Where were we? We’re in the middle of discussing the early modern conjuration ritual The Art of Drawing Spirits Into Crystals (DSIC), attributed to the good abbot of Spanheim, Johannes Trithemius, but which was more likely invented or plagiarized from another more recent source by Francis Barrett in his 1801 work The Magus, or Celestial Intelligencer. Many who are familiar with it either read it directly from Esoteric Archives, came by it through Fr. Rufus Opus (Fr. RO) in either his Red Work series of courses (RWC) or his book Seven Spheres (SS), or came by it through Fr. Ashen Chassan in his book Gateways Through Stone and Circle (Fr. AC and GTSC, respectively). I’ve been reviewing the tools, techniques, and technology of DSIC for my own purposes as well as to ascertain the general use and style used by other magician in the real world today, and today we can move on to other topics Last time, we discussed how to orient the altar, what needs to go on it, and how to time the conjuration ritual itself. If you need a refresher on what we talked about last time, go read the last post!
I’ve now written sixteen posts so far in this series, with about 67,000 words, quotes and images and all, with this being the seventeenth one. And, just now, we’re finally—finally—getting to the actual ritual portion of DSIC. To be fair, we did have quite a lot to talk about to get up to this point: what the actual tools and implements specifically called for by DSIC looked like, how to make them, what other stuff we needed, how to prepare ourselves, how to set up our temple space, how to set up the altar of conjuration, and how to time the ritual. With all that out of the way, we’re now actually ready to discuss the actual ritual format of DSIC. The format given below is my own personal take on the ritual choreography of DSIC, accounting for magicians, scryers, assistants, and all the things everyone should be doing, how, and when so as to build up to a harmonized performance of the ritual. Much of this is based on my own experience, with some of it coming from the directions or witnessed implementations of similar Solomonic rituals.
So, let’s get into it. By this point, we’ve undertaken our preparatory purification period of fasting, abluting, and prayer, our altar has been fully set up with all our supplies and tools at hand, and the awaited day and hour has come. We will assume the following for the purposes of this post:
- The conjuration is to call upon the angel Gabriel of the Moon.
- The conjuration is being performed in an hour of the Moon, with the first prayer begun at the start of that hour of the Moon.
- The orientation point (the direction the altar is set and to which we face for the conjuration), based on Agrippa’s correspondences from the Scale of Four, will be to the south.
- The scrying medium to be used is a crystal.
- The ring, lamen, and wand are all initially placed on the altar of conjuration itself.
- The right hand will be used for wearing the ring and using the wand.
- The vessel for incense is placed in a way that may easily be reached from the position of the magician within arm’s length.
- A book for notes and observations for the conjuration should be present, but kept inside the circle along with pen and ink.
- We are not using a scryer or any number of other assistants in this conjuration; you, as the magician will be operating alone (but we will make mention of their roles and functions when necessary).
- We will be taking a full-on formal approach that covers all the necessary instructions, setups, procedures, and the like according to DSIC, Agrippa, and Solomonic literature, not skipping any steps or being casual with any part of the process.
For this post, we’ll be using the actual DSIC text itself and all its Christian prayers, and not any of the variants floating around out there, with only the spelling, punctuation, and phrasing updated for modern English without using the old-style thou/thee/thine/thy pronouns. Parts that may change in reference to the spirit’s name, nature, related godnames, etc. as well as other changeable aspects of the ritual like the specific scrying medium used, etc. and the like will be in underlined text. We’ll go over how to adapt the DSIC prayers in non-Christian frameworks in a later post, but for now, let’s stick to the basic DSIC text as written (though updated for readability).
Note that these prayers and instructions are written so as to accommodate any variation on the following, should you choose to depart from the setups and designs and approaches discussed in earlier posts:
- Having the circle include the altar or exclude it
- Using an actual table with the table design engraved or written onto it, or a separate piece of equipment that has the design put on top of another surface
- Having the lamen be a Solomonic pentacle instead of the lamen of the spirit, having the lamen for the spirit with a Solomonic pentacle on the reverse, or wearing a Solomonic pentacle and placing the lamen for the spirit underneath the crystal
- Using a pedestal to support the crystal on the table or whether the crystal is placed directly on a Table of Practice
- Any specific design choices made for the pedestal, table, lamens, or wand
- Placing the vessel for incense on the ground before the altar, off to the side on top of the altar, or behind the crystal on the altar or on the ground, so long as it is easily accessible and reachable
- Using a proper Liber Spirituum or a regular notebook
Any variation of these above considerations is acceptable for use in this conjuration ritual, as are many other variations besides, I’m sure.
One further note before we get on with the ritual itself: it is absolutely best-practice, recommended, suggested, and urged that the magician learn all these prayers by heart. They may read off of a script if necessary, and having a copy of such a script is good just in case the magician forgets or slips up on the wording or purpose of something, but it is absolutely the best possible approach for the magician to learn each of these prayers, steps, and routine by heart, forwards and backwards. The magician should spend as much time as necessary, especially in the preparatory period leading up to the ritual, to review, memorize, and practice the ritual script so that they may execute it easily, correctly, and gracefully without relying on a script.
Begin by performing your usual devotions, supplications, confessions, and any other prayers you routinely or habitually use, or those that you have been reciting every day during the preparatory period; if you’ve been reciting these these while kneeling either in front of the conjuration altar, then do those here, too. If you’re operating with any assistants, including a scryer, they should recite their own prayers as well. You, as the magician, should be directly in front of the altar; if operating with a scryer, they should be on your immediate right in front of the altar, and any other assistants should be kneeling behind you.
All those present should have abluted themselves with holy water; if this has not yet been done, do this now. You as the magician and the scryer, if one is present, should anoint themselves on the forehead and eyelids with holy oil at this point; the assistants, if any are present, may anoint themselves similarly if desired by the magician. Both the ablution and anointing should be accompanied by appropriate prayers.
Recite any other prayers appropriate to the ritual as desired at this point, including supplications for enhanced visionary skills, protection in the undertaking, invocations of the planet ruling the hour, invocations to the angel of the hour or the genius loci of the time and place the ritual is to be performed, or invocations to one’s holy guardian angel, agathodaimōn, tutelary divinity, or supernatural assistant at this time.
Once any other preliminary prayers have been recited, if any, stand up straight before the altar. If you’re operating with a scryer, they should remain kneeling on your right, and any other assistants present should remain kneeling where they are behind you. At this point, if you’re operating with any assistants, only you as the magician should be reciting any prayers aloud, with assistants and scryers staying reverently silent unless directed or bidden to speak.
There should either be self-igniting incense, charcoal, or other fuel present in the incense vessel; if not yet, place it there now but do not light it.
The two candles on the altar should already have been lit from the preparatory period, but if not, light them now.
The altar should additionally contain the lamen, ring, wand, and other implements of conjuration, placed conveniently and respectfully on the altar.
If a veil is present on the altar covering the tools and implements of conjuration, remove it now and put it aside.
Consecration of the Scryer
If you’re operating alone, you may hold the arms out in the orans gesture (basically up and out to the sides with the palms facing upwards or forwards towards the altar), or, better, raise up the left arm in the orans gesture but place the right hand over your heart. If operating with a scryer, place your right hand either above them or lightly upon their head or back, and your left hand upon your heart. Recite the following prayer:
O God, You who are the author of all good things! I beseech You, strengthen this Your poor servant, that he may stand fast without fear through this dealing and work. I beseech You, o Lord, enlighten the dark understanding of Your creature, that his spiritual eye may be opened to see and know Your angelic spirits descending here into this crystal.
Note that the words and pronouns used here to refer to the magician (in underlined text) should be modified to account for both (a) whether the magician is operating alone or with a scryer and (b) the gender of the scryer, if present, or the gender of the magician, if a scryer is not present. This prayer should be used primarily to consecrate the scryer and his/her/their “spiritual eye”, but both the magician and scryer should be similarly consecrated. Consider the above prayer to be for when the magician operates alone and is male; as an alternative, if the magician operates alone and is female, use the following:
O God, You who are the author of all good things! I beseech You, strengthen this Your poor servant, that she may stand fast without fear through this dealing and work. I beseech You, o Lord, enlighten the dark understanding of Your creature, that her spiritual eye may be opened to see and know Your angelic spirits descending here into this crystal.
If the magician operates with a scryer, the following prayer instead should be used:
O God, You who are the author of all good things! I beseech You, strengthen these Your poor servants, that we may stand fast without fear through this dealing and work. I beseech You, o Lord, enlighten the dark understanding of Your creatures, that our spiritual eyes may be opened to see and know Your angelic spirits descending here into this crystal.
Note that the word “angelic” here may be changed to reflect the nature of the spirit if it’s not angelic, e.g. “demonic” if a demon, “terrestrial” if a spirit of nature or a genius loci, etc.
Note that the word “crystal” may be changed to reflect the actual scrying medium being used if not a crystal (mirror, vessel of water, etc.).
Consecration of the Crystal
Place your right hand upon the surface of the scrying medium (crystal or whatever else is being used for the ritual) and recite the following prayer:
O inanimate creature of God, be sanctified and consecrated and blessed to this purpose: that no evil phantasy may appear in you, or, if one should gain ingress into you, that they be constrained to speak intelligibly, truly, and without the least ambiguity, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
Remove your right hand from the scrying medium, lift your arms up in the orans gesture, and recite the next part of the prayer:
As Your servant standing here before You, o Lord, who desires neither evil treasures, nor injury to his neighbor, nor hurt to any living creature; grant him the power of descrying those celestial spirits and intelligences that may appear in this crystal, and whatever good gifts—whether the power of healing infirmities, or of imbibing wisdom, or discovering any evil likely to afflict any person or family, or any other good gift—You might be pleased to bestow on me. Enable me, by Your Wisdom and Mercy, to use whatever I may receive to the honor of Your holy Name. Grant this for the sake of Christ, your Son. Amen.
Note that the word “crystal” may be changed to reflect the actual scrying medium being used if not a crystal (mirror, vessel of water, etc.).
Note that the word “celestial” here may be changed to reflect the nature of the spirit if it’s not celestial, e.g. “angelic” if a true divine archangel above any planet or heaven, “terrestrial” if a spirit of nature or a genius loci, “chthonic” if a subterrestrial or demonic entity, etc.
Consecration of the Circle
Put your ring of Solomon on the little finger of your right hand.
Pick up the lamen/pentacle from the altar and wear it around your neck so that the design of it faces outward and hangs at about mid-chest-height above the sternum or heart.
If there are any extra candles around the scrying medium on the altar to be given as offerings or decoration, light them now.
Pick up the wand with the right hand, proceed to orientation point of the circle, and place the point of the wand on the outermost edge of the circle being used for the conjuration. The scryer and assistants, if any are present, should move to the innermost part of the circle out of your way. Trace the circle clockwise starting from the orientation point, and while tracing it, recite the following:
In the name of the blessed Trinity, I consecrate this piece of ground for our defense, so that no evil spirit may have power to break these bounds prescribed here, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Consecration of the Incense
Proceed in front of the altar and light the incense in its vessel. The incense to be used should be of an appropriate nature for the spirit or to its corresponding planet, or frankincense may be used generally for all spirits if no specific incense is to be used. If the incense is self-igniting, light that directly but let the flame burn. If you’re using loose incense, light the charcoal or flame, and let it complete its process of ignition. Hold the wand in the right hand, point the wand at the flame, and recite the following:
I conjure you, o creature of fire, by Him who created all things, both in Heaven and Earth and the Sea and in every other place whatsoever, that you cast away every phantasm from you, so that no hurt whatsoever shall be done in any thing.
If you’re using self-igniting incense, blow the flame out now; if you’re using loose incense on a brazier with a flame or charcoal, throw that onto the flame. Once the smoke of the incense begins to rise, whether the incense is self-igniting or otherwise, hold the wand in the right hand, point the wand at the incense issuing smoke, and recite the following:
Bless, o Lord, this creature of fire, and sanctify it that it may be blessed, and that your blessing may fill up the power and virtue of its odors, so that neither the enemy nor any false imagination may enter into them, through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Note that, up until this point, only the first-person singular pronouns (I, my, me) are used in the prayers. After the consecration of incense in the ritual, continue to use the first-person singular pronouns if you are operating alone, or the first-person plural pronouns (we, us, our) if you are operating in tandem with a scryer or other assistant. The following prayers after this point assume that you’re operating alone as the magician. The pronouns that are to be changed, if operating with a scryer or other assistants, will be in bold text in the following prayers.
Conjuration of the Spirit
At this point, check one last time to confirm that the hour is correct for conjuring the desired angel, e.g. that it is indeed the hour of the Moon when conjuring Gabriel of the Moon. If so, continue the operation. If it is too early, spend time in further prayer and meditation until the proper time arrives without leaving the circle, continuing to keep further incense burning (with or without reciting the blessing over it, as desired). Otherwise, if it is too late, abort, as the hour is now wrong for the operation unless you can manage to swap out lamens and any other desired paraphernalia for the spirit in accordance with the proper hour.
If the hour is proper for conjuring the desired spirit, hold the wand in the right hand, point the wand at the scrying medium, and recite the following:
In the name of the blessed and holy Trinity, I desire you, o strong mighty angel Gabriel, that if it be the divine Will of Him who is called Tetragrammaton … the Holy God, the Father, that you take upon yourself some shape as best becomes your celestial nature, and appear to me visibly here in this crystal, and answer my demands in as far as I shall not transgress the bounds of divine Mercy and Goodness by requesting unlawful knowledge, but that you graciously show me what things are most profitable for me to know and do, to the glory and honor of His divine Majesty, He who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.
Lord, your Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Make clean my heart within me, and take not Your holy Spirit from me.
O Lord, by Your Name have I called Gabriel; suffer him to administer unto me, and that all things may work together for Your honor and glory, to whom with You the Son and the Holy Spirit be ascribed all might, majesty, and dominion. Amen.
Note that the divine name “Tetragrammaton” is underlined here, as is the ellipsis that follows it. Any set of divine names, titles, or references of God may be used here, such as the general and specific names of God as referenced earlier in the first post on the design of the lamen. Saying “Tetragrammaton” here is sufficient for all general purposes, but one may use a different name specific to the spirit being conjured, or a set of names to ensure the compliance and presence of the spirit. For example one may use any of the appropriate sets of following names following from Agrippa’s general names and the specific ones (book II, chapter 22), the various qabbalistic names of God for the corresponding sephiroth, or the Islamic names of God associated with the planets from the Shams al-Ma`ārif:
||El, Elohim, Eloah, Tzabaoth, Elion, Esherehie, Adonai, Yah, Jehovah, Tetragrammaton, Shaddai, Ehevi
||al-Bā`ith (the Raiser)
aṣ-Ṣādiq (the Truthful)
Mawlā al-Mawāli (the Lord of Lords)
||al-Quddūs (the Holy)
al-Mannān (the Benfactor)
ar-Raqīb (the Vigilant)
||al-`Azīz (the Powerful)
al-Qāhir (the Victorious)
al-Jabbār (the Strong)
||an-Nūr (the Light)
an-Nāfi` (the Propitious)
al-Fāṭir (the Creator)
||ar-Raḥīm (the Merciful)
al-Ḥayy (the Living)
al-Ḥasīb (the Reckoner)
||al-Khabīr (the All-Aware)
al-Wāsi` (the All-Pervading)
al-Ākhir (the Infinite Last)
|Shaddai El Ḥai
||al-Ḥalīm (the Forebearing)
al-Amān (the Safety)
al-`Alīm (the All-Knowing)
Note that the word “celestial” here may be changed to reflect the nature of the spirit if it’s not celestial, e.g. “angelic” if a true divine archangel above any planet or heaven, “terrestrial” if a spirit of nature or a genius loci, “chthonic” if a subterrestrial or demonic entity, etc. However, even for celestial entities such as planetary angels, while “celestial” works for any spirit that is associated with or drawn from any celestial sphere, this word may be replaced with a more exact adjective, e.g. “lunar” for Gabriel, “mercurial” for Raphael, “saturnine” for Cassiel, “stellar” for Raziel or the angel of any zodiac sign or lunar mansion, and so forth.
Note that the word “crystal” may be changed to reflect the actual scrying medium being used if not a crystal (mirror, vessel of water, etc.).
Note that this conjuration prayers is not necessarily appropriate for all types of spirits. It is, however, appropriate for most kinds of spirits, especially those of an angelic or celestial nature. We’ll discuss alternative conjuration prayers for less-than-angelic entities in a future post.
Once these prayers of conjuration have been said, await the presence of the spirit you have called; they should appear more-or-less immediately. If a scryer is present, the spirit may appear visible to either the magician or the scryer or to both. So long as the spirit is visible to the magician (if operating alone) or either one or both of the magician or the scryer (if operating with a scryer), then proceed to the Authentication and Oath of the Spirit. If desired, you may wish to ask “is there a spirit present here?” softly but firmly to confirm; if you feel, perceive, or otherwise receive an affirmative signal, proceed on to the authentication.
If, after a little while, nobody present can see, hear, or in any way sense the presence of the spirit, repeat these sets of conjuration prayers, and wait again. If, after three times you’ve said these prayers of conjuration and nobody has gotten any signal nor connection nor sign of the presence of the spirit, skip ahead to the Dismissal of the Spirit and proceed from there.
Authentication and Oath of the Spirit
Once the presence of a spirit (not necessarily the one you want!) is there, proclaim your thanks for the presence and the ability to perceive it:
O Lord! I give to You my hearty and sincere thanks for the hearing of my prayer, and I thank You for having permitted Your spirit Gabriel to appear unto me, whom I, by Your Mercy, will interrogate to my further instruction, through Christ. Amen.
At this point, the magician is to ask the spirit present four questions of authentication to ascertain the true character and nature of the spirit that you have conjured. Holding the wand in the right hand pointed at the scrying medium, ask the following four questions one-by-one:
- In the name of the holy and undefiled Spirit, the Father, the begotten Son, and Holy Ghost who proceeds from both, what is your true name?
- What is your office?
- What is your true mark that I know you by?
- What are the times most agreeable to your nature to hold conference with me?
For Gabriel of the Moon, we would expect answers that are more-or-less in accordance with the following:
- “My name is Gabriel, the Strength of God.”
- “I am the angel who presides over the sphere of the Moon in the first heaven, Shamayim.”
- “This is my seal by which you may know me and call upon me:” (the spirit should visually or perceptibly reveal the same glyph that is used on the lamen)
- “The hours in which I may be called are those in which the Moon holds silver sway.”
If the spirit passes those above four questions of authentication, make one final question to confirm the nature of the spirit and receive their oath:
Do you swear by the blood and righteousness of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you are truly the spirit as you say you are and that you come to help me as I have called you?
Note that “the spirit” here may be replaced with the specific name of the spirit we expect, e.g. “…that you are truly Gabriel as you say you are”.
If the spirit swears affirmatively, then all the above answers to the questions of authentication should be written down in your book. Once this is complete, continue on to the Communion with the Spirit.
It is possible that the spirit may give a different answer to #3 (the question about the seal of the spirit) than what is used on the lamen. If so, then make a note of what that seal is, but immediately proceed to another question, “Do you also respond to the seal shown here?” while holding up or pointing towards the lamen. If the spirit responds affirmatively, then they pass that question, and you may proceed onto question #4.
It is also possible, as Fr. AC says in GTSC, that the spirit may give lengthy, winding, symbolic, metaphorical, or poetic answers. So long as they say, show, or reveal something that is in agreement with what you expect to be reasonable, they should be considered acceptable; you may not receive verbal responses!
We’ll discuss in a later post what to do if the spirit turns out to not be the one called upon by failing the expected answers to the questions of authentication, or fails to swear to the magician their honest presence and assistance. Regardless, suffice it here to say that, should the spirit present not be the one desired or fail to swear to the magician, skip ahead to the Dismissal of the Spirit, but if time and energy permits, instead of continuing to Closing the Ritual, resume the process of conjuration of the spirit once more, starting with the Conjuration of the Spirit; otherwise, proceed to the Closing of the Ritual after the Dismissal of the Spirit.
Communion with the Spirit
At this point, the spirit you’ve conjured is present and the field is open to communing and communicating with them. Chat with them, learn from them, ask for their help, consecrate talismans, receive initiation or empowerment, and whatever else you wish to do with them at this point. We’ll go over what you can do here in a later post, but all things done with the spirit should be related or pertinent to the spirit in some way, with nothing unnecessary discussed or engaged in. If desired, the wand may be put down now at this point where convenient inside the circle.
If operating with a scryer, the scryer should communicate to the magician and assistants whatever it is the spirit says, shows, or does while present. Only the magician should be asking questions or otherwise directing the spirit; the magician is the one in charge of the ritual, and nothing is to be done unless they consent to it. If anyone else, including the scryer, has a suggestion or recommendation, they should first respectfully ask the magician whether it may or should be done, and, should they consent to it, the magician will facilitate it with the spirit, with the scryer giving the response.
Notes should be taken throughout this process in your book, including of the spirit’s replies, any visions, any confirmations or denials, and the like. This should be the job of an assistant, if any are present; otherwise, you as the magician should do this.
If possible, keep incense burning throughout this process, adding more incense as necessary. Subsequent recitations of the prayer of the Consecration of the Incense may be performed if desired, but it is not necessary to do so. This should be the job of an assistant, if any are present, but not the scryer, whose attention should be given to the crystal; otherwise, the magician should do this.
Technically, this may go on for as long as desired or needed, but we’ll take the Arbatel’s instruction from aphorism III.21 here: do not detain them past the end of the (planetary) hour in which you’ve conjured them unless they agree to stay or are otherwise sworn or bound to you. If using self-igniting incense, so long as the incense isn’t particularly short-lived, this may be used as a sort of “clock” by which you may measure the length of the conjuration; once the self-igniting incense burns out, bring the ritual to an end.
Dismissal of the Spirit
Once you’ve finished communing with the spirit, take up the wand again in the right hand, point the wand at the scrying medium, and recite the following:
O great and mighty spirit Gabriel, inasmuch as you came in peace and in the name of the ever-blessed and righteous Trinity, so too in this name you may depart, and return to me when I call you in His name to whom every knee bows down. Farewell, o Gabriel! May peace be between us, through our blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The spirit should depart the scrying medium, and their presence should no longer perceptibly be felt. It is normal for some residual resonance or energy to linger, but the spirit should no longer be actively present in the scrying medium or the ritual area anymore at this point. We will discuss what to do if they choose to not leave in a later post, but for now, we’ll assume that they leave.
Closing the Ritual
Take up the wand with the right hand, proceed to orientation point of the circle, and place the point of the wand on the outermost edge of the circle being used for the conjuration. Any assistants or scryers should proceed to the innermost part of the circle out of your way. Trace the circle counterclockwise starting from the orientation point.
Place the wand on the altar as it was at the beginning of the ritual. Remove the lamen and the ring, then place them back on the altar as they were at the beginning of the ritual.
Proceed directly in front of the altar and kneel before it as you did at the beginning of the ritual; the scryer and assistants, if any are present, should likewise resume their original place and kneel as at the beginning of the ritual.
Lift your arms up in the orans gesture, and recite the following:
To God, the Father, the eternal Spirit, the fountain of Light; the Son; and the Holy Ghost be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.
The ritual is officially complete. All may arise from kneeling at this point, or continue in further prayer and meditation if desired.
The two consecrated candles on the altar may be left to burn out completely or they may be snuffed out with a candle-snuffer; any other candles burnt to augment the conjuration should be left to burn out completely, as should the incense.
Perform any final cleanup, notetaking, and other finishing tasks as necessary, including disassembling the altar of conjuration if desired, then leave the temple space when all else has been finished.
If you operated alone during the ritual, spend some time in intellectual contemplation and review of the communion and conversation with the spirit in silence, including reviewing any notes that were written down earlier. If you operated with other people, such as a scryer or assistants, engage in conversation with them about the ritual in a similar way. Other notes may be taken at this time as well, as desired. It is good to do this while getting a bite to eat and something to drink to help the body relax and ground down at this time.
Whew. We finally did it, guys; we’ve finally discussed, at length, all the particulars of the actual DSIC ritual itself! But, even if we’ve gotten this far, we still have so much more to talk about. As mentioned at various places above, there are several other topics to discuss, and we’ll start to tackle those next.