Paper Talismans, Satyr-Style

As you may note by looking to the right, I am a member of Christopher Warnock’s Spiritus Mundi mailing list.  I’m not very active—I don’t know enough about traditional astrology to participate(1)—but I do like to take advantage of the elections he and his students are kind enough to share.  Many of the folks on the Spiritus Mundi group, like myself, are too poor to create talismans of precious metals.  So there’s a lot of talk about paper talismans.  So much so, in fact, that Mr. Warnock has recently posted a page on the history and construction of paper talismans.

The prevailing wisdom on the mailing list is that paper talismans are good for 90 days.  My own experience has been radically different: although my Jupiter talisman, made back in April, did require a bit of a boost over the summer, it is still going strong.

So as I gear up for Monday morning’s Mercury election (the last Hour of Night, just before dawn), I thought I would share the process that is working so well for me.

I start with two unlined notecards.  I mark one as the front and one as the back:  if I’m going to print them off (which I have done in the past) I’ll prepare everything the day before in an openoffice document(2); this weekend, as I’m out of printer ink and money, I’ll be hand-drawing them in pencil to be inked and colored at the electional moment.  If I don’t already have an appropriate planetary incense on hand, I’ll gather the herbs and resins for that, as well, also to be mixed at the time of the election.  Finally you need glue; I prefer rubber cement.

With your cards and images prepped, either digitally or by hand, you wait until the appropriate hour as taught in electional astrology, then print or ink the images.  Write your legal and magical names on the backs of the cards—that is, what will be the “inside”.  Blend or grab your incense that you will use to suffumigate the talisman.  Trace the edge of one of the cards with your glue and sprinkle the incense blend inside it.  Place the other card on top, make sure it seals all the way around.  Suffumigate and incant as the ritual calls for.  I also tend to finalize the concecration with a drop of Abramelin oil.

This is how I produce paper talismans that are still effective almost six months out.  Checking and recharging these talismans is becoming a part of my Full Moon rites, along with my active sigils.

1 – I am, in fact, the exact kind of learn-at-my-own-pace system-hacker he despises.  My saving grace is probably that I keep my damn mouth shut instead of demanding that he pontificate at my convenience.

2 – I’ll assume you know how to format the pages and everything yourselves to make that work.  If not, there are message boards for that.

Talisman for the Solar Election

Sun Pillar
Sun Pillar (Photo credit: tomhe)

Dawn yesterday was officially at 6:12am.  I was (am) staying at a friend’s house in St.Louis, spending my last weekend with Aradia partying in the city we both loved (but not at the same time) with old friends before I make the second half of the trek from KC to back the Sunrise Temple for the semester.

My alarm was set for 5:50.  I woke at 5:25.  I tried to go back to sleep, but all I could think about was the Solar election and the morning’s coming ritual.  I did it over and over again in my head.  I had forgotten to prep my sigils, but the glyph I’ve used for the Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus talismans rose from the depths of my brain as I lay there, waiting for the alarm: “Mine is the Favor of Kings.”

Finally, the alarm went off.  I woke Aradia and gathered everything I would need, laying things out in Aurora’s altar room.  We cast our circle a few minutes before the Hour of the Sun began officially.  I ground my frankincense and myrrh; we scribed our names inside the paper talismans that I had printed during the Hour of the Sun on Friday night, knowing I wouldn’t have access to a printer on the road, and assembled the component parts.  The front is an image provided by Christopher Warnock to the Spiritus Mundi group; the back bears my Glyph of the Moon and the Agrippan Characters of the Sun; sealed in between is the blend of frankincense and myrrh.  All three talismans assembled (one each for myself, Aurora, and Aradia), and each associated with a piece of amber jewelry, I placed them in the middle of my Triangle of Art with a candle lit over the glyph of the Sun.

I incanted the Picatrix Invocation of the Sun, and Aradia and I drew the power of the sun into the Circle and poured it into the Triangle and the talismans.  I incanted the Invocation again as Aradia continued to direct the power.

The talismans completed, we promptly went back to sleep.

The ring I empowered is on my hand even now.  It almost burns with power, and it’s going to take a while for me to get used to wearing that kind of spellcraft on my person.

The paper talismans rest on Aurora’s altar, gathering power while we linger in St. Louis.  I can’t wait to see how these bad boys change our lives.  I think it’s going to be epic.

I had been hoping there would be a Solar election soon, so that I could add that power to my collection.  I am grateful that it came exactly when it did.  I need this now as I transition from one life to the next, and as I shift gears magically.

Only one last conjuration remains before I begin what Aradia and I have been calling Project Null: the conjuration of Baphomet.

Talisman Bearing the Beneficial Sign

Even if my time with ceremonial magic were up now instead of a month from now, there are still some projects that I would need to see through.  One of those is my latest experiment with the Stele of Jeu: talismans inscribed with the beneficial sign.

The first one I made at Heartland Pagan Festival.


The second I inscribed at the jewelry store I’ve been working at over the summer.


For this one, I used the variation on the Beneficial Sign favored by the Order of the Hollow Ones, as I thought it would make a more attractive piece of jewelry The inscription, which is difficult to read because I’m still learning to use the engraving machine, are the first and last lines from the final passage of the Stele in the original Greek:

ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ἀκέφαλος δαίμων ἐν τοῖς ποσὶν ἔχων τὴν ὅρασιν …  ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ Χάρις τοῦ Αἰῶνος, ὄνομά μοι καρδία περιεζωσμένη ὄφιν. ἔξελθε καὶ ἀκολούθησον.

I am the headless spirit[1] with sight in my feet[2] … my name is a heart encircled by a serpent.  Come forth and follow.

During my lunar rites last night, I dedicated the second talisman by laying it across the first as I performed most of the rite, donning it as I incanted the final passage.

Boy, howdy, does it tingle.  I look forward to carrying it as a talisman of power and protection, and as the most obscure way for fellow magicians to identify me EVAR[3].

1 – As I’m sure you all know, the Greek noun “daimon”, which it currently seems fashionable to leave untranslated, can be understood as spirit, demon, god, or even soul.  Interestingly, my studies thus far seem to indicate that it overlaps pretty thoroughly with the Latin “genius”.  More experienced students of Greek and Latin may win my undying love by sharing their thoughts on this matter.

2 – The verb here is “echo”, which conveys an interesting sense of “I am the headless spirit who holds his sight in his feet”.

3 – This is kinda like if you see me at the bar on toga night and say, “Hey!  That’s a peplos not a toga!”