Ceremonial Magick

  It would indeed be a disappointment if I were to have a website without including a page on western-European ritual, or ceremonial magick.

  Best known for my practice of evocation, I find myself answering many e-mail inquiries on the topic. I would never tout myself as an expert in the field, for I’m not.  However, I know enough to hold some conversation on the topic.

  While living in New York, I found myself among a sea of books in Greenwich Village on all sort of fascinating topics on the mystical artes.  A great little occult shoppe was on every corner, it seemed, and I had some finds in used book stores, Enchantments, Other Worldly Waxes, Aphrodisia on Bleeker Street, plus many others.  The Village was an entire sub-culture all in itself.  Film makers, musicians, actors, artists, psychics, witches, vampires and other far-out people made up the soul of St. Marks.  My weekend nights down there will never be forgotten so long as I live.  I’ve always been a free spirit, and the energy there was like something from Hippie land in the 60’s; stuck in eternal retro-land, 1967 forever, the atmosphere gleamed with a sort of time-warped essence which covered everything with sweet-smoky scent tinged with mothballs of last year’s coats.  This in itself was very magical, not to mention the people.  My heart was still someplace in Texas back then, but the Village was a buffer for the pain.  It was in this place I learned many valuable magical artes from people and books. 

  Now that we’ve had a little trip down memory lane twenty years ago, allow me to define exactly what ceremonial magick is for those who are new to the subject matter.    

  Ceremonial Magick is a western or European form of elaborate ritual in which various implements, clothing, tools, and other items are used in lengthy operations.  Such operations often entail the usage of many props and psychological trigger objects to help induce a state of ecstasy and connect with the deep mind. 

  The original ceremonial magician was King Solomon—or at least, the most famous, wise and powerful conjurer was Solomon.  The Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon were believed to be pieces of the original grimoire said to be buried in an ivory casket with the body of the King.  Rumor had it that these pages of the old text were stolen and passed down through ancient times, on to medieval days.  The Golden Dawn was popular turn of the century magickal lodge which employed many of the techniques used by Solomon and material for rituals may have been derived from the Keys or ancient texts.

  In ceremonial magick, the temple which is constructed by the magus is to him what the cauldron is to the witch or the nganga is to the Bantu healer or palero:  It is a micro universe filled with spirits or power.  The construction of a temple usually begins with appointing a special room in the home especially for this work.  Some practitioners may paint the room black to signify with the deep mysteries, while others may choose midnight blue, purple, or other colors.  Black, in my opinion, can sometimes attract a lot of dark, negative energies, but this is all at the perception of the magus and what their personal feelings are and lifetime goals—for magick is a life- long process. It’s not an institute one picks up and then leaves at the corner of 33rd and 3rd--it is a cosmic marriage of the wizard and his spirit, or magick.  To take it for anything less would be a great err.

  The temple and dedication is just the first step.  The clothing, tools, incense, burners, mirrors, crystals, belts, ring, and all other items used in rituals must be dedicated and consecrated at appropriate astrological times.  The first year of the neophyte will be a busy in simply creating these items, which most often are made by hand. 

  A ritual will begin with a clearing of the space or room by incense, prayer, water and salt, along with proper banishing rituals.  It’s like erasing a chalkboard so something new can be drawn on it.  The area is cleared and blessed, and then the ritual may begin.

  A wealth of energy awaits in the world of the invisible, and it is up to the magician how that energy will best be used.

  I will stop here to say that anyone who tells you that someone can’t be hurt by ceremonial magick is full of *&%$.  It is a force, and what determines magick as black, white or gray is the person yielding it. If I were to tell a person that driving a vehicle is completely safe, so go out and speed along, nothing bad will happen, it would be known that’s hogwash.  Driving a car is a great way to get from one place to another, but we know accidents happen.  And if someone got behind the wheel and decided they’d run over people in the street or drive through a building because they’d lost all of their marbles, well, this can happen--the same with magick.  Trust me, I’ve dodged a few bullets from enemies in my life, (I have to say that literally, in two cases) and I have found myself painted into ritualistic corners a few times with testy entities that didn’t want to be banished. 

  The purpose of ceremonial magick is to grow as a person, and to explore our deep minds and selves to great extents.  The boundaries we choose to set as we travel the path can be those we set ourselves. 

  One facet of ritual magick is evocation.  Evoking angels, elementals, Goetic entities or creating kinetic energies for tasks can be a very useful art, for we are calling on beings or using forces outside of ourselves to carry out tasks.  Evocations may be used to assign angels to protect us and our home, to help heal, overcome bad habits, gain strength and courage, to learn the deep mysteries and secrets of metals, stones, artes…the possibilities are endless.  Once we contact the spirit world, we may connect deeply with other intelligences.  Yes, we do all have our favorites and special allies after a time.  No matter how grand and impressive or small and insignificant your familiar spirits are, they are still yours; you bond with them, and they become an essential part of your lifelong work, and sometimes, even your very soul. 

  Ceremonial Magick is considered a ‘high arte’ or science.  There are mathematical skills required at times, and it takes a great deal of concentration and stamina to perform many operations. Over time and years of practice, certain operations may become more demanding and lengthy. 

  Some good books I recommend for those interested in this great arte of pageantry and ritual would be:

Initiation Into Hermetics by Franz Bardon

The Ritual Magic Workbook: A Practical Course of Self-Initiation by Dolores Ashcroft-Norwicki

The Practice of Magical Evocation by Franz Bardon

The Book of Solomon's Magick by Carroll Poke Runyon and Poke Runyon

Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts by Donald Michael Kraig

Summoning Spirits: The Art of Magical Evocation by Konstantinos 

 This is just to name a few.  My favorite is by Konstantinos.  This book is written in layman’s terms and has a good coverage and break down of everything.  It is a basic, good starting place for those who need something readable and practical—a good 101 book. 

  The study of magick and the high artes can be a very self-fulfilling undertaking and I have found can even increase intelligence, perspective, awareness, and improve the quality of life not just in the spiritual world, but the material world as well.  I’ve also found it can alter body chemistry as well.  This gets us to another topic—alchemy.  I will save that discussion for another time.

  As time allows, I will be adding more information to this page and expanding the article.

 

Inflame thyself with prayer—Israel Regardie