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Eliphas Levi

Subject: Eliphas Levi ("Transcendental Magic"; 1856)



Do ... the evocations of goetia and demonomania produce a practical
result? Yes, certainly -- one which cannot be contested, one more
terrible than could ever be recounted in legends! When anyone
invokes the devil with intentional ceremonies, the devil comes and
is seen.

Witchcraft, properly so called, that is, ceremonial operation with
intent to bewitch, acts only on the operator, and serves to fix and
confirm his will, by formulating it with persistence and travail, the
two conditions which make volition efficacious. The more difficult
or horrible the operation, the greater is its power, because it acts
more strongly on the imagination and confirms effort in direct
ratio of resistance. This explains the bizarre nature and even
atrocious character of the operations in Black Magic, as practised
by the ancients and in the middle ages, the diabolical masses,
administration of sacraments to reptiles, effusions of blood,
human sacrifices and other monstrosities, which are the very
essence and reality of Goetia or Nigromancy. Such are the
practices which from all time have brought down upon sorcerers
the just repression of the laws. Black Magic is really only a
graduated combination of sacrileges and murders designed for
the permanent perversion of a human will and for the realisation
in a living man of the hideous phantom of the demon. It is
therefore, properly speaking, the religion of the devil, the
cultus of darkness, hatred of good carried to the height of
paroxysm: it is the incarnation of death and the persistent
creation of hell.


Bewitchment may ... be cured by substitution, when that is
possible.... vulgar Magic... a bewitchment -- that is, a
determined will resolved on doing evil, invariably has its
result, and cannot draw back without risk of death. The
sorcerer who liberates anyone from a charm must have
another object for his malevolence, or it is certain that he
himself will be smitten and will perish as the victim of
his own spells.


The signs imprinted in the Astral Light by the reflection
and attraction of the stars are reproduced... on all bodies
which are formed by the co-operation of that light. Men
bear the signs of their star on their forehead chiefly,
and in their hands; animals in their whol form and in their
individual signs; plants in their leaves and seed; minerals
in their veins and in the peculiarities of their fracture....
The serious art of divination rests wholly in the knowledge
of these signs. Chiromancy is the art of reading the writing
of the stars in the lines of the hand, and physiognomy seeks
the same or analogous characers upon the countenance of


Jerome Cardan... has left a calculation by means of which anyone
can foresee the good or evil fortune attached to all years of his
life. His theory was based upon his own experiences, and he
assures us that the calculation never deceived him. To ascerain
the fortune of a given year, he sums up the events of those which
have preceded it by 4, 8, 12 19 and 30; the number 4 is that of
realisation; 8 is the number of Venus or natural things; 12
belongs to the cycle of Jupiter and corresponds to successes; 19
has reference to the cycles of hte Moon and of Mars; the number
30 is that of Saturn or Fatality. Thus, for example, I desire to
ascertain what will befall me in this present year, 1855. I pass
therefore in review of those decisive events in the order of life
and progress  which occurred four years ago; the natural felicity
or misfortune of eight years back; the successes or failures
belonging to twelve years since; the vicissitudes and miseries or
diseases which overtook me nineteen years from now, and my tragic
or fatal experiences of thirty years back. Then, taking into
account irrevocably accomplished facts and the advance of time, I
calculate the chances analogous to those which I owe already to
the influence of the same planets, and I conclude that in 1851 I had
employment which was moderately but sufficiently remunerative,
with some embarrassment of position; in 1847 I was separated
violently from my family, with great attendant sufferings for mine
and me; in 1843 I travelled as an apostle, addressing the people,
and suffering the persecution of ill-meaning persons; briefly, I was
at once honoured and proscribed. Finally, in 1825 family life came
to an end for me, and I entered definitely on that fatal path which
led me to science and misfortune. I may suppose therefore that
this year I shall experience toil, poverty, vexation, heart-exile,
change of place, publicity and contradictions, with some
eventuality which will be decisive for the rest of my life....

THE EVIL EYE Italy, where the passions are more unreserved and fiery,
charms and the evil eye are still dreaded; the *jettatura* is
not to be braved with impunity in Naples, and persons who are
endowed unfortunately with this power are even distinguished
by certain exterior signs. In order to guard against it, experts
affirm that horns must be carried on the person, and the common
people, who take everything literally, hasten to adorn
themselves with small horns, not dreaming of the sense of the
allegory. These attributes to Jupiter Ammon, Bacchus and
Moses are a symbol of moral power or enthusiasm, so that the
magicians mean to say that, in order to withstand the
*jettatura*, the fatal current of instincts must be governed
by great intrepidity, great enthusiasm, or a great thought....


As to divinatory instruments, they are simply a means of
communication between diviner and consultant, serving
merely to fix the two wills upon the same sign. Vague,
complex, shifting figures help to focus reflections of the
astral fluid, and it is thus that lucidity is procured by coffee-
grouts, mists, the white of egg, etc., which evoke fatidic
forms, existing only in the _TRANSLUCID_ and produces a
brain-illusion, in which reflections of the Astral Light are
taken for real images. Hence nervous persons, of weak sight
and lively imagination, are best fitted for this species of
divination, which indeed is most successful when exercised
by children.



Rebellious spirits are enchained by the exhibition of the
five-pointed Blazing Star or the Seal of Solomon, because
each gives them proof of their folly and threatens them
with a sovereign power capable of tormenting them by
their recall to order.


The Abbot Trithemius.... ...tells us that to evoke a spirit is
to enter into the dominant thought of that spirit, and if we
raise ourselves morally higher along the same line, we shall
draw the spirit away with us, and it will certainly serve us....

We may act individually when evoking a spirit, but to conjure
we must speak in the name of a circle or an association: this
is the significance of the hieroglyphical circle inscribed
about the Magus who is operating, and out of which he must
not pass unless he wishes at the same moment to be stripped
of all his power....

Within the grand circle of evocations a triangle was usually
traced, and the side towards which the upper point should
be directed was a matter for careful observation. If the
spirit were supposed to be from heaven, the operator
placed himself at the top, and set the altar of fumigations
at the bottom; but if the spirit came from the abyss this
method was reversed. Moreover, the sacred symbol of
two interlaced triangles, forming the six-pointed star,
known as the Pantacle or Seal of Solomon, must be worn
upon the forehead and the breast, and graven in the right


To govern elementary spirits and thus become king of the occult
elements, we must first have undergone the four ordeals of
ancient initiations; and seeing that such initiations exist no
longer, we must have substituted analogous experiences, such as
exposing ourselves boldly in a fire, crossing an abyss by means
of the trunk of a tree or a plank, scaling a perpendicular
mountain during a storm, swimming through a dangerous whirlpool
or cataract. A man who is timid in the water will never reign
over the Undines; one who is afraid of fire will never command
Salamanders; so long as we are liable to giddiness we must leave
the Sylphs in peace and forbear from irritating Gnomes; for
inferior spirits will only obey a power which has overcome them
in their own element. When this incontestable faculty has been
acquired by exercise and daring, the word of our will must be
imposed on the elements by special consecrations of air, fire,
water and earth. This is the indispensable preliminary of all
magical operations.

[Levi provides the liturgy of these special consecrations in 
 full on pages 281-286, including "Prayer of the Sylphs";
 consecrations of salt and ash; "Mingling of Water, Salt, and
 Ash"; "Exorcism of the Water"; "Prayer of the Undines";
 "Prayer of the Salamanders"; "Prayer of the Gnomes"; and
 "The Conjuration of the Four".]

The Sign of the Cross.... made [in the following] manner, should
precede and terminate the Conjuration of the Four.... [Levi then
provides the initiate's version of this Sign as follows:] ...the
initiate said, raising his hand to his forehead, "For thine," then
added "is," and continuing as he brought down his hand to his
breast, "the kingdom," then to the left shoulder, "the justice,"
afterwards to the right shoulder, "and the mercy" -- then
clasping his hands, he added, "in the generating ages."
287, slightly restructured.

To overcome and subjugate the elementary spirits, we must
never yield to their characteristic defects. Thus, a shallow
and capricious mind will never rule the Sylphs; an irresolute, 
cold and fickle nature will never master the Undines; passion
irritates the Salamanders; and avaricious greed makes its
slaves the sport of Gnomes. But we must be prompt and
active, like the Sylphs; pliant and attentive to images, like
the Undines; energetic and strong, like the Salamanders;
laborious and patient, like the Gnomes: in a word, we must
overcome them in their strength without ever being overcom
by their weaknesses. Once we are well established in this
disposition, the whole world will be at the service of the wise
operator. He will pass through the storm, and the rain will not
moisen his head; the wind will not move even a fold of his
garments; he will go through fire and not be burned; he will
walk upon water and will behold diamonds within the crust
of the earth.


The metals which correspond to the four elementary
forms are gold and silver for the air, mercury for water,
iron and copper for fire, lead for earth. Talismans are
composed from these, relative to the forces which they
signify and to the effects which it is designed to obtain
from them. Divination by the four elementary forms,
respectively known as aeromancy, hydromancy, pyromancy
and geomancy, is performed after various manners....


Sanguine temperaments are disposed to aeromancy,
the bilious to pyromancy, the phlegmatic to hyrdomancy
and the melancholy to geomancy. Aeromancy is confirmed
by oneiromancy, or divination by dreams; pyromancy is
supplemented by magnetism; hydromancy by
crystallomancy; and geomancy by cartomancy. These are
transpositions and complements of methods.


The Pentagram should be placed upon the altar of perfumes
and under the tripod of evocations. The operator should
wear the sign also as well as that of the Macrocosm, which
is composed of two crossed and superposed triangles.
When a spirit of light is evoked, the head of the star -- that
is, one of its points -- should be directed towards the tripod
of evocations and the two inferior points towards the altar of
perfumes. In the case of a spirit of darkness, the opposite
course is pursued, but then the operator must be careful to
set the end of the rod or the point of the sword upon the
head of the Pentagram. We have said that signs are the
active voice of the word of will. Now, the word of will must
be given in its completeness, so that it may be transformed
into action....

The Pentagram, engraved in luminous lines upon glass by the
electrical machine, exercises also a great influence upon
spirits and terrifies phantoms. The old magicians traced the
sign of the Pentagram upon their door-steps, to prevent
evil spirits from entering and good spirits from departing.
This constraint followed from the direction of the points of
the star. Two points on the outer side drove away evil; two
points on the inner side imprisoned them; one only on the
inner side held good spirits captive....


The Magus who intends undertaking the works of light must operate
on a Sunday, from midnight to eight in the morning, or from three
in the afternoon to ten in the evening. He should wear a purple
vestment, with tiara and bracelets of gold. The altar of perfumes
and the tripod of sacred fire must be encircled by wreaths of
laurel, heliotrope and sunflowers; the perfumes are cinnamon,
strong incense, saffron and red sandal; the ring must be of gold,
with a chrysolith or ruby; the carpet must be of lion-skins, the
fans of sparrow-hawk feathers. On Monday the robe is white,
embroidered with silver, and having a triple collar of pearls,
crystals and selenite; the tiara must be covered with yellow
silk, emblazoned with silver characters forming the Hebrew
monogram of Gabriel, as given in the Occult philosophy of
Agrippa; the perfumes are white sandal, camphor, amber, aloes and
pulverized seed of cucumber; the wreaths are mugwort, moonwort
and yellow ranunculuses. Tapestries, garments and objects of a
black colour must be avoided; and no metal except silver should
be worn on the person. On Tuesday, a day for the operations of
vengeance, the colour of the vestment should be that of flame,
rust or blood, with belt and bracelets of steel. The tiara must
be bound with gold; the wand must not be used, but only the
magical dagger and sword; the wreaths must be of absinth and rue,
the ring of steel, with an amethyst for precious stone. On
Wednesday, a day favourable for transcendent science, the
vestment should be green, or shot with various colours; the
necklace of pearls in hollow glass beads containing mercury; the
perfumes benzoin, mace and storax; the flowers, narcissus, lily,
herb-mercury, fumitory and marjoram; the jewel should be the
agate. On Thursday, a day of great religious and political
operations, the vestment should be scarlet and on the forehead
should be worn a brass tablet, with the character of the spirit
of Jupiter and the three words: GIARAR, BETHOR, SAMGABIEL; the
perfumes are incense, ambergris, balm, grain of paradise, macis
and saffron; the ring must be enriched with an emerald or
sapphire; the wreaths and crowns should be oak, poplar, fig and
pomegranate leaves. On Friday, the day for amorous operations,
the vestment should be of sky-blue, the hangings of green and
rose, the ornaments of polished copper, the crowns of violets,
the wreaths of roses, myrtle and olive; the ring should be
enriched with a turquoise; lapis-lazuli and beryl will answer for
tiara and clasps; the fans must be of swan's feathers; and the
operator must wear upon his breast a copper talisman with the
character of AnaÎl and the words: AVEEVA VADELILITH. On Saturday,
a day of funereal operations, the vestment must be black or
brown, with characters embroidered in orange or black silk; round
the neck must be worn a lamina of lead, with the character of
Saturn and the words: ALMALEC, APHIEL, ZARAHIEL; the perfumes
should be diagridrium, scammony, alum, sulphur and assafoetida;
the ring should be adorned with an onyx; the garlands should be
of ash, cypress and hellebore; on the onyx of the ring, during
the hours of Saturn, the double head of Janus should be engraved
with the consecrated awl.


Blessed and indulgenced objects, touched by holy images or
venerable persons; chaplets from Palestine; the Agnus Dei,
composed of the wax of the Paschal candle and the annual remnants
of holy chrism; scapulas and medals, are all true talismans.

The greater the importance and solemnity brought to bear on the
execution and consecration of talismans and Pantacles, the more
virtue they acquire, as will be understood upon the evidence of
the principles which we have established. Such consecration
should take place on the days that we have indicated, with the
apparatus which we have given in detail.


In order to devote ourselves to Ceremonial Magic, we must be free
from anxious preoccupations; we must be in a position to procure
all instruments of the science and be able to make them when
needed; we must possess, moreover, an inaccessible laboratory, in
which there will be no danger of being ever surprised or
...each Magus can and should have his individual Pantacle, for,
understood accurately, a Pantacle is the perfect summary of a


The Pantacle, being a complete and perfect synthesis expressed by
a single sign, serves to focus all intellectual force into a
glance, a recollection, a touch. It is, so to speak, a
starting-point for the efficient projection of will.


To be ever rich, to be always young and to die never: such, from
all time, has been the dream of alchemists. To change lead,
mercury, and the other metals into gold, to possess the Universal
Medicine and the Elixir of Life-such is the problem which must be
solved to accomplish this desire and to realize this dream. Like
all magical mysteries, the secrets of the Great Work have a
triple meaning: they are religious, philosophical and natural.
Philosophical gold in religion is the Absolute and Supreme
Reason; in philosophy, it is truth; in visible nature, it is the
sun: in the subterranean and mineral world, it is the purest and
most perfect gold.

All masters in alchemy who have written concerning the Great Work
have employed symbolical and figurative expressions, and have
been right in so doing, not only to deter the profane from
operations which would be dangerous for them, but to make
themselves intelligible to adepts by revealing the entire world
of analogies which is ruled by the one and sovereign dogma of
Hermes. ... Hermetic art is ... at one and the same time, a
religion, a philosophy and a natural science. ... The science is
true only for those who accept and understand the philosophy and
religion, while its processes are successful only for the adept
who has attained sovereign volition, and has thus become monarch
of the elementary world.... ... the Great Work is something more
than a chemical operation: it is an actual creation of the human
Word initiated into the power of the Word of God Himself.


The creation of gold in the Great Work takes place by
transmutation and multiplication. Raymund Lully states that in
order to make gold we must have gold and mercury, while in order
to make silver we must have silver and mercury. Then he adds: "By
Mercury, I understand that mineral spirit which is so refined and
purified that it gilds the seed of gold and silvers the seed of

Helena P. Blavatsky ("Studies in Occultism"; 1887-1890)


Occultism is not magic. It is *comparatively* easy to learn the trick of
spells and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces
of physical nature.... is the motive, *and the motive alone*, which
makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white,
beneficent Magic.


H.P.B. [Blavatsky]: ...You asked me if we are punished for our thoughts.
Not for all, for some are still-born; but for the others, those which
we call "silent" but potential thoughts -- yes. Take an extreme case,
such as that of a person who is so wicked as to wish the death of
another. Unless the evil-wisher is a *Dugpa*, a high adept in black
magic, in which case Karma is delayed, such a wish only comes back
to roost.

M.C. [unknown]: But supposing the evil-wisher to have a very strong
will, without being a *Dugpa*, could the death of the other be

H.P.B.: Only if the malicious person has the evil eye,
which simply means possessing enormous plastic power of
imagination working involuntarily, and thus turned unconsciously
to bad uses. For what is the power of the "evil eye"? Simply a
great plastic power of thought, so great as to produce a
current impregnated with the potentiality of every kind of
misfortune and accident, which inoculates [sic], or attaches
itself to any prson who comes within it. A *jettatore* (one
with the evil eye) need not be even imaginative, or have evil
intentions or wishes. He may be simply a person who is naturally
fond of witnessing or reading about sensational scenes, such as
murder, executions, accidents, etc., etc. He may be not even
thinking of any of these at the moment his eye meets his future
victim. But the currents have been produced and exist in his
visual ray ready to spring into activity the instant they find
suitable soil, like a seed fallen by the way and ready to sprout
at the first opportunity.

M.C.: But how about the thoughts you call "silent"? Do such
wishes or thoughts come home to roost?

H.P.B.: They do; just as a ball which fails to penetrate an object
rebounds upon the thrower. This happens even to some *dugpas*
or sorcerers who are not strong enough, or do not comply with
the rules -- for even they have *rules* they have to abide by --
but not with those who are regular, fully developed "black
magicians"; for such have the power to accomplish what they wish.

Dion Fortune ("Applied Magic", ~1942) INVOCATION Let us consider what happens when [a ritual "is performed in an occult lodge"] . All present have their attention riveted upon the drama of the presentation of the ceremony. Every object within the range of their vision is symbolic of the idea that is being expressed by the ceremony. No circumstances that can heighten the concentration and the emotion is neglected. Consequently a highly concentrated and highly energized group is built up. ...when one thinks of any object with emotion force is poured forth. If a number of people are thinking of the same object with emotion, their attention concentrated and their feelings exalted by the ritual of the ceremony, they are pouring into a common pool no inconsiderable measure of subtle force. It is this force which forms the basis of the manifestation of whatever potency is being involved. ...When a number of devout worshippers are gathered together, their emotions concentrated and exalted by ritual, and all holding the same image in imagination, the outpoured force of all present is formed into an astral simulacrum of the being thus intensely pictured; and if that being is the symbolic representation of a natural force [such as gods]..., that force will find a channel of manifestation through the form thus built up; the mental image held in the imagination of each participant in the ceremony will suddenly appear to each one to become alive and objective, and they will feel the inrush of the power that has been invoked. When this process has been repeated regularly over considerable periods, the images that have been built up remain on the astral in exactly the same way that a habit-track is formed in the mind by the repeated performance of the same action. In this form the natural force remains permanently concentrated. Consequently subsequent worshippers need be at no great pains to formulate the simulacrum; they have only to think of the god and they feel his power. 26 BLACK MAGIC The technique of black magic differs in no way from that of white magic; the same principles apply, the same methods are made use of; the same training in concentration is necessary; the difference lies in the attitude of the operator, the symbolism employed, and the powers contacted thereby; just as the same musical education is necessary to the conductor of a symphony orchestra or a jazz band. And even when we say that certain symbols and powers belong to the domain of black magic, we must make reservations, for these symbols may be used, and these powers evoked quite legitimately, just as dangerous risks are taken by surgeons upon occasion. ... One cannot divide magic into white and black by a clear-cut diving line; there is what may be described as grey magic, which people embark upon out of ignorance or love of sensation. ... There is one acid test which can be applied to every variety of operation -- in white magic the operation is always designed and carried out with due regard to cosmic law; any operation which takes no account of cosmic law but goes it own way regardless of what the spiritual principles of the matter may be, can be classified as grey; and any operation which deliberately defies cosmic law can be classified as black. 52-4 In my own experience of the operation, the utterance to myself of my magical name led to the picturing of myself in an idealized form, not differing in type, but upon an altogether grander scale, superhuman, in fact, but recognizable as myself, as a stuatue [sic] more than life-size may yet be a good likeness. Once perceived, I could re-picture this idealized version of my body and personality at will, but I could not identify myself with it *unless I uttered my magical name*. Upon my affirming it as my own, identification was immediate. Consciousness transferred itself to the form thus visualized, and I stepped forth into the world of dreams *naked*. Upon that nudity, as of an antique statue, I could, by a simple act of the imagination, put on whatever robes or drapery I desired to symbolize the part I wished to play. 57 PRACTICAL HERITAGE (Mathers/Crowley/Regardie) It will be obvious to anyone who compares [Regardie's "The Tree of Life", Crowley's "Magick"] with each other and with the method that is explained in my book "The Mystical Qabalah" that the same system is being used in all three.... ...all three are drawing from the same source, which.... ...was reorganized and made available for English students by the late S.L. MacGregor Mathers.... He claimed to have got into touch with the sources whence these MSS emanated.... ... Crowley published the bulk of MacGregor Mathers' secrets in his magazine, *The Equinox*.... ... Mr. Regardie acknowledges his indebtedness to MacGregor Mathers and Wynn Westcott, but he only quotes from their published works. He quotes so extensively from Crowley, especially from his four-volume work, *Magick*, in which is reprinted the best of the *Equinox* articles and some additional material, and his viewpoint so exactly expresses the best aspects of Crowley's teaching, that I conclude that Crowley's Order, the A.A., not Mathers' G.D., is his source. The A.A., however, drew its magical system from the G.D., therefore for all practical purposes Regardie is using the Mathers' system, just as I am myself. ... Regardie's two books ["Garden of Pomegranates" and "Tree of Life"] I unhesitatingly recommend. *The Tree of Life* in particular is a magnificent piece of work, in my opinion the best book on magic that has ever been published. Crowley's *Magick*, of which Regardie makes much use and to which he acknowledges his indebtedness, is also very valuable to the student, but only the advanced student could use it with profit. ...much of it is deliberately obscure and allusive. The formulae, too, on which he works, would be considered averse and evil by occultists accustomed to the Qabalistic tradition, for he uses 11 instead of 10 as the basis for his batteries of knocks in the magical ceremonies, and 11 is the number of the Qliphoth, or Evil Sephiroth; a batter of 11, therefore, is an invocation of the Qliphoth. No hint is given of this in the text, and it is an ugly trap for the unwary student. Crowley also gives the North as the holy point towards which the operator turns to invoke, instead of the East, 'whence light arises', as is the classical practice. Now the north is called 'the place of greatest symbolic darkness', and is only the holy point of one sect, the Yezidis, or devil worshippers. It is obvious, therefore, that the student who is rash enough to experiment with a battery of 11 knocks and an invocation to the north, is not going to contact what most people would consider to be desirable forces. Crowley's .... ...practical methods... are... too dangerous to meddle with in any shape or form. ...MacGregor Mathers, Crowley, Regardie, and myself [sic] are all working on the same formula, the formula contained in the mysterious cipher MSS discovered by Mathers; Regardie draws from Mathers via Crowley; I imagine, however, that he is alive to the alterations in the formulae that Crowley introduced, for they do not appear in his books, and the formulae he gives are the ones familiar to me in the Golden Dawn workings. 60-64 DRUGS The part played by drug addiction in the seamy side of occultism has been greatly over-rated. The drugs used are the vision- producing type such as anhalonium and hashish, and these are not drugs of addiction in the West. In the quantities in which they are used for occult experiments they are unlikely to do permanent harm. 72 VICE At one time there was a widespread use of abnormanimal vice for magical purposes; the facts are well known and gave rise to repeated scandals.... The principle exponent became hopelessly insane, and his example appears to have taught wisdom to such of his followers as had not learnt it from experience. 74 EVOCATION A god... is an artificial Elemental of.... ...such potency that no evocator can hope to dominate it in the way he would an Elemental of his own creating. He must yield himself to its influence and permit it to dominate him if it is to be evoked to visible manifestation. The operator himself is the channel of evocation.... In the great majority of cases of evocative magic, the form is built up in on the astral and can only actually be seen by the clairvoyant, though any sensitive person can feel its influence. It is only when there is a materializing medium as member of the circle that materialization takes place and the form evoked is visible to the physical eye. A tenuous type of form can be induced to build itself up by the use of certain substances that give off ectoplasm, the principal of which is fresh blood; excreta can also be used for the same purpose. A considerable bulk of these unpleasantsubstances is necessary, however, to get a form of any definiteness, and their virtue is fugitive, for the ectoplasm has gone off by the time the body heat has departed. Therefore for all practical purposes they are of no use to the operator under the ordinary conditions of civilized life; neither can a very high type of presence be induced to manifest through such media.... 104-105 CEREMONIAL EQUILIBRIUM One of the most important uses of ceremonial working lies in its power to energize any given aspect of our nature, and so bring about a profound change in character, doing in a brief hour's work what years of painful effort and self-discipline might fail to achieve. A man cannot make himself brave by force of will... but by means of an operation of Mars he may fundamentally change his nature. It is for this reason that ceremonial, and especially talismanic magic is the essential complement of astrology; for astrology is the diagnosis of the trouble, but magic is the treatment of it.... These things, however, can only be done where there is adequate knowledge, in order that the real needs of a nature may be discerned. It is little ulse to do an operation of Mars for a person whose fears are not due to a lack of courage but to a too lively imagination; an operation of Luna is indicated in such a case. An operation of Mars, misguidedly undertaken, will merely make him excessively quarrelsome. Moreover, operations should never come singly, but always in the equilibrating pairs of opposites, and it is usually sound policy to perform the operation of the opposite Pillar [on the Tree of Life Glyph] previous to the performance of the operation whose effect specifically desired. For example, if the energizing effects of Mars (Geburah, Severity) are desired, it would be highly desirable to perform a few days previously an operation of Jupiter (Chesed, Mercy) which balances Mars in the opposite column of the Tree of Life when the symbols are set up according to the system of Qabalists.... ...when we want to perform a rite of any given type we find it convenient to choose a method which is most closely fitted to the needs of the moment and our own temperamental bias. The Chaldean magic of the Qabalah appeals to those who are imbued with a strict monotheism and regard all objects of adoration with unfamiliar names as devils. Egyptian magic appeals to those who are metaphysically minded, and Greek Mystery methods to the artistic, because the Greek invocations depend upon music and movement for their efficacy. These three systems form the primary basis of our Western Tradition.... 106-108 BURNING INCENSE The ideal incense to use is, of course, that which is sold for use in ritualistic churches, and which is specially compounded of fragrant gums. The drawback to its use for daily meditation is the difficulty of its manipulation, for it has to be burnt upon smouldering charcoal, and the whole affair takes some time to get going, and unless burnt in a swinging censor, goes out capriciously. 138

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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
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Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
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Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
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