Monday, July 4, 2016

The Elemental Work - Fire

This article is Part Four of a series. Part One can be found here, Part Two can be found here, and Part Three can be found here.

This article is the fourth entry in my Elemental Work series, covering the element of Fire. The basic symbol set of the Western Magical Tradition consists of the elements, planets, and signs of the zodiac, and realistically an effective magician should be familiar with how to work with all of them. This is the final entry of the series, wrapping it up with the element of Fire. As an aside, it seems appropriate to be posting this on Independence Day, which is celebrated with fireworks here in the United States.

The elemental schema used in the Thelemic and Golden Dawn systems involves five elements, adding Spirit to the classical arrangement. I will probably put together a ritual for Spirit at some point, but as there are only four traditional elemental Kings, the ritual will be significantly different in a number of respects from these four traditional operations. In effect, it will constitute its own ritual form, rather than partaking of the one used here.

If you've already read through the last three posts, you will probably find parts of this one repetitive. That's intentional, as I want each of these posts to be able to stand on its own without reference to the others. Incidentally, this has been one of the biggest challenges for me with respect to my Enochian books. I want each book to stand on its own, but at the same time I want to make sure that I re-hash as little as I can get away with.

According to the ancient Greek system, each element arises from the interaction of the Powers, which many modern magicians do not work with or even know about. The four powers are Warm/Cool and Moist/Dry. The Warm power separates things, while the Cool power merges them together. The Moist power breaks down structure, while the Dry power reinforces it.

I will not be going into a full discourse on the Powers and how they relate to the elements, but if you would like to delve deeper into the symbolism I recommend that you check out The Ancient Greek Esoteric Doctrine of the Elements by John Opsopaus. The links from that main page will allow you to explore these aspects of the classical elements, along with a lot of other related symbolism.

Fire is the least dense of the traditional elements. According to Liber 777 the powers associated with Fire are Evocation and Pyromancy. Fire corresponds to the Warm power mixed with the Dry power, so it divides things and reinforces that divided, broken down structure, keeping them separated to the greatest degree possible.

The symbol of the elements is the pentagram, which is also the symbol of the microcosm. However, depending upon the type of magical field you open for your operation, the elements may be invoked within the microcosmic realm, the macrocosmic realm, or both. The Pentagram of Fire is traced either moving towards or moving away from the lower right point of the pentagram. It is visualized in red.

There are multiple systems for tracing elemental pentagrams. The one that I use is the Golden Dawn version, and the alternate version is that used by the Aurum Solis and described in the Magical Philosophy series by Melita Denning and Osbourne Philips. On the surface, the AS method is more logical and consistent with the planetary hexagrams. However, in my experience it simply does not work as well. Still, if you do use that system and get good results with it, you can substitute the AS version for the GD version that I use here.

The Elemental King of Fire is named Djin and the elemental spirits native to his domain are called Salamanders. The godname corresponding to Fire is Elohim, and the elemental prayer that precedes the conjuration is from Eliphas Levi, with a few small modifications made over the years by our magical working group to better reflect some aspects of "New Aeon" principles. The originals can be found online, and you can substitute those for the ones used here if you prefer them.

To create the sigil for Djin, you trace his name onto the Kamea of the Moon. First, you transliterate the name to Hebrew. With Djin, this is slightly messy because the J-sound does not exist in Hebrew. The closest is Y, which is Yod, the letter that also correspond to the vowel i. So what you would wind up with if you went letter by letter is Daleth Yod Yod Nun, which is not done.

So the best way to break down the spelling here is Daleth Yod Nun, with the Yod acting as a consonant with the i-sound falling to a vowel marker. Daleth, Yod, Nun numerates to 4, 10, and 50. The numbers on the 9 x 9 lunar square go to 81, so none of them need to be modified to fit onto the square. The sigil traced onto the lunar Kamea looks like this:

There are different traditions out there with respect to beginning and ending sigils. The method I use is derived from my understanding of John Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica. Dee explains in the text that the circle and the straight line are essentially the building blocks of reality. The circle refers to undifferentiated potential while the straight line refers to particular manifestations.

So for practical manifestation work, in which the flow of mezla is being called from the top of the Tree of Life to the bottom, I start with a circle (unmanifest potential) and end with a straight line (specific manifestation). For mystical work, in which I am calling upon a spirit to aid in my ascent up the Tree, I start with a straight line and end with a circle.

This sigil, then, should be traced over the character of the Moon exactly as it appears on the Kamea, as the character represents the entire square taken as a whole. The final figure then, should look something like this:

Ideally, the sigil should be rendered in colors from all four scales from Liber 777. These are:

King (Atziluth): Glowing Orange Scarlet.
Queen (Briah): Vermillion.
Emperor (Yetzirah, Prince): Scarlet flecked Gold.
Empress (Assiah, Princess): Vermillion flecked Crimson and Emerald.

The colors for the sigil are not absolutely necessary, but using them will allow your manifestation to more completely manifest on all four of the Qabalistic worlds, each of which corresponds to one of the color scales. There is no set method for doing this, and the magician is expected to use his or her own insight in coloring the sigil and character.

Incense, if used, should be Olibanum or some other fiery odor. If you wish to employ a particular magical weapon, the appropriate one would be the Wand. The substance associated with Fire is Fire Opal. The corresponding plants are Red Poppy, Hibiscus, and Nettle. An appropriate offering to the King of Fire would be incense, as it is consumed by Fire. Any form of alchohol which will evaporate into the air will also work well. It may also be burned, which would be especially appropriate for elemental Fire.

The full ritual is performed as follows:

0. The Temple

There are a number of different ways to arrange the temple for an operation such as this. What we do is place an altar in the center with the banishing dagger and invoking wand. Also on the altar is a containment structure such as the Sigillum Dei Aemeth or the Trithemian Table of Art. The diagram depicting the character and sigil should be placed within this structure. A small container of some sort for offerings may also be placed on the Table of Art.

If you employ scrying in your work, an appropriate device such as a crystal or mirror should also be placed in the containment structure. If you are using incense for such an operation, the traditional method is to place the incense burner between the scryer and the mirror or crystal. Otherwise, it may be placed anywhere in the space. Some scryers like to place a taper candle on either side of the device, and while I can't say that method does anything at all for me, a number of others report good results with it.

Elemental operations do not make use of planetary hours in any meaningful sense, as the planets and elements do not precisely correspond to each other. However, you can improve your results by employing simple electional timing. This is especially relevant to elemental operations, as the elements all share a strong affinity for the Moon.

1. Opening

Light incense, if used. Open the magical field using the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, Star Ruby and Star Sapphire, or the Field Ritual. The usual field for practical work is the operant field, with banishing pentagrams and invoking hexagrams.

2. Preliminary Invocation

Raise energy using the Middle Pillar, Elevenfold Seal (the "First Gesture" from Liber V vel Reguli), or some other appropriate ritual method as you may know how to do.

Make the Sign of Apophis and Typhon, raising both arms and holding them straight with an angle between them of 60 degrees, and proclaim, very strongly:

Thee I invoke, who art Universe!
Thee I invoke, who art in Nature formed!
Thee I invoke, the vast and the mighty!
Source of Darkness, Source of Light.

Then make the Sign of Silence, by standing straight with one arm at your side and placing your thumb or forefinger to your lips.

3. Tuning the Space

Perform the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram for Fire. To each quarter in turn, beginning in the east and turning clockwise, perform the following actions:
  1. Trace the Invoking Pentagram of Active Spirit in bright purple while vibrating AHIH (Eheieh).
  2. Make the Sign of Rending the Veil, as if parting a heavy curtain in front of you with both hands.
  3. Trace the Invoking Pentagram of Fire in red while vibrating ELOHIM.
  4. Make the Sign of Fire, forming an upright triangle with both hands and placing it at your forehead, palms facing outwards.
Once you have returned to face the east, read or recite the Elemental Prayer for Fire:

Immortal, Eternal, Ineffable and Uncreated Father of All, borne upon the Chariot of Worlds, which ever roll in ceaseless motion; Ruler over the Ethereal Vastness, where the Throne of Thy Power is upraised, from the summit of which Thine eyes behold all, and Thy pure and Holy ears hear all, hear Thou Thy children, whom thou hast loved since before the Ages began. Thy Majesty Golden, Vast and Eternal, shineth above the Heaven of Stars! Above them art Thou exalted, O Thou Flashing Fire! There Thou illuminateth all things with Thine insupportable Glory, whence flow the ceaseless streams of splendor which nourish Thine Infinite Spirit. This Infinite Spirit nourisheth all, and maketh that inexhaustible treasure of generation which ever encompasseth Thee, replete with the numberless forms wherewith Thou hast filled it from the beginning. From this Spirit arise those most Holy Kings, who surround thy Throne and who compose Thy court.

O Universal Father! One and Alone! Father alike of Immortals and of Mortals! Thou hast created Powers marvellously like unto Thy thought Eternal and unto Thy venerable Essence. Thou hast established them above the Angels who announce Thy Will to the World. Lastly, thou hast created us third in rank within our Elemental Empire! There our continual exercise is to praise and to adore Thy desires! There we ceaselessly burn with Eternal Aspiration unto Thee! O Father! O Mother of Mothers, O Archetype Eternal of Maternity and of Love! O Son, the flower of all Sons! O form of all forms, Soul, Spirit, Harmony and Numeral of all Things! AMEN.

The space should now be tuned for the conjuration.

4. The Conjuration

O thou mighty King DJIN, ruler of ASH, by the name of the True and Living God ELOHIM, I call upon you and ask that you along with the elemental spirits of your domain manifest themselves unto me, for I am a true worshiper of the highest. Let them come forth in a friendly and peaceful manner that I may partake of the wisdom and the pure essence of Fire, and that they may attend to my behest. AMEN.

At this point, vibrate the name DJIN repeatedly until the presence of the King and the spirits of elemental Fire is perceived within the Table of Art. Various methods may be used to accomplish this, from simply waiting until a presence makes itself known to scrying for an image in a crystal or dark mirror. If this is being performed as a group ritual, with everyone chanting the name together, it is helpful for the officiant or scryer to have a bell chime that can be rung once he or she perceives a presence in whatever manner. At the bell chime, the chant stops.

5. The Charge

My instructions for the charge are simple and straightforward, just as you can find in my published books. Make use of an Injunction, which is what you want the King and/or spirits of the element to do, and a Limitation, which is what you do not want them to do. The Limitation helps you avoid "Monkey's Paw" situations in which your Injunction may manifest, but in an undesirable way.

As I mentioned above, Liber 777 catalogues the powers attributed to the element of Fire as Evocation and Pyromancy. For best results, your charge should fall within those areas. Otherwise, you may be asking for something outside the Fiery sphere of influence, and that could cause the ritual to fail.

At this point you may also make offerings to the King by placing them in the small container. After the King has had a chance to partake of the offerings, be sure to dispose of them. Alcohol such as wine may be allowed to evaporate on its own, and natural substances may be scattered outdoors. Do not attempt to reuse an offering - generally speaking, spirits do not take kindly to that.

Also, You should get some sort of assent from the King before you proceed to the License to Depart, or an explanation of his objection. When the charge lies outside the King's sphere of influence, often he will be willing to direct you to another spirit that would be more suitable to conjure in order to better accomplish your intent.

6. The License to Depart

King DJIN and the elemental spirits of Thy domain, because thou hast-diligently answered unto my demands, and hast been very ready and willing to come at my call, I do hereby license thee to depart unto thy proper place, without causing harm or danger unto man or beast. I charge thee to withdraw peaceably and quietly with the blessings of the great god ELOHIM, and that peace be ever continued between us. So mote it be!

7. Closing

The ritual may be closed with either a final banishing pentagram ritual or with the Qabalistic Cross performed on its own. These should match the rituals used in the opening, so for example if you opened with a Star Ruby you should repeat it or perform the corresponding version of the Qabalistic Cross.

Generally speaking, if you want to release your intent out into the world to accomplish some task external to yourself, you should close with a banishing pentagram ritual. This is similar to the chaos magick idea of releasing a sigil once it has been created and empowered.

On the other hand, if you also want the effect of the ritual to linger within your sphere of awareness, whether or not the intent is also external, you should close with the Qabalistic Cross. This stabilizes the operation, but does not detach it from your sphere of awareness.

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Fr. D. Eosastraios said...

Very good post frater! Why do you choose to derive the sigil of Djin from the Kamea of the Moon and not a planet associated with fire?

Dacia Pacea said...

Guess it's because the Moon rules over the elements. This, and we don't have a classic kamea of Earth. We do have the kamea Aaron Leitch has constructed for Earth a while ago, but the old grimoires say nothing about such a kamea, at least to my knowledge.

Glad you sparked this up. It's a pitty we don't have a solid system to work with the powers of our planet. We could apply prayer conjurations using Adonai Ha-Aretz/Adonai Malak and call on the archangel Sandalphon, but i haven't used this method yet. It would also be nice to have an intelligence and a spirit of Earth, or many, but i guess the elementals will have to do. But we do have the geomantic intelligences of the zodiac signs and the planets.

Dacia Pacea said...


Scott Stenwick said...

That is exactly right, Dacia. The Moon rules over the realm of the elements, and in this context represents Yesod, Malkuth, and the entire elemental realm. The Moon is the final dispositor of magical forces upon the Earth, and so it seems reasonable to me that for the elements, it is most appropriate.

The reason that I don't put together a "Malkuth Kamea" like Aaron Leitch tried to do at one point is that as I see it, Malkuth is Assiah, the material world. If I wanted to manipulate the material world in a direct and obvious way, I would just use regular technology. Yesod, the foundation, represents the "machinery of the universe" and thus corresponds to the spiritual forces that elemental operations place upon the material world.

Dacia Pacea said...

You give a very compelling point and I agree, because many systems of magick waere based almost entirely on the sub-lunar realm from time immemorial.

But what about the elemental components of the microcosmos? Relating to your multiple part post on the blog, there has to be a transition between microcosmos and microcosmos in the physical world, since the greater of these are the same (at least for me) - Kether = Adam Kadmon = God Almighty (ablotule = Man created in the image of God = God of the religions)

Dacia Pacea said...

What i try to say is that Malkuth is the playing ground of Man, as well as other spirits. This is because the material world - Assiah is subjected to changes according to the will of humans, at least from the daily mundane point of view. This apparent chaos of daily actions is someway in order to both the inner and outer godhead, which are basically the same.

So in my mind there has to be some sort of "referee" who oversees this world that is seemingly moving on by chance alone, from an atheistic point of view. But if we are to consider all life forms out there and all planes of consciousness (mineral, plant, animal, human), there has to be something that we generally know as Mother Earth, that regulates all that is happening here.

Dacia Pacea said...

But Mother Earth in my mind would be both the 4 elements inside each of us, and the wide world around with its ecosystems, weather patterns and so on. So perhaps when Franz Bardon was describing waether control, he referred to using one's inner elements to control the outer elements. This would be the form of physical man made in the image of God - created as a creator who imposes his will upon the creation.

I'm thinking that the interactions between inner physical to outer physical are ultimately produced at a quantum level, since this is the smallest level science has yet to come upon, but this has to be produced via some entities that serve man-God do his will. The elementals, elemental kings, angels ruling the elements, Uriel/Auriel and Sandalphon are fine for this, but in my mind there still had to be a supreme entity to this.

Maybe that supreme entity is what scientists are looking to understand when they're trying to find a unified theory of physics - in this case Atonal Ha-Aretz/Melek.

Forgive my digression, I must have had too much wine to drink before meeting my ancestors for Samhain.

In any case, I support your cuantum field theory and I have many ideas to add to it, even though they're not at all down to earth and would barely be taken into consideration for objective experimenting.

Scott Stenwick said...

That would be the whole point of the operant field - the alignment of the inner and outer elements. The archangels in the LRP follow the winds (microcosmic) arrangement of the elements, while the elements in the LRH are positioned according to the zodiacal (macrocosmic) arrangement. The dynamic balance created by the differing placement of the elements at the pentagram and hexagram levels is one of the main things that powers the field in the first place.

If you want to get into more detail regarding the Qabalistic worlds, it should be kept in mind that each world essentially can be thought of as having its own Tree. So there is such a thing as Atziluth of Assiah, Briah of Assiah, Yetzirah of Assiah, and Assiah of Assiah - as just one of four possible examples. As I see it, you could also model microcosm and macrocosm using the Assiah and Yetzirah Trees.

But that turns into a pretty complex topic rather quickly. Suffice it to say that each has its own version of Adam Kadmon, and that resonances between those forms can be employed to perform magical operations at various levels.

enokiano1 said...

Hi Scott¡¡¡

and the supreme ritual of pentagram? for example this ritual incorporate in the spirit pentagram Bitom-Eheieh, Oip Teaa Pdce-Elohim,This ritual -Supreme ritual invoking the pentagram- instead of great ritual of pentagram .could be used with Enochian names for the practical magick?

Scott Stenwick said...

I personally am opposed to mixing Enochian and Qabalistic names. I know that it is a commonly taught method in Golden Dawn magick, but I have never liked it. As I see it, if you want to use Enochian, use Enochian, and if you want to use Qabalistic, use Qabalistic.

The "supreme pentagram" is actually kind of a mess, at least in terms of nomenclature. The Lesser rituals are general, the Greater rituals are specific. Basically, what the GD calls the supreme pentagram is the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for Malkuth (which is why it calls different elements to each quarter).

The reason I don't like the nomenclature is that it implies a hierarchy that just isn't there. There's nothing "lesser" about the general rituals and nothing "greater" about the specific ones. They're just rituals performing different functions that are not really analogous.

My suspicion is that this naming is largely a marketing strategy. The GD first taught initiates the LRP, so of course by calling it "lesser" they implied that there were "better" rituals to come. I imagine the same is just as true with respect to "greater" and "supreme."

Then there are the Enochian elemental attributions, which is a whole other thing. The GD and Dee attributions don't match the originals, and the system published in my books uses the latter, even though I also show how you can integrate pentagram rituals and the like into your forms.

So in my system, BITOM is still fire, but Oro Ibah Aozpi are the three names for fire because I place fire in the upper left quadrant of the Tabula Recensa based on my interpolation of the golden talisman and round house visions in the diaries.

Understand, none of this is to suggest that you can't or shouldn't go down that road. I don't do it in my personal practice, though, so I'm really not the best person to learn it from.

Dacia Pacea said...

@Enokiano Mixing Enochian and Quabalistic is what confused me the most for quite amount of time after i started practising. The mixed version popped up just about everywhere and couldn't figure out which of the versions is the correct one. I think i asked Scott the same thing earlier last year :)

Having received the same answer as you did, i stuck with the classic form of the GRP and left the Enochian additions to it for others. Later on when i started investigating the Enochian system, i found the GD version way too complicated, and stuck with the Dee purist method presented in Scott's articles. It's easier and to the point.