More Quick Experiments with Orgone

Jarandhel and I are at it again!  While helping move some furniture at his place now that one of his and friend’s roommates moved out yesterday, we spent some down time playing with more orgone generator setups.  Since I’m building my own permanent orgone installation, I’m working with him to refine and learn more about the theory, applications, and methods of development of orgone.  We’ve played with it before, but this time we made use of different setups and an experimental circuitboard/magic circle to be used with orgone.  Because the circuitboard is still under heavy experimentation, I’ll refrain from talking about it here, but I’ll talk about it later once I have my full-blown writeup discussing my orgone system.  Here, I’ll just describe what we did last night involving different perimeter crystal setups.

(I swear I have the writeup forthcoming, once I have more experiments and a few more supplies gotten in the mail.  At this rate, it looks like early November for the complete write-up, but it’ll be a doozy.)

To recap (I really really need to do the writeup soon so I can stop recapping this): the orgone system, or Babalon Matrix, is a crystal grid (a series of crystals or force-channeling objects “energetically linked” to produce an effect) combined with an orgone accumulator or shooter.  The crystal grid is composed of a series of perimeter crystals (normally four) linked up to a central focus and to each other; this produces a kind of field around the focus, like an aura-expanding magical circle (I used this in my Mercury election ritual).  The orgone accumulator is like a trickle charge, constantly feeding energy or force into the field, while the field simply binds and reflects the energy out from the focus, which radiates force outwards.  The orgone accumulator itself doesn’t need much to it; it works naturally, like a kind of magnetic propulsion for ambient energy.  The crystal grid itself is what needs to be “activated” by energetically linking them up, kinda like programming them for a purpose.  The orgone accumulator feeds energy in, while the crystals are linked up to contain and recycle the energy.

Normally, the Babalon Matrix uses four perimeter crystals arranged in a square around the central focus.  This produces a kind of spherical field around the focus, which can be used to charge an object in the focus or felt by stepping into the field directly.  Jarandhel has aspirations of using such a field as a gate to better obtain access, astrally or otherwise, to other places or planes, something like a Vortex that Fr. Rufus Opus suggests in his Astral Warrior Handbook.  By stepping into this field based on a focus that was synched or energetically linked to a certain place, we were able to clearly view or experience that given place; a Martian talisman, for instance, would yield a Martian environment.  However, we experimented using different numbers of crystals and different ways in linking them up:

  • Three crystals in a triangle: A feeling of motion, erasure, being moved from one place to another, but no sensation of the place or images.  Not really dependent or affected by the object in the focus.
  • Six crystals in a hexagon: A feeling of presence, of feeling the energy or sensations of the place without being there.  Pure information, nothing material or visible.
  • Six crystals in two overlapping triangles: Being both pushed and pulled to the place, bidirectional movement, able to clearly see and “step through” as it were.  A combination of sensation between both worlds, suitable for being a gate.
  • Seven crystals: Not good; confusion, a mess, different mixes of random and varying sensations.  Inverted or messed up colors, nothing clear or discernible.  Highly uncomfortable.
  • Eight crystals in an octagon: A singularity of sensation and time; all things together at once, all space and history compressed into one spot.  Confusing, hard to make individual things out since everything is completely conjoined, like viewing the entire world as a whole unit.
  • Eight crystals in two overlapping, crossing squares:  Being “upside down” or criss-crossed, a sensation of vertigo, like seeing with crossed eyes, two images of the same thing overlaid slightly askew over each other.  Sensations dulled, like feeling through gauze.  Being a doubled form of the normal set up but rotated, this makes sense.
  • Eight crystals in two nested squares lined up at the corners: Sharp, clear, easily discernible forms and place.  Like putting on perfectly-fitted and prescription glasses.  Still like trying to see through something, but everything was brought into “focus” but still with using an intermediate but easily passable boundary.

In all cases, there was a kind of “boundary” beyond which we couldn’t pass, but which we could easily sense; this is partially because we were actively and consciously doing an energetic form of remote viewing not involving any trance or actual projection, but may also be due to the nature of the field itself and its own bounded nature.  Based on this and our experiments, four crystals seems sufficient for most needs, though six crystals set up as two overlapping triangular fields works as well.  We didn’t do five or ten crystal setups, but we plan to in the future.  It seems like the more crystals one adds to the matrix, the different properties one obtains in the “view” or sensation of the field when stepped inside.  For gate-making purposes, six-as-overlapping-triangles seems to be the way to go if possible, but four crystals as a simple materialization or basis for remote viewing suffices.

Another thing we tested was the orientation of the perimeter crystals themselves.  The crystals in question are long crystal bars, about 8″ long, that were lab-grown on a flat surface (one example can be found at this site); these are pure quartz crystals that terminate into points on either end but have a long flat side to them.  The crystal points are put parallel to the central orgone system so that the flat side of the crystals either face in towards the focus or out away from the focus.  When facing inwards, the field was contained to the area marked off by the crystals, roughly in the shape of a sphere.  When reversed so that the flat sides faced outward, the force within the area marked by the crystals seemed to vanish to mere threads, but was projected equally in all directions from the crystals.  However, this only really works when there are a balanced and stable number of crystals; using only one crystal to “reflect” the field back towards the orgone system, it seemed to overwhelm the other direction and reflected it back (so that if the crystal was placed south of the orgone system with the flat side facing north, the field would be reflected all towards the north).  Using only two crystals, one on each side, produced a field, but it seemed unstable and ill-defined; we presume that at least three crystals are necessary to form a “stable” field in this manner.

Also, we noticed a neat little thing: instead of putting one object into the field focus, we also tried two (an agate pendant I always wear as a reservoir for excess force/Light, and a phylactery I made for protection) items.  The field at first glance seemed to combine or merge both auras or objects into a single field, but after a while seemed to feel more like it was two fields overlaid on top of each other.  It’s like being able to taste several ingredients in a dish separately at once without anything actually combining them.  Using objects or crystals charged with a certain intent or force as perimeter crystals or placed randomly in the field had interesting effects themselves:

  • Placed in the center focus: Whole field took on the force/aura of the object.
  • Placed at the perimeter as a perimeter crystal: Field took on the force of the object, but only in the direction “radiated/reflected” by the object.  The field was otherwise unaffected by the object and kept the force of the object in the focus.
  • Placed inside the field not at the focus: Field took on the force of the object only locally around the object’s location, like a tumor in a mass of flesh.  It felt like the area from the object outwards to the perimeter was a mixture of that force and the force from the focus, but inside that “boundary”, it was just the focus’ force itself.

Next up (probably): seeing the difference between using a normal orgone accumulator versus one doused with a Bardonian simple fluid condenser, testing the material of the central force radiator (metal orb, crystal orb, nothing, etc.).,  thoughts and experiments with that circuitboard-like magic circle I mentioned, using different orientations of crystals, and so forth.  I may as well just make a series of these orgone posts and use that as my write-up for my whole system; since I’m combining several ill-understood technologies at this point, I’m really only finding this stuff out as I go along.  Half the time it seems like nonsense, but it works and looks cool to boot.

Quick Experiments with Orgone Generators

So, Jarandhel and I were over at his place geeking out over orgone generators again, and we did a few quick experiments with his orgone generator.  Specifically, it’s an orgone “shooter”, but I’m not familiar enough with the language to determine if there’s a difference; either way, it accumulates orgone or magical force and propels it in a certain direction.  The thing is, we didn’t know how it did this: his generator is simply a hollow copper tube shoved through layers of corkboard and steel wool or copper mesh.  There were no identifying marks, but it just seemed to work.  So, we experimented with the generator for a bit.

To force a direction on the generator, I had the idea of putting a crystal in front of one of the tube ends, thinking that the crystal would act as a kind of valve and focus the energy only in one direction, namely the direction in which the crystal point was facing.   So, we used one of his spare quartz points, some copper wire, and hooked them together onto the copper tube.  Oddly, the energy seemed to flow stronger out the other end, which didn’t change even when we flipped the direction of the crystal to point inside the generator, and still didn’t change when we removed the crystal entirely.  It turns out that it has something to do with the length of the copper tube protruding from the generator: the force seems to flow out of the short end.  It’s as if the long end acts as an antenna, or if both ends act as an antenna, the longer end “attracts” more, and as it accelerates through the layers of organic/inorganic material, it forces energy out the other end.

For some reason, the channel in the generator has to be hollow, but we didn’t really know why.  So, I decided to stick a bit of the leftover copper wire in through the tube; to me, it was as if the energy felt more dense or useless, and Jarin felt it more like static.  Clearly, not a helpful thing.  We experimented also with replacing the copper tube with a solid aluminum rod.  The result of this was interesting; instead of acting like a controlled ray or beam of force, it felt more like a cone radiating from the generator; although interesting, it was of less use than a beam.

As for the effects on other people, Jarin and I seemed to be alright, although our other friend who deals more with the dark sides of magic had a really hard time dealing with it.  Oddly, I’ve noticed that my lower back and kidneys (problem areas for me as a Libra?) have been much more tender while around orgone generators; I can’t yet discern whether this is pain or just tenderness yet.  It goes away considerably after the orgone generator’s put away or unhooked from a crystal grid, which is interesting.

Experimenting like this, though simple, gave me a few interesting pointers as I set up my own Babalon Matrix.  It’s coming together nicely, and soon I’ll have a full post on it, but for now, it’s still in the testing stages.

Musings on Orgone

It’s funny how much of this occult stuff changes my tune on things I thought before starting it.

For example, a few years back, I had first heard of orgone, this Force-like universal life energy that surrounded and permeated all things.  Granted, it’s officially discredited and has always been on the fringes of science, and from what I’ve always heard about it, it’s kinda been ridiculous and unworthy of my attentions.  Until recently, that is.  One of my friends is an expert in energy work, reiki, and a good deal of nature magic, all things I’m not too acquainted with.  He was also moving from his old place to another, and I was helping him move.  I noticed a strange contraption on his desk: a sort of lantern-style candleholder with a pan in it, with a black box with some tubes sticking from it suspended above it.  I had guessed it was an orgone generator, even though I had never seen one, and my friend started describing to me how it works, supposedly.  Specifically, what he has is termed a “Babalon Matrix”, having its origins in Thelemite tech, but still falls under the orgone heading.  Later on, after we finished moving and got a few bites to eat, we started playing with it and he showed me how to activate it and the effect it’d have on various objects put into the focus.  I was impressed; now that I’ve got at least a modicum of astral sight to see things, I was able to get what was going on with the generator and the field it generated.  We tried stones that were tied to other places, my pendant I wear that’s closely aligned to my own energies, my reality-warping key, and a variety of other things.

From what my friend told me, a generator consists of a hollow tube that pierces through multiple layers of alternating organic and inorganic material (he used corkboard and steel wool), plus a series of perimeter markers (he used a set of long pure quartz crystals, flat on one side); the more layers the tube passes through, the more powerful the field generated.  Dissipate energy is collected on one end, concentrated through the generator, and passed out the other end as a focused “beam” of sorts; upon hitting a focus, the beam would branch out, pass through the perimeter markers, and back into the generator.  This would eventually form a field that would take on the force and energy of whatever object was in the focus.  This is done with the crystals facing flat side in; if the crystals were focused flat side out, the energy that took on the force of the focus would be dissipated outward.  Whatever was in the field would be affected by the force; whatever was in the focus itself would slowly gain more energy, sort of like a trickle charger for a car battery.  Once set up (the process of “turning on” the generator and field consists of energetically linking the crystals to the generator and providing a pulse of energy to get it started, which all takes seconds), the field continues to work until disassembled.

I’m not a firm believer yet, but seeing definitely helps believing.  Of course, as an engineer, there’s no way for this to work in any sensible terms; as a magician, I can definitely see how it works and how it can be used.  For instance, in conjurations, I could set up the crystals on the perimeter of the conjuration circle, set up the generator under the Table of Practice, and use the associated talisman of the force I’m conjuring (the Pentacle of Earth for Auriel, the Talisman of Mars for Kammael) as the focus, then have the entire ritual space take on the force of the angel; in Solomonic stuff, I could set up the crystals on the perimeter of the Circle of Art, set up the generator under me, and place the Ring of Solomon as the focus to fill the entire Circle with authority, light, and power.  I’m sure I could come up with more uses for this magical contraption, but these are things that are on my mind right now.

There were some questions that I had for my friend that, unfortunately, he didn’t know the answer to, mostly because he hadn’t experimented with some of these things.  Here are a few of the things I’d like to investigate:

  • The crystals that form the perimeter are to be facing flat side in or flat side out, all at once.  What happens if one of the crystals is turned outward and the rest inward?  Would that produce a focused field applying in only one direction?  Would that simply cause the field to break apart like a water balloon?
  • A generator is composed, in part, of alternating layers of organic and inorganic (metal) material.  These are assumed to be uniform, but what if they’re different materials?  Instead of using steel wool throughout the whole thing, why not use layers of lead foil, tin foil, steel wool, gold leaf, copper foil, pewter, silver leaf, and so forth separated by sheep’s wool, or steel wool separated by different sets of dried herbs?
  • Could the layers of organic and inorganic material be anointed with planetary or elemental oils, or be combined with Bardon’s fluid/solid condenser technique?
  • Orgone generators are supposed to stay away from the use of copper, supposedly because it creates “dead orgone”, or toxic/thanatoic energy.  However, my friend’s orgone generator used copper tubing for the generator, and it has (a) given our friend who works with death energy a lot a strong headache (b) hasn’t had any ill effects on his health for the past ten years.  Are there any materials that are really off-limits?
  • The generator (or more accurately, accumulator or “shooter”) doesn’t appear to have any directional alignment; it’s fairly symmetric, with nothing differentiating the in-end and out-end.  Without obstructing the tube, would a “receiver dish” on one end, using a wire matrix, and/or a “transmitter” on the other, using wires or crystal points, affect the generator for good or ill?
  • One of the main things my friend has experimented with is creating gates to other places, in the astral or wherever, by using an object aligned with that place as the focus.  Stepping into the field helps to astrally view or project into that place; I was able to see places I was not already acquainted with, describing things correctly according to my friend.  Could this be used with planetary talismans to better align myself or project into those spheres?

My friend had several of the crystals laying around, and sold a set to me.  Knowing what I do, after I consult him and some more sources, I’ll probably make my own device like this and experiment with them.

It’s definitely strange how much one’s opinion of this stuff changes once you actually fiddle around with it.  I mean, scientifically, it’s bunk, but then, so is the rest of my angelic, astrological, and divine work.  Keeping orgone in the sphere of magic and not in the sphere of (pop? fringe?) science works a lot better, and when presented to me in that manner, it becomes much more acceptable.  I mean, it’s like people want to still operate and deal with magic, but are too shamed or boxed in by scientism and modern sensibilities to admit a belief in it; to get around this, they have to use scientesque and needlessly complex mechanisms to achieve the same goals that have been done more simply and naturally for millennia.  I mean, if you’re going to do magic, call it magic.  I’m not saying that science and magic will never mix, but if the planes are discrete and not continuous, don’t try to get ahead of yourself and mix the two without actually having solid footing to do so (last I checked, orgone isn’t measurable by standard laboratory measurement tools).

RES OMNES PVRGA

One of the perks of having a government job is the relative ease of being able to work from home, especially if you’re an IT guy.  It’s absolutely wonderful, also because I don’t have to go to DC for one day each workweek.  Absolutely fabulous.  And yes, as a matter of fact, I’m as productive at home as I am in the office, so shut up.

Still, being able to work from home also allows me more time to work on my hobbies and housework, and sometimes the two are the same.  For instance, cleaning the house.  It’s been a while since I gave the house a thorough cleaning, and though I’m too lazy to go through every detail like my tub and the furnace room, I recently gave the house a good going-over and airing-out.  However, based on the stories of Fratres RO and Pallas Renatius, I figured it might be a good idea to banish the house and get it clean in every possible way.  Normally I do this by sprinkling holy water around the house while chanting “απο απο κακοδαιμοης” (“away, away, evil spirits”), but I figured I wanted something with a little extra oomph this time around.  Happily enough, my housemate and I went to an occult store in old town Alexandria, and I was able to get a bottle of banishing and cleansing oil which I put to use.

Now, the thing about banishing is that it gets rid of a lot of stuff, including things I potentially want to keep around (cf. Pallas Renatus’ Potion of GTFO, which is something to keep in the back of your mind if you ever need to do a spiritual and ethereal genocide on an area), and since I’m on good terms with my household spirits, I figured I might want to give them a break.  I immersed and cleansed a quartz crystal I had lying around in holy water, keeping it in my room in the back of the house.  I lit a consecrated candle and walked around the house, proclaiming my intent of banishing the area and asking all the friendly, helpful, and kind spirits belonging to the house and home to follow me.  When I reached my room I had them all take refuge in the crystal until the house was clean and cleansed.  I placed it under the guard of the original candle I had lit, just to make sure nothing unsavory approached it while I went around banishing the place.

With the good guys safely hidden, I got to work banishing the place.  I lit a consecrated candle in each room to fill it with a holy light, turned on the central AC’s fan, and lit some frankincense and myrrh incense next to the air intake vent to spread the smoke around the house.  I mixed a small bowl of holy water and the banishing oil, gave a general license to depart for all the remaining spirits, called out a prayer to St. Michael for protection and aid in cleansing the place, and got to work, sprinkling the holy water and oil all around the house in every room, high and low, calling out “απο απο κακοδαιμοης”.  I dabbed some of the water/oil in each corner and on every door, window, and air vent in the house, charging and conjuring them to not permit any evil, deceit, or wickedness in any way to pass through or by them into the house.

And then I went ahead and vacuumed, swept, dusted, and cleaned the place, taking out the trash as the last step to get rid of anything else that had lingered, opening up the doors and windows to air out the house (which, given the cool and rainy weather today, really freshened up the place).  After all the incense and consecrated candles went out on their own, I went ahead and took up the quartz crystal again and let the spirits that had taken refuge inside it out again back into their home.  With all them back and free, I lit a large candle and some sandalwood and gardenia incense as thanks and as an offering to the household gods and spirits, asking them, the goddess of hearth and home Vesta, and the Almighty to bless the home.

I noticed a few things while doing all this.  When I was gathering the good spirits of the house up for refuge, I noticed that I felt a presence (presences?) follow me, getting stronger in each room, which then sorta swirled and swarmed around me when I urged them into the crystal; between then and when I let them out again, the house felt a lot emptier and alone, more than when I’m normally alone.  After banishing, cleansing, and cleaning the place up, the place really felt fresh and new, which may have been due to looks alone, but even then I was impressed by how much brighter things felt.  (I recall one time I had a chat with my household genius, and he showed me what things looked like to him, astrally I suppose, when the house was like when it was dirty and defiled versus clean and cleansed.  Big difference.)  As I led the blessing for the home, things immediately felt much richer and comfier, just the air around me, and really gave the place an all-around wonderful feeling.  I’m pretty pleased with how all this turned out.

I realized that I never really got around to giving the house a thorough cleaning and cleansing since my last few projects, and I noticed that things have gotten a little rough here and there, even while things have overall been wonderful since I made contact with all the big planetary guys (especially the dream recall, mad props Gabriel, mad props).  Given how I’m getting into more regular work and bigger projects coming up, I figured I may as well tidy up the place and make note of a baseline for how clean things can be; when things get too crazy or start feeling icky, I’ll do this again.

Oh, and yes, the title is a Hyperbole and a Half reference, because she is amazing and I love her, and also because I’ve been doing Wheelock’s Latin exercises.  So sue me.

EDIT: Fr. Pallas Renatus, that loveable crackhead sorcerer, did a wonderful thing.  He is amazing.

Temples are really just for holding all your crap.

With the amount of stuff I’m accumulating and crafting, I need a much larger space to keep all of it, or even a separate building, like an insulated shed.  Hopefully I can get an extra room in my next apartment or house to use as a temple room or something.  Did you know that places like the Parthenon or other temples in the old Mediterranean were ancillary buildings as part of a more general sacred space?  They were used as warehouses to store all the loot they got from wars and worshippers alike.  The actual “temple” and sacred focus of the place was just a small stone altar, which the whole complex was oriented upon.  Funny how the temples get all the respect anymore.

First, the planetary talismans project.  All the talismans have been enmetaled, engraved, colored, and lacquered, with the Saturn talisman drying as I type this.  With the construction happily and mercifully done, and now that Mercury is direct and the Moon waxing, I’m printing out lamens for each of the planetary angels so I can conjure them and consecrate each of the planetary talismans I made.  My plan is to just start with consecrating the Sun talisman this Sunday and continue straight through to Saturday, asking each angel to consecrate the talisman with their planetary essence, as well as to begin the process of integrating its forces into my own sphere.  The Unlikely Mage generously helped me with formulating a request to the angels instead of going “Hey, sup Tzaphqiel.  I was wondering if you in your awesomeness would maybe make this wooden thing I made awesome like you.  That cool?  Sweet.”  If all goes well, I’ll have a complete set of talismans, and a complete altar, before too long.  A divination reading I did recently implied that there might be some delays with this, but we’ll see.

Not long ago I got wind from a local pagan blog that the well-known store Esoterica in Northern Virginia was going out of business.  S’a shame when that happens, but in this economy, it happens.  Everything there was on markdown, and so I helped myself to a number of goodies and ended up spending more than I feel comfortable admitting.  I will admit that I got, amongst other things, a rackful of herbs, a pair of selenite candleholders, and a selenite orb the size of a large orange (so pretty!).  Apparently, I really like selenite.  It’s easy on my eyes and I get a soothing feeling from it. It has connections to Taurus and the Moon, according to a few books I read, and is good for energy work and healing.  (If you know of any other uses or purposes for selenite besides looking really cool, please leave a comment below.)  In addition to all that, I got ten 1yd pieces of fabric for my working altar, one for each Queen scale color of the sephiroth for when I do planetary or qabbalistic rituals (using a dark natural linen cloth for Malkuth).  They’re all a little rough on the edges, so I want to get them hemmed up, maybe using the King scale for the threads.

The selenite orb didn’t come with a decent stand, so I decided to make one.  I had a spare circular wooden plaque lying around, into which I carved in a shallow pit and burned out more-or-less smooth.  Turns out that it fits both the selenite orb as well as my quartz ball I use for conjurations and, surprisingly, the stand itself fits the inner circle of my Table of Practice perfectly.  I decided to woodburn on some more symbols onto the stand (the triangle and its symbols from the Table of Practice, and the Tetragrammaton), which I’ll proceed to use in conjunction with the Table of Practice for conjurations.  With a little bit of stain and finish, the whole set looks kinda awesome.

I actually burned the inner circle before I did the pit, and just happened to make the pit the right size for its circumscribed triangle to perfectly fit inside the inner circle.  The whole thing was done informally with a compass and straightedge.  Without planning the size of the stand with reference to the Table of Practice or measuring the design for the triangle and circles, I almost have a hard time imagining it was just luck that things turned out as nicely as they did.  Almost.

As a side note, be wary when you ask an archangel to introduce you to a familiar spirit “harmonious and compatible with your temperament and self”.  You may end up getting one that likes to flirt with you.

Yet another wand! But also awesome!

I went to the nearby metaphysical shop to get some more incense, and found a few wands for sale.  They were pretty handcrafted ones from copper tubing, wire, solder (excessive amounts of solder), and quartz crystals, but they were also expensive.  Since I’m thinking that I’m not going to use the wand I crafted earlier, at least for this particular occult path, I wanted to see what else was out there.  In a fit of excitement, I went to the almost-neighboring hardware store and got a few things.

By a few things, I also mean a propane torch.  I have never been happier and more frightening to my friends.  I also got an engraving tool and a few other odds and ends, but OMG MASSIVE FIRE ON COMMAND.

After learning how to solder copper tubing, I made this neat little thing.  It’s about 14″ from end to end, with copper tubing and bronze caps on the ends.  I used the engraving tool to write on the symbols of the seven planets on the bronze caps, then washed off the wand and used some polish to clean up the appearance.

Given the hexagonal shape of the caps, I thought it appropriate to follow the Planetary Hexagram’s order of the planets (Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Mercury, and the Sun on the flat side).  The Planetary Hexagram is one of the relationships between the planets in a qabbalistic understanding of the universe.

It’s still unfinished, though, and I’m somewhat at a loss of how to finish it.  For one, I don’t like that some of the groove can still be seen under the bronze ends, and copper wire won’t stay.  I might see if I can find a washer or large nut that can screw on just under it, but I’m not holding my breath; maybe something will come along.  The other issue is that the wand is completely hollow, and I’m looking for something to give it a core.  I don’t have the money for a solid condenser, but some other friends suggested I use a mixture of powders to create a “fire powder”: volcanic ash, sulphur, cinnamon, cayenne, and powdered chili pepper.  They also suggested using an obsidian, amber, tiger’s eye, or ruby (yeah, right) in the center of the wand as a focus, with the mixture on either side.  I might do something like this: pack one end of the wand with wool, pack in the fire powder, drop some gemstone or other into it, pack in more fire powder, then pack with wool and cap the wand off.  That’d just leave the wand to be consecrated later on, perhaps with a few more symbols carved into the shaft itself.

I like the feel of it, though.  It’s smooth, it’s heavy, it feels real, and it already feels…I dunno.  Magicky, I guess.  It reminds me somewhat of the wand that the Magician holds in the Rider-Waite deck, and it looks to be about the same proportion to me as it is to him.

We’ll see how this goes, to be sure.  I do know for certain, though, that I will be getting my money’s worth out of that propane torch.

Update on Ritual Tools: Crystal Ball and Lamen

So, despite that I’ve had this fancy Table of Practice for almost a month, it’s only been sitting on my shelf gathering dust. To use the Table to summon and communicate with spirits and angels, I also need some sort of scrying medium like a crystal ball (as Trithemius suggests), scrying mirror, or something along those lines. I could have used a small quartz crystal I’ve had lying around, but I wanted something bigger, more substantial. After thinking about my budget for a bit, I went ahead and splurged on a 2 1/2″ quartz crystal ball. It just got in the mail, and I’m pleased to show it off. (More photos at my Flikr photo set if you’re interested.)

Of course, as these things go, I’ve got a few more things to get or create. Trithemius also says to use an incense burner/tripod, which Frater RO does away with for summoning some spirits but not others; I’ll keep this on my wish list for now, along with a fine selection of resins and wood chips. For now, my normal incense holder and some sticks will work fine. The Wand I already have, and have been using for banishing in the meanwhile.

Another part of this whole summoning spirits business is the use of a lamen. It’s another kind of magic circle that is inscribed names of God, a Star of David, some number of pentagrams, and the names and symbols of what you’re summoning. It’s used to clearly mark what spirit you’re summoning and to call it to the crystal for a chat. Because Illustrator makes things pretty and easy, here’s an example of such a lamen (specifically, that of Raphael):

My design is based off Trithemius’, and it has all the same symbols on it. However, I made some changes to the design because the original didn’t have a proper feel or something. Specifically, I changed the spelling and spacing of some of the holy names (ESCHERCHIE became ESHEREHIE, wrapped the names completely around the circle, etc.), spelled the name of the spirit in Celestial instead of Hebrew, did away with the spirit’s name in Roman script, centered and enlarged the hexagram and pentagrams, and arranged the name of the spirit in its own circle around the hexagram. This makes a bit more room for spelling out the name of the spirit as well for the spirit’s seal. Frater RO and Agrippa say to have one pentagram for each spirit being summoned but never less than four (apparently one lamen can be used for multiple spirits at once), but since Trithemius has six stars around his lamen for just Michael, I wonder why this would be. All the same information is there and in a manner more pleasing to me, so I think it should work.

Trithemius says to inscribe the lamen on a piece of “virgin parchment” or a square of silver and to wear it on the chest as a pendant. Because silver’s a bit out of my price range, I’m opting for clean paper. However, because I don’t like the idea of having a piece of paper hanging around my neck, I’m fancying the lamen up by using a frame to hold the lamen, kind of like an oversized pendant.

My original idea was to use an unfinished wood circular photo frame, woodburn the names of God on the outside, and stain it; then, I’d swap out the symbols of the planet/spirit and bam, insta-lamen. The problem was that they don’t make circular unfinished wood frames, apparently. Circular photo frames in general seem to be rare anyway, and I only found three on the Internet after several days, none of which were suitable for my original idea. I bought one off Etsy from a guy who reuses old pieces of wood, and it turns out it’s the perfect size for such a thing to wear. I screwed a little hook into the top of the frame and crimped it so it forms a loop for a chain or cord to wear it on.

Making the lamens is what I’m excited about. Instead of just printing pieces of paper out, I’m thinking of consecrating or empowering the lamens of the planetary angels to more firmly link the lamen to their power. In addition to being a general beacon for the spirit, it could double as a talisman when I need it to, though I’d probably be better off using something more sturdy than paper.

This would be a three-step process: designing, printing, and consecrating. Designing the lamens is done in Illustrator and is easy enough to do. According to Trithemius, the lamen should be inscribed (printed) during a waxing moon in the day and hour of the planet whose angel will be evoked; this gives me a window of two or three days a month, with about three hours on each day available. This would yield a workable lamen.

Consecrating the lamen would be the last step, though optional by this point. I’d first make an infusion of an herb ruled by the planet in question, stain the paper in another waxing moon/planetary hour/planetary day, then let it dry. On the following waxing moon/planetary hour/planetary day, I’d suffumigate it in incense related to the planet and say some prayer or other over it. Alternatively, I could wait for a proper election for that planet to consecrate the lamen, but those may be sparse and I don’t know enough to calculate elections on my own. This would definitely charge the lamen, but since it was already charged by its creation at a decent time, this may be overdoing it. Wouldn’t hurt to try it, I suppose.

Update 4/26/2011: Turns out that the lamen design wouldn’t fly as I thought it might have. I kept the spelling changes of the names of God, but both the Celestial and the Roman names of the spirit in question are needed in order to summon both the spiritual and physical manifestations of the spirit. Makes sense. Below is an updated lamen of Raphael the angel of Mercury, more traditional than the above and much closer to that of Trithemius. I guess I should read things more closely and at least carry out the instructions given before trying to go do my own thing. I just finished making a new batch of templates for each of the angels of the planets as well as those of the kings of the elements (Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, and Auriel).

If you ever want to use a design or template of mine, feel free to ask. I’ll eventually get my website set up to host these things for the public domain.