New Year, New You: Begin at the Beginning

The way in which Deb’s challenge is in sync with my own life is fascinating.  Major housecleaning and a bit of Mercurial Work were already on the table.  It’s the last days of the semester: the apartment must be clean and cleansed before I leave, so that I don’t come home to a disaster and loose all the sanity I intend to gain before break; it’s my last day to write & study before I take my final exam and turn in my final paper, which makes Hermes my best friend and Mercury my fuel; also, I need them both to help me out with the ten-hour drive through corn corn corn corn corn corn corn and more corn, punctuated only by major urban areas and rural speed traps.

Deb is right to point out the importance of a clean house for magical work.  I was skeptical of this theory for years, but I got the clue phone eventually.  These days I can tell the difference in my magic—be it my daily practice, my lunar rites, or anything else—when I haven’t taken the time to put everything away, do the dishes, and sweep the floor.  Yes, my body is my temple.  So is my house—I named it the Sunrise Temple for a reason.  I need to get me a besom and an aspergillum.  In the meantime: smudge, smudge, and more smudge.

The matter of my time management is a little different.  Finals is the high-stress-point of a student’s year, and that involves a mad roller coaster of high production and gross procrastination.  I’m doing better than many of my peers—I turned in my first final paper a whole hour early, my last should be done tonight, and I’m think I’m prepared for my final exam in Attic Greek (expect to see a bit of original Greek composition and my first attempts to translate Homer here over the next few weeks)—but I’m still here blogging right now instead of studying.  We’ll soon see if that’s time well invested in legitimate “rest”, or just another round of “anything but homework”.

In magical terms—because while my scholarship is intimately related to my religious practice, it’s not quite “magic”—I need to work out a new schedule.  After several months of off-and-on daily practice, I’ve come to the conclusion that what I’ve been doing isn’t quite working for me.  I need more variety.  I need to up my “chill meditation” to “magical ritual” ratio.  I need to spend less time worrying about my daily practice and get back on top of my lunar rites. 

I just missed the Full Moon.  I haven’t even done my monthly tarot reading.  So be it.  The Dark  Moon is coming, it has always featured more prominently in my personal practice than the full—that whole shamanic thing—and the Hellenic lunar calendar starts on the first day of the waxing moon anyway.  I was already considering making that shift, and now’s as good a time as any.

These things are all easy.  I was going to do them anywhere. 

Putting down and moving rocks … that’s a little harder.  I’m a little vague on what I want right now, outside of the academic sphere.  I’m moving in a lot of directions but I don’t actually have goals.

This is often how I get myself into trouble.

I’m so overwhelmed right now that I don’t eve know which of the weights on my shoulders are my schoolwork, which are the demands of others, and which are my own.  I won’t be able to sort out which are the good weights from the bad until I’ve had a little rest.

ETA:  Fucking typos.

New Year, New You

I don’t link to her often, but Deborah Castellano is fucking brilliant.  She has, in a sense, said to the magical community: “You can fucking do it.  I dare you.”  And rightly so.  Sometimes our armchairs are too cozy, our libations too tasty, and the Work too … well, hard.  And we lose track of what we can accomplish if we set our minds to it.

In a sense, I have already set myself to something like this.  In a sense, I have already stumbled.  But the great thing about cyclical time is that I can have as many New Years as I want.  So I’m in.  I’m going to double-down.  I’m going to refine my intent.

Here’s what I’m going to do:

* I’m going to continue my experimental forays into Western Ceremonialism, though I’m going to throw the time table out the window.  The subject is just too big for any year-and-a-day bullshit.

* I’m going to dive back into the witchcraft that’s gotten me this far.  I’m going to dig into my old notes and try to find all the wild and crazy shit that I knew to do but not what to do with back before I blew my fuse.

* I’m going to push the boundaries of my art-as-magic thesis and praxis.  That means more wild, wacky, and surreal images.  More speculations as to what sort of magic I can accomplish through art alone.

* I’m going to resume the shamanic aspects of my practice, which have been falling on the wayside under the pressure of my ceremonial and academic studies.  This may seem strange to some people, but … I miss the Underworld.

* I’m going to pick back up my formal Book of Shadows project—better known to my meatspace friends than you year readers—and I’m going to restart it from scratch.  I’ve spent a lot of time on that project over the last couple years, and if it’s taught me nothing else it’s that I’m still laboring under a whole lot of bullshit pretense.

* I’m going to see what I can do about that bullshit pretense.  Please bear with me through the painful and embarrassing parts of that process.

* And, finally, I’m going to do all these things SOMEHOW without letting my GPA suffer.

Balls to the wall, y’all.

New Year, New Me.

Tarot for Sagittarius: 10 Swords; fix with 7 Cups

When I did my annual reading at Samhain, the Card I drew for the sign of Sagittarius was the 10 of Swords, possibly the least auspicious card in the deck.  When I asked “how do I fix this?” I drew the 7 of Cups.  The worst possible reading for these cards goes something like, “Your life is falling apart and there’s nothing you can do about it, so just pretend it isn’t happening.”  The 10 of Swords also appeared in my annual reading as an underlying theme, and in my last full moon reading as the card for the 9th House.

The 10 of Swords is most often understood as a card about things falling apart.  It is a card of death, dismemberment, and betrayal.  And endings.  Especially endings.  Anthony Lewis’ Tarot Plain and Simple offers numerous keywords.  First and foremost he describes the 10 of Swords as “Stabbed in the back.” and “The end of a cycle.”  But as you dig into the keywords it gets a little more interesting.  There are of course the expected tragedies: ruin; failure; defeat; separation; pain.  There are also some that are a great deal more helpful to me in the moment: a decisive rupture; a forced change; an emotional cut off; a decision that alters your life; possible travel.  His interpretation of the card’s “situation and advise” in in respect to the card is more helpful still: your plans are not working out; you may be feeling emotionally cut off; something has ended that may still concern you; a situation or relationship is coming to its irrevocable end, and you may be feeling on the threshold of depression because of your loss.

Then we get to the fun part.  I don’t do reversed cards, but that doesn’t make those potential meanings go away: The worst is over; the end of a cycle and a new beginning.  Emerging from a period of emotional turmoil, hurt, and sadness.  The worst is over and your problems are beginning to resolve.

And while the Robin Wood deck doesn’t carry the Crowley meanings heavily, I think some of them are good to keep in mind: excessive reliance on the “rational” mind; collapse of unstable ideas and intellectual constructs; destruction of paradigms.

At first glance the 7 of Cups is an odd solution for anything: Lack of focus; a sense of confusion.  If I were to choose two words that describe my understanding of this card in the Robin Wood deck it would be “delusion” and “distraction”.  But looking deeper, there are some very helpful things going on here: emotion dominating rational thought (a particularly good counter to 10S); altered states; visions; significant dreams; psychic impressions.  The card talks about making difficult, even impossible choices.  Again, noting the “reversed” meanings: the fog lifts.

So I think I understand my 10 of Swords.  My struggles with my ceremonial experiment have definitely been a major factor so far this “month”, and with my recent decision to slow that down and consolidate what I’ve already learned, I expect they will continue to do so—for the rest of the month, even the rest of the year.  I have also become disenchanted with the roadmap I originally chose for that program of study.  So we see the sudden stop, and particularly see the meaning of the 10S in my 9th House at the moon and (possibly) as an underlying theme for the year.  I’ve also been trapped in the overly-cerebral world of academia-as-the-semester-ends, leaving my creative mind battered and neglected.  And there are definitely some decisions that I’ve been putting off to the point where those decisions might just be made for me.

The 7 of Cups is a solid solution for many of these problems: magic, particularly dreams and visionary work.  And I need to figure out what, exactly, it is that I want, and put that decision into action before it’s too late.

Annual Reading Part 2/2

I’ve been struggling over the second part of my annual reading.  Not just the meanings, which become less and less clear as I use my Robin Wood tarot deck less and less, but even to find time to look at it.  So I’m going to post the outline now and go over each period as I come to them.  Probably more useful that way anyway.

For Part 1/2 look here.

Below the fold are my chronological reading and some of the synthesis between the two.


Scorpio ~ November – Queen of Cups

Sagittarius ~ December – 10 Swords – fix with 7 Cups

Capricorn ~ January – 5 Cups – fix with 10 Disks

Aquarius ~ February – X Wheel of Fortune

Pisces ~ March – Ace of Cups

Aries ~ April – Knight of Disks

Taurus ~ May – Queen of Wands

Gemini ~ June – 8 Disks

Cancer ~ July – 5 Disks – fix with Page of Wands

Leo ~ August – II the High Pirestess

Virgo ~ September – Ace of Wands

Libra ~ October – XI Justice

Underlying = 2 Wands


10 Swords = Underlying 1 + Sagittarius

2 Wands = 4th House + Underlying 2

X Fortune/Wheel of Fortune = 5th House + Aquarius

Knight of Disks = 8th House + Aries

Ace of Wands = 12th House + Virgo

XI Justice / VIII Adjustment = Libra + fix 3rd House


IX the Hermit = fix 1st House

XV the Devil = 2nd House

VIII Adjustment = fix 3rd House

X Fortune = 5th House

XIV Art = 6th House

XI Lust = fix 7th House

XVI the Tower = 10th House

X Wheel of Fortune = Aquarius

II the High Pirestess = Leo

XI Justice = Libra


Knight of Disks = 8th House

Princess of Swords = 10th House

Queen of Disks = 11th House

Princess of Wands = central theme

Knight of Swords = crosses PrsWands

Queen of Cups = Scorpio

Knight of Disks = Aries

Queen of Wands = Taurus

Page of Wands = fix Gemini

Christopher Penczak’s Temple of High Witchcraft

Temple of High Witchcraft is the fourth book in Christopher Penckzac’s “Temple of Witchcraft” series.  It attempts to frame the the Western Ceremonial tradition in terms which are compatible with the particular strain of solitary Wicca he describes in the previous three books. 

On my first read, it looked good—albeit with the standard Penczak disclaimers: don’t trust his history; swallow your bile when every time he says “harm none”; and try not to cry when he reduces complex pantheons to weak incarnations of his disturbing “Goddess, God, and Great Spirit” triad.

Following the scheme established by his first three books, he offers thirteen lessons: one preliminary, one chapter for each of the ten Sephiroth, one more for Da’ath, and a final initiation.  In keeping with the most interesting and useful part of his previous lessons, each stage of the study is accompanied by a distinctive altar plan.  Unlike the previous books, he frames each Sephira as an initiatory stage, attempting to parallel the initiatory structure of the Golden Dawn.  The lessons build on one another, with the student’s daily rituals becoming increasingly elaborate.  Each lesson also introduces one or two of the various iconic elements of Golden Dawn ceremonialism—Abremelin Oil, planetary sigils, the Rosy Cross, and the like.  Each lesson ends with a set of pathworkings.  Throughout the book and in the appendices, he offers a number of exercises and alternatives to make the patriarchal and monotheist structures of the GD more compatible with an individual eclectic Wiccan system, culminating in a reality map to replace the Qabalistic Tree of Life in student’s practice.

Knee-deep in the program, however, certain problems begin to come clear.  Although the book is weighty, too many of the pages are taken up by Penczak’s bullshit history and theory.  While the lessons look weighty on initial examination, in attempting to actually make use of them they fall short.  He oversimplifies the subject to the point of uselessness.  Finally, and most importantly, these problems culminate in a course whose ostensible target audience could not possibly complete in the proposed amount of time.

I don’t even know where to begin with the bullshit of Penczak’s history and magical theory.  Although I sometimes get the impression that he actually knows something of history and is bullshitting for the benefit of the audience, we’re talking about someone who feels perfectly comfortable asserting that the actual use of the Pyramids is unknown because some people have past-life memories of their use as magical communication devises a-la Chariots of the Gods (IToW citation forthcoming).  And his magical theory still pretty much reads like a verbose version of DJ Conway. 

Each lesson comes with an addition to the practitioner’s daily regimen, an alchemical or ritual experiment to perform, and a pair of pathworkings with which to conclude the lesson.  But trying to work through those lessons, it turns out that there’s not actually anything to work through.  Most of each lesson’s page count is consumed by Cunningham-esque correspondence tables and lengthy explanations thereof.  Each ritual is presented as a series of physical and mental motions, with no explanation of what the rite is actually attempting to achieve.  Each lesson has a beginning, and an end, but no middle.  In order to be really effective, each chapter would need to be twice as long. 

Looking to my personal library and—more importantly, the Internet—for solutions to these problems, I discovered what I personally consider the second worst problem of the book.  It perpetuates the idea that the Golden Dawn and Thelemic lodge traditions are the whole and sum of the Western magical tradition.  I don’t know what else to say about this.  There is so much ceremonial magic out there, from the Greek Magical Papyri to Cornelius Agrippa and everything in between and things I’ve never even heard of yet.  This is a huge scholastic–even moral–failing on the part of Christopher Penczak.

As a serious student of magic with a large personal library and access to the Internet, I was able to overcome these first problems.  But I’ve also been practicing magic of one form or another for fifteen years.  Having worked a good job and been relatively financially privileged, I have a library which is the envy of many who see it.  And I have access to high-speed internet both at home and at school, and have had for most of my adult life (counting, for the sake of this statement, that period when 24kbps WAS “high speed” for the time).  There is no guarantee that everyone buying Penczak’s book—or borrowing it from the library—has these advantages.  Further, it’s meant to stand on no more foundation than his previous three books.

Let me say that again: this regimen is meant to be within the abilities of someone who has done no more than Penczak’s three previous year-and-a-day courses. 

There is no way that someone just beginning their third year of magical practice could make it through this book in a year and a day without hurting themselves.  Well, except possibly to get nothing out of it whatsoever.

Don not, under any circumstances, buy this book new.  Don’t bother with this book at all, really, unless you’re like me and just like to have a framework for for a much larger program of independent study.

Penczak, Christopher. The Temple Of High Witchcraft, Ceremonies, Spheres And The Witches’ Qabalah. Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd, 2007.

Curse Tablets

Having recently discovered that one of my Classics professors shares my interest in historical magic and cult practice, I’ve been pointed toward a volume edited by Bengt Ankalroo and Stuart Clark: Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: Ancient Greece and Rome.  I’m only about 60 pages in so far, but it’s (moderately) dense academic work, and there’s already been more information than some New Age/Pagan/Occult authors can cram into 150-200 pages.

This shit is fascinating, though I don’t know how much I’ll actually ever need to use this information.  The Greeks and Romans were absolutely fucking ruthless when it came to cursing their enemies: giving them over to the hands of the dead and offering their souls and bodies to demons and cthonic gods.  But if I ever need to bind anyone, I’ll know where to look.  Equally fascinating is what our cultural ancestors felt compelled to curse each-other over: litigation, above all else, followed by commercial transactions, then matters of sex and love, and finally appeals for divine justice.  Apparently the Romans stationed in the Bath (the largest cache of the last category) were chiefly interested in the return of stolen property (p38), and the use of curse tablets to get laid was particularly popular in Egypt (p36).

Obviously, as a scholarly work instead of an occult one, some of the details I might need to implement these techniques are lacking–what sort of ritual processes went into dedicating the tablets once made?–but there’s enough detail that as a creative and experienced witch, I could make up what they don’t say.  And, if I were a purist, they are kind enough to point me to the relevant Greek Magical Papyri, almost innocent of the idea that anyone might still want to use this information.

The book is broken into four sections, each by a different researcher.  The first, by Daniel Ogden, focuses on the curse tablets.  George Luck writes the second, discussing sorcery and witchcraft as represented by the Classical literary tradition.  The third section, elaborating on the ideas, construction, and language of Classical magic, is written by Richard Gordon.  Valerie Flint completes the volume by discussing the ways in which Classical magic was changed and reinterpreted by the rise of the Christian empire.

Obviously, I cannot yet offer a complete review of the book, but I can and will recommend that any of you with with an interest in either the historical or occult aspects of Classical sorcery seek it out at your local library.

Font Problems With Attic Greek

Earlier today I happened to check the blog from a computer not my own.  It turns out that the Attic Greek font I’ve been using doesn’t embed.

For those of you out there who would like a free, legit Attic Greek font, I offer you SPIonic (and a few others besides).

Now, back to trying to find one that will actually embed itself in the post so I don’t have to count on you having anything special on your computer.

Consolodating My Gains–or–Quitting While I’m Ahead

As I have mentioned several times, I am currently undergoing a study of ceremonial magic using Christopher Penczak’s High Temple of Witchcraft as a framework.  My plan had been to devote, as the program intends, a single year to the study: August 2011 to July 2012.  I say I have been using Penczak as a framework because, as I will discuss in an upcoming in-depth review, the subject is too large, too complex, and too varied for one author alone to convey.

Not quite ten days ago, I talked about moving on from my month of Yesod(Moon) to Hod(Mercury).  Since then, however, I have received numerous signals (both from my body and from my guides) that I need to slow down.  Maintaining a daily practice is getting harder, not easier, despite the fact that I have been doing this for almost four months.  There was the whole thing where my altar imploded.  My dreams are getting harder to remember, despite journaling and ritual work.  And, most tellingly, I am having more trouble achieving a trance state than I have in years.

Are the stresses and pressures of mortal life a factor in this?  Of course.  But I have just finished a week of break followed by the lowest-workload week I’ve had since the beginning of the semester.  And into that empty space, rather than enlightenment, a wellspring of issues that I haven’t been dealing with properly have bubbled up.

So, rather than power through and set myself up for failure, I’m going to back off, go over what I’ve already learned.  I’m going to focus on consolidating my gains, and keeping my life in order as the semester winds to a close.

It becomes increasingly clear to me why ceremonial magic of the sort exemplified by the Golden Dawn has long and largely been the purview of a wealthy elite, and the full-time artists they patronized. 

It also becomes increasingly clear to me that the Kabalistic magic of the Golden Dawn and their contemporaries—of Regardie and Crowley and Fortune; the sort which Penczak oversimplifies—represents a much smaller portion of ceremonial magic than I ever realized.  I had heard of Agrippa before beginning this study, but I didn’t know who he was.  I hadn’t heard of the Greek Magical Papyri.  I had no idea how much actual Hellenistic and Roman magic actually survived to this day; as such, I had little idea of its pervasive influence.

I will continue to work my way through the exercises of the High Temple.  However flawed, the framework is adequate for my purposes.  I’ve already learned an amazing amount, and I will see this through to the end.  But getting through it in just a year?  Ahaaahahahah.  Fuck no. 

I reserve my senseless enthusiasm for sex, drugs, and rock&roll.  I try to approach my magic with a proper sense of prudence and awe.

Cross and Pentagram Rite of the Obsidian Dream (Version 4ish)

What appears below the fold is the most current incarnation of my personal Q-Cross and LBRP variant. Although it doesn’t make the earth move under my feet (Yet. It may later after it’s built up more momentum.), it doesn’t cause my saturizw to falter, either. It also interfaces with the world in a slightly different way.  Overall, it follows the traditional structure, but there are some key differences.

I open with the Qabalistic Cross, including the Hebrew/Qabalistic invocations.  It just seems to work better that way, and it allows me access to the power of the ceremonial/Golden Dawn current while my own builds up slowly.

Next comes the Pentagram portion of the rite.  As discussed before, the banishing pentagrams just didn’t work out for me—magically or ideologically.  You see, the whole “banishing” thing, when not ejecting a specific entity, force, or whathaveyou, is fundamentally based in the idea of a fallen world.  The GD is pretty open about this, as are a lot of their derivative streams, and as much as it has become a feature of contemporary occultism, I haven’t personally seen any evidence that it predates them.  As a witch and an animist, I utterly reject the idea of a fallen world.  Are there nasty things out there?  Sure.  Do I want to keep them out of my space and Work?  Absolutely, but that’s what my wards are for.  The purpose of this ritual, then, is not to banish the world, but to attune to it … and, given the heavy influence of Wicca on my personal practice, that means conjuring the elements.  And, because I worship Hellenic gods, those are the Powers I invoke at the center of that right.

Having established myself and the Circle with the Cross and Pentagram, I move to the body of the rite: the Middle Pillar, the Circulation of the Body of Light, and my daily Tarot.  While I reject the idea of a fallen world, I have no trouble acknowledging that there are parts of the world (and, more importantly, parts of myself) that need help.  Also, even more than the rest of the rite, this portion serves as the magical equivalent of an exercise routine: attuning one’s mind and aura to the cosmic forces one wishes to be interacting with.  For the Middle Pillar, I’ve taken the English invocations from Regardie’s more accessible version* and replaced them with Attic Greek.  And I do my daily Tarot during this stage because it just feels right to me.

The body of the ritual complete, my Wiccan roots and personal need for symetry require that I now release the forces.  I have just conjured.  I maintain the invoking pentagram because, again, I’m not trying to banish anything, just loose the forces I have yoked, which I achieve by moving counter-clockwise, as I do in my other Circle Work.

Finally, I center myself in respect to the primal forces of the natural world, represented here by Earth, Sky, Sun, and Moon in their Titan incarnations of Gaia/Ge, Ouranos, Helios, and Selene.

And because it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in weeks: here is someone else’s Hellenic LBRP variant.  Fucking brilliant.  Some day I’ll be that awesome.

Part I: the Qabalistic Cross

Face your altar. (Mine is in the North) Visualize yourself growing to titanic proportions, the earth and the solar system vanishing beneath your feet and your head among the stars of the cosmos. Visualize one particularly bright star above your head – a beacon of Divine Light, burning brighter than all the suns together. Bring your blade up to that star then draw it down to your forehead, bringing the Divine Light with it. Touch your forehead with the tip of the blade and intone:


Bring your blade down vertically across your body until you are pointing at the ground with your hand covering your genitals. Visualize the shaft of light descending through your body with the mothion of your hand and into the Earth, into the star at the center of the Earth, and onward into infinity. Intone:


Bring your blade up and touch your right shoulder. Visualize a star at your right shoulder, and the vertical beam of light in your body extending out from your heart into the star at your right shoulder and out through infinity to your right. Focus on the beam of light and intone:


Bring your blade horizontally across your body to your left shoulder. Visualize a star at your left shoulder. Visualize the horizontal beam of light now extending to the left star and infinitely to the left. Focus on the beam of light and intone:


Clasp your hands together over your chest with the blade pointing up, held between your knuckles. Vizualize a glowing golden light in your heart. Vibrate:



Part II: Pentagram Invocation

Face East. Draw the Invoking Pentagram of Spirit. Starting with your arm and blade stretched out and up above your head, draw a line in vibrant yellow down to the left of your hip, then up and to the right, level with your shoulder, in a straight line across your chest past your left shoulder, down to the right side of your hip, then back up above your head where you started. Inhale deeply as you hold your hands up beside your head, and exhale as you perform the Sign of the Enterer, pushing the blazing yellow pentagram to the east point and feel an answering billow of wind in your face. Point your blade to the middle of the pentagram and draw a white line with it as you make a quarter turn to your right.

You are now facing South. Draw the Invoking Pentagram of Spirit. Starting with your arm and blade stretched out and up above your head, draw a line in burning red down to the left of your hip, then up and to the right, level with your shoulder, in a straight line across your chest past your left shoulder, down to the right side of your hip, then back up above your head where you started. Inhale deeply as you hold your hands up beside your head, and exhale as you perform the Sign of the Enterer, pushing the fiery red pentagram to the south point and feel an answering blast of furnace-like heat in your face. Point your blade to the middle of the pentagram and draw a white line with it as you make a quarter turn to your right.

You are now facing West. Draw the Invoking Pentagram of Spirit. Starting with your arm and blade stretched out and up above your head, draw a line in glowing blue down to the left of your hip, then up and to the right, level with your shoulder, in a straight line across your chest past your left shoulder, down to the right side of your hip, then back up above your head where you started. Inhale deeply as you hold your hands up beside your head, and exhale as you perform the Sign of the Enterer, pushing the bright blue pentagram to the west point and feel an answering rush of water crash into your face. Point your blade to the middle of the pentagram and draw a white line with it as you make a quarter turn to your right.

You are now facing North. Draw the Invoking Pentagram of Spirit. Starting with your arm and blade stretched out and up above your head, draw a line in shimmering green down to the left of your hip, then up and to the right, level with your shoulder, in a straight line across your chest past your left shoulder, down to the right side of your hip, then back up above your head where you started. Inhale deeply as you hold your hands up beside your head, and exhale as you perform the Sign of the Enterer, pushing the vibrant green pentagram to the north point and feel the living earth rise to your call. Point your blade to the middle of the pentagram and draw a white line with it as you make a quarter turn to your right.

Facing East again, your circle is complete. Hold your arms out to either side and stand with your feet a little outside your hips. Feel the circle come together, filling with pure power and light. Invoke the gods of your elemental directions, visualizing them as you do so.


(A young woman in a modest white chiton and wielding a caduceus stands in front of a rainbow.)

“Iris before me …”


(A young man of crushing beauty, with long curling dark hair, clutches a thyrsos and stands in a sea of wine, under which are cloaked the waters of the Abyss.)

“Dionysos at my back …”


(A man with mangled legs wears a leather apron and wields a hammer and tongs, standing before a forge at the heart of a volcano.)

“Hephaistos at my right hand …”


(A queenly woman in rich robes reclines with two lions deep beneath the mountains of the earth.)

“and Rhea at my left.”

When you can see and feel them continue, visualizing yourself at the center of a flaming five-pointed star:

“Around me flames the pentagram…”

“and within the six-rayed star.”

As you invoke it, the star glows golden out of your heart.

Part III: Middle Pillar

The pentagram invocation complete, remain facing north.

Visualize the shining light of Kether, the Source, descending into your Crown. Manifest two rings of energy spinning around your lighted crown, one turning clockwise and the other counter at ever-increasing speeds. Intone three times:



(I am)

Let the light and the spinning rings descend from your crown to your throat. Intone three times:



(I speak)

Let the light and the spinning rings descend from your throat to your heart. Intone three times:



(I love)

Let the light and the spinning rings descend from your heart to your loins. Intone three times:



(I create)

Let the light and the spinning rings descend from your loins to below your feet. Intone three times:



(I pray)

Part IV: Circulation of the Body of Light

With your aura freshly charged by the Middle Pillar ritual, stand with your arms stretched out to the sides and with your feet planted a little outside your hips.

Feel the divine light of Kether pouring down from the cosmos and into your aura through your Crown.  It flows down the left side of your aura—maybe close to your body, maybe at the edges, whatever works best for you—below your feet and back up your right side.  Feel your whole aura move with that flow of energy.

With the light still flowing along the one axis, feel another stream pour down the front of your aura, run below your feet, and up your back to your crown.

Your whole arua is moving, growing, becoming stronger.

Staring at your feet, the two streams begin to intermingle, drawing on the power of Malkuth.  They twist together, forming a double-helix that flows up your body, re-establishing the Middle Pillar and invigorating your centers of power.

When you feel you are done, you may let the streams taper off or leave them open, depending on your purpose.

Part V: Daily Tarot and/or other rituals as needed

If this portion isn’t self-explanatory, you need to find a new hobby.  If you are only doing the ritual as a part of your daily practice, let the flows of the Circulation of the Body of Light taper off and turn to your daily Tarot.  If you are beginning ritual or other magical work, leave the streams open and pour that power into your intentions.

Light incense, pour libations, or whatever your daily rituals and taboos require.

Part VI: Pentagram Deconstruction

Begin facing North. Draw the Invoking Pentagram of Spirit, as before, and make the Sign of Silence: raising your left index finger to your lips and stamping your left foot.

Turn left to face West. Draw the Invoking Pentagram of Spirit and make the Sign of Silence.

Turn left to face South. Draw the Invoking Pentagram of Spirit and make the Sign of Silence.

Turn left to face East. Draw the Invoking Pentagram of Spirit and make the Sign of Silence.

Turn left again and end facing North.

Part VII: the Titan’s Cross

Stand with your feet together and your back straight. Visualize yourself standing on a broad, flat stretch of earth under the vast, clear sky. The sun is at your right and the moon is at your left.

Point your ritual blade downward, with your hand over your loins. Reach your will toward the dark, rich, fertile earth and intone:



Bring your blade up to your brow. As you do so draw the energy of the earth your middle pillar and out into the sky. Intone:



Draw your blade down to your heart, than over to your right shoulder. Feel the blazing golden sphere of the sun at your right. Intone:



Move your blade horizontally across your chest. Feel the cool, silver light of the moon at your left. Intone:



Bring your blade back over your heart and clasp it between your palms. Feel power flowing into you from earth and sky, sun and moon. Vibrate in tune with the primal elements of the world.

Exhale slowly, grounding out the excess energy.

You are done.

ED:  See, this is why I’m not published professionally yet.  I sometimes submit unfinished documents to the internet.  Could any of you have looked up the Circulation of the Body of Light on your own?  Sure.  But that’s not the point


I have now looked at so many versions of the Qabalistic Cross and the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram that I can no loner name them all.  My primary sources are Donald Michael Kraig (pages), Christopher Penczak (pages), and the Interwebs at large.

My Middle Pillar ritual is derived from an Israel Regardie variant included in Penczak’s appendicies (Page citation), and some old techniques I was reminded of by Soror A.I.

Kraig, Donald Michael.

Penczak, Christopher.