planetary, Chaos, and practical magics, and one for my gods and familiar spirits.  I broke it in that very night at the Hour of Jupiter to drop the Greater Beneficient on my problems.

The workbench needs to be raised up six inches or so, but that will have to wait until I have the money for some small but sturdy boxes or shelves, or until I have another lucky dumpster dive, whichever comes first.  The table in the middle moves out easily, and I’m going to paint it with a triangle of conjuration.

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The spirit-work altar is going to need a lot more work, though.  It needs at least a one other tier so that everyone can be accommodated comfortably.  I presume that they’ll instruct me some before I leave for KC at the end of the semester.

IMG_5650

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