Altar and Ritual Framework for Manifestation

After lots of talks with the angels and figuring out how exactly to accomplish something magically, I think I’ve finally settled into a pattern for a manifestation ritual using my magician’s altar, properly called a Table of Manifestation.  Because, you know, it manifests shit.  Fr. Rufus Opus has described the magician’s altar as their terminal to access the cosmos and put in requests or commands to it to magically alter it.  He put up his now well-known Altar Glyph to describe the schematics of such an altar:

Frater Rufus Opus' Altar Glyph

For background on why the altar is set up the way it is, I suggest reading up Cornelius Agrippa’s Scale of Four (book II, chapter 7).  The altar layout, representing our perception and vantage point outwards from the whole cosmos, is primarily designed according to the elements, the building blocks of the world we happen to find ourselves in.  Thus, the things that are fiery are placed in the East, airy in the West, watery in the North, and earthy in the South.  From the inside outwards, we have things under our direct control, things we choose to let loose or bind in the cosmos (this is represented by the four demon princes of the elements, which I hide wrapped up in black silk under my altar and left alone; the surface of the altar uses the central point as the ritual focus space).  Outside that we have the four archangelic kings and the legions of forces/forces themselves that the magician will call upon to bring something into manifestation.  Beyond that we have the four elemental tools, our means to work with both the terrestrial elements and the celestial planets, which allow us to work throughout the cosmos.  Beyond those we have representations of the seven planetary forces, each aligned according to their element, which act as pumps or sources for those forces to pull from.  Beyond that we have…well, really, anything else.  A consecrated candle or lamp is helpful to have, positioned to the East to represent the Infinite Light and Source of All.

Consecrating the Ring of Solomon

This picture illustrates my altar layout, set up for consecrating my magic ring of Solomon a while back.  In the middle is the ritual focus, which is here the ring to be consecrated put atop a Kamea of the Sun as given by Agrippa (book II, chapter 22).  Closest to the focus are four amethyst crystals, each a different Platonic solid, which I use as representations of the four archangelic kings and their forces (tetrahedron/d4 for Michael, octahedron/d8 for Raphael, icosahedron/d20 for Gabriel, cube/d6 for Auriel), each aligned to their proper elemental direction.  Just beyond those I have my four elemental weapons: the Wand of Fire in the East, the Sword of Air in the West, the Cup of Water in the North, and the Disc of Earth in the South.  Outside those I have the seven planetary talismans, again each aligned according to their elemental direction: Mars and the Sun in the East, Jupiter and Venus in the West, Saturn and Mercury in the North, and the Moon in the South.  At the edge of the altar I have my consecrated candle (set in the East) and incense burner, and nearby I have other tools and supplies as needed.

So, I had all these fancy tools lying around on this table I got from Ikea a while back, but…well, never really used them.  Sure, it serves as a display and storehouse for all the energy and forces I work with where I can use or draw on them as necessary, but mostly it sits there gathering dust.  Sure, I use it as a focus to charge stuff I consecrate, but I never really used it in ritual.  It took a lot of figuring out for me about what to use the elemental weapons for; perhaps it’s because of my lack of modern neopagan training or because the old grimoires never really used this set of tools, but I never really got into the habit of using them.  It’s only through continued talks with the angels who have instructed me in their symbolism as well as their ritual use that I got into the habit of using them in ritual, and I’ve finally pieced together how to use them all coherently in a ritual for manifestation.

I feel like this is about as basic and introductory a topic I can get to, but honestly, it (embarrassingly) took me a while to get to this point to even write about this much.  To help prevent other magicians and newbies to magic from getting stuck on how to use that fancy altar with all them tools, here’s a framework I ended up using to manifest or alter something using the magician’s altar.  Influences from this come mostly from the Trithemius ritual of conjuration, as well as elements from the Clavicula Solomonis and other rituals here and there.  Essentially, the ritual framework describes a kind of shortened conjuration but without a crystal, concentrating the force of some sphere or other onto a ritual focus to effect change instead of just a mere chat with an angel or other spirit.

Before even getting anything together, make sure you have an actual intent, goal, and method to accomplish something you want to change.  It’s all well and good to ask the angels for good shit, but it’s better to state clearly what exactly you want from the cosmos, for what purpose you want it, and in what way you plan to obtain or otherwise accomplish what you want.  As always in magic, the more specific you make your request, the more exact and refined your result will be.  It helps to do some prior divination or chatting with the angels or spirits you’ll be working with to make sure your magical plan of attack is solid, as well as making sure any physical activity or material means you want to back up with magic are going to work as well.  When you have that done, figure out the time in which to perform the ritual.  Figuring out the planetary hour and day best associated with the intent and goal is awesome, as is finding a suitable election, or you might just use the phase of the Moon (waxing or waning, full or new) or the direction in which the clock hands move (both up, both down, etc.).  Once you have the basics done, you’ve got a plan.

As with any ritual, start with preparation.  Make sure your altar’s in good order with all the supplies you need at hand (charcoal, lighter, holy water, incense, etc.).  Put on your magical garments and talismans, along with the requisite prayers if needed, as well as prepare yourself with aspersion or ablution with holy water.  You might also consider energetically linking the tools on the table to the central focus, a la Jarandhel’s notion of a crystal grid, to tie everything more closely in practice.  Do whatever energy work, quarter-calling, sevenths-calling, banishing and balancing ritual, or whatever you like to do to get yourself in the proper mindset.  Most importantly, pray.  Pray for guidance, pray for holiness, pray for strength, pray for protection, pray for wisdom, but pray.  You might also call on the help of your HGA, patron gods, supernatural assistants, or similar to empower yourself and make more effective the ritual you’re about to perform.  I generally do all the preparation just before the ritual begins, in the closing minutes of the planetary hour prior to when I want to do my ritual.  As for the actual intent or thing to manifest, the use of a sigil, talisman, figurine, or other stand-in is often helpful; I typically create a sigil with my desire or will and use that.

Once you’re sufficiently prepared and once the appointed time has come, light the candle and consecrate the flame to officially begin the ritual.  Take up the wand, sword, or whatever other tool of intent you prefer up to and including your dominant hand and trace out a circle around your working area, blessing and consecrating the area for the work.  This could be around the altar if it’s free-standing or around a Circle of Art if you’re working within one, with the tool pointed downward at the ground, or around the perimeter of the room if the altar’s not free-standing or if you’d like to use more space than allowed in a Circle, with the tool pointed upward towards the conjunction of the ceiling and walls.  Light the incense and consecrate it, waiting a few seconds to let the incense smoke rise up and fill the space a bit.  I generally wait until I can distinctly smell it for a few seconds before continuing unless I’m in a huge rush.

Now it’s time to call the spirits you’ll be working with.  If you have something specific to consecrate under a particular force, call up the spirits associated with that force; e.g., for solar spirits, you might choose Michael, Nakhiel, and Sorath, along with the aid or blessing of any solar patron deities, familiars, or allies you might have.  If you want to effect some significant change in the cosmos, you might do well to call up all seven planets and all four elements.  Agrippa lists several types of spirits for both the planets and elements and don’t appear to match up immediately, but after talking with both kinds of angels and with Rufus Opus a bit, here’s what I’ve figured out:

  1. Divine force, or the force in the qabbalistic world Atziluth, also associated with the divine Intellect or the element of Fire.  Among the planets, this is the aspect or emanation of God as represented by the godnames of the sephiroth.  Among the elements, however, which are all in the sephirah Malkuth, they’re all kinda lumped together; due to their distant, material nature, the four elements are part of the same divine force.
  2. Mental force, or the force in the qabbalistic world Briah, also associated with the mental abstractions and ideals and the element of Air.  Among the planets, these are the planetary angels.  There is no corollary between this and the elements, since the elements are too low in manifestation to reach this high up in the cosmos.
  3. Guiding force, or the force in the qabbalistic world Yetzirah, also associated with production, feeling, and desire and the element of Water.   These forces indicate how things should be directed and manifested in the world, the design that fulfills the requirements given to the mental force above.  Among the planets, these are the planetary intelligences; among the elements, they are the elemental archangelic kings.
  4. Active force, or the force in the qabbalistic world Assiah, also associated with the concrete force as controlled and effective as well as the element of Earth.  These are like the personified or belegioned forces themselves as opposed to the directing rules or guides; it’s like the charge in a battery instead of the wires that connect it to a radio, which indicate how that charge should flow.  Among the planets, these are the planetary spirits, and among the elements they are the elemental rulers.  Any familiar spirits, elemental or planetary allies, or angels from the forces’ respective choirs are also members of the active force.
  5. Manifesting force, or the force that actually pops up and does stuff in the material world.  These are spirits that actually do and create stuff on this plane with the four elements, the building blocks of this world that the other forces have to manifest through; because of this, there are no planetary forces that fulfill this role, since they’re too abstract and unformed to manifest directly in Malkuth.  Instead, these spirits are strictly elemental, specifically the elemental princes (Oriens, Paymon, etc.), who are close to goetic demons, but are so close to manifested reality that they can directly manifest things on behalf of the higher forces that guide them.  The demonic princes (Samael, Mahazael, etc.) do this too, but in ways that are shitfully terribad (ergo, don’t call on them).

Once you call up the relevant spirits for the forces you want to work with, thank them for their presence, since it always pays to be polite.  Once you get everyone together, the process is fairly straightforward:

  1. Declare your charge to the cosmos and to the spirits present.  Clearly, authoritatively, meaningfully, and wholeheartedly proclaim what you want the spirits gathered to help you achieve and attain in the cosmos, what needs changing or removing or adding to the cosmos, and how you want the manifested thing to take form and effect in your life and reality.  If you have an object, sigil, or figure that represents your intent, display it to the four corners, to the heavens, and to the earth, then place it in the focus of the altar.
  2. With the Wand, call on the divine forces present to turn your Will into cosmic Law.  Proclaim your intent and desired goal, establish your will as something the cosmos, universe, and world shall fulfill, and call on the blessing of the divine force and the assistance of the guiding forces to assist you.  Take up the Wand, point at the ritual focus, and have the Infinite Light begin to manifest around the focus and intent-object (if any).
  3. With the Sword, call on the mental forces present to turn your Reason into cosmic Design.  Straighten the path between divine intent and manifest reality, cut out all obstacles or impediments to manifestation, sharpen your stated will into implementable method, and call on the assistance of the mental force to reverberate the cosmos with your desire and plan.  Take up the Sword, cut the area around the ritual focus, and penetrate into the ritual focus area with the point to let the Light begin to fill the focus.
  4. With the Cup, call on the guiding forces present to turn your Emotion into cosmic Direction.  Pour out your need, fill the world with your desire, and guide the flow of forces you call upon to fill up and take form within the cosmos, calling on the assistance of the guiding forces to direct, guide, and flow the force called upon into manifested reality.  Take up the Cup, make a pouring gesture with it around in a clockwise pattern closing in on the ritual focus, filling the focus with the force you desire and taking form in the manner you desire.
  5. With the Disc, call on the active and manifesting forces present to turn your Reality into cosmic Manifestation.  Actualize your desire, manifest your goal, and have what you desire and will be made concrete, real, physical, material, and effective in all the stated ways, calling on the assistance of the active and manifesting forces to bring the desired goal into manifestation.  Take up the Disc and lower it down onto the ritual focus, pressing the form into concrete, hard shape and seeing it as real as the Disc itself.
  6. Finalize your charge to the cosmos and to the spirits present.  Reiterate your will, intent, desire, and goal to the spirits, proclaim it sealed and finished, and declare your work finished by the authority, power, strength, wisdom, and Light within you and within your manifested intent.  Charge the intent-object by suffumigating it in the incense while repeating any prayers, intoning any mantras or sacred sounds, or visualizing force flowing in and strengthening the intent and manifestation as you find necessary.  Focus the Light from the candle and the Light within yourself onto the ritual focus, supercharging it as bright as the Infinite Light itself, and sending it off as a discrete entity into the cosmos.  Declare the work done using a Great Amen, “So Mote It Be”, “Thus have I spoken/thus are the words”, or similar closing, final statement.

After this, you’re pretty much done.  Ask for any follow-up advice or directions, thank the spirits for their presence and aid, bid them farewell, and give them leave to depart.  Afterward, make any thanksgiving prayers to the Infinite Source, to your patrons or HGA or supernatural assistants, and to any spirits of the cosmos you may find helpful or meaningful.  Put out the candle, remove the ring and ritual garb, and clean up.  You’re done.  Let the intent-object stay in the altar focus for however long you desire, or keep it in a place that can be easily accessed or viewed until the intent is manifested according to your desire.

This is a framework for a ritual, not a ritual itself, since the ritual specification can change depending on what exactly needs to happen; e.g., for consecration of an object under a planetary force, you might do away with calling on the elemental spirits and the use of the Disc entirely, or any of the elemental tools, perhaps using the planetary talisman instead as your tool to channel the force of the planet desired.  The prayers and calls needed for the ritual can also change drastically, but the links I’ve provided above give good grimoire examples of what you might use.  All told, for manifesting things in the cosmos, the above framework is pretty solid, if I do say so myself.

The studious or observant magician will notice that, although I’ve included the forces of the elements and the planets, I haven’t mentioned the sphere of the fixed stars and their forces.  This isn’t because I don’t think they’re worthless, but it’s because I don’t have experience of working with them yet.  In the future, I may begin doing just that, perhaps including the angels of the zodiac signs or the lunar mansions as the guiding forces and Raziel/Iophiel (depending on which text you’re reading) as the mental force, but I haven’t gotten there yet.  Still, the use of the fixed stars isn’t absolutely necessary, though I’m sure it helps; calling on the aid of the planets or elements is quite enough, and enough pagans and more simple magicians than me get by fine with just the four elements, so YMMV.

Don’t alter that altar!

My friends, I see this mistake being made way too often, and being the nitpicky detail-obsessed bitch of a magician that I am, I desire to correct you all, because you are all being wrong on the Internet.

  • An altar (noun) is a consecrated space for religious, devotional, magical, or spiritual operations, often a raised platform used for sacrifices, offerings, rituals, communions, and other mystical endeavors. Example: “The priest walked up to the altar to perform his daily offering to the gods, placing a jug of wine on the consecrated surface.”
  • To alter something (transitive verb, i.e. it takes a direct object) is to change it or make it different in some way than it was previously.  Example: “The student altered his paper when his teacher pointed out mistakes in his spelling and grammar, because he did not want to get a bad grade when he turned it in.”

One does not set up an alter, and one does not altar something to make it better.  STOP BEING WRONG, YOU GUYS.

On a more serious note, it would seem as though my own altar collection has blossomed to the point where I’m starting to run out of space in my bedroom.  I mean, even if I had a room just for occult and devotional work, I’d still be running out of space, but at least I’d have a space just for it.  As it is, my own altars are a little disparate, and can’t really be combined in any comfortable way: a devotional altar for prayer and meditation, my Table of Manifestation for my Hermetic work, my MaGOS/orgone generator setup, my altar to praise and work with Hermes, and another table for random rituals, consecrations, conjurations, and the like.  I like the separation of different sets of tools or goals at each altar and space, but it is starting to make my room look a little full.  How do you all deal with too many altars, or do you make a point beyond which you don’t do something with a set of forces or gods?

Tools on the Table

So, I have this nifty Table of Manifestation as a result of my ceremonial magic work, specifically under the tutelage of Fr. Rufus Opus and his Red Work series of courses.  A recent photo of it shows the tools on the Table: the four elemental weapons (pentacle, chalice, sword, and wand), representatives of the four elemental angels (four amethyst crystals in the Platonic solid forms assigned to each element), and the seven planetary talismans (one for each of the seven traditional planets), with a space in the middle to act as a focus.  An incense burner and consecrated candle are also present.

However, neither RO nor any other source I could find showed how to actually use the tools.  It all seems to act as a general layout to form a ritual space incorporating the forces a Renaissance Neoplatonic Hermetic magician might work with, and it all seemed kinda mish-mashed and jumbled together.  Until now.

Based on reading my friend’s post about orgone generators and Babalon matrices, it turns out he incorporated a technology called a crystal grid.  Basically, it’s a set of crystals linked up to each other energetically to form a cohesive unit of magical power for a certain task.  The crystal grid was overlaid with the Babalon matrix to generate a more powerful field, but the crystal grid works well on its own.  Interestingly, he says that the components of the grid need not be crystals, or even stones; he says that any object that can hold a (magical?) charge can work, from crystals to ritual weapons to pieces of driveway gravel and twigs.  And, boy howdy, do these things on my Table of Manifestation ever have a charge.

So, my idea was to use the same technique for the crystal grid and Babalon matrix to link up the tools on my Table of Manifestation, to turn the many into one coherent unit.  However, this is a fairly advanced layout, with several “layers”: the elemental angels, the elements themselves, and the planets.  Further, the Babalon matrix or crystal grid relies on a focus stone or object; however, the focus here is simply the center of the altar, which is empty unless actively being used to charge or work on something.  Using the original altar layout designed by Fr. RO, I came up with the following scheme to link the layers up:

  1. If desired, put a focus stone or object of intent/Will in the center
  2. Trace: Center → Crystal of Auriel → Center→ Pentacle →Center
  3. Trace: Center → Crystal of Gabriel → Center→ Chalice →Center
  4. Trace: Center → Crystal of Raphael → Center→ Sword →Center
  5. Trace: Center → Crystal of Michael → Center→ Wand →Center
  6. Trace: Center → Talisman of the Moon → Center
  7. Trace: Center → Talisman of Mercury → Center
  8. Trace: Center → Talisman of Venus → Center
  9. Trace: Center → Talisman of the Sun → Center
  10. Trace: Center → Talisman of Mars → Center
  11. Trace: Center → Talisman of Jupiter → Center
  12. Trace: Center → Talisman of Saturn → Center
  13. Repeat steps 2 through 12 until a sufficient link is present between the tools
  14. Input of energy, drawing from the (lit) consecrated candle into the center

This setup, used in conjunction with the Alignment of Forces ritual (done before the linking?), will probably sate my need for a coherent setup and “fix” for the Table.  In this case, the Alignment ritual would give a good, solid charge with the individual tools, then to the set of tools as a whole; following this by setting up the grid between the tools would snap them all into place, as it were.  For inserting or charging something in the focus, I’d probably just forgo the Alignment ritual (unless it’s just time for that anyway) and link everything to the focus object.

Altar Maintenance

Living in an apartment in a fairly metropolitan suburb of DC has its benefits and its downsides, like anywhere else, not least of which is cleaning.  It gets mad dusty in here, yo, and being a neatfreak and cleanfreak as I am, I like things to look generally good.  (I may get lazy with the dishes, but that’s another story.)  It follows, then, that my altars as well get a distinct layer of dust.  So, when it gets to be too obnoxious for me to live with it, I’ll disassemble my altars and give them a good cleaning.  Besides, with the food offerings to the genii locorum I make, crumbs and stray drops of wine really do make a mess that tempts hordes of bugs that even my household genius and I can’t fend off.

Now, I only have two altars (my devotional altar where I pray and make offerings of candles, incense, food, etc., and my magician’s altar or Table of Manifestation), and this may not be the rule in the future, especially when I get my complete Hermaion set up, but for now, here’s what I’ll do:

Devotional altar:

  • Remove all food offerings (combine them and throw them out into the yard by some trees, giving the physical food to the physical world)
  • Wash all dishes, plates, stands, etc. with a cleansing solution (holy water, Florida water, 7-11 Holy oil)
  • Remove all ash and burnt offerings from the incense holders, wipe down with cleansing solution
  • Clear off the altar and wipe it down with cleansing solution, then reassemble everything as it was or update the arrangement
  • Spritz cleansing solution on each of the spirit placards, statues, etc.
  • Make a full offering of food, drink, light, incense, etc. to all spirits the same day

Magician’s altar:

  • Remove all tools, talismans, etc. from the altar
  • Spritz the altar with cleansing solution
  • Wipe off all tools, talismans, etc. with cleansing solution
  • Reassemble the altar
  • Perform an Alignment Ritual to resituate and empower the tools

This is just for my own practice, as it stands right now.  I don’t know about the rules for altar or oratory maintenance in other traditions, even within my own, but I feel that physical dust leads to spiritual gunk building up over time.  This is all in addition to regular spraying of banishing water and prosperity water solutions around my house, as well.

The cleaning or rearranging of altars is a minor technical detail of magical practice that isn’t often discussed in the literature I can find.  What do you do for your altars, if any?  Do you even have one spot you work or pay in?  Do you let the dust, wax, and feelings there accumulate over time, or do you keep it in a pristine state?

Planetary Consecration, Generally and Specifically

Since it’s a Sunday with a waxing moon, hangover notwithstanding, I’m finally getting around to consecrating my Ring of Solomon under the powers of the Sun.

In that picture, you can see my Table of Manifestation on the right with the Ring in the middle sitting on top a hastily-written Table of the Sun, with the symbol of the Sun in gold leaf and its sigils and names, and on the desk you can see some extra supplies: Abramelin oil, frankincense incense, container of Goldchläger, cotton swabs, and so forth.  It’s all part of the consecration ritual I’m conducting for this neat little tool.

Consecration is a powerful thing, especially when you know how to handle the consecrating forces appropriately, but doesn’t always have to be done.  A lot of plants, stones, gems, and liquids have natural occult virtues that suffice without any extra empowering, though charging them or blessing them is certainly a helpful option.  Some tools don’t need to be consecrated at all, and the Lemegeton’s Goetia doesn’t give any instructions on how to consecrate the thing; I suppose this means that the ring is consecrated by construction.  Timing may help with consecration, and this is in fact the entire basis of astrological magic, where you want to time an event or act of creation under a particular arrangement of planets in the sky.  For me, though, I like invoking the proper powers and having them bind and mingle with something to consecrate or empower it.

The ritual I’m doing is based on a framework I use to consecrate things under a given planet.  In general, what I do for a planetary consecration is this:

  1. Figure out the desired qualities of the consecration, and pick the planet you wish to consecrate the item under.
  2. Procure the item.  If possible, make, or buy the item in days and hours of the planet.  If this is not possible, in a day and hour of the planet, formally state your intent and purpose of the item’s use to you at your Table of Manifestation (working magician’s altar), devotional altar, or other sacred place.  When not in use, keep the item at this place of power.
  3. In the day and hour of that planet, conjure that planet’s angel (based off the Trithemian ritual of conjuration) and ask them to”consecrate, sanctify, bless, dedicate, and empower” the item under the powers and blessings of that planet.  Ask them to bring their associated intelligence to open the way for the energies to flow into the item, and ask the spirit to infuse the item with the planet’s power.  Clearly state your intent as to the consecration’s purpose.  If they decline, ask why and see what changes might need to be made so as in order to proceed.
  4. For the next few days, in the hour of the planet, charge and bless the item under the blessings and powers of the planet in the name with the aid of the angel.  Repeat the Orphic Hymn over the item.  The number of days and the number of repetitions of the Hymn to be done should equal the number associated with the planet.  This is to be done either on one’s Table of Manifestation or in the light of a colored candle burnt as an offering to the planet’s powers and entities on a devotional altar.  Optionally, suffumigating the item in incense associated with the planet may be helpful.
  5. Once step 4 is complete, again conjure the planet’s angel in their day and hour and ask them to fully consecrate, charge, infuse, and bless the item in the power and glory of the planet’s full force and power as regards your specific need.  Thank them for their aid and assistance in the matter.

Yes, this takes a bit of time (especially if you’re doing something under, say, Mercury or the Moon), but it works, and it ties in things very nicely together.  It’s what I did for my Fiery Wall of Protection oil and a variety of other things.  I’m using this same process to consecrate my Ring of Solomon, but I’m tailoring the general ritual to be specific to this task:

  • Carry out the process for six days, starting in an hour of the Sun on a Sunday during a waxing moon.  It helps that the Sun is at its highest northern declination, giving it an extra boost of power at this time of year.  The repetitions of the ritual will take place in hours of the Sun (probably all nighttime unless I can swing a daytime hour after I get home from work) and will finish up on this Friday.  Each ritual takes about 20 minutes.
  • The statement of intent for this ritual is to empower the ring to lend me the protection, guardiance, light, authority, and fire of the Sun as I wear it, so that no spirit bring harm to me and that I have the strength and authority to conduct and conjure spirits and forces of the cosmos.
  • I anoint the ring with Oil of Abramelin and Goldschläger, suffumigating it in frankincense incense.
  • Since I use my Table of Manifestation with all its planetary and elemental tools and weapons, I’m using the Wand (symbol of Fire, director of Will and force) in conjunction with the Talisman of the Sun to direct and guide the appropriate forces into the Ring.  The planetary talismans are basically weapons tailored to their individual planets, hence the use of that particular talisman.
  • I pray over the ring once per repetition of the ritual with the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel.

So, come next Sunday, I’ll have a very nifty and powerful addition to my tools, and probably one of the most important.  Besides, the extra solar energy in my life is no bad thing, and will help out in some of my other work I’m doing at the same time.

New lamen set complete!

Recently I discussed my new style for lamens to be used in Trithemian-style conjurations, based on the description given in Agrippa’s “Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy”.  Although the style is largely the same, the latter is more preferred to my taste, being a little more balanced, seeming a little more “magical”, and working just as well as the old style.  Plus, I made the style, and that’s kinda cool.  Up until now, however, I’ve been using the old style of lamens, which I had printed out based on my designs on old-style kinda-translucent copy paper and lightly colored the lamens appropriately for the planetary angels.  They work, even though they’re not made of metal or something fancier.

This past week, during the week of the waxing Moon, I went ahead and printed out lamens for all the spirits I conjure using this new style, including the four Elemental Archangelic Kings and the seven Planteary Angels.  I used heavy faux-parchment cardstock to print them on, and for the planetary angels I also printed them out in their proper day and hour according to their ruling planet.  Like the old lamens, I colored the new ones as well, but this time I got kinda fancy:

  • For the planetary lamens, I lightly colored the ring of godnames and the central hexagon in the hexagram with the queen scale color of the planet, heavily colored the points of the names written in the Celestial script, the pentagrams, and the arms of the hexagram with the queen scale color, and colored in the space between the pentagrams and hexagrams with the king scale color of the planet.  This means black/crimson for Tzaphqiel of Saturn/Binah, blue/violet for Tzadqiel of Jupiter/Chesed, red/orange for Kammael of Mars/Geburah, yellow/rose for Michael of the Sun/Tiphareth, green/amber for Haniel of Venus/Netzach, orange/purple for Raphael of Mercury/Hod, and purple/dark blue for Gabriel of the Moon/Yesod.
  • For the elemental lamens, I swapped queen scale color with the traditional color associated with the element (red for Michael of Fire, blue for Gabriel of Water, yellow for Raphael of Air) and its flashing color for the king scale color (green, orange, purple, respectively).  For the Auriel of Earth lamen, I used the black-olive-citrine-russet color scheme and a light yellow background, since they’re also the colors of the element as well as the colors from the queen and king scales for Malkuth.
  • I also applied gold leaf to the edge of the lamen just as a nice touch to make them all fancy-like.  The gold leaf will be hidden when put in the lamen frame I use, but that’s no biggie.
Arranging the lamens in the same way as Fr. Rufus Opus’ Altar Glyph, here’s my new lamen set (also with a glimpse of the seals I’ve received for personal use from the four Archangels):

Information about the planetary or qabbalistic color scales mentioned above were taken from the Golden Dawn system (see here for a description), and the colors for the elements came from the colors of the Rosy Cross Lamen worn by Adepts of the Golden Dawn (see here for a picture).  The old and new styles of lamens themselves (uncolored, of course) can be found on the Designs page.

The spirits come all the same, and seem to be either the same strength or a little clearer, which makes sense since these colors applied to the lamens help make them more in tune with the force and spirit in question.  I may keep the old lamens, or I may burn them as offerings to the planets and forces I work with, but I’m very pleased with these new lamens.  Plus, the lamen design themselves double as talismans of that sphere and angel; a complex example can be seen on Fr. RO’s blog as a talisman for the angels and forces of Saturn, Jupiter, Virgo, and Capricorn.

Also, yes, I print out my lamens, and I use the graphics from the Magical Calendar for the planetary angelic lamens (but I draw in the seals for other spirits because, well, they don’t exist otherwise).  To be fair, I’ve also got the pattern, series of godnames, angelic names and spellings, and angelic sigils all in memory, and they’ve all been integrated into my sphere appropriately through initiation, alignment with their spheres, and repeated discussion.  If you do not have this done, try drawing out the lamens by hand first before using premade templates.  This functions as a very useful kind of “kinetic meditation”, as Fr. RO is fond of saying, and it’s not without purpose; the more you have this stuff in your mind, the more it’s in your sphere, and the more it’s in your sphere, the more you’re able to function.  It’s like learning a language: the more you use it, the better at it you become.

Achievement Unlocked: GSDMF

The consecration rituals for my planetary talismans is complete.  My trashcans are filled with tealight tins, and my Table of Manifestation feels and looks awesome.  Now I just need to figure out how to use it.  The consecration for the Saturn talisman I made is also complete, and I’ve finished chatting it up with the spirits and angels of Saturn.  Pictures of both are up under the Crafts section, and there’s a write-up of my experiences and procedures of making the Saturn talisman under the Crafts section as well.  After the conjuration of Tzaphqiel to lock in the powers of Saturn into that talisman, I feel almost nauseous from any sort of movement at all.  Bleh.

Perhaps fittingly from the Saturn talisman project, I now know my limits for taking on several projects at once, and I’m pretty damn tired.  No end to the Work, though, and I’ve already got a few more projects lined up.  For now, sangria and Xena sound like a wonderful rest of the weekend.  Good night.