Magical Instruction

If you are a beginning student wondering where to start learning magick, or a more advanced practitioner looking to make your magick more effective, Augoeides is the place for you. Over the years I have published all sorts of material that at one time could only be found within the confines of lodges and secret magical orders. If you have questions, post them in the comments. I always try and do my best to answer them, and I always will.

Personal Instruction

The magick class that I currently run is the Ritual Workshop event at Leaping Laughter OTO, the Minneapolis local body of Ordo Templi Orientis. We meet every Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM at our dedicated temple space. It is located at:

3107 California Street NE
 Minneapolis, MN 55418


This is a public event and all who can attend are welcome. You do not need to be an OTO initiate to attend. The classes are free, but we suggest a $5 donation to help cover temple expenses. Also, keep in mind that we follow a loose version of the Fight Club rule - if you show up, you have to do a ritual. But it can be any ritual from any tradition, as simple as you like, and if you don't know any rituals yet we'll talk you through performing something basic like the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram.

One Tuesday per month we hold our Via Solis Zodiacal Elixir Rites, which are announced here on Augoeides along with the ritual scripts on the preceding Mondays. These are also open to all who can attend, and the same suggested donation applies. But taking part in one of these group rituals counts as doing a ritual, so you won't have to do anything else.

In April of 2018 I participated in a series of online Enochian classes organized by Jason Augustus Newcomb. That series of Enochian Master Classes is now available and you can sign up here. Click here for a coupon code that will give you half off the registration price.

I also am considering doing more online classes at some point in the future, and will announce those here far enough in advance that everyone will have a chance to sign up. In the meantime, the following links organize the material I have posted here into what I hope is a coherent overall framework for study.

Social Media

I am pretty active on the Ceremonial Magick School Facebook group. You can send a request to join and as long as you give reasonable answers to a couple of questions, and you should be approved. Please make sure that you answer the questions - those are there to make sure that we're adding actual human beings and not bots or something in disguise.

Also, feel free to send me a friend request on Facebook. My profile is here, and once we are friends you should get updates from this blog and my author blog in your news feed. I rarely post anything that personal on Facebook, since I use it to promote my books and these websites, so you shouldn't run into anything more controversial than what I post here on Augoeides.

Professional Spellcasting

As I mention in the FAQ, I'm not in the professional spellcasting business and don't do magical operations for clients. Working with clients requires a completely different temple setup and so forth than what I use for my personal work. That may change at some point in the future, but for now if you have questions about how to perform one of the operations I describe here, feel free to email me at scottm@iphouse.com or send me a message on Facebook (once we're friends). I always try to do my best to answer questions of that nature, and I think once you overcome the initial resistance to casting a spell you might very well get better results casting for yourself than you would from any professional for whom said operation is basically just a job.

What Is Magick?

This is one of the most fundamental questions students ask. What is magick, and how does it work? While magick is a highly individual practice, there are some commonalities between schools, methods, and practitioners. My background is in the Thelemic school of modern ceremonial magick and the Hermetic tradition of the European Renaissance, particularly the works of Henry Cornelius Agrippa and John Dee. It was my interest in Dee's work that first prompted me to write the books that would eventually be published as my Mastering Enochian Magick Series.

Building a working model of magick is crucial for working out how to best accomplish various goals, set accurate expectations for the work, and "debug" your procedures when you run into problems. While this does constitute theory, it should be pointed out that an effective magical model should make testable predictions and conform to the scientific method as closely as possible. I say "as possible" because one of the key components of magick is consciousness, which we have yet figured out a way to measure accurately. This prevents "The method of Science" from being employed in its strictest sense, but at the same time it is an ideal for which I believe all magicians should strive.

This first series of articles covers various thoughts related to my model of magick an how it compares to others out there that are currently in use. While reading through it is not strictly necessary, I highly recommend it. What I do not recommend is waiting until you feel like you understand it all completely before you start doing any work. You should start learning to do the rituals I present here and practice them as soon as you can manage. You're not likely to hurt yourself if you do something wrong and there's no substitute for experience.

Regarding Magical Models
I generally think that the "quantum information model" that I propose in this series is currently the best model of magick that we have. Note that I specific "quantum" not because I see it as a synonym for "awesome" like some New Agers, but rather because it is vitally important to draw a distinction between quantum information, data, and language. The last two have nothing to do with quantum information. The number of facts we amass or web pages we create have no relation to the structure of the universe. And the fundamental weakness of the original "information model" of magick was that it confused semiotics and physics.

Basic Practices

This article from 2006, this one from 2008, and this one from 2016 give an overview of what I recommend as an effective daily magical practice. Every magician should develop a sequence of basic rituals that he or she performs at least once per day, generally in the morning after waking up or at night before going to sleep. Which you prefer depends a lot on your personal circadian clock - I'm a total night owl and can't get anything done in the morning, so I do my practices at night before I go to sleep. Either should prove effective.

The Basic Rituals
  • The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. This simple rite is generally considered the most basic modern ceremonial ritual, and one of the first bits of magick that modern magicians learn. It is a microcosmic banishing and invoking ritual. That is, it works on your personal consciousness. The banishing form clears, stabilizes, and cuts away connections that may be influencing you. The invoking form energizes and empowers your sphere of consciousness. Note that this ritual does not "clear a space" beyond your body's natural aura, though some magicians incorrectly use it that way.
  • The Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. This ritual is the macrocosmic counterpart to the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. That is, it works on space in the external world beyond your personal consciousness. The banishing form of this ritual is commonly taught as a daily practice, but I strongly recommend against it. You don't want to shut down or send the forces of nature away. To do effective practical magick, you want to connect with and manipulate them - which is what the invoking form of this ritual does. The banishing form can be used to clear a space, but when using in conjunction with the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram it shuts down everything. That can include your own currently running operations.
  • The Middle Pillar Ritual. I don't teach most of Israel Regardie's methods, but the Middle Pillar Ritual is an exception. It brings energy work and identification with the divine into daily practice.
  • Meditation should also be taken up by aspiring students of magick. There are a lot of variations on meditation practice out there, but most of them produce similar effects. The method here is based on the simple non-sectarian "Mindfulness Meditation" method. You should try to meditate for about twenty minutes a day, which is entirely sufficient for magical work.
  • The Greater Ritual of the Pentagram. This is mostly an overview of how I do the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram, with some light commentary. I wrote it up because there is a lot of conflicting information online about how to do the Greater Pentagram along with other rituals like the "Supreme Pentagram" (which I don't use or teach) and so forth. This ritual can be used as part of a daily practice, especially as a preliminary to more involved HGA work. It also is used for practical elemental work.
  • The Greater Ritual of the Hexagram. This is my overview of the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram, which is used to tune your magical space for working with planets and zodiac signs just like the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram tunes your space for working with elements.
As a beginning student of magick, think of learning these rituals and techniques as your "one job" until you have them committed to memory and are doing them every day. They form the foundation of everything that is to come, including all of my practical magick methods. The whole sequence including a twenty minute meditation session can be done in less that a half hour, and that is really a small time commitment to make in order to pursue the path of magick and mysticism.

Commentaries on the Basic Rituals

The following articles go over the basic rituals that I have written up commentaries on so far, including extended commentaries and experimental speculation related to them. As I do more of these, I will add them to this list.
  • Lesser Versus Greater Pentagrams. This article was written to dispel a particularly pernicious myth about the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Even though the pentagrams you are tracing are drawn in the same direction as Earth pentagrams, they are not exclusive to the element of Earth.
  • Hacking the Elemental Hexagrams. This article digs into a speculative method for using the elemental hexagrams from the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram to work with the four Qabalistic worlds. It was written in part as a response to what I consider the dubious practice of doing "Lesser Hexagrams of the Planets." "Lesser" rituals are general and "Greater" rituals are specific. Neither is a "better" or "worse" version of the other - they serve entirely different functions.
  • The Operant Field. This is one of the ideas that started it all, and my own small contribution to modern magick theory. Understanding the microcosmic and macrocosmic natures of the Lesser Pentagram and Lesser Hexagram points to more effective ways to work with these rituals, both in terms of daily practice and larger ceremonial operations. Try it out - you'll be surprised how much better this small change makes everything work.
  • Microcosmic Versus Macrocosmic Rituals. This is a longer and more detailed article discussing the operant field as defined in the preceding article, how Lesser rituals are general and Greater rituals are specific, and how to get at the microcosmic and macrocosmic aspects of the various magical forces.
  • Goetic Circles and Operant Fields. This article looks at some overlap between the operant field model and the magick circle found in a late grimoire, the Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon.
  • Wrapping Up The "Hexagram Controversy". This article discusses the reaction of the online magical community towards the operant field model, and ends with a simple challenge: try it. If you try out the operant field method and it doesn't improve your results, by all means don't keep using it. At the same time, many magicians who have tried it report that their results are better overall, happen faster, and are stronger and more stable when they use it.
  • Thoughts on the Star Ruby. This article is my explanation of Aleister Crowley's "new and more elaborate version of the Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram." This ritual can be used to open an operant field in conjunction with the Star Sapphire, just as the Lesser Banishing Ritual can do the same in conjunction with the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram.
  • An Analysis of the Star Sapphire. This article is a comprehensive overview of my thoughts on the Star Sapphire, Aleister Crowley's "improved ritual of the hexagram." The Star Sapphire behaves a lot like a souped-up version of the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, and should be used in conjunction with the Star Ruby, Crowley's "improved ritual of the pentagram."
  • Regarding Devotional Work. This article summarizes some devotional methods for use by magicians, particularly those found in Aleister Crowley's Liber Astarte vel Berylli. Devotional rituals that you find inspirational and resonant with your will can be an important addition to your practice.
  • Thoughts on the Rose Cross Ritual. I do not personally use the Golden Dawn Rose Cross Ritual, but I did some experiments with it back in the day and some readers have asked about my take on it. In theory, the ritual works to smooth out and balance magical forces and fields, but so far I have not been able to figure out anything practical to do with it that I would be able to formally test. The idea that it "confers invisibility" does not seem to stand up to strict scrutiny, even though a lot of people apparently believe it.
And I'm sure that there are more to come. The idea is to post all of the relevant articles here so they are all in one place, and you don't have to manually search Augoeides for each one. If you do come across an article I've overlooked that you think belongs here, let me know.

Original Basic Rituals

These are some alternatives that I have written to the standard basic ritual forms discussed above. They can make for interesting experimentation, but I recommend you learn the standard versions first before moving on to any of these.
  • Revising the Keyword Analysis. This article covers a revised version of the Keyword Analysis from the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram that my magical working group developed.
  • Comselh Ananael Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. This is the version of the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram used by my magical working group, including the changes explained in the article on Hacking the Keyword Analysis.
  • The Field Ritual. This is an experimental ritual developed at the Leaping Laughter Ritual Workshop that combines the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram along operant field lines.

Practical Magick

Once my students have a daily practice in place, I start them off with practical magick. That's one of the big differences between me and most other teachers. My main goal is to get you doing the work as quickly as possible, and getting good results as quickly as possible.

Most of the magical orders of the past have initiatory systems that you must go through before you are given any practical material at all. Further down this page I have my Path of Initiation too, but as I see it you can be doing practical work right away. While you want to cultivate illumination and realization as you work, odds at that there are a lot of issues in your life that can get in the way. So start off by eliminating or at least mediating those.

The Magical Powers listed after the various attributes are Descriptive, Not Prescriptive. The powers listed here are from Aleister Crowley's Liber 777, but they should not be treated as all you can do with any of these magical forces. For example, in many cases elemental magick can be used to accomplish similar goals to planetary magick. Earth can correspond to wealth and material prosperity, Water can correspond to love and relationships, Air can correspond to healing, and Fire can correspond to cursing and protection from curses. These are all in addition to their listed powers.

The Elemental Work
  • Earth. Alchemy, Geomancy, Making of Pantacles; Travels on the Astral Plane.
  • Water. The Great Work, Talismans, Crystal-gazing, etc.
  • Air. Divination.
  • Fire. Evocation, Pyromancy.
The Planetary Work
  • Saturn. Works of Malediction and Death.
  • Jupiter. Power of Acquiring Political and other Ascendency.
  • Mars. Works of Wrath and Vengeance.
  • Sun. The Red Tincture, Power of Acquiring Wealth.
  • Venus. Love-philtres.
  • Mercury. Miracles of Healing, Gift of Tongues, Knowledge of Sciences.
  • Moon. The White Tincture, Clairvoyance, Divination by Dreams.
  • The Epilogue covers both the Planetary and Elemental Work series of articles, and addresses some of the questions that came up while I was posting the series.
The Zodiacal Work
  • Aries. Power of Consecrating Things.
  • Taurus. The Secret of Physical Strength.
  • Gemini. Power of being in two or more places at one time, and of Prophecy.
  • Cancer. Power of Casting Enchantments.
  • Leo. Power of Training Wild Beasts.
  • Virgo. Invisibility, Parthenogenesis, Initiation.
  • Libra. Works of Justice and Equilibrium.
  • Scorpio. Necromancy.
  • Sagittarius. Transmutations; Vision of Universal Peacock.
  • Capricorn. The Witches’ Sabbath so-called, the Evil Eye.
  • Aquarius. Astrology.
  • Pisces. Bewitchments, Casting Illusions.
These basic magical powers are sufficient for practically any practical operation. They were all developed based on my Comselh Ananael Ritual Template which works or everything. If you would like to dig deeper into how the symbolism works, you can take a look at my article on Qabalistic Ritual Construction and this addendum to it regarding The Circle and Sigils.

The Path of Initiation

This series of articles is based on the published initiatory structure of Aleister Crowley's A.'.A.'. as found in One Star in Sight.

To be clear, I am an OTO initiate but not a member of any of the current A.'.A.'. organizations, and the rituals here were developed by Comselh Ananael, my magical working group. I offer none of my own opinions here regarding any of the A.'.A.'. teachers who have publicly identified themselves as such, and I expect that what they teach their students differs substantially from what is presented here. Nonetheless, we found this approach to be quite effective, and I think you will too.

If you don't have a daily magical practice, you will want to have that established before starting any of these rites. Refer back to my articles in the Basic Practices section for what that should look like. You should keep this practice up basically forever, or at least for the rest of your life.
This article on Improving Solve et Coagula explains why I work the elemental initiations in the order that I do, based on research done by my magical working group. Going in "density order" rather than "reverse YHVH" order seems to lead to a more balanced and stable manifestation of the elements within the student's sphere of consciousness.
The Initiation of Spirit binds the four classical elements and sephiroth from Malkuth through Netzach together. Then, the Holy Guardian Angel Invocation establishes the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel (K&C for short). The ritual here is based on Aleister Crowley's Liber Samekh, with some additions and modifications of my own. Once K&C is established, the student can move on to the next sephira.

Note that it generally takes at least six months or so of practicing the Holy Guardian Angel Invocation ritual daily in order to obtain and stabilize K&C, so it is a substantial undertaking. More traditional grimoire magicians can go back to the source and work the full Abramelin operation on which Liber Samekh is based, but bear in mind that may take even longer. One version of the Abramelin runs for six months, but the other runs for a full eighteen.
Crossing the Abyss is Crowley's terminology for the magical initiation that raises the consciousness of the magician into the supernal realm represented by the first three sephiroth. Once the Abyss has been successfully crossed, the magician can move on to the next sephira.
According to Crowley, once the magician has obtained initiation into Chockmah, he or she speaks a Word, or Logos. This utterance permeates the universe and gives rise to a new spiritual current, or a new manifestation of an existing one. This concept is tied into the zodiacal model of the Aeons, in which the procession of the Earth's axis results in a new sign of the zodiac coming to prominence about every 2000-some years, and the nature of that sign is said to guide human spirituality during the period that it rules over.
The Conclusion consists of my final thoughts on this series, and some of the questions that came up while I was posting these articles.

23 comments:

j said...

Mr. Scott Michael Stenwick,

I just wanted to say, "THANK YOU VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH FOR EXPLAINING THE EFFECT THAT THE "LESSER BANISHING RITUAL OF THE HEXAGRAM" DOES AND BY "NOT RECOMMENDING IT BE PERFORMED ON A DAILY BASIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

WHEN THINGS STARTED GOING AWRY IN MY DAILY LIFE I THOUGHT WHAT WAS I DOING WRONG AND THEN I REMEMBERED THAT WHEN I PERFORMED THIS RITUAL IN THE PAST IT CAUSED ALMOST NIGHTMARISH PROBLEMS IN THE PASSED!

Sorry for the capitol letters. I only want to emphasize how utterly devastating this ritual can be! Which is not something DONALD MICHAEL KRAIG cared to share with his readers in his book Modern Magick! (Incidentally have you written or do you sale a book that covers all or any of the Magick Rituals that you use and talk about! I would very much like to buy a Magick book that you have written!)

Also why would he teach The Lesser ritual of the Hexagram as a daily ritual? Was it a practical joke? I felt like I got sucker punched or kicked between the legs!

I put forth the effort to learn The Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram flawlessly only to get a negative result!

I want say thank you again for the information in the Magical Instructions Topic post!

Hope to see your MAGICK BOOK soon!

All the best,

J

Jbyers2@tx.rr.com

https://mail.google.com/mail/#inbox

Scott Stenwick said...

So far I have published two books on Enochian magick, Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy and Mastering the Great Table. While they are primarily focused on the Enochian system, they do cover my take on the pentagram and hexagram rituals as well.

With regards to the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram, I am not convinced that Donald Michael Kraig really knew what he was doing with it. In Modern Magick he said it was "like the LBRP, but more" or something like that, which I suppose is literally correct - except that he didn't really elaborate on what the "more" meant.

We had a bit of go-round with respect to my operant field idea shortly before he passed away, which you can read here:

https://www.llewellyn.com/blog/2011/04/the-map-is-not-the-territory/

Along with my summary of the discussion here:

https://ananael.blogspot.com/2011/04/wrapping-up-hexagram-controversy.html

One of the things that at least seemed clear to me is that this is a matter of technology, not "maps" - magick works the way it works regardless of what you think about it, because it's not just a psychological projection that shifts around depending on your perspective.

There are workarounds for the shutdown effect, such as linking all of your rituals to talismans rather than to your own sphere of consciousness. There are also some cases where you might explicitly want to use it, such as clearing out a space or cutting yourself off from macrocosmic influence. But I do find, that in general, using it sparingly seems to work best.

J said...

Mr. Scott Stenwick, thank you for your response it is very helpful!

I would like to say that although I stand by every statement I made earlier I like Donald Michael Kraig because of his willingness to make Magick more accessible through his book Modern Magick. He brought the topic of Magick to a wider audience. He explained some things very well, not so with The Banishing Ritual Of The Hexagram. I believe that you made a statement on your blog that the problem with Modern Magick is that it tends to pass along the things that Kraig did not really understand to his readers! (Like me for instance I kept up with the rituals because he said it was accumulative and necessary!)
It is ironic but I would like to say though that if anything good did come out of this experience it is that Magick is real! Our understanding of Magick might be theory but Magick itself is a fact just like gravity and the theory of gravity!
I will buy your two books! I'm very interested in Enochian Magick! I want to learn to speak it correctly so that i can perform rituals that use Enochian words!
One last thing, you have stated that you don't use The Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram and you don't teach it. Could you please explain why?

J said...

Mr. Stenwick,

It would appear that the IRH works much better for me than the BRH.

I have theories but I’m not really sure why yet!

Maybe it’s because unlike Kraig I don’t tire of Positive (Spiritual Energy) Influences! Or do not feel a need to banish them (on a daily basis),but do “Strongly” feel the need to “INVOKE” Positive Influences(on a daily basis)!

By Invoking these Positive Influences it would seems that it is how positive Magic could be performed successfully! Not by banishing them! It would also seem that by Invoking these Positive Influences you could automatically avoid a negative outcome. In other words accidental or unintentional or even intentional black Magick would simply not occur or work!

I’m not sure of any of this but my instincts tell me that I “NEED” these Positive Influences to be happy and successful. They Empower and Guide me! They cleanse my aura, my soul, my mind, my body and my spirit!

Both you and Kraig encourage students to experiment and find what works for them! I did not know this when I started doing the BRH! It may have worked just fine for Kraig and other people but for me it had unpleasant results! Maybe this is why you do not recommend the BRH for daily practice but to use the BRH sparingly! (Yes I did read your response that said BHR does have some uses).

That having been said I still like Modern Magick and everything else about the book, but just not BRH! I plan to continue using it along with your books, Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy and Mastering the Great Table and by doing so forge my own middle of the road path. (I will only use the BRH only when absolutely necessary.)

Magick it would seem is not a cookie cutter system where everything is prefabricated but it is more like an expensive suit or a high end sports car where it’s costumed made and tailored to the individual or individuals needs! This also something I did not know when I started doing the BRH!

Thank you,
J
jbyers2at tx.rr.com

jbyers193@gmail.com

Scott Stenwick said...

The reason that I do not use the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram is that I do not use the Golden Dawn Enochian system. The attributions that I use for the Kings of the directions are different, for example. And it is not clear to me what the point of the SIRP is for non-Enochian operations.

Also, the nomenclature seems to reinforce the idea that the Greater Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram are "better" versions of the Lesser Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram, which is not the case - the "Greater" rituals are specific and the "Lesser" rituals are general, so they do entirely different things. But then, the "Supreme" pentagram is apparently general again. So that means a Greater Ritual of the Pentagram does an entirely different thing that a Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, but them a Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram IS a "better" version of the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. It's confusing and not very helpful, in my opinion.

The point of my comments with respect to Kraig is not to put him down, and hopefully it doesn't come across that way. The only reason I bring him up at all is that so many people learned magick from his book and as far as I can tell his understanding of the LBRH was limited at best. It's the main thing I find myself correcting about peoples' practices. And then when he tried to argue that I shouldn't be doing that during our online back-and-forth, he couldn't really explain why in a way that made much sense to me.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Hey! Hope you're doing well. Is there a possibility you can post at least an article on divination? I don't remember ever coming across one on your blog, and I'm kinda challenged when it comes to that :) and I don't want to start casting on myself in order to improve the situation just yet. I guess there's others out there who can benefit from your kind of explanations in that field too (tarot, geomancy, astrology, or whatever method you want to address).

Thank you!

J said...

Mr. Stenwick,

Your insights are helpful and I never thought you put Kraig down.
I was simply following the his (Kraig's) instructions on the LBRH and had a rude awakening!

Your explanations were helpful in explaining what I was experiencing!
The LBRH (He called it the BRH for some reason) made more sense we you responded in your
blog that it shuts down everything!
Your technology explanation also is useful in that it does what it does regardless of what
we think of it. In other words your saying the LBRH is just a machine or mechanism that
does what it was designed to do!
So by that definition it always clears out both positive and negative influences regardless
of the users background(maps)?
So not only did Kraig instruct his readers to shoot themselves in the foot he also shot
himself in the foot?
So in other words he wanted to have negative and unpleasant experiences?
I did this ritual a lot thanks to Kraig and it always ended up causing
problems without exception!
So his Maps idea has no bearing on how performing the LBRH (on a daily basis) would
actually play out?
Weird very weird!
I had honestly felt like it was as if Gandalf the White was playing a magickal practical joke on Frodo Baggins?
Thanks,

Jbyers2@tx.rr.com

jbyers193@gmail.com

Scott Stenwick said...

For what it is worth, I do not think that the explanation in Modern Magick is some kind of practical joke or whatnot. All of the material in the book came from the Cicero Golden Dawn group, and my understanding is that they still teach it the same way. So either they haven't noticed problems or something else is going on with their students.

It's possible that there are some practitioners who can use the ritual as taught without running into problems. I don't have enough data to say that my findings are universal or anything like that. But for me and a lot of my students (and apparently for you) it does work the way that I explain here. The issue does seem to be technological rather than some psychological mapping thing.

Scott Stenwick said...

@Alex: I will see what I can come up with for an article on divination. I agree that it is an important practice, and you're right that I haven't posted much on the subject.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Yes! Thank you!!!

J said...

Mr. Stenwick,

I wanted to start off by saying thank you for all of your previous input on the LBRH. It’s all been very helpful and I feel confident that I can put the matter to rest.

I do have a new question though about Enochian Magick. I am purchasing your two books but haven’t received them yet so I don’t know if my question has already been covered.

Is Enochian Magick and are the Enochian Keys or Calls dangerous (if dabbled with or used incorrectly) like Israel Regardie claimed! I read that Aleister Crowley had used the Calls incorrectly and it caused him problems.

Would you know what the long term or short term effects would be? Does it affect a persons Karma?

Would mispronouncing the words cause problems and do your books cover the proper pronunciation?

Thanks,

Jbyers2@tx.rr.com

jbyers193@gmail.com

Scott Stenwick said...

All that stuff about the dangers of Enochian magick is greatly exaggerated. The original source for that is Paul Foster Case, the founder of BOTA, who was convinced that the Golden Dawn Enochian system was dangerous and basically ripped it all out of his version of the system. Regardie was likely influenced by that, or just passing it along.

Case thought it was dangerous because a close friend of his who was working with the system had some sort of mental breakdown. He claimed to have tracked down "36 individuals," presumably 35 plus the friend, but nobody knows who any of those people were because he never named them. We have only his word on the existence of anybody who had problems besides the one friend, and he was clearly biased.

By that time hundreds of people had worked with the Golden Dawn Enochian system. The original order had something like three or four hundred members, and the later incarnations of it likely had hundreds more. 25% of the population has some form of mental illness, so even if we take Case at his word and only count the members of the original order, you're talking about 10% or so. That's way less than 25%, so there's no telling whether or not said individuals had some pre-existing condition that had nothing to do with Enochian.

There's absolutely no evidence from Crowley's magical journals that he had problems arising from his Vision and the Voice Enochian operation. All sorts of nonsense have been proposed related to that, like Donald Tyson claiming he "cracked open the gates of the apocalypse" or some similar twaddle. Crowley's use of the Aethyr Key in that operation is so simple it's hard to mess up. Recite the Key, scry what you experience. That's precisely what he did.

If you are talking about the New Age idea of Karma, then no, because New Age Karma is basically bullshit. If you mean Karma in its proper sense, the law of cause and effect, every experience you have affects your Karma. Enochian magick or any other kind of magick is no different. But if what you are asking is if bad things will happen to you as a result of working Enochian, the answer is no unless you mess up an injunction or a limitation and get an unintended result. It's exactly like every other kind of spirit magick in that regard.

As I see it, the main way in which Enochian is "dangerous" is that it is powerful. You shouldn't play around with it not really expecting it to work or anything like that. You will very likely get effects of some sort if you work with it. The main caveat is that you should structure your limitations to avoid "Monkey's Paw" type scenarios, where you get what you want but it happens by some means with other undesirable effects.

Like say you cast a spell for ten thousand dollars and don't put a limitation on your injunction specifying that no damage come to your property. A week later your car is totaled in an accident and you get a check from the insurance company for the amount requested. It's what you specified and you have the money, but now you're stuck buying a new car. Stuff like that.

There is a lot of disagreement over pronunciation of the language. There are a number of different pronunciation systems out there and I have known magicians who reported successful operations with all of them. I include the version I use in my books, and I consider it the best, but it doesn't seem like it's super-important in terms of getting the magick itself to work. And I've never seen anything bad happen to somebody over "mispronouncing" a word.

Chuck Finley said...

So great to have all this in one place Scott.

Your operant field forms a solid working system. Jake Stratten-Kent has tried to use Liber Pyramidos as another "universal" rite.

Being a Thelemite initiate how to do you feel about Pyramidos as a universal template?

Scott Stenwick said...

Personally I think Pyramidos works better as designed, a rite of self-initiation, than as a formula for practical magick. I have this same opinion of a number of different methods I have encountered, such as the Opening by Watchtower and the creation of talismans using Golden Dawn initiatory formulas.

Practical testing of the Opening by Watchtower, which is derived from the Golden Dawn Portal initiation, revealed that it added nothing in terms of increased probability shift to a ritual that was already opened with an operant field (LBRP/LIRH). It feels like more is happening when you do it, but none of that translates to practical results.

I can't say that I have done similar testing with Pyramidos adapted into a standard practical opening or with the practice of "initiating" talismans. But reading through them I'm skeptical. Initiating talismans is an enormous amount of extra work when you can just conjure a spirit and charge "Empower this talisman with power XYZ," with XYZ being one of the powers of the spirit conjured.

Likewise with Pyramidos, a rite of initiation is to my way of thinking a singular rite or at most a ritual that you perform until you "get" the initiatory current and then move on. It wouldn't be a daily practice except under very specific circumstances, and it wouldn't be the sort of thing you would want to use to open every practical operation.

Still, if you like Jake's version and it works for you, by all means keep using it. As I keep reiterating, my first rule of magick is that if it works it works. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to formally testing it myself, and it's always possible that the results will surprise me.

j said...

Mr. Stenwick,
Could you give some examples of how new age ideas on karma are “Bullshit” and are these ideas passed a long in “Modern Magick” or some other popular books like “Enochian Magic” by Gerald Schueler, or “Enochian Magick for Beginners” by Donald Tyson?
I would like to know what to watch out for!

Incidentally what is your opinion on Enochian Magic by Gerald Schueler.
Do you think Laycock's Enochian Dictionary is useful?
What do you think of Aaron Leitch’s books “ The Angelic Language Volumes 1 and 2 and his other The Essential Enochian Grimoire”? Do you think they are useful?
In regards to Aleister Crowley I have read that he was working with Victor Neuburg and bit off his ear after Neuburg summoned Choronzon and in turn Choronzon possessed Crowley in the desert of Bou Saada! What is your take on this?
I just got your books, “Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy and Mastering the Great Table”.

Thanks Again for all of your input.


J

jbyers2at tx.rr.com

jbyers193@gmail.com

Scott Stenwick said...

What I call the New Age idea of karma is this - there is the idea that someplace up in the heavens is a list of "good actions" and "bad actions." If in some situation you have the option to choose a "good action" over a "bad action" and you make the "good" choice, you will shortly after be rewarded with a "good" or "bad" consequence that is entirely unrelated to the action that you took.

But if you talk to a Hindu or a Buddhist about what karma means in their tradition, what they will tell you is that it simply means the law of cause and effect - the law of DIRECT cause and effect. So you might see something sort of like what New Agers refer to as the law of karma in social situations - if you treat the people around you badly, eventually word will get around and people will start treating you badly as well. But that's still a direct consequence.

The idea of New Age karma comes right out of Theosophy, which tried to create a hybrid of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity in the late 1800's. New Age karma is basically a glomming together of the Buddhist and Hindu ideas of karma and the Christian idea of sin. What you wind up with is, in some ways, a synthesis that is worse than either of its predecessors.

New Age karma is essentially the ultimate form of victim-blaming. It assumes that if bad things happen to you, it's because of your own personal immorality. It leads to ridiculous ideas, like the idea that you should never help anyone who is in trouble because they are "working out their karma." Basically it's a sick worldview that appears almost custom-designed to short-circuit compassion, which in both Buddhism and Christianity are supposed to be important virtues.

You see a similar problem with "New Thought" like "The Secret" and everything that led up to it, again from the late 1800's. If you experiences are entirely determined by your thoughts, you only have bad experiences when you are thinking bad thoughts. As a magician, I will say that concentrated thought can influence physical reality, but not in the deterministic way that "Secret" devotees believe.

The Schuelers are Theosophists, so you will find the "New Age karma" idea in their books. The Schuelers also work with the Golden Dawn version of the Enochian system, which is much more complex and very different from a lot of what you will find in the Dee diaries themselves. It's also different from what you will find in my books. If you are interested in that version of the system, I would instead recommend Lon Milo Duquette's Enochian Vision Magick. In my opinion, it's a much better treatment than what you will get from the Schuelers.

Scott Stenwick said...

Laycock is really the only good Enochian dictionary out there. It does contain both Golden Dawn and "Dee Purist" words and definitions, so if you are going to use it, you need to be able to keep track of which is which. Leitch's Angelical Language books focus more on the "Dee Purist" version of the language.

Here's my review of Leitch's Angelical Language Volume I:

https://ananael.blogspot.com/2010/11/review-angelical-language-volume-i-by.html

One of the bits that is in Mastering the Thirty Aires is that I found support for the idea I mention that most G's are hard G's and most C's are hard C's. In the fair copy of the manuscript, Dee uses specific superscripts for soft-G ("dg") and soft-C ("S"). The implication are that the other G's and C's are hard, though Leitch defaults to soft sounds throughout his book.

I haven't read the Essential Enochian Grimoire, so all I will say about is that the complaint I've heard from several people with respect to it is "Where's the grimoire?" Apparently it's a good collection of the basic source material, kind of like a better version of Tyson's Enochian Magick for Beginnners. But like Tyson's book, it apparently (according to the people I've talked to) doesn't include much in the way of procedures to actually work with it.

I don't know anything about ear-biting. That sounds like sensationalized drivel. It is true that according to the account in The Vision and the Voice, Crowley likely did experience a real episode of spirit possession when scrying the 10th Aethyr and dealing with an entity that he called Choronzon in his account. Neuberg drove the possessed-Crowley back out of the circle by threatening him with curses. Crowley notes in his account that magically inexperienced Neuberg did not even know the words of the curse, but his threats worked nonetheless. That's basically the whole story.

My take on that incident is that spirit possession wasn't taught in the Golden Dawn where Crowley first learned magick, so he was unprepared for it and it took him by surprise. It is taught in many other tradition, so it clearly is a real thing that magicians can encounter.

J said...

Gerald Schueler pissed me off royally in his book Enochian Magic when he passed along his belief that Enochian Magic was so tied to karma that using it for self gain self benefit would lead to destroying not just your life but your eternity as well.
Gerald Schueler again made this assertion in his book Advanced Enochian Magic (Which I sent back in disgust! Along with the Enochian Workbook) by saying if you want psychic powers or have mundane interests seek it elsewhere. Enochian Magic is not designed to benefit you in anyway! Except maybe to benefit your karma?!
So I asked myself whats the point then, and did some digging. I did find out that he was a Theosophist and that they tend do a lot of the benefit humanity and be completely selfless thinking! This came across as imbalanced and unrealistic! True balance means helping others and helping yourself!
The next bit of insight came from this website https://hermetic.com/enochia/enoch-ref where Gerald Schueler and Donald Tyson were listed under the heading, “Hall O Shame”!
The article pretty much summed up my suspicion of how Gerald Schueler was unqualified to make claims about Enochian Magic! The article called his books “hasty and unscholarly”, “lamentable”, and “products of his own imagination!”
I was relieved when I read this, because it meant that the powerful Enochian Magick system could be beneficial for more than one narrow point of view like Gerald Schueler's!
I have started reading your books, “Mastering the Mystical Heptarchy and Mastering the Great Table!” and I am enjoying them! You are a good writer and your books seem very practical! You also seem to avoiding the totally unnecessary spiritual karma’ “BULLSHIT” in your books that Gerald Schueler insisted in adding to his books! For this I wanted to say thank you in advance for writing books to help students to learn practical and useful Enochian Magick! I fully intend to use your Enochian Magick system!
Also thank you for you insights on the other authors! It saves time and money knowing what to avoid!
I read (tied to read) Donald Tyson’s “Enochian Magick For Beginners'.” and took it back to the place of purchase!
I have tried to like Tyson’s books (even before I read the
"Hall O Shame” article) but they seem to read like a pulp fiction novel! Like a writer determined to publish something (anything) so that he can get a small royalty check to afford his next meal! Saltines do get old after eating a thousand of them!
If I really wanted to learn Enochian (like a second language to read, speak and write Enochian) what book or books would you recommend?
One last thing, can you please tell me what being a “Thelemite” actually means to you or anybody else following Crowley’s Thelema System! What books did you read and what do people like about Thelema! Do you or does every Thelemite invoke “Aiwass” at their heart when performing the LBRP as in the book Modern Magick?

Thanks again,
Your insights are always helpful!

J

jbyers2at tx.rr.com

jbyers193@gmail.com

Scott Stenwick said...

Just as a point, comments on here are moderated. They will not show up right away until I log in and approve them. So you do not need to submit multiple copies of comments. I didn't used to do that, but I need to because there are so many spammers out there these days.

I worked out of the Schueler books when I was just getting started with Enochian and ignored that bit. I was able to use it for plenty of practical stuff. But then I got ahold of better books and realized just how sloppy they were.

Enochian Magic for Beginners was described to me once as a decent book as long as you apply the "red pen" method. Read the source material in the book, but whenever Tyson says "I think" or anything similar, cross out that sentence with a red pen and ignore it.

Learning Enochian as a complete spoken language is probably impossible without more words. The vocabulary is very limited because the only words that we have for the most part just come from the Angelic Keys. Even though I have my disagreements with Leitch, his Angelical Language books are really the only ones out there that deal with the language as a language.

The two things you need to watch out there is to use mostly hard C's and hard G's, unlike the soft sounds Leitch recommends, and don't pick up his idea of saying the names of the English letters as syllables. There's no evidence in the diaries that this is what you are supposed to do, and besides, it just sounds dumb.

I can't tell you what being a Thelemite means to anyone else. That's kind of the point. What it means to me, though, is that I do my spiritual practices in order to develop and refine my will and work the magick that I do to set my will in motion. Also, the order of practices that I outline in my path of initiation articles and that I have used myself is based on Crowley's A.'.A.'. system. I'm a longtime OTO initiate, but you don't have to be an OTO member to be a Thelemite.

Some Thelemites use Aiwass like that in the LBRP. I personally don't - I use the name of my own Holy Guardian Angel, not Crowley's. But that is a matter of some debate among people working with Crowley's system and there's no consensus on whether or not it's a good idea.

As far as books on Thelema, to get the best insights you really need to read Crowley - sorry to say, because his writing is dense and often difficult to understand the first time through. Lon Milo Duquette's books are also good - more beginner-level than Crowley, but also a lot clearer (and funnier - Lon has a good sense of humor and doesn't take himself to seriously).

J said...

Mr. Stenwick,

If you perform daily rituals like the LBRP at the same time every day, and then do a spirit summing for a specific goal, how long should you wait before you do another LBRP?

Is it advisable to continue with your daily scheduled LBRP routine the following day or should you wait for the goal to manifest itself first?

Could you perform the same spirit summing again on a daily basis after you do your daily LBRP and other rituals? That is if correspondences are favorable of course.

Could you start on another spirit summing ritual for a different goal or should you wait for the first goal to manifest itself first?

Also I started reading your book, “MASTERING THE MYSTICAL HEPTARCHY”, and I got to the part about making the ring.

I have found several videos on YouTube about using broken jewelry gold to make a ring.

How do you in grave your ring? Did you make a mold? If so what did you make it of?

Or did you heat up the top of the ring and engrave it? What tool did you use to in grave it with?

Thanks again,

J,

jbyers2@tx.rr.com

jbyers193@gmail.com

J said...

Mr. Stenwick,

What Magickal Rituals Enochian or other wise are good for improving ones mental health when dealing with stress at work, school, awkward social situations, home life or any other variety of stressful situations?

Thanks again,

J,

jbyers2@tx.rr.com

jbyers193@gmail.com

Scott Stenwick said...

Your practical work should never interfere with your daily practice. Also, once you have a spirit acting in the macrocosm on your behalf, no amount of LBRPs will interfere with it. The LBRP is a microcosmic ritual. It doesn't affect external spirits or ongoing operations.

Don't recast your spells unless you design them that way from the beginning. An example of design from beginning - "I will cast this spell every day for a week in the appropriate hour." Just recasting because you feel like recasting, or whatever, never helps. I can't say for sure why this is, but my working hypothesis is it's like probability. If you set out to flip four coins and they all come up heads, that's very statistically unlikely. But if you've flipped four and three have come up heads, the next flip is no more likely to land as heads or tails.

You can set things up so you have multiple operations going, but there are some considerations. Your personal magical power will be divided between the operations, though the power of the spirit you are calling will not be unless you are trying to have the same spirit do both tasks. The expected probability shift looks something like this (with arbitrary numbers to make the math simpler).

You are a magician with a "magical strength" of 10. You summon two spirits with the same level of strength to perform two unrelated tasks. By a strength of 10, I mean under ideal circumstances capable of causing a probability shift of 10 to 1.

Base shift (one operation) = Your strength + Spirit's strength = 10 + 10 = 20. So one of the operations, by itself, should be able to cause a shift of 20 to 1.

Base shift(operation 1) = Your strength / number of operations + Spirit's strength = (10 / 2) + 10 = 15.
Base shift(operation 2) = Your strength / number of operations + Spirit's strength = (10 / 2) + 10 = 15.

This pattern continues as you add more operations. One way around it is to anchor everything on talismans rather than on yourself. A talisman will hit about 80% of the shift of an operation bound to you, but it has its own source of spiritual power and can operate entirely independently from any other talismans or operations. You can have hundreds if you want with no decrease in shift per talisman.

If that all makes sense. It's complicated, but that's just how it works.

I've bought most of my rings. I have made a couple of brass ones in the past and used an engraving pen to trace the symbols. They don't need to be deep, and I find rotary tools like dremels jump all over the place and have trouble making small straight lines.


Scott Stenwick said...

Anything attributed to Mercury is good for health and healing, mental and otherwise. As I cover in Mastering the Great Table, there are also angels of medicine in the Enochian system that can be quite effective along those lines.