Ye Olde Healing Artes For Mine Ears

So, late last week, while I was riding high on German darkwave and fire energy, I went and finally got my ears pierced.  It’s always been something I wanted, but I never had the money to pay for it, the balls to go through with it, or the gut to handle the potential pain.  Well, so much for that.  I got an industrial piercing in my right ear and a combination lobe and transverse lobe in the left all at once; not bad for a first time, and the lobe + transverse lobe isn’t something commonly seen.  The pain was surprisingly minimal, even for the industrial, which might’ve been described more as “crunchy”.

Of course, this begins the whole process of dealing with the pain, healing, and potential infections that could arise from having several new holes punched into my head.  Although the lobe will only need a month or two to heal, the transverse lobe and industrial may need upwards of six to twelve months.  That’s a nontrivial time to keep the wounds clean and free from infection, and although there are some ways to speed up the healing process, it’s largely a matter of my own body playing nice.  I’m taking extra zinc and vitamin C supplements in addition to my normal vitamins to help out the immune system and healing process, and using warm saline compresses twice a day to keep the wounds clean.  Still, isn’t there something else I can do?

I’m a magician.  I make shit work.  There is something else I can do.  Q.E.Duh.

I’m adopting a multifaceted approach to helping these wounds heal up ASAP.  Having gotten them done just before the start of Aquarius this year, I’d like them to finish up healing by around the start of Leo (approximately six months afterward).  That’s my big intent and stated goal for this, so let’s see what I might be doing.

  • Like I mentioned, I’m using warm saline compresses to clean the piercings.  Well, it turns out that the holy water I make is nothing more than saline, and I already use the appropriate kind of salt for the saline solution as I do for holy water (uniodized sea salt).  Plus, I make holy water using a variation on the instructions in the Clavicula Solomonis, which involves making it in the day and hour of Mercury.  Mercury’s angel is Raphael, who has traditionally been associated with the healing arts (cf. the Book of Tobit).  When I make my own batch of saline solution next time, I’ll conjure Raphael in a day and hour of Mercury and ask him to consecrate the salt, water, and resulting saline to aid in the speedy healing process of all wounds and to keep them free from infection and disease.  This will be specifically healing water that I’ll be making, to be kept separate from the holy water (I use different amounts of salt for each), and I’ll undergo further Mercurial consecration on the saline just for the added benefit.  Dunno how I’ll fit a gallon jug on my altar, but I’ll make it work.
  • In addition, these are specifically ear piercings I have.  Ears are for communication and observation, which are also Mercurial in nature.  Things that pertain to them would also tend to pertain to Mercury, although Saturn and Mars rule the ears specifically, the art of hearing and perception is more under Raphael’s jurisdiction.  I’ll ask Raphael, next I conjure him (both the Raphael of Mercury and the Raphael of Air) and ask him to keep the piercing jewelry themselves clean and free of infection.  In addition, I’ll ask him to straight-up bless them to aid in healing and perception and hearing, since I’m going to enchant them anyway once I can take them out safely (not for a while).  May as well get a head start on that.  Plus, I’ll ask him for any other advice he might have for healing or keeping them clean.
  • In a magical working group I’m involved with, I was suggested to begin basic energy work, a field of magic that I’m woefully inexperienced at.  I know that at least one of my friends has experience with healing using energy, and I’ve been told before that I’ve got a natural temperament and talent for healing.  I may as well pick up some skills with this and see where it gets me, and if it works, I get speedier healing as well as more mad skillz.  Practice with this can take up some of the extra time on my non-conjuration nights, so at least twice a week or more depending on how much I drink or go out with friends.

Those are a few ideas that I came up with, besides stuff like incorporating prayers into my daily practice.  In the meantime, I’ll check out my copy of the PGM, Munich Manual, and other occult texts I have for any rituals or workings to aid the healing process (though it might get me mixed results to adapt rituals intended for bite wounds from black dogs to being pierced).  What about you?  Do you know any healing techniques, spells, or rituals, or are there any specific deities or spirits you work with for healing?  If you’re willing to share, please do in the comments.  The world needs more healing, as much physical as spiritual.

My Little Posse

Despite the title, no, I’m not into My Little Pony, nor am I a bro-ny.  For some reason that escapes me, the new MLP series is all the rage among men 20 to 35 years old.  I…I don’t even.

So I haven’t been completely idle these past few days, though I’m not as caught up as I wanted to be.  However, the next set of coursework for my Hermetic stuff came out, which goes over how to build a proper magician’s altar.  Now, keep in mind that I already have two altars, sorta: I have a devotional altar which I pray at and light candles and make offerings and stuff, and a small Ikea table which I use to perform miscellaneous rituals as the need arises.  The real altar, though, is going to be the Table of Manifestation, my sort of personal map of the macrocosm and microcosm as it relates to me, a supertalisman and focus for all my magical work.  It’ll have all my elemental weapons, symbols and talismans, and so on.  To that end, I’m getting together a rather large shopping list of metal ingots and weights to melt down to make talismans with and various other things (like some real frankincense resin incense and a proper charcoal incense burner).  Clearly, I’m putting my promotion and raise at work to good use.

As part of my altar setup, I’ll need talismans for each of the seven planets.  I got started last night on a Jupiter talisman, it being the day of Jupiter and all.  I took a wooden yo-yo from Michaels, split it apart, woodburned a few symbols into it, covered it in blue paint marker, then filled the woodburned inscription with silver ink.  There’s a hole in the bottom of the disc left from the yo-yo axle, which I’ll fill with molten tin (96% tin-4% silver solder from a hardware store).  Once that solidifies, I’ll apply a layer or two of glossy finish over the thing, then consecrate it under the auspices of Tzadqiel.  Lather, rinse, and repeat for the other six planets; the whole thing should be done by mid-September, if I’m dutiful.  For metal that can’t easily be melted, I might widen out the hole and just fit a piece of the planetary metal in there and glue or fasten it on somehow.  There’ll be pictures once I get all seven done, by which point the whole altar should have come together.

In other crafting news, I took an old staff of mine and made it all Solomonic.  The Key of Solomon has instructions to make a magical staff, which is virtually the same as the Solomonic wand and can be put towards the same use as other wands, such as the wand from Trithemius (I believe).  Unfortunately, I don’t have access to elderberry or cane wood, so I used an old staff I happened to find in a forest behind my last apartment (it was deliberately planted in the ground and already cut to a suitable height).  It’s not in the best of shape, but sanding it down and smoothing it off helped wonders.  I woodburned the symbols from the Key of Solomon into it as well as the Hebrew words AGLA + ON + IHVH, rubbed it with olive oil, and suffumigated it with incense.  Alas that no pictures show it properly since the oil turned the staff rather dark, but it looks pretty nifty.  Definitely an outdoorsy tool for a mage, and wielding a freaking staff feels pretty awesome.  I’ll be rubbing oil in it during hours of Mercury in the future just to make sure it gets waterproofed and treated properly.

Last but certainly not least, and related to the title of the post (of course there’d be a reason), I contacted Auriel and Raphael recently for a number of things, not the least of which to ask about obtaining elemental familiars.  You know, little helper spirits to call upon as I need.  I’m still kinda unsure about why I’d need them off the top of my head, but I figure it’s nice to call upon something already intimately familiar with the element in question as a need arises.  They’re pretty cool beings, I’ll admit, and are closer to humanity than the archangels.  That said, I didn’t expect the earth elemental Auriel to whom introduced me to have the high-pitched perky voice of a female Asian pop star, nor did I expect the air elemental to have fond memories of London and rhymes.

Don’t look at me.  I’m just writing this shit down.

Anyway, they’re pretty cool beings, and agreed to come when I called them.  They have pretty cool names, too, which just so happened to follow the rules of Hebrew theophoric names, which is interesting (ending in -iah or -el).  I’m starting to build myself up a whole circle of beings, apparently, to get things done.  Either I’m awesome or psychotic; after a certain point, I have a hard time telling.

Ooh, ooh!  Also, I splurged last week and got like eight new books for myself, including Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century by Richard Kieckhefer, a modern reprint of the famous Munich Manual.  It’s got a lot of source material for the medieval, Christian, or Hermetic scholar, and has a fair bit of planetary and demonic magic.  I’m not too keen on the demonic aspects of the work, but it’s got a lot of interesting stuff, regardless.  I’ve already translated one ritual from the source in Latin, so expect some more stuff to be thrown up as well.

And back to the grind.

So, now that last week’s training is done, I can settle back into a comfortable routine where I don’t feel so harried or rushed around, and have time to work out and conjure angels and shit.  There’s something to be said for drinking bottomless coffee at all hours of the day, though (caffeine is my drug of choice, and good lord it felt wonderful to be hyped up like that again).  Of course, as soon as the hurly-burly cleared up, I have to make a trip back home to see the family and find out I still have a social life.  Never a dull moment.

So, two things.  The first is that I created a Solomonic black-hilted knife last night according to the Key of Solomon, and I’m not too disappointed with myself.  It’s a pitifully small thing, only 6″ overall, which means it’s dwarfed by my own hand.  I got it as part of an initiation into a local pagan group, but I opted to go for something more…substantial.  Not wanting to have something like this lie around pointless, I decided to do a bit of woodburning and engraving, and voilà!  I have another ritual tool.  It was engraved in the day and hour of Saturn at night, since this sort of tool is very heavy on saturnian influences.  I still need to consecrate it, which involves heating it until it glows then quenching the whole thing in a mixture of hemlock juice and blood from a black cat.  Engraving the steel and putting up with fumes from the faux wood being burned is a comparative cinch, so I’m going to have to find decent substitutes for those things.  C’est la vie.  The plus side of having this sort of tool is that it’s a powerful weapon to use against infernal and demonic spirits, and the small size makes it appropriate to take it anywhere.  ‘Cause, you know, I’m constantly running into demonic possession all over the place.  DC, man, gotta love it.  I also threw on the words “AGLA” and “TZABAOTH” to fulfill the description in De Responsione Spirituum, so I’ve got a double-purpose athame here.  Nifty!  Pictures of it are up in the Crafts section, if you’re so interested.

Second, I conjured Raphael and Paimon today, after making myself get off my ass, and it went well.  Paimon seems to have appreciated the blog post and has kept me busy with learning and getting new ideas out into the world and into my own sphere.  He suggests to continue being active, as busy as I can, so that I don’t become stale and let dust settle over everything.  Understandable advice, especially with the upcoming astrological forecast: there’s an upcoming Mercury retrograde period from August 3 to 26, and as a Hermetic magician with lots of connections to Mercury, I’ll keep an eye out for how things work or change.  Maybe it won’t be anything bad; my astrologer and tarot reading friend over at The Naked Truth has noted before that people with Mercury retrograde in their natal charts tend to be a little clearer and more productive during these times than when Mercury goes direct, and I myself have that kind of status.  We’ll see.

So I’ve been busy, kinda.

…just not with the Work.

I’ve had offsite training up in Maryland this week, which has messed with my schedule in all sorts of ways and kept me from having enough time to settle down and do some proper conjuring.  That said, I’ve been able to leave late enough each day to do a ritual offering for each of the planets this week at dawn, which is something I’ve been meaning to do forever.  I light a tea candle dressed in the planet’s color and with their name, symbol, seal, seal of its intelligence, and seal of its spirit on written on the outside of the candle; light incense related to the planet; chant the planet’s Orphic Hymn; and make a small prayer of thanks and praise to the planet.  Simple and easy to do, if you have the time.  If I can keep this up on Saturday and Sunday as well, I’ll have something to brag about.

Also, I’ve noticed that, due to the air initiation with Raphael a while back, I’ve had a much easier time detaching from my thoughts and meditating peacefully instead of getting hooked on single thoughts at a time.  This feels wonderful.

In case you want something pretty to read, I’ve translated and written up a ritual based on something from the Munich Manual of Demonic Magic (fancy title!).  It’s a preparatory ritual called De Reponsione Spirituum, or “On the Reponse of Spirits”, and is used to create a simple but effective summoning area for potentially nasty spirits.  You can find it under the Rituals menu above under the heading “Ritual for Summoning Spirits”.  It’s a little Christian-y for my tastes, but it’s a lot easier that setting up a full-blown Solomonic circle or something.  Plus, it gave me a chance to dust off my Latin skills (which is an awesome thing to do, so GO LEARN SOME LATIN).