Search Term Shoot Back, September 2013

I get a lot of hits on my blog from across the realm of the Internet, many of which are from links on Facebook, Twitter, or RSS readers.  To you guys who follow me: thank you!  You give me many happies.  However, I also get a huge number of new visitors daily to my blog from people who search around the Internet for various search terms.  As part of a monthly project, here are some short replies to some of the search terms people have used to arrive here at the Digital Ambler.  This focuses on some search terms that caught my eye during the month of September 2013.

“visualize offerings water light incense flowers”  — Visualized offerings are good for some spirits, or for complex astral rituals.  However, for most purposes, why not actually get the physical offerings themselves, and offer actual water, candles, incense, and flowers?  They’re more concrete and, if the spirit is “low” (i.e. an elemental spirit, genius loci, shade, etc.), they’ll be able to benefit more directly since they’re closer to the physical realm.

“munich manual english” — As far as I’m aware, there is no full translation of the Munich Manual into English, though I have translated some excerpts from it (which you can find under the Rituals menu above).  That said, it’s been suggested I take that on as my next big translation project, and I think I’ll oblige.  No idea when it might be ready, but it wouldn’t be unwelcome, as far as I can tell. 

“blessing the sator square” — It’s unclear how the SATOR Square was actually used, only that it came up time and again since the early Roman empire as a kind of memetic charm.  One theory is that it acted as a sign for hidden Christians, since reorganizing the SATOR Square can yield a different arrangement of two PATERNOSTERs intersecting at the N, with two As and two Os leftover (alpha and omega).  As a charm, I believe that the mere construction of the SATOR Square suffices to “bless” or charge it, though other consecrations can be added on top of it (cf. the second pentacle of Saturn from the Key of Solomon).  Depending on the purpose used, you’d consecrate it as you would any other talisman, charm, or tool.

“eskimo fucking” — I assume that’s how eskimos happened in the first place.  (Also, what…?)

“geomantic designs for capricorn” — You’d want to go with the geomantic figures for Carcer or Populus and their associated geomantic sigils.  Carcer is linked to Capricorn through its association with Saturn retrograde; Populus is directly associated to Capricorn in Gerard of Cremona’s system of astrological correspondences (which I use personally in my geomantic work).

“if i write de name of ma boyfriend n put it in de annoiting oil n pray over it can it makes him love like crazy?” — First, I’m honestly impressed people write unironically in an eye-dialect like this; after all, written communication is meant to help spoken communication cross time and space in a way that sound vibrations can’t, and writing as one speaks is certainly not a wrong way to do it.  As for the question itself, the answer is (as it often is in magic) that it depends.  Writing his name on a hoodoo-style name paper, and using something like “Come Here Boy” or another love-drawing/love-forcing oil on it with a prayer or repetition of a psalm over it, it can certainly induce love or love-craziness.  Caveat mage, though; Jason Miller has a story about someone who did this on a particular girl, and not only did the girl fall head-over-heels in love with him, but she ended up becoming an overzealously jealous, codependent, clingy stalker that the dude only wanted to get rid of after, like, two weeks.  Be careful what you wish for, my readers.

“how to kssss hole body” — I hope you wash that hole first.  I also hope you can tell me what exactly you were looking for.

“what to ask during geomancy” — Anything you want, really; geomancy is another system of divination, and divination exists to answer questions.  That said, it helps to ask questions that are clear, concise, and concrete: vague, open-ended, undefined questions tend to work badly with geomancy.  A good question in geomancy often takes the form of “will X happen with conditions Y?”, with X and Y clearly defined and stated.

“how to convert geomantic figures into binary” — Pretty simple, actually.  The method I use is to use a four-bit number, interpreting a single point (active element) as 1 (logic high) and a double point (passive element) as 0 (logic low).  The first bit in the number is the fire line, the second bit the air line, the third bit the water line, and the fourth bit the earth line; in other words, if you read a four-bit number from right to left, it’d be the same as reading a geomantic figure from top to bottom.  Thus, 0101 is Acquisitio, 1000 is Laetitia, 1101 is Puer, 1111 is Via, 0000 is Populus, and so forth.

“how long can you keep holy water in a bottle” — It depends on the type of holy water, and for what.  From a religious standpoint, the blessing may “wear off” over time, or may be depleted if anything unclean contaminates the whole bottle.  Any liquid can get physically contaminated over time without proper preparation, so it helps to make sure the bottle you’re using is thoroughly sanitized and that the water is used in a short time, often no longer than five days.  Using holy water that uses herbs like basil or hyssop can also easily get contaminated, and you’ll see a wispy web-like growth in the bottle over time.  For this reason, I make my holy water with just purified water and salt that I boil for twenty minutes and pour it into only sanitized bottles I’ve washed out with boiling water and soap.

“house blessing preparation” — Get a few white candles, incense that stings the eyes and nose, incense that sweetens the air, holy water, some clean white clothes, and a book of religious texts or prayers of your choice.  Wash yourself thoroughly and ablute in the holy water, meditate and focus yourself, dress in the clothes while praying for protection and light for yourself, light a candle in each room of the house, pray in each room of the house for protection and guidance in the house, waft the sharp incense in each room of the house, pray that all evil and defilement be removed from the house, sprinkle holy water in each room of the house, pray that all impurity and filth be washed from the house, waft the sweet incense in each room of the house, pray for happiness and joy to fill the house, pray to offer your thanks and for the assistance received, relax. 

“howtoinvokeadonai” — Youusehisnameinaprayer,begginghimforhispresenceandaidtohelpyouinyourlife.Youdon’thavetobeJewishorChristiantocallonADNI,butyoudoneedtohavefaithinhispowerandbeabletoanswertotheresponsibilityofcallinguponhim.AnynumberofprayersintheSolomonicandHermetictraditions,goingasfarbackasthePGMatleast,usethenameADNI,sohaveatandexplorewhatusesyoumightcomeupwith.  Also, please never type like this ever, even if you’re on a lot of DMT.

“hermetics most feared adversary” — I think it’s sloths, for some reason, but I’m unsure why.  Alkaloid herbs may have been involved, or so I’m told.

Esoteric Dishwashing

Recently, I was asked to participate in an exorcism and cleansing of a house that had something nasty stuck inside it.  I won’t go into all the details, especially since it was a group effort between me and some of my colleagues, but it turned out rather well for the stuff we had done.  Long story short, the first thing we did was neutralize the demon (more properly, a shade of the dead that had twisted itself into a creature of hate and loathing) and trapped it.  With the major source of the astral ick isolated, we collectively went around the house, blasted away most of the negative energies in the place, introduced nice and pleasant energies, and sealed off the property by setting in place some protective charms around the property.  I did something similar to this for a few friends’ a while back, which operated on most of the same principles, but which didn’t have nearly as bad as an astral ick as this place did.

For my friends and I, the process of cleansing a house is a lot like doing dishes.  Imagine, dear reader, that you have some kind of cooking implement, like a large pot, that’s been sitting there for a while.  You used it once way back when and let it sit in the sink for god-knows-how-long, and it smells.  Not only that, but the leftover food in it has probably started to mold and attract roaches, making your kitchen a rather unsavory and unhygienic place to be.  Left for even longer, the situation only ever gets worse, and eventually you’re gonna have to take care of that.  Barring terrible cooking experiences, the easiest time to take of things is just after you finish them up, lest any residue or grime build up on itself.  Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to wash things, or sometimes things are just too bad to clean on one’s own.  In these cases, you need to actually work in several stages to get the pot to its original clean state: removing anything that’s causing the stink or grime or mold to get worse, scour the pan thoroughly, wash it and make it pretty again, then dry it and keep it dry until further use is needed.

Similarly, performing a thorough banishing or exorcism of a house, person, or place requires several steps:

  1. Blast out the causes of the ick.  It’s hard to take care of symptoms if the underlying cause isn’t fixed first.  If there’s any bad problem entity in the place, get rid of it, whether by entreating it to leave, asking higher powers to make it leave, or banishing/trapping it yourself.  Contain it, limit it, loosen its grip on the place, do what you need to to get this thing gone.  Depending on one’s method, this could be a short or long process, simple or complicated (as in anything else with magic).  This is like prying off the big chunks of food that’ve been molding and attracting bugs to the pan.
  2. Scour any residual ick.  Now that the thing that’s causing the influx of astral ick is dealt with, it’s time to clean up whatever’s left over.  Take some good banishing incense, belt out a license to depart for whatever’s there that shouldn’t be, light all the candles and turn on all the lights, and wipe out whatever darkness, defilement, impurity, filth, plague, curse, crossing, or whatever is left.  Get rid of it all.  It helps to actually clean the house in addition to cleansing it: sweep, vacuum, mop, dust, wipe, the whole nine yards.  Get rid of any and all dirt and grime, material and spiritual.  In dishwashing terms, after the big chunks are gone, it’s time to take a scouring pad or brush to the rest of the pan to get it all decent for actual cleaning.
  3. Cleanse, purify, and brighten the place.  Now that the place is cleared out, it’s time to make it pretty again.  Light some blessing, prosperity, happiness, or healing incense, bless the place with light, play some good music, tell some good jokes, laugh around the place, have a small low-key party for yourself.  Make your place livable and enjoyable again, now that the bad crap is out.  This would be when you take some pleasant dish soap and gently clean the pan with a sponge, making sure to cover it all in sanitizing, sweet-smelling, wholesome goodness.
  4. Seal in the purity and seal off the place.  Don’t let all your hard work go to waste by letting bad stuff in right away.  Now that your domain is clean and clear, keep it that way by erecting some defenses.  Stake out the corners of your property, ask for help from the spirits of the land or angels, set up shields and wards, anoint all points of entry with protective oil, and keep the place locked down from any incoming ick and open to any incoming shinies that are actually good for you.  After all, after you finish cleaning that nasty-ass pan, you carefully set it to dry and remain sanitized and keep it away from any other dirt and grime.

The process is simple, really, and implementing it could be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it and as the situation calls for it.  For example, my friends took care of blasting out the demonic presence and trapped it on their own, and all I could volunteer was my lil’ Solomonic triangle to make sure it was kept locked down.  To scour the place out, I lit a consecrated candle in each room of the house and went around the whole house with a censer filled with tear gas-like banishing incense (star anise, black pepper, habanero pepper, basil, asafoetida, dragon’s blood, etc.) while crying out “BEGONE, BEGONE ALL EVIL SPIRITS”.  Though it smelled terrible and made us all cough (even me, wearing a thick handkerchief on my face), it definitely cleared the place out of most of the residual gunk that had built up in the place.  To cleanse it after scouring the house, I went around with a bottle of blessing and cleansing water (lemon ammonia, holy oil, Florida water, peace water, champagne, etc.) with us all telling jokes, singing songs, and laughing about the place.  We afterward went out to a fire pit in the back yard and each threw a handful of blessing incense on it (frankincense, copal, rose, lavender, bergamot, vervain, allspice, nutmeg, olive leaf, bay leaf, etc.) and let the smoke waft all in and around the house.  We went around the house afterward and nailed in four large iron nails on the corners of the property, anointed with Fiery Wall of Protection oil and other materials and wrapped in warding and shielding signs, and linked them all together spiritually in the center of the property.  All in all, the process took maybe a little over an hour.  Smooth, solid, and fast work, all things considered.

The only thing we had no control over was, as ever, the human element.  Just like how dishes remain only as clean as you make them and only for as long as you let them, it’s up to the people who live at the house to keep it clean, pure, and safe.  The way we set up the wards, no bad stuff could enter their space so long as they didn’t let it in or start shit themselves.  If that’s done, the things they’ll cause will have as much access as they will to their space, not to mention their own emotions and troubles they have to deal with.  Still, with a bit of care and some minor consultation and advice, the human element isn’t hard to manage.  It’s like repeatedly finding a dish in the sink that your roommate uses constantly but always forgets to wash after using it; no matter how clean you make it and want it to stay, unless it’s actively kept clean, it won’t stay that way.

Maintaining purity is something that has to be actively done on multiple levels over time; it’s not just a one-time thing.  You don’t take a single shower in your life and be done with it; you don’t wash a single dish and expect it to remain clean forever; you don’t banish a place once and expect it to maintain purity forever.  It has to be kept up and protected, touching things up here and there, to make sure that nothing gets too out of hand. Working with a set of forces amenable to housekeeping like this is a good idea; the angels are always helpful, as are land spirits who are usually more than willing to keep their own turf happy and pleasing.  Maintaining your own purity and authority is a good idea, too, especially if you plan to be up against anything powerful and malevolent, since you may have to apply elbow grease of a pugnacious variety in order to get shit done.  Still, it’s better than living with roaches, leeches, or mold everywhere.

Getting Burnt by the Stars, part 2: Stop Worrying and Love the Burn

Last time, I talked about the costs of magic.  It sucks, and it costs, and it will burn everything from your bank account to your soul itself, but magic is worth it.  Magic is the locked gate that keeps higher fulfillment and human realization from most of the world, and magic is the golden key that unlocks the mysteries to attaining them.  It may have a high price, but it has an even higher payoff that makes magic worth it.

Being a magician for only a few years now, but having the success and results of people who’re far older than I am (I credit having good teachers, good friends, and good allies abounding), I’ve learned a few things that helps in minimizing the burn, or at least in maintaining onself through being burned, so as to keep on keeping on.  This works for me, and I can only suggest it as part of a daily practice and regular maintenance in any magician’s life.  Even these steps may suck at times, but they help overall in minimizing the real burn going on from the real magic.

  1. Sanitize.  Keep your entire sphere clean and cleansed, from the basest material components to the highest intellectual and divine ones.  Air out your house, vacuum your carpets, sweep the floorboards, dust the fanblades, wash the car, light the candles, burn the camphor, sprinkle the holy water, clean all the things.  Asperge yourself with holy water or other cleansing agents frequently.  Do regular banishing and force balancing on yourself.  Recleanse and reconsecrate your tools, talismans, and ritual space every so often.  The more astral dirt you accrue by tracking it in from the higher spheres, or the more dust you bring in from inviting higher ups down into your house, the more confused and imbalanced things get down here and up there alike.  Keep yourself, your surroundings, your tools, and your mind clean, cleansed, and clear.
  2. Learn.  You can’t do anything if you don’t know how to do it.  Read any and all books you can get your hands on magic, philosophy, religion, spirituality, mathematics, literature, mythology, archaeology, linguistics, folk traditions, fiction ancient and new, science, engineering, history, economics, crafting, and more.  Take classes in whatever you have an interest in, whether it’s related to magic or not.  Talk with friends about their hobbies, experiences, stories, advice, warnings, hopes, dreams, fears, and desires.  Expanding your mind also expands the potential horizons you can explore, no matter how innocuous or trivial something may seem.  Don’t harbor any biases on what you read, study, or discuss; keep an open mind and admit anything with practical merit.  Go on roadtrips just to see new things.  Walk in big cities to see new faces and fashions.  Read blogs with political opinions opposite yours (but are well-written and reasoned).
  3. Protect.  If you’ve got one foot in the door to get into the mysteries, you also leave the door ajar for ethereal nasties to come at you.  Don’t let them.  Set up barriers, shields, or guards around your house.  Make protective charms, phylacteries, or enchanted trinkets to keep on yourself.  Find out what force you best resonate with and manipulate it to act as a shield around you.  Always keep an eye out for anything awry or ominous.  Create a few magical or ritual weapons to call on or call up when needed.  Create magical oils or incenses to keep out bad things and keep in good things.  Be mindful of barriers, boundaries, and circles that have already been erected.  Don’t go looking for bad stuff just to mess with it for shits and giggles.
  4. Breathe.  Breathing is the source of life down here, and aspiration shares the same root with “inspiriation” and “spirit”.  By knowing, feeling, and controlling our breath we control our voice level, our speech and diction, our bloodflow, our thought patterns, and ultimately ourselves who are tied into material reality just as we are into spiritual reality.  Breathing is the crux of meditation, and meditation is the crux of knowing yourself, which is the holiest injunction humanity has.  Breathing, just breathing, is magical in and of itself; it’s what animates us, ensouls us, and keeps us alive and living.  Breathing is the foundation of magic, and breathing must be known, understood, and integrated constantly with oneself in order to progress.
  5. Pray.  Humans, powerful as we are, were never meant to be alone in any sense of the word, nor can we make it to our goals on our own.  We need help, and prayer is how we obtain it.  Pray for guidance, for patience, for mercy, for compassion, for humility, for forgiveness, for health, for sight, for knowledge, for wisdom, for authority, for power, for light (and in that order).  Pray the Source, the gods, the angels, the celestials, the elementals, the dead, and each other for their blessings, advice, guidance, alignment, unity, and boons.  Pray to know how to use the blessings and boons given to us to the best of our abilities and for the best result for all of us.  Pray with praise, pray with emotion, pray with silence.  Pray with your entire body, soul, spirit and mind.  Pray every day, pray several times a day.  Pray.
  6. Stay healthy.  Humans are amphibious, both spiritual and physical.  Magic is largely focused on the spiritual, but it always needs to bring the spiritual and astral down into the material and physical.  Be sure you don’t neglect your body, because that’s the primary vehicle you have to work magic, and the one tool you’ll always have with you in the world.  Get enough sleep every night.  Go to bed at the same time every night.  Get enough to eat every day, but no more.  Eat the proper things in the proper amounts.  Shower, wash your hair, brush your hair, brush your teeth, floss your teeth, exfoliate, deodorize.  Get at least half an hour of light physical activity every day.  Expose yourself to the elements once every so often.  Go outside and enjoy the sunlight, moonlight, starlight, wind, mist, clouds, rain, rivers, oceans, dirt, trees, and animals.  “Healthy” has its roots in the same word as “whole”, and you need to stay whole physically in order to spiritually progress wholesomely.
  7. Get dirty.  Actually go out into the world and remind yourself that you’re still a physical, material being that has physical, material needs.  Everything in moderation, yes, but also including moderation: get sick, get jacked up, get fucked up, get high, get rich, get poor, get happy, get sad, get angry, get lonely, get loved.  We’re human beings to experience human life, after all, and without that experience we’ve ultimately failed at out birth’s purpose.  Getting ourselves meshed in human life, living in the world while not wholly of it, helps keep things in perspective and shows the power of the cleansing, cleaning, Light-bearing work we’re doing.  Plus, getting dirty helps us realize that even the dirt is pure and holy, that nothing is truly separate from the Source from which it came.
  8. Do it.  Complain however much you like or don’t complain at all; magic is going to suck no matter what.  That doesn’t change the fact that you’re a magician to do magic.  Do it.  Do it now.  There’s no other way, time, or place to do it.  Just do it.

The more you burn up, the more of you there is to burn until burning doesn’t need to happen anymore.  Don’t worry about what’s burnt up and gone.  Worry about what you have left to burn and what can still be purified and transmuted into the pure divine essence we really are and should be.

I’m prone to gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums generally from plaque.  Part of it’s my own dietary and hygienic habits, and part of it is my genetics and natural body’s processes.  That doesn’t mean I need to have gingivitis, much less that I should.  How do I keep my gums clean and free from the disease?  More toothbrushing, flossing daily, rinsing with mouthwash, and watching what and when I eat.  Does this all get easier with time?  Nope; it still takes as much time the hundredth day as it did the first, the same spots in my gums still need maintenance, and my food choices are still as obnoxious as ever.  Is the payoff worth it?  Totally; my teeth are whiter, my breath stinks less, my gums bleed less, and my mouth is generally healthier than before.  The payoff here is worth the cost of the daily maintenance, and if (heavens forbid) I ever have to go under for a root canal or other major dental operation, it’ll all go easier before, during, and after due to my lack of gingivitis and better oral care.

Magic works much the same way.  Dealing with the raw forces of creation and the stars is dangerous and you risk not being able to handle the influx of those energies without the proper maintenance.  Laying the foundation of daily practice to stabilize, sanctify, and secure your life goes a long way in dealing with the heavy machinery of the cosmos.  If you don’t have the rest of your house in order, don’t expect good times to result when you invite emissaries and presidents of foreign planes of existence in.  If you have your house and life in order and prepared in the proper way, you’ll still have to go through the paperwork and shopping and security drama, but the emissaries and presidents will be more pleased, more willing, and more able to help you who’ve helped yourself so much without them.  Daily or regular mainteance takes time and effort all in itself, and that’s not even where the real heart of magic lies, but it’s that very same regular maintenance that builds the tower to get to it.

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?

Magic, Hygeine, and You!

(Update 1/10/2018: Interested in more about this ritual?  Check out my more polished, fleshed-out writeup over on this page!)

Unlike some magicians who get into the Work, I don’t have very many issues in my life to fix with magic.  Generally speaking, life goes well: I have a stable job, I’m almost done paying off my college loans, I have a number of good friends, I have an awesome family, and I have constant access to food, drink, books, and various other resources.  (Though, I do wish my downstairs neighbor, elderly though she is, would be less deaf and fond of late-night TV and sickly-saccharine cigarettes.)  I’ve always felt a kind of luck help me out, but even then, things have been going really smoothly and orderly for me in my life, especially since I started the Work.  Not that I’m complaining, of course, but compared to some of my friends, my life is going particularly well.

Part of me is wondering whether or not it has to do with my spiritual hygeine.  Sure, I do a banishing every so often on myself, normally every week or so or after I come back from a particularly interesting trip or night out.  Following Fr. Rufus Opus and the Unlikely Mage, I don’t think banishing constantly is particularly helpful, or even a good thing: if you’re trying to build up resonance and power with awesome forces that are helping you out, what good are you accomplishing by sweeping them out the door with a vibrated GTFO in mispronounced Hebrew?  No, I think one should banish as needed as opposed to constantly: if the paper’s always being erased, nothing written on it can ever be read by anyone.   I mean, really, how often do people really pick up nasty stuff that their own spirit or helpers can’t fend off on their own?  People don’t take (or really shouldn’t take) antibiotics every day “just in case”, so why banish every day “just in case”?  Besides, the whole point of the Work is to transform the magician through decay, calcination, transmutation, application, and perfection, but you can’t get anything done if you’re constantly bringing things back to the first stage of the process.

What I really do for my spiritual cleanliness, instead, is a short daily cleansing ritual I do in the mornings.  I take a small glass of holy water, about a shotglass’ worth, into the bathroom with me when I shower in the morning.  After I shower but before I dry off, I take the water and say a quick prayer:

With this water consecrated, sanctified, and blessed by the grace of God do I cleanse myself and free myself from all defilement, impurity, and filth.  Grant, o Lord, with this holy living water that you have given mankind, that I may be made clean and cleansed in the eyes of God and men.

Then I dump it on my forehead and let it drain down off me.  I then say the Asperges Me and Gloria Patri,

Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor.  Lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.  Miserere me, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.  Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper in secula seculorum.  Amen.

(Sprinkle me, o Lord, with hyssop and I will be cleansed.  Wash me, and I will be made whiter than snow.  Pity me, o God, according to your great mercy.  Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.)

which is then followed by the Prayer of Joseph the Visionary.  It takes about a minute and a half to do, but it leaves me feeling fresh and clean in all sorts of ways.  It’s a really low-effort and low-maintenance ritual, and since I make holy water in bulk once a month or so, I may as well use it.  It’s not as complete or effective as a full-on spiritual bath, but it’s not supposed to be, either; this is just daily upkeep and maintenance.

Does this washing with holy water have a banishing effect on my sphere?  Sure, but it’s tuned to get rid of the bad stuff while bumping up the good stuff in my sphere instead of blasting everything out.  It gets rid of the dirt without wiping away the fairy dust, and sends the nephilim flying while making me more appealing to malachim.  Plus, not only does holy water have the power to decrease vice and depravity, but it has the power to increase virtue and well-being.  Although I don’t have any evidence for saying so, I’m tempted to claim that this daily asperging of myself has beneficial effects on my life besides just warding away nasties.

Speaking of water, I found this neat little trick for defense and cleanliness from Conjure Gnosis.  I don’t have a nightstand near my bed and don’t trust glasses of water on the floor, and my house is somewhat buffed with protection to keep bad stuff out, but it’s certainly a useful thing to do while traveling or lodging at different places when one is out of their normal comfort zone.  Definitely a practice to pick up, no matter what tradition you follow.

Cleansing, Defending, and Blessing a House

A group of friends living together near me were going through some tough times recently, and I offered to help cleanse and bless their house, just to get rid of any lingering bad stuff and keep it out while inviting more and more good things in.  It’s a small thing I can do, and I offered since it was the least I could do for them.  I’ve only ever done this piecemeal on my own place, touching up the apartment as needed, so getting to work on someone else’s place was a new experience for me.

Being the engineer that I am, I decided to come up with a plan of attack, dividing up this working into four different stages: preparation, cleansing, defense, and blessing.  Preparation covers getting the supplies, making sure both myself, my friends, and their house are ready for the project, etc.  Cleansing involves getting rid of anything stuck in the house, any negative entity or force that’s causing any kind of harm to the tenants or property.  Defense involves setting up protections, shields, and wards to keep out any further negativity, letting in only positive or neutral things that help instead of harm.  Blessing helps make the house a home, and involves benedictions upon the place, using luck-, peace-, or prosperity-bringing oils and incenses, and the like.  I let my friends know in advance what I was going to do and got their permission for doing so, because being ethical rocks and so does having informed clients.

The supplies I needed were:

  • Holy water
  • Cleansing water (Uncrossing oil, Banish and Cleanse oil, Van Van oil, 7-11 Holy oil, lemon ammonia, Florida water, holy water)
  • Blessing water (peace water, holy water, rose water, Florida water, and champagne)
  • Fiery Wall of Protection oil
  • Abramelin Oil, or another suitable anointing oil
  • Cotton swabs
  • Banishing incense (dragon’s blood, star anise, crushed red pepper, and black peppercorns)
  • Blessing incense (frankincense, copal, cinnamon, and Power powder)
  • Blessed candles, one for each room of the house (I used white tealights anointed with 7-11 Holy oil and consecrated according to the Key of Solomon, book II, chapter 12), plus a few extra for thanksgiving and prosperity work
  • Large steel nails, one per corner of the property (iron railroad spikes are perfect for this)
  • Instrument of Will (wand, staff, sword, dagger, athame, &c.)
  • Instrument of Protection (amulet, Solomonic ring, &c.)
  • Offerings (large candles, sweet incenses, flowers, simple cakes, &c.)

Once I gathered all the supplies, I prepared myself by cleansing myself and doing a thorough banishing and cleansing including a hyssop bath and meditation, making sure I wasn’t going to track in any more filth into their place.  I also conjured the angel Kammael to charge up my instrument of Will and nails to act as defensive wards.  Before I arrived, I asked my friends to clean the house with the usual things: sweep, vacuum, dust, etc.  I went over to their house on a Sunday in an hour of the Sun during a waxing moon; the first words out of my mouth upon entering were “pax huic domui”, or “peace upon this house” (Luke 10:5).  I offered each of the tenants a bit of holy water to sprinkle themselves with and cleanse themselves as they saw best; since the household was largely Catholic, I suggested the usual Asperges Me that I use myself.  With everyone clean, I donned my Solomonic ring, said a few prayers for guidance and protection, and started my work.

I had a brief chat with the genius of the house (I didn’t do a formal conjuration for this, just reached out and had a quick discussion), letting him know what was up and what I was about to do.  I asked for permission for performing my work, and he gave me his permission to continue.  I also asked the genius for an image of what the house looked like to him, to compare with my own feelings of the place as well as what it’d result in once I did my working, and also asked about any problem areas that needed special attention.  With this information, the first thing was to demarcate the area of working, so I took my instrument of Will (my new ritual sword) and walked around the boundaries of the property clockwise, sealing off the area for the working.  Until I finished, I asked nobody to leave the boundaries of the property or to let anyone in.

To cleanse the house, I opened up every window and door in the house (good thing the weather was good for this, neither too hot nor too cold, not a terrible amount of pollen or dust or noise).  Although not necessary, I find it helpful to have a fresh breeze blow through the house, getting rid of some of the more natural pests naturally and literally as well as symbollically “airing out” the place.  I lit a candle in every room of the house and consecrated the flames, so that the light could shine throughout the entire place; these candles were left to burn completely, and the remaining tins were disposed of respectfully.  The light from the candles was to illuminate the place and bring the light of the Ain Soph Aur down into the house, as well as to watch over and empower all the rest of the working.

I went to the entrance of the house facing inside and gave a general license to depart for all the spirits that had taken residence up in the place (the genius was specifically excepted).  I went through each room and waved around a thurible of banishing incense in each room, repeating the Greek phrase “ΑΠΩ ΑΠΩ ΠΑΝΤΟΣ ΚΑΚΟΔΑΙΜΟΝΕΣ” as I did so.  I did the bottom level first, the top level second, and the ground level last, going from the back of the house to the front.  After reciting Psalm 6, I went over the house again by spraying the cleansing water, repeating the Latin phrase “ABI ABI OMNI PROFANI”.   The incense was used to smoke out any blatantly negative or harmful spirits, and the cleansing water was sprayed around to wipe up and out any harmful residue, malice, and other astrally icky junk that had built up around the place.  I then went around the house clockwise flinging holy water around the place (not the cleansing solution), repeating “BEGONE, BEGONE ALL EVIL SPIRITS”.  With this done, the house was cleansed to my satisfaction, and all the windows and doors were shut to begin building up the fortifications.

To defend the house, I returned to the front of the house and recited the Prayer to St. Michael, which I use before anointing things with Fiery Wall of Protection oil.  Again, bottom to top and back to front, I went through and dabbed the oil on every window and door in the house. I wanted to do a five-spot pattern (one on each corner, one on the center/handle) on every window and door, but the house was bigger than I anticipated and had a lot of windows; I used a single spot on every window, and a five-spot on the front and back doors as well as all the bedroom doors.  The anointing of every entry-point into the house with this oil forms a tight shield through which nothing harmful can even approach, much less break through.  Although I used my own fingers for my own house, I used cotton swabs this time for the oil so as to keep it from dripping or making a mess; besides, some people are sensitive to the oil, and it may burn their skin.  I then dabbed Abramelin oil on the front and back doors, charging them to let in only that which helps and keep out that which harms.  After this, I went to the four corners of the property clockwise and drove a large steel nail into each corner, calling on the angel Kammael of Mars for defense against all evil, harmful, malicious, wicked, or negative spirits, entities, bodies, or forms.  These serve as wards, and I dabbed each with Fiery Wall of Protection oil after I drove them into the ground and charged them to defend the property.

With the cleansing and defending done, the only thing left was to bless the house and make it livable again.  I returned to the front of the house and gave a benediction of the place, then went through the house and fumigated it with blessing incense while repeating the Trisagion, along with spritzing the blessing water through the house while repeating “blessed be, clean be, safe be, happy be, prosperous be”.  I also used a quick prosperity spell used from the Bible (light three candles and repeat Zechariah 8:12 three times over the candles) as an extra step.  I went to the “hearth” of the house (the kitchen) and made offerings to the goddess Hestia (to watch over and nurture the home), the god Zeus Ktesios (to defend the boundaries and walls of the home), and the genius of the house (to manage and coordinate the homeliness of the house), thanking them and asking for their help in protecting the home and keeping it hale, whole, and happy.  I returned to the front of the house, released the spirits back to their places if they were helpful and not harmful in any way, and offered a few prayers of thanksgiving and exaltation at the end.  I then went outside and untraced the circle I made with my instrument of Will, going counterclockwise this time, and let the house stand on its own again.  I finished the whole thing by making a few thanksgiving prayers to the Almighty, then enjoyed the rest of my day.  The only tenant of the household who was out during all this came back just as I untraced the circle, which was extremely fortuitous timing.

Not including the preparation, the working took about an hour and a half to walk through every room of the place multiple times (candle, banish, cleanse, anoint, bless), circumambulate the house four times (once to circle it, once to asperge it, once to nail in the spikes, and once to uncircle it), and perform offerings and prayers.   Not only is everything negative removed from the place, it’s kept entirely shut out.  The incenses, offerings, oils, and waters I used helped to brighten the house and make it inviting for peace, luck, prosperity, safety, and fortune.  Just like a place needs to be cleaned every so often, it’ll eventually need to be cleansed again; however, with all this work done at once and so powerfully, minor touchups will be all that’s needed anytime soon, and that I can take care of covertly or teach them how to do really easily.  So long as they don’t go deliberately trying to fuck shit up in their own place, the house will take care of itself and they’ll be fine.

Why am I sharing this?  Besides the fact that my blog is essentially a more fun version of my increasingly-neglected magical journal, I figured I’d share my methodology and experiences.  This is also a good chance to get feedback and opinions from other practitioners to see how they would do something like this.  This was a pretty heavy-duty working for a normal household; in all fairness and honesty, most people do not and never will need these levels of protection and blessing.  Most people are content with getting by on their own with no special help from higher or lower worlds, and most people don’t do anything to piss off spirits, magicians, or other powerful entities.  I’m not saying that most people don’t have hardships or fall on hard times, or don’t attract the attention of demons or nagas or the like, or couldn’t use a bit of magic to help out.  That, in fact, was the point: having the ability, means, and skill to do magic, I damn near feel obligated to use it for the benefit of those who need it, and in the process help make my friends’ lives and the world a little bit better and brighter.

Clean(s)ing House

Wednesdays are awesome for me.  They’re the days I get to wake up late, lounge around all day in my underwear (if that), eat and drink whatever I goddamn want whenever I goddamn want, and take long-ass showers in the dark like my bathroom is a sensory deprivation chamber.  Why?  Because I work from home those days, and not being in the office lets me get a lot done at home and gives me more time to take care of my own affairs.

Over the past Mercury Retrograde period (which ended, like, just now), things were crazy.  I had a trip happen every weekend, my phone died after gravity and toilets conspired against me (how shitty!), I gained some extra weight from eating on the go and overeating too often, and my entire practice pretty much fell apart at the seams.  It’s been nice, though, as a break and distraction, but now it’s time to get things back in order, and it’s time to clean house.  Let’s start with that literally, because my house is getting pretty dusty.

Why bother with cleaning a house as a magician?  Because cleanliness is next to godliness.  Duh.  Not to mention that it makes things easier to find, if you’ve got a lot of occult wares, and that it keeps what you have and use in good condition, but also because things just feel better.  When you live cleanly and organizedly, things fall into place more often, and if your physical environment is a reflection of your mental state, then busting out the vacuum and dustrags is a sign that you’ve got work and Work to do.

But, as a magician, I’ve also got to take care of higher matters, and since my home is my temple, my physical environment really does affect my mental and spiritual states more than just being able to wear clothes that aren’t wrinkled or dusty.  Things get drawn in, things get stuck, and things get infested.  It sucks, and when that happens you know it’s time to bust out the holy water and go to town on the place.  I used to take an asperger and simply splash holy water around my house, and that works perfectly.  However, as I gained some more supplies, I regularly put together a small amount of a special cleansing solution I use around my house.  It hasn’t failed me yet, and it leaves the whole place smelling fresh and vibrant, not to mention leaving the place feeling the same.  Without further ado, I present to you the recipe and method for making and using Polyphanes’ Cleansing Potion:

  • 8 oz spray bottle
  • 1/4 tsp lemon ammonia (to get rid of the really nasty shit)
  • 10 drops Banish And Cleanse oil (to wipe off and out anything that shouldn’t be there)
  • 10 drops Uncrossing oil (to remove any buildup or residue of anything bad happening or done at you)
  • 10 drops Van Van oil (to clear out anything bad, turn bad things to good, opens new doors, and gives good luck)
  • 10 drops 7-11 Holy Oil (to purify, sanctify, and bless the home)
  • Holy water (to banish, cleanse, clean, and protect, as well as being a base for everything else)
  1. Mix ammonia and oils together in the spray bottle.
  2. Top off spray bottle with holy water.
  3. Wash yourself with holy water beforehand to cleanse yourself.
  4. If you’re cautious or have a lot going on normally, give the friendly spirits in your home a place to hide or a general leave to depart so that they can be invited back later.
  5. Spritz around the house, back to front, saying “ΑΠΩ ΑΠΩ ΠΑΝΤΟΣ ΚΑΚΟΔΑΙΜΟΝΕΣ” or “ABI ABI ESTI PROFANI” or something to that effect.