Tag Archives: conjuration

HPF 2016: Spirit Conjuration Workshop Notes

For the amusement and convenience of my readers and in the hopes of getting feedback from the more experienced conjurers in the community, I present my notes for the spirit conjuration workshop.  I would greatly appreciate feedback from anyone who attended, or who has an interest in the subject, in order to make a better workshop next year.

I)       Introduction

A)     Allow me to Introduce Myself ….

i)       20 years and counting of magical practice and experiments

(a)   Started with energy work and failed attempts at astral projection at 16 yrs

(b)   ~’00-06 swapping tricks and going on adventures with KU WPA

(c)   Independent experiments with shamanic visionary work since 2008

(d)   Intense exploration of ceremonial and chaos magicks 2011-2015

¨       Ceremonial Experiment

¨       Project Null

B)     Conjuration

i)       When I was but a wee faun of a mage …

(a)   1990s taboo against spirit conjuration

(b)   Jeremy and summoning elementals

ii)     Historical perspective

(a)   Extremely ancient tradition, dating to earliest preserved spells

(b)   Extensively attested across the whole of the Western magical tradition

¨       Archaeology

¨       PGM

¨       Picatrix

¨       Renaissance Grimoires (to say nothing of theater)

¨       Lodge traditions – GD, A .: A .: (Argentium Astrum), Thelema, &c.

¨       ATR &c. – Hoodoo, vodoun, voodoo, conjure, &c.

¨       Basically everywhere but mainstream modern neo-Pagan witchcraft

iii)   Sources for conjuration experiments

(a)   Christopher Penczak’s Temple of High Witchcraft

(b)   Electional astrology via Christopher Warnock’s Spiritus Mundi

(c)   PGM Stele of Jeu via Jack Faust

(d)   Rufus Opus’ Seven Spheres in Seven Days marathon

(e)   Peter Carol’s Liber Null

(f)    RO’s Seven Spheres

(g)   Wild assortment of personal accounts by other sorcerers gleaned across the internet and over beers

II)    Theory, Part One

A)     Theories of magic (Phil Hine, Condensed Chaos 1995)

i)       Cybernetic model – fractal reality, programmable magic: coded wards and servetors

ii)     Psychological model – 19th + 20th C,Jungian/archetypal understanding of the cosmos, “it’s all in your head”

iii)   Energetic model – also introduced to the West in the 19th C, “subtle energies”

iv)    Spirit model – oldest, probably best, and most relevant to our discussion

v)      All four must be at least partly true, because all four work

B)     Conjuring, obviously, works on the spirit theory

i)       magic is achieved through petitioning spirits to act on our behalf

(a)   ancestors & other dead

(b)   elementals/fairies/devas

(c)   planetary powers – spirits, archangels, gods, whatever

(d)   gods and demons

ii)     the magician makes contact with the spirit, persuades them by some means, and the spirit makes the magic happen

III) Ethics

A)     Concerning Free Will

i)       do spirits have it?

(a)   actually don’t according to many theories of the spirited world

ii)     does conjuration infringe upon it?

(a)   lots of authoritarian language in spirit conjuration

(b)   lots of it reads as theater

iii)   survey sez spirits do what the fuck they want, regardless of “contract”

(a)   why doesn’t anyone ever extend this line of reasoning to include the gods?

(b)   Quarter calls traditionally “bid” spirits rather than “asked” them

(c)   “calling” isn’t asking either

B)     Indirect Action and Unintended Consequences

i)       how responsible are we for the means that spirits employ in our name?

IV)  Mechanics

A)     Ritual Arc

i)      Preliminary Work

(a)   Clean the workspace

(b)   Physical construction of the altar

(c)   Mood lighting

(d)   Bathing

(e)   Banishing

(f)    Fumigation

ii)    Opening

(a)   Dedication of sacred space

¨       Blessing the altar

¨       Incense

¨       Circle casting

¨       Offerings to relevant familiar spirits

(b)   Invocation of authority

¨       Supreme deity/deities

¨       Identification with great mages of myth and history

à         Moses and Osiris in the PGM

à         Potentially Medea, Merlin, or Aradia for modern witches

à         Affiliation with established order or egregore

¨       Offerings to that authority

iii) Body

(a)   Evocation of the spirit by speaking its name and attributes

¨       This is the place for hardcore flattery

¨       Listing off multiple names and attributes of spirit to be called helps to specify

¨       Traditional hymns and/or devotional poetry go here

(b)   Depending on the ritual tradition, there may be cajoling, bribery, or threatening

¨       Hermetic tradition ~ “Don’t I remind you of Dad?”

¨       Grimoire tradition ~ “Dad made me the boss of you!”

¨       Egyptian style ~ “If you don’t do as I say, I’ll get a bigger god to clobber you!”

¨       Folk magic ~ “If you do something nice for you, you’ll do something nice for me!”

¨       First round of offerings go here – fumigation and/or libations

(c)   Asking something of the spirit

¨       “say ‘hi”,”

¨       “empower this talisman”

¨       Planetary spirits are great for initiations and general power-ups

¨       Second round of offerings to the conjured spirit may be appropriate, particularly libations or food offerings

¨       If I am asking for communion or initiation, this is where I will share a drink with the spirit

iv)  Closing

(a)   Thanking and/or Dismissal of the spirit

¨       May be personal or formal

¨       More offerings are not uncalled for, particularly libations

(b)   Thanking the authority

¨       More offerings, depending on the authority

(c)   Dismiss elements/quarters/whatever

(d)   Dismiss circle

(e)   Banish as necessary

V)     Theory, Part Two

A)     Style

i)       varies from one tradition to another

B)     Substance

i)       A conjurer (“exorcist”) must believe in their own authority

ii)     Psychodrama of ritual

C)     Planning

i)       What is your purpose?

(a)   Empower this talisman/sigil

(b)   Perform this action –

(c)   Shower me with the blessings of your domain (relevant for planetary spirts and their ilk)

ii)     Who or what are you conjuring?

iii)   What school of thought are you employing?

iv)    Have your script ready

VI)  The Triangle of Conjuration

A)     A reality map – Trimethian archetype

i)       Characters of the seven planets on the outer ring

ii)     Archangels of the four earthly quarters in the second ring

iii)   Sacred geometry make up the center

iv)    Crystal placed in the central geometry in which the spirit appears

v)      Represents the material and spiritual realms through which the spirits must descend to the “exorcist”

B)     Traditional tool helpful with some kinds of conjuration

C)     Adds to the psychodrama

VII)           Personal Experiences

A)     Relationships With Spirits

i)       Formal first contact is best

ii)     Research and experience alike indicate that personal is best

(a)   Some relationships may remain extremely formal

(b)   Depends on the magician as much as the spirit or rite

B)     Conjurations

i)       Natal genius and demon

ii)     Cannabis

iii)   Planetary spirits/archangels

VIII)   Sources for Research

A)     Books

i)       Rufus Opus’ Seven Spheres (Scarlet Imprint 2015)

ii)     Gordon White’s The Chaos Protocols (Llewellyn 2016)

iii)   Corpus Hermeticum (public domain)

iv)    Lesser Key of Solomon the King (Crowley’s Goetia, Weiser 1990)

B)     Blogs

i)       Rufus Opus @ Head for Red

ii)     Polyphanes @ Digital Ambler

triangle-of-art-with-characters_thumb.jpg

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Photo story: the Mask of Baphomet

The first of many series exploring myth, ritual, and possession, I shot these photos around the first of the month with my first professional model, Felicity Houpte.  Inspired by my experiences with the Conjuration of Baphomet, this series depicts a simple rite of evocation and the donning of a mask, followed by possession by the god Baphomet and finally apotheosis.

Images below the fold for space considerations and because they are not safe for work.

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Image of the Sun

Image of the Sun

Image of of Michael as she appeared before me on Sunday 11 January 2015.

A golden voluptuous figure with a blazing star instead of a face and for wings instead of arms, each bearing a staring Dionysiac eye.

This image surprised me greatly: I have dealt with the sun as both “male” and “female” on numerous occasions, but I did not for a moment expect the Archangel Michael to reveal itself to me in the form of a woman.  The Dionysiac eyes were also a shock, but perhaps should not have been; the sun has possessed me on several occasions, though usually more penetratingly than envelopingly.

Michael also provided me with a seal for later conjurations, which I have also kept to myself.

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Image of Mars

Image of Mars

Image of Samael, as he appeared before me Tuesday 6 January.

Possibly the most “complete” image, and definitely one of the most readily understood.  Samael appears as a grey-skinned four-eyed man in a black breastplate and helmet, entirely concealed by his cape except for his sword-wielding right hand.  A column of red light rises from the top of his helmet into the sky and he stands in a field of grain under a stormy sky.

Samael was one of the archangels to provide me with a seal by which to conjure him later.  I have kept that seal to myself.

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Image of Jupiter

Jupiter Image

The Image of Sachiel, the Archangel of Jupiter, as he appeared before me on Thursday the 1st of January 2015.

The crudest of the six images, both magically and artistically.  He appeared with six eyes, six wings, a sword where his right hand should have been, and his left hand (if he has one) obscured by blue robes.

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Spirits of Spirits: Conjuring Cannabis

Last week, Aradia and I conjured the spirit of Cannabis Sativa.  No that is not a euphemism for smoking weed.  Y’all should know by now that I only use euphemisms when they’re more entertaining and obscene than what I’m actually trying to say.  We literally conjured the spirit who rules over marijuana.

The idea came to me somewhat at random: a way of similtaneously linking my study of ceremonial magic with my study of Chaos Magick and with the process of getting back to the witchcraft that has kept me sane.  Building on my experiments with Triangles of the Art, I scribed a triangle just for the task:

cannabis triangle

Such an endeavor could not, of course, be complete without an invocation.  A little bit of creativity, a couple rough drafts, and finally a bit of trial and error produced this:

We call upon you, oh spirit: You who preside over the sacred plant cannabis sativa.  Oh spirit – Mercurial, Jovian, Saturnal, and Venusian by turns – We call uponyou to appear before us.

We call upon you by your various names: marijuana, ganja, grass, mota, reefer, endo.  You are the diggity dank!  You are the beloved mary jane!

We call upon you, oh spirit: we offer you fumigation of frankinsence and libation of blood-red wine.  I evoke you, oh spirit, to appear before us in our circle that we may converse in friendship and that you may instruct us in your nature.

Aradia and I performed the conjurations jointly, first Wednesday night and then Friday.  Aradia performed the incantation for the first conjuration because I was having difficulty articulating what, precisely, I had planned for the rite, itself.  (The problem with listening to your Genius instead of writing out the plan.)  The cats went ballistic as we cast the circle.  Smoke from the fumigation curled thickly in front of the mirror.  I could feel the spirit appear and caught glimpses of it moving around the room, but otherwise I experienced none of the sensations that I expected from my planetary evocations.  The more magical of my two cats flopped down behind us.   I retrospect, I think that my sense of time must have been distorted: I can usually sit and wait for quite a while for a spirit to answer, but that night it only took a few minutes (possibly only a few moments) before I started getting impatient.  I felt that the ritual had been a failure, and dismissed the spirit (prematurely, as it turns out).

Aradia started acting very strangely almost immediately: grinning strangely, playing with the cat. Somehow I failed to imagine that her strange behavior might have been the effect of the spirit.  I’ll leave her to tell her half of the story in her won time, but she gleaned a great deal of useful information, most notably that the spirit is not particularly impressed by frankincense.

We speculated that the mixed results may have been in part because the original invocation, which Aradia read, employed first person singular verbs.  For the second round, we changed the number to plural and substituted patchouli for frankincense, thinking that the spirit might like it better.  Also based on Aradia’s reports, we shared the libation we offered.

One or all of those changes worked wonders.  Conjuring her—which we did stone sober—had a physical effect much like smoking some high-quality creeper.  I never saw the spirit, or heard her the way Aradia had the previous evening, but her presence was powerfully felt.  We shared the libations again, thanked and dismissed her, and went to bed.

By my reckoning, the experiment is a mixed success.  I never really saw her, and never received a seal or sigil with which to summon her again.  On the other hand, I strongly suspect that such formalities are a little bit funny to her.  Aradia described her as a trickster spirit.  She certainly has a sense of humor, and a strong interest in being in the presence of humans.  We amuse her immensely, and I think there’s a relationship to be developed here.

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Conjuration of Baphomet

PRELIMINARY DIVINATION

IMG_5536

I’m not always very good about divining before enchanting, but I thought that this culminating ritual would be an exceptionally good time to observe best practices.  Unfortunately, as you can see, the outcome is less than clear.  Obviously, I decided to proceed anyway.

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