Monday, June 13, 2016

The Elemental Work - Earth

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

Years ago I posted a series of planetary operations designed to produce various practical effects. As the way I work magick has changed over the years, those rituals are similar to, but not identical with, how I would work the same operations today. So I was thinking at first that I might put together a series for "Magick Mondays" that would revisit the planetary work.

But then it occurred to me that one of things I have never posted here is a series of elemental operations constructed along the same lines as the planetary ones. 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. So the idea is to post a basic conjuration ritual for each of the classical elements as my "Magick Monday" posts for the next few weeks.

It should be obvious that the classical elements do not refer to "the elements" as applied in chemistry. Alchemists are sometimes ridiculed by modern chemists for having only four or five elements when we know today that there are over a hundred. But the classical elements refer not to the atomic composition of matter, but rather to the state of that matter.

So, for example, water in its liquid form is represented by elemental Water, but ice is represented by elemental Earth. Earth corresponds to solid, Water to liquid, Air to gas, Fire to plasma, and Spirit to energy. As another example, lava may be composed of molten rock, but as long as it is flowing it corresponds to Water. It then transitions back to Earth when it hardens.

In addition to equating Spirit with energy in general, you can also think of "Active Spirit" as energy in its pure form and "Passive Spirit" as matter in its pure form, with the ratio between the two represented by the famous physics formula E=MC^2. The other elements, then, could be thought of as mixtures of matter and energy in various proportions that manifest as the other four states.

Therefore, the classical elements are not necessarily quite as archaic as some scientists will lead you to believe. The issue is more one of terminology than of symbolism. It is true that the magical system has less to do with the composition of particular materials than the modern system of chemistry aside from particular metals and stones, but the states of matter represented by the classical elements are the same as those in modern chemistry.

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.

Earth is the most dense of the traditional 5 elements. According to Liber 777 the powers associated with Earth are Alchemy, Geomancy, Making of Pantacles, and Travels on the Astral Plane. Earth receives the influence of the other four elements, and in some ways acts as an amalgam of the elements as a whole. Earth corresponds to the Cool power mixed with Dry power, so it binds things together and reinforces their structure.

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 Earth is traced the same direction as the "Lesser Pentagram" used in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, but the latter is visualized in the color of burning flames (as per Liber O) while the former is visualized in either black or green.

I have become convinced over the years that the "Lesser Pentagram" is not the same as the "Earth Pentagram" on account of the difference in color. There is a precedent for this in the Golden Dawn arrangement of the elemental pentagrams, as Invoking Water and Banishing Air differ only by color and godname. The converse is also true. In the LRP, you trace the same direction as Earth, but you use a set of four godnames and visualize the figure in a different color.

The practical upshot of this is that I have heard from a few magicians over the years that you will supposedly have money problems if you do the LBRP daily, because you're banishing Earth. However, so long as you are visualizing your pentagrams in the color of burning flames that is not the case. I could see issues along those lines, though, if you decide to change the ritual by visualizing your pentagrams in black or green. Once you do that, you actually might be banishing Earth.

Another related point is that 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 Earth is named Ghob and the elemental spirits native to his domain are called Gnomes, though when you encounter them they don't necessarily look like Tolkien's hobbits. The godname corresponding to Earth is ADNI (Adonai), 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 Ghob, you trace his name onto the Kamea of the Moon. This is because the Moon rules the elements as the Sun rules the planets. At one point Aaron Leitch proposed using a 10 x 10 "Malkuth Kamea" that he drew up for the elements, but this is a completely new idea that is alien to the original tradition. So your sigil should consist of the character of the Moon from Agrippa that stands in for the Kamea with the sigil for Ghob superimposed over it.

To create the sigil for Ghob, first transliterate the name to Hebrew. You wind up with Gimel, Heh, Ayin, and Beth. The numerations for these letters are 3, 5, 70, and 2. Because the numbers on the 9 x 9 lunar square go to 81, there is no need to change any of these values. 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): Citrine, Russet, Olive, and Black (quartered); or Green.
Queen (Briah): Amber
Emperor (Yetzirah, Prince): Dark Brown
Empress (Assiah, Princess): Black and Yellow

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 storax or any other dull, heavy odor. If you wish to employ a particular magical weapon, the appropriate one would be the pantacle. The substance associated with Earth is Salt. The corresponding plants are Oak, Ivy, and Cereals (grains). These may be employed as offerings to the King, or in the case of Oak, as a proper material for constructing a talisman if one is to be created as part of the operation.

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.

The Table of Art shown above is from The Digital Ambler. You can read about the design and how it was put together here. You can click on the image to enlarge.

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 Earth. To each quarter in turn, beginning in the east and turning clockwise, perform the following actions:
  1. Trace the Invoking Pentagram of Passive Spirit in deep purple while vibrating AGLA.
  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 Earth in green or black while vibrating ADNI (Adonai)
  4. Make the Sign of Earth, by taking a step forward and raising the right hand at and angle of 45 degrees to your body and dropping the left hand behind you at the same angle pointing downwards.
Once you have returned to face the east, read or recite the Elemental Prayer for Earth:

King invisible, who taking the earth as a support, didst furrow the abysses to fill them with Thine omnipotence; Thou whose name doth shake the vaults of the world, Thou who causest the seven metals to flow through the veins of the rock, monarch of the seven lights, rewarder of the subterranean toilers, lead us unto the desirable air, and to the realm of splendor.

We watch and we work unremittingly, we seek and we hope, by the twelve stones of the Holy City, by the hidden talismans, by the pole of lodestone, which passes through the center of the world! Expand our hearts, detach and elevate our minds, enlarge our entire being! O stability and motion! O day clothed with night! O darkness veiled by light! O master who never keepest back the wages of Thy laborers!

O silver whiteness! O golden splendor! O crown of living and melodious diamonds! Thou who wearest the heaven on Thy finger like a sapphire ring, Thou who concealest under the earth, in the stone kingdom, the marvelous seed of stars. Live, reign, be the eternal dispenser of the wealth which we all share! AMEN.

The space should now be tuned for the conjuration.

4. The Conjuration

O thou mighty King GHOB, ruler of ARETZ, by the name of the True and Living God ADONAI, 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 Earth, and that they may attend to my behest. AMEN.

At this point, vibrate the name GHOB repeatedly until the presence of the King and the spirits of elemental Earth 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 Earth as the powers associated with Earth are Alchemy, Geomancy, Making of Pantacles, and Travels on the Astral Plane. For best results, your charge should fall within those areas. Otherwise, you may be asking for something outside the Earthly 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 a small container set on the Table of Art. After the King has had a chance to partake of the offerings, be sure to dispose of them. Alcohol 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 GHOB 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 ADONAI, 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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Rodav said...

I started the earth ritual, got about 1/2 way and suddenly got a bad feeling. I'm not that experienced and this is the fullest ritual I've performed. Anyway, I ended the ritual straight away and did a banishing. What are your thoughts on what might have happened ?

Scott Stenwick said...

It is pretty hard to give you a precise diagnosis based on that account. What do you mean by halfway? Was it during the opening forms, the preliminary invocation, tuning the space, or the conjuration?

Depending on where this happened, my guess as to what might have happened is going to be different.

Rodav said...

I did the LBRP, then raising energy, then the conjuration. I didn't do the LRH. And the energy raising was not the middle Pillar, it was a different method that I found of simply visualizing energy coming into me from the earth, the heavens and each arm. It was during the conjuration that I just got a bad feeling. I thought afterwards that, being the most involved ritual I've done, maybe I just freaked out because it worked and I wasn't used to the feeling ?!

Scott Stenwick said...

Alternate means of raising energy should be fine, unless you tapped into something that didn't resonate well with your psyche. I can't really speak to that, but what you describe doesn't sound problematic to me.

When you just use the LBRP without the LIRH, all you're doing is "clearing your head" before calling in the spirit without any additional forms. The LBRP is microcosmic and clears out your sphere of awareness, rather than aligning your consciousness with macrocosmic forces. That macrocosmic alignment helps you work with spirits more effectively, and keeps them from intruding into your consciousness quite as much.

Did you use the Table of Art, or any other containment structure? It sounds like you changed a number of other elements of the rite.

Rodav said...

I did use the Table of Art, although it was quite small on a piece of A4 size paper and I shortened the Elemental prayer to earth. So all up, the changes I made was; I left out the LRH, did a different raising energy method and shortened the elemental prayer.
The main reason I change things is that the longer and more complicated it is, the more I feel like I'm reading instructions and not'feeling' it. Does that make a difference ? I guess familiarity will make the difference.
I'll try it again but follow your design closely.
Regarding the Table of Art, how big should it be ? I don't have a permanent temple space and with some things I have to make do.

Anonymous said...

@Robot if you're just starting these things I can tell you from my experience so far that there's nothing wrong in having all sorts of peculiar feelings during the rites. This goes double when you're performing your first rituals in which you're actually conjuring a spirit. You'll get used to it, and imo the weird feeling is an indicator that what you're doing is working.

I've read somewhere that gnomes in particular can seem harsh at first, but not that they're ill intended or that they have something against you. They kinda test the degree of readiness of the practitioners. So I guess you were edgy and/or having second thoughts or something. I guess it could be something similar to showing no weakness towards Martian spirits...

Rodav said...

I did the full ritual with no shortcuts, I drew out a larger table of art. It seemed to go well. Thanks for answering my questions.

Scott Stenwick said...

Glad to hear it.

As far as the Table of Art goes, it can be fairly small. You should be able to use one drawn on a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, though if you do that you should size it to cover as much of the sheet as you can. Also, if you are using a spell focus of some sort - crystal, mirror, etc. - it should be small enough to fit within the triangle.

Anyway, it's good to hear that you were able to get it to work for you. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Anonymous said...

@Scott I probably asked you this some time before, somewhere. So if this is the case, sorry for making you repeat the answer.

Would you use the SIRP after the Operant Field in order to call all 4 elemental kings at once? Or is that solely for Malkuth as a whole?

Scott Stenwick said...

The way I do it, the SIRP is only for Malkuth - that is, the Vision of the Holy Guardian Angel or of Adonai. For any other purpose the four Kings together represent a full manifestation of the entire elemental system, so you don't use any ritual form to tune the space. Just the Key plus the conjurations.

Anonymous said...

Just as I thought. Thank you!

Bishop said...

Do i need paint Yesod kamea in violet or black ?

If i do a injuction and limitation could go like this:
"I would like this to have,but not in any harmfull or bad way to anyone or anything"

I assume Spirits and Angels are inteligent so i should not insist or repeat many times what i want.
Don t wanna be confused in middle od the rite.

Scott Stenwick said...

Violet or whatever shade of purple you have available is more correct.

Be careful about using "without harm" so generally. Just about every operation you do is going to have some negative outcomes if you follow the effects of it far enough down the line. The result is that if you word your charge like that, you probably won't get much of an effect because "anyone or anything" is too broad. You generally want to include limitations that prevent injury to yourself and loved ones, damage to your property, and so forth.

Spirits will understand your request whether you repeat it or not, as long as it is clearly stated.

Bishop said...

How would a injuction and limitaion look as a example? Like "A want A without harm or injury to me or my property"

Earth is i guess good for material things.Could i use Elemenatal work for a Job.

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, that one is pretty good. I have used similar statements myself in ritual. Generally I include loved ones, so like this:

"I want A without injury to myself or my loved ones, and without damage to my property or theirs."

Something like that. It can be simple as long as you don't make it too broad.

Earth should work well for a job if you are working in the elemental realm. Usually I would go with Jupiter in the planetary realm, but both the elements and planets are complete systems. Their powers can roughly map to the planets as follows:

Fire: Protection, Cursing - Saturn and Mars
Water: Emotions, Relationships - Venus
Air: Healing, Communication, Divination - Mercury and Moon
Earth: Material Prosperity - Jupiter and Sun

Note that none of this means the planets necessarily rule or are associated with these elements, just that when using the elemental system this is how you can substitute for planetary powers. Planets ruling elements is a whole other system.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

If I may, I usually say "without physical, financial, and judicial harm to..." as a limitation. I found that I can live with gaining more money having suffered emotional damage in the process for instance, and that kind of damage also falls inside the "without harm" part :) So by doing that I extend the probabilities for the spell.

Some insist intent is no how magick works. I am of the opinion intent is the central piece of a magical operation because one is basically speaking things into creation. All that fasting and prayers, asperging and fumigating, prayers, orations, Psalms, and whatnot are meant to take the magician to the point where he or she can release their intent into the world. That's why, imo, a poorly formulated statement of intent can ruin everything, regardless of how hard to the touch the spirits are when they show up and the pretty colors they wear.

Scott Stenwick said...

That approach works too. The point is to be as precise as you can be about what you want to happen and what you don't want to happen.

Intent is important for getting the results you want, but I also have seen cases where the statement was worded or constructed badly and the magick worked fine - it just didn't do what the magician wanted it to do. That example seems to contradict the idea that intent is essential for magick to work, but it is nonetheless essential to getting it to work the way you want.

Bishop said...

I first make Yesod kamea and i them make a sigil od King Ghob.
I make a sigil im all 4 kabalistic colours how i want so i can be creative with it.
I guess also maybe they need the to be the same lenght .If i do like 4 cm sigil every cm occupies one colour.

Scott Stenwick said...

I would expect that to work just fine.

master bates said...

@Scott, I have often wondered why the golden dawn used a hexagram on the earth pantacle ritual tòol, rather than a pentagram, which being a microcosmic symbol is surely more appropriate than the macrocosmic zodiac symbolism of the hexagram?

Scott Stenwick said...

The Earth hexagram from the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram represents the macrocosmic aspect of Earth, which includes but extends the microcosmic aspect. So if you want to do practical (macrocosmic) magick involving the element of Earth, the hexagram is more appropriate. One of the key points there is that your psyche/sphere of sensation is the microcosm and everything including both your psyche/sphere of sensation and the exterior universe is the macrocosm.

You certainly could go ahead and put a pentagram on your pantacle as long as you consecrate it in the context of the macrocosm - that is, opening your ritual with LRP/LRH, probably LBRP/LIRH (the operant field). Once you've set your context to macrocosmic by opening that way, the pantacle will be a macrocosmic tool whether it has a pentagram on it or not. My immediate thought with the Golden Dawn structure was that a Neophyte creating a pantacle would not have been taught the LRH.

So perhaps the hexagram figure there was an allusion to the tool's eventual macrocosmic use once the Neophyte made it to the Inner Order. I don't know for sure, though, that's just a guess.

master bates said...

@Scott, many thanks for your helpful answer. I had overlooked the micro/macrocosmic dovetailing symbolism of the LRH.
I will start by making a traditional GD pantacle and see how it goes. Crowley is quite elusive in his description of the pantacle in MTP.
Btw, do you use a pantacle as a ritual tool?

Scott Stenwick said...

I do have the four standard elemental tools, and I add two more - the banishing dagger and invoking wand. You can use your Air Dagger for banishing and your Fire Wand for invoking, but I find having two separate tools dedicated to those purposes to be convenient.

TyroneLove said...

Could you please give an example of an instruction for a charge ? I am not a native speaker and I’d like to instruct them in the same literary style as the rest of the ritual but am not confident in my writing abilities...

Scott Stenwick said...

A simple charge would be something like this. Suppose that you want the spirits to bring you a million dollars. Granted, that is a pretty high probability bar to meet, so this is just for the sake of an example. The charge has two parts, an injunction and a limitation. The injunction is what you wan the spirit to do, and the limitation is what you don't want the spirit to do. So a million dollar charge would go something like this:

Bring me a million dollars (injuction), without injury to myself and my loved ones and without damage to my property (limitation).

TyroneLove said...

I found your 1st Enochian book on Scribd and read the part about the charge ^^
Btw, I might not thank you every time you answer my questions because I don’t wanna spam you since you have to moderate the comments, but I’m very grateful for the knowledge you share. So let me say it here. THANK YOU!

z said...

After drawing the passive spirit summon supreme staves must the sign of the entrant be performed to project light into the supreme passive spirit summoning pentagram? After drawing the supreme earth summoning pentagram, should the sign of the entrant be performed to project light into the supreme earth summoning pentagram? I saw that you did not put it in the ritual but perhaps it is not necessary, I have read other authors who do not say that you have to project light either and I find it very interesting. Is it necessary to always project the light inside the staves?

z said...

After drawing the passive spirit summon supreme staves must the sign of the entrant be performed to project light into the supreme passive spirit summoning pentagram? After drawing the supreme earth summoning pentagram, should the sign of the entrant be performed to project light into the supreme earth summoning pentagram? I saw that you did not put it in the ritual but perhaps it is not necessary, I have read other authors who do not say that you have to project light either and I find it very interesting. Is it necessary to always project the light inside the staves?

z said...

I have seen that in these rituals the sign of tearing the veil is used. The sign of tearing the veil serves as a replacement for the sign of the entrant?. I ask why when giving the sign of the incoming is "charging the pentagram"... but opening the veil in front of a pentagram "opens a portal"? Is that correct? If I use the tear the veil sign as a replacement for the enterer sign, by tearing the veil am I opening the center of the pentagram and letting entities through? Is then the sign of tearing the veil another way of charging the staves? The sign of tearing the veil must be given in front of the pentagram or must it be given by taking the hands inside the pentagram and separating them there, thus tearing the veil within the pentagrams? I think I've seen something similar in Kuriakos's book (I read it in 2019) and I find it very interesting and exciting. In one of the GD books I read that the opening of the veil is done by advancing the left foot and bringing the hands together forward and separating them there. This then would be something similar to the sign of the entrant, if I put one foot forward and bring my hands in front of the pentagram, am I carrying it if I touch it? The Thelemites also move one foot forward or in this ritual I must keep my feet together and just do that I open a veil with my hands? Another question I have is: If a pentagram is drawn while a divine name is vibrated and something is drawn in the center while another divine name is vibrated, is that already considered a burden or is it necessary to perform the sign of the incoming or the sign of tearing the veil? And if only a pentagram is drawn while a divine name is vibrated and nothing is drawn inside it, that is enough for it to be charged (By the way, I have seen that in this ritual you do not use the spirit wheel and the head of the ox /bull that is traced within the pentagram (Still, this methodology fascinates me and I want to try it, I find it very interesting but it confuses me a little)? I have had these doubts for years and the use of these has always made me very interesting techniques. And finally: The sign of tearing the veil must be done in front of the pentagram but without touching it or the hands must be carried inside the pentagram and separated inside it?.

Scott Stenwick said...

With regard to giving the Sign of the Enterer / Sign of Silence with the pentagrams, that is one way to do it and it is entirely effective, but I don't do it myself with the GRP. The reason is that the signs get rather convoluted if you do and I don't find that complexity adds anything to the effectiveness of the operation.

Instead of tracing the pentagram, and then doing Enterer/Silence with the godname, and then giving the sign of the element, I instead vibrate the godname as I trace the pentagram. This simplifies the ritual and it still works fine. So for invoking Earth, instead of this:

Trace Passive Spirit Pentagram
Sign of the Enterer
Vibrate Passive Spirit Godname
Sign of Silence
Rending the Veil
Trace Earth Pentagram
Sign of the Enterer
Vibrate Earth Godname
Sign of Silence
Sign of Earth

I instead do this:

Trace Passive Spirit Pentagram with Passive Spirit Godname
Sign of Rending the Veil
Trace Earth Pentagram with Earth Godname
Sign of Earth

You can see that it's a lot simpler.

What I'm actually replacing is the Enterer/Silence method for vibrating Godnames. According to Liber O, when you vibrate a name you do Enterer - Godname - Silence and that method can be applied to any and all of these ritual forms. If you'd like to try it that way, by all means go ahead. I have students who do it that way and their rituals work fine. The vibrating while tracing thing is more a matter of my personal preference, and as I said, experimentally it seems to work just as well.

So the Enterer doesn't charge the pentagram, it charges the Godname.

The version of the ritual where you are using additional names, tracing zodiacal figures inside the pentagram, and so forth are actually from the Golden Dawn "Supreme Ritual of the Pentagram" which is not used in the Thelemic system. The main difference with that version is that it's tuned for working with the Golden Dawn Enochian system, which I also don't practice (my version of Enochian is more closely based on the Dee diaries and rejects a whole bunch of attributions that the GD added to the system). Since I don't work with that ritual myself, you probably would get better advice on it from a Golden Dawn practitioner.

Which foot you advance doesn't seem to affect how any of those signs works. I've seen people do it both ways and get good results. Likewise, you don't need to do anything special involving the Rending of the Veil sign and the pentagram. Just give the sign. It represents the parting of the Veil of Paroketh so that the lightning flash can descend into the sublunar realms unimpeded. You don't need it with the hexagrams because they are already attributed to Tiphareth, which is above the Veil of Paroketh, while the elements reside in Malkuth, below the veil.

Kohanim Ra Gog said...

Thank you for answering me Scott, the answer you gave me makes a lot of sense, I will perform the rituals as you do. I will use the tear the veil sign after drawing the pentagram. On occasion I will also use the GD formula. Before (at the end of 2019) I used the sign of tearing the veil for my Enochian rituals when reading the Kuriakos book, (although Kuriakos does it in a different order than you). By doing the rituals that you published in this blog, I will follow your steps, exactly as you explain them, I am really fascinated by these magical techniques and now that you explained the lightning thing to me, I see that it makes a lot of sense. I was thinking about it and analyzing what you say in your blog: You say that the Moon governs the elements. That makes me think that: So when drawing an elemental pentagram, the pentagram enters into symbiosis with the moon and when making the sign of tearing the veil, the ray that falls (from higher than the Moon) goes towards the pentagram and towards the lunar camea from where they are taken the sigils of the elemental kings, this is because the ray seeks to continue descending (the ray seeks to continue its path) and having a pentagram and a lunar camea is a way of attracting the ray downwards, although even so (logically) the sign of the I see if it is done separately to the camea and the staff it also works. In my opinion Scott makes a lot of sense, is what I say correct? I've been reading your blog for a while now and I really find it fascinating.

z said...

When I put "Camea" I meant "Kamea", I wanted to write "Kamea".

Scott Stenwick said...

A couple of things - I am not familiar with Kuriakos, so I can't really comment on differences between the orders we use. It is definitely true that there can be a lot of variation in the forms and I don't think there's a single correct version.

What you're explaining there is a fairly complex visualization that I haven't done myself. It sounds consistent and logical, but that doesn't always mean it's the best method. It sounds like it might be worth experimenting with.

"Kamea" is transliterated from Hebrew, so "Camea" can also be a correct spelling in English. So no worries there.

Samat said...

Hello Scott. This is my first question on your blog so I hope it finds you well. Incense is hard to find that matches 777's descriptions and besides a tea light candle, incense is the only thing left in my equipment to make the ritual feel more 'magickal' and so can Musk, Aloe Wood, Sandalwood or some other Earth like incense like the Venusian and Mercurial incense I mentioned be used instead? My aloe wood has a photo of a desert on it and though it is used for Mercury, I found that Saturn didn't have a problem with it as well even though it smelled sweet. Thanks.

Scott Stenwick said...

To tell you the truth, I rarely use incense. I have practically no sense of smell, so I don't really notice it, and have asthma, so I don't deal well with smoke. My rituals work nonetheless. So I wouldn't worry about not being able to get the incenses listed in 777. You can go with any scent that seems to be harmonious with your operation and you will most likely still get good results.

Samat said...

Scott, I'm having a problem with this. Per 777, the powers associated with Earth are Alchemy, Geomancy, Making of Pentacles, and Travels on the Astral Plane and the powers associated with Water are the Great Work, Talismans, and Crystal Gazing (Scrying in general).

So for creating a talisman for the sole purpose of 'improving ones pathworking abilities', which element would be used? Earth is pretty clear by the phrase 'travels on the astral plane' which is pathworking is pretty much but water is a choice too.

Scott Stenwick said...

That is not a problem, it just points out that both can work. The powers have considerable overlap. They will a little differently. A talisman for travels on the astral plane will give more of a sense of being out-of-body, whereas a water talisman will work more like honing your psychic senses and letting you receive information more easily.

But the thing is, "astral travel" isn't really "travel" - you don't leave your body, your psychic senses just give you the illusion that you have. So the information you will gain from pathworking using either type of talisman is likely to be just as good and just as accurate. There is a slight difference in "flavor" but that's it.

Samat said...

I don't think pathworking is astral travel, is it though? I don't know. We'll, I think that Water is more suitable for this simple because water and its ruler are known to achieve these things for thousands of years. I will try with Water. I already had success with my first pathworking a few days ago.

Samat said...

Hey Scott. I would like your opinion on this. I read in Frater UD's book Money Magic a story about someone who used a standard Earth pathworking ritual but instead of communicating with the Ghob like one would inspect, she met an unspecified Earth spirit and explained her predicament. The earth spirit instructed her on what to do in the form of a magical ritual she was supposed to do over the next 3 days. No talisman, no charge/petition and it worked. Her financial situation was saved.

I have not heard of such a thing like this. The last time it happened, it happened with John Dee who was taught an entirely original system of magic, and never again.

So should I too do something like that? Or is it better to just charge spirits?

Scott Stenwick said...

I have heard of rituals received directly from spirits working, so as far as I know it is a viable method. It's not completely unprecedented, I know a number of magicians who have received rituals like that and they have worked to varying degrees.

I have no idea if it might work better. I imagine that probably depends on you and the spirit you get in contact with. The advantage of the ceremonial methods the way I do them is that they are relatively standard, repeatable, and reliable. That's why I use the methods that I do.

But at the same time, I think just about anything can be worth experimenting with. Since "received rituals" like that are so personal, it's hard for me to tell you how well something like that will work. You may just have to try it and see for yourself.

Samat said...

Saturn, a planet of elemental Earth restricts and binds and shuts things down, so can Earth do the same? We're in Taurus, so Earth should be able to do those things in this month.

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, if you are working elementally and want to bind or slow something down, Earth is the best for that.

You can potentially do elemental work at any time. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the sign the Sun is currently in. With Renaissance astrology, the Sun isn't even the most important aspect of the chart, and you have to look at the whole thing.

Samat said...

(Not sure if I posted this twice)

Earth just gained another point in my book.

So last year when I was starting out with our system, I charged King Djinn who has never failed so far, to remove someone from my life. Not only did it not work but the person actually stayed around longer with me than intended. Now I realize that the element chosen was wrong. Earth is the planet of restrictions, boundaries and exiles and fire burns boundaries and restrictions. This explains to me why it failed.

2nd, Liber 777 lists Pisces for casting illusions but shouldn't the Moon be better for this? It has been considered the planet of illusions which makes sense to me as it's also the fastest planet which makes it a fitting candidate for illusions. Gemini is also a candidate, because air and water are both known for causing confusion and illusions.

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, I would agree with that. If you are working elementally, Fire is better for cutting connections.

Not better in general, no. But it might work better for you or some other person. That is where experimentation comes in. Since we don't have an established general theory of magick, we are still at the point where different approaches can work better for specific people.

You probably could cast illusions using the Moon or Gemini, depending on how you wanted to go about it, and then compare to Pisces. It's possible that you might find it works better for you, but it is important not to necessarily generalize those findings beyond your own practice.