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Abramelin series of articles

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Subject: Abramelin series of articles
Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick, 1994
   and 1995
   March 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way
   and sundry personal advice.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   A class on "The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage"
   requested by Thelema Lodge members and friends. At the time of
   there were two or three editions of the book in print, including
   a Dover
   paperback. The book itself is ostensibly derived from a 14th
   century source.
   There are several manuscripts of some age. One or more of the
   inferior MSS is
   in the Bibliotecque d'Arsonal in Paris. There are other
   manuscripts in London
   which were not mentioned by the so-called translator, Mr.
   McGregor Mathers.
   He asserted that he translated it out of the old French edition
   in Paris, but
   he was a frequenter of the place where the manuscripts were kept
   in London.
   One of the London MSS is in English. Gershom Scholem mentions a
   into Hebrew. Our favorite plagiarist of the last century, Mr.
   Mathers, put a little bit of a shine on his work. He published a
   lot of
   magical books in the last century and co-founded the Order of the
   Golden Dawn.
   Most of his books were sold as translations for fee, and
   virtually all of them
   were copied out of English sources. We read pompous stories about
   difficulty of the translation in many of Mathers' books. Perhaps
   he should
   have complained instead of "how bad the handwriting was."
   Mathers' notes to
   the names of the spirits in the Abramelin Book were probably
   copied or adapted
   out of the Hebrew manuscript in London. He only got half way
   through the
   notes on the spirits and then probably got an advance from his
   publisher. The
   antecedents of the book are clouded for that reason. There are
   statements made about the source MS.
   It does appear that "The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin
   the Mage"
   is a 14th century work. The book is divided into three parts.
   There is a
   narrative part, probably fictitious: a story about where this
   originated, why it is important, and why it was written down.
   There is a
   portion of the book with strange squares and notes about their
   written below them. The middle part of the book has a rather
   description of how to go about learning to work Magick. The
   approach is almost unique in that it's written to enable students
   to pick
   their own method. The 14th century context creates problems for
   readers. We don't have much stuff around here like they had then.
   To bring
   this book up to date, these questions need to be addressed: How
   can you apply
   these things? What are the limitations? Where can you find
   things? 14th century Europe was quite sparsely populated by
   modern standards.
   There were many cities and villages, but life then was very
   different from
   modern life. You could live outside the town. It would cost next
   to nothing
   to find a piece of land that was no good for farming. Maybe
   someone would
   offer you a place to stay. No one would bother you. You could set
   up a
   little house and be by yourself for an indefinite period. You
   wouldn't have
   to worry about hiring servants; they were inexpensive. Feed them,
   and that's
   pretty much it. All essential things could be taken care of
   without any
   complications: no tax forms, no television, no radio, no
   temptations. It
   takes too long to travel anywhere, so there would be few
   interruptions by
   In the magical portion of the book, there are many strange
   diagrams and a
   lot of moral remarks along the lines of: "This is evil." "This is
   ambivalent." "This is dangerous." "This is safe." A person
   reading that
   would tend to think the notes are simple and understandable
   warnings. It's
   not that way. Cultures set definitions as to what is proper and
   improper in
   the general sense of Good and Evil. Just a few centuries ago,
   ordinary things
   that we now do would be considered capital offenses. It was even
   to own a mirror. A mirror could be an instrument of Black Magic.
   It shows
   something that isn't really there. The reflection in the mirror
   is not right.
   There's nobody back there. It's an illusion, and illusion was
   considered evil
   magic. So, modern television is black magic. Movies are black
   magic. Make-
   up is black magic. A lot of the moral qualifiers in the Abramelin
   book are
   based on that sort of thinking. On the other hand, dealing with
   the Devil, by
   the Christian definition of such a thing, was not always thought
   to be black
   magic. It's perfectly natural. If a creature is evil, it must
   obey God.
   Holy people can control it, and they should. That's 14th century
   It was considered ordinary that certain religious practitioners,
   priests and
   the Pope, should have the power to command the Devil and make him
   do works.
   There are legends from that time held up as moral examples that
   suggest such
   practices (see "The Golden Legend"). Realize, when reading these
   older books,
   that quite a bit of explanation of terms and usage is needed.
   Some things
   that look terribly arcane and impossible to do are not that at
   all. What's
   virgin parchment? It's just unused paper. Paper in those days was
   animal parchment, made of treated leather. Later centuries used a
   variety of
   vegetable fibers, and now we commonly use wood pulp. "Virgin
   simply meant that nobody had used it for something else and later
   erased it or
   scraped it. With virgin parchment there are no half visible
   remains of funny
   The story of the book makes an interesting bit of mythology, very
   like that
   of the Rosicrucians in that the author claims to have learned the
   magical art
   in Arabia from a wandering sage named Abra Melin. The Abramelin
   book is
   supposed to have been written by a person named "Abraham the
   Jew". Nowadays
   we don't like to talk about people in such an ethnic way, or
   perhaps don't
   notice it when we do. The intent in this book was to say that the
   author was
   very special, perhaps because Abraham was the legendary precursor
   patriarch of all sorts of modern religions, including Judaism,
   Islam and
   Christianity. I say "legendary" because there are odd stories
   about Abraham
   in the Old Testament. Consider the story of the sacrifice of a
   ram in place
   of his son, Issac -- that was how the god Marduk was worshiped,
   not Jehovah.
   Marduk required his worshippers to pass a male child through the
   fire, usually
   the first born, or, in this instance, the first born to a wife as
   to an earlier child of a concubine. Terah, Abraham's father, is
   said to have
   come with Abram (Abraham) from the city of Ur of the Chaldees, a
   city state. Terah was simply a Babylonian who couldn't get along
   in Ur. He
   wandered off in the wilderness with his family and continued
   doing whatever he
   used to do. Maybe he had a falling out with the neighbors and
   their gods.
   Abraham's father left Ur and ultimately settled in the land of
   Haran. He may
   have gotten down to just one god, because it's impractical to
   travel with a
   bunch of them. Gods in those days weighed up to 40 or 50 pounds,
   for a good
   one. The small ones could break if bundled all together in a bag.
   They were
   comforting to talk to and would keep you company, but it's nice
   to have some
   room for food in your backpack. Abraham (Abram was his name at
   first) had his
   own time of wandering, and any spare gods his father may have
   managed to keep
   were evidently too much to carry. Perhaps Abram just inherited
   one idol from
   Terah with the others divided among the family. Anyway, "Abraham"
   had only
   one god and his name was quite a good one to drop, being the
   Great Patriarch
   and all. In case they missed the point, it was "Abraham the Jew"
   -- That one!
   Heavy duty Abraham. Later on the book disclosed that this wasn't
   old Abraham,
   but a modern one, a typical 14th century wandering Jewish person.
   That's not
   to be confused with "The Wandering Jew", an entirely different
   The Author begins by dedicating the book to his second son,
   Lamech, another
   biblical name. He goes on to say that his first born son received
   his best
   inheritance, following a simplified tradition based on the more
   complex story
   of the patriarch Abraham in the Bible. That earlier Abraham had
   several boys.
   The sons of his concubines were to get second best and Isaac, son
   of Sarah,
   the prime heritage. The best was usually supposed to go to the
   eldest son of
   the chief wife. Our Abraham's oldest son got the Sacred Qabalah
   by which the
   World may be made and unmade. All things may be changed, created,
   given mastery of the powers above the earth and below the earth.
   That's not
   just a vague reference, but a part of Qabalah called M'asseh
   Merkabah, older
   than the Christian period and possibly older than the Jewish
   Here's our first "road-side attraction". We will return to the
   subject in later installments of this "Ramble." It will be useful
   to learn
   something about magical books and the Sacred Qabalah before we
   return to this
   particular magical book. Merkabah is not the familiar sort of
   thing usually
   discussed in books about Qabalah with numbers and all. M'asseh
   Merkabah is
   quite something in itself. There are evidences of it in the
   Egyptian "Book of
   the Dead". The same kind of stuff is in there, the same kind of
   rituals, same
   kind of descriptions. If there was a historical Moses or Mosha,
   Merkabah may be what was brought over from Egypt through the
   wandering in the
   wilderness. According to the Qabalistic legend, there was first
   the Torah
   before the creation of the World, the Torah of the Void. It was
   not a written
   book. It was the Living Spirit. Christianity may have used this
   idea and
   called it "The Word" or "Logos", but it seems to have been a
   common conception
   among ancient people. In the stories of Qabalah, the Torah
   contained all that
   could be, would be, will be, was. All these things existed as
   thought exists
   in the mind. This is said to be the content of the mind of the
   creator, the
   primordial pattern, similar in some ways to the archetypes of
   Plato. "The
   Invisible Torah" is the term used in modern and Qabalah. This
   Invisible Torah
   contains the utterance that issued forth to create all things in
   the Universe.
   It was called a book, because it holds knowledge. If you can gain
   a bit of
   that knowledge, you have that much power. Moving around,
   thrashing about,
   howling in the wind or checking the motion of the planets and all
   such is
   unnecessary. It just takes knowledge, "no touch necessary". Take
   that idea,
   generalize it a little bit and modernize it. There's always a
   tendency to put
   down these stories as: "Oh yeah." "Back when." "Wonder what it
   would be
   like." "Isn't that marvelous," and other rationalizations to
   avoid serious
   consideration. The concept is perfectly valid and perfectly
   modern. What do
   you think science is? In this way of speaking, one can say that
   it is simply
   the attempt to recover the language of the Invisible Torah, the
   ways of
   thinking and knowing that can create and uncreate the world. A
   Hydrogen Bomb
   is the same thing that happens in the Sun, not something vaguely
   like that.
   It is the same thing. The only difference is size. The people who
   the Hydrogen bomb learned the word for "sun" in the Invisible
   Torah. They
   learned the word for the power of that. One of the scientists
   watching the
   first explosion of a nuclear weapon was minded to quote from the
   Gita", and said; "Now I am come, the destroyer of worlds". These
   things are
   the true magical book. The language in which that book is written
   is not any
   one human tongue, but the pure language of thought. A principal
   purpose of
   magical training is to acquire facility in that language, the
   language that is
   spoken in appearance of things, in ideas and in what is truly
   seen, rather
   than in sounds and writings.
   April 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART II -- Books Alive continued.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   To continue the tradition forward, it was said that the Torah,
   Invisible Torah, the archetype of all things that are, remained
   with the
   Creating Deity. Down into the world where the first human beings
   were made
   there was another thing, as it were an abstract, a shortened
   Qabalistic Tradition calls this "Sepher Ha-Adam", the Book of Man
   or the Book
   of Adam, the knowledge whereby any human being could learn to
   command all
   forces on earth and out as far as the moving stars, the planets.
   One thing
   that man could not do with this book, would be to command forces
   beyond the
   planets, from the fixed stars. That would not belong in the Book
   of Man, but
   in the book of the "Torah", the Book of the Word of Truth beyond
   this world.
   Some legends of "The Fall" suggest that improper mastery was
   attempted by man,
   and the Book of Adam was taken away in consequence. Legends in
   the "Talmud"
   and elements that became attached to Qabalah recount that in the
   course of
   time a man named Enoch or Hanoh walked the Earth. He's also
   mentioned in the
   Old Testament. It's said of Enoch that: "He walked with God and
   was no more."
   It's also said of Ezechial that: "He walked with God and was no
   more." It's
   never said that either one died. Much is made of this. According
   to the
   legend, when the primordial Man and Woman lost their great powers
   and were
   sent out into the world, they were given another book. This book
   power over many of the things of this world, the things below the
   layer of
   cloud, and influence on the things that in the sky. It was not
   power, but
   influence only. This book was called "Sepher Raziel", which
   translated means: "The Book of the Secret of God." That brings us
   to actual
   written books on magic. There are many books, some going back
   almost to the
   Roman period but most from the last 1500 years, that are called
   "Sepher Ha-
   Raziel". When such books first appeared, Qabalah was called "Raz"
   or "Sod",
   both words meaning a mystical or holy secret. Such a book was
   said to have
   the powerful part of Qabalah. That part of Qabalah is called
   Merkabah or "The Way of the Chariot" because of Ezechial and the
   chariot. The direct, non mythical books of Ma'asseh Merkabah are
   "Hekhaloth" literature, and often pre-date the Christian era.
   There is also a story about Enoch, that he had a book called
   "Sepher Ha-
   Enoch". There are ancient surviving "Books of Enoch". This fellow
   really had a friend in a high place. He got to talking with God.
   the Yeminite Jewish people; there are places in Israel where the
   settled. An old man will sometimes go out in front of his tent,
   and just have
   a conversation with God in the morning. That's his morning
   prayer, not the
   standard Jewish prayers. He says; "Hello God, how are you?"; and
   he gets
   answers! There's a conversation going on. It looks an awful lot
   like the
   descriptions in the Bible, the Torah. Maybe Enoch was like that;
   but the
   story goes on to say that he was given a book. Remember that the
   word "book"
   in this context means "knowledge". This "book", reasonably
   enough, was called
   "Sepher Ha-Enoch", the Book of Enoch or the "Enochian Book". It
   was written
   in the language of the Angels and restored most of the powers
   that had been
   removed from the book of Raziel, to the level of the Book of
   Adam. Enoch was
   so powerful that he was like legend said of the first Man and
   Woman. He was
   not the size of a normal human being, but something like 12 feet
   tall. When
   he walked, the earth shook. Sometimes he could be seen, and
   sometimes he
   couldn't. When he became angry, his anger leveled a mountain, not
   by touch
   but by the anger alone. This is the background of magical books.
   It later
   became what we see now. There are books called "The Greater" and
   "Lesser Keys
   of Solomon." It's the same sort of tradition. Solomon was said to
   have power
   over the king of the demons. Obviously he had knowledge of this
   kind. Spell
   books that give power over demons are often called "Keys of
   Solomon", the keys
   whereby Solomon unlocked or controlled the powers of these great
   forces. In
   the "Arabian Nights", there are genies, Jinn and Marids. These
   are strange
   spirits who either do or do not believe in Allah. They all have
   powers. Those are just the words used in Arabic to refer to these
   kinds of
   spirits. Realize that Hebrew and Arabic are similar languages;
   when we say
   Solomon son of David, Hebrew sources say Solmon ben David and
   Arabic sources
   say Suliman bin Daoud. In the "Arabian Nights", everywhere you go
   there are
   Genies popping up and wondering if Suliman bin Daoud is still
   around. The
   last time, he jammed them in a bottle! The Book of Solomon, the
   "Key of
   Solomon", the tradition of the magic of the "Arabian Nights", are
   all from the
   same stories. Many of these magical books derive from the
   influence of the
   Islamic culture in Europe. Islamic occupation of Western European
   land didn't
   end until 1492 e.v., the same year Columbus made famous. That was
   the year of
   the fall of Grenoble, the last Moorish center of learning and
   outpost in
   Western Europe, 100 years after the Abramelin book was allegedly
   There are two principle works in common circulation called the
   "Key of
   Solomon". One is called "The Greater Key of Solomon", and the
   other is called
   "The Lesser Key of Solomon" or "Lemegeton". The "Greater Key of
   gives detailed instructions on how to make things: magical
   implements, clothing, right times to do things during the week;
   all that sort
   of thing. It has a few interesting rituals in it. It also has a
   lot of
   rather nice Talismans, most of them derived from traditions
   common in the
   middle ages. A few are older, like the SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA
   ROTAS square
   that's on the cover of some editions. That square was actually
   found etched
   in the wall of a public lavatory in Pompeii. It's just pure luck
   archaeologists happened to dig up a public john in Pompeii where
   somebody had
   long ago decided to offend everybody by drawing a sacred thing on
   the wall --
   the equivalent of a telephone number under a scurrilous remark.
   The earliest
   depiction thought to represent Jesus Christ is also on a bathroom
   wall in
   Pompeii, a crucified jackass. It probably isn't Jesus Christ but
   Mithras and
   might even be related to Venus, who was associated with making
   asses of
   people. There is a marvelous book by Lucius: "The Golden Ass",
   called that
   because it's got an ass in it and good books should be thought of
   as golden.
   That book describes the mysteries of the goddess Venus. Returning
   to the
   Solomonic Keys, or Clavicals as they are sometimes called; they
   have turned up
   in very odd places. Ben Johnson was an Elizabethan playwright. He
   wrote the
   first musical, the "Beggars Opera", and was a contemporary of
   There exists in the British Museum a copy of the "Greater Key of
   Solomon" with
   Johnson's signature on it. Jacques Casanova was another student
   of magical
   books. There's a movie about Casanova, but it's marred. They cast
   a white
   man in the role while Casanova was black. He was imprisoned by
   the Council of
   Ten in Venice, under the roof of the Doge's palace, and the
   record of his
   imprisonment survives. The charge on which Casanova was
   imprisoned was
   possession of these magical books. Casanova's memoirs detail
   workings with
   Solomonic evocations, alchemy, numerology, the transfer of souls
   from one
   living person to another and work with his own Holy Guardian
   Angel. Some
   years ago somebody finally came out with a facsimile full version
   of the
   "Lemegeton" or "Lesser Key of Solomon", but usually you only find
   a little
   part of it, one chapter call the "Goetia". It was supposed to be
   the "Greater Key of Solomon" wasn't. "The Greater Key of Solomon"
   is a nice
   handbook, more classical with less Christian influence. The
   "Lesser Key" or
   "Lemegeton" is a collection of damn near everything, including a
   lot of
   corruptions and poor quality late material. The "Goetia" just
   deals with the
   5 degree divisions of the Zodiac into 72 parts, and only the evil
   destructive aspect of that. Consider Astaroth in the "Goetia", a
   demon, one of those imprisoned in the brass bottle by Solomon.
   There is a
   design for a ring to be worn to protect yourself from his evil
   Actually, "Astaroth" is one of the Near Eastern words for
   "goddesses", in
   particular, goddesses of beauty. Another cognate name is
   "Astarte". "Ishtar"
   and "Isis" are dialectical variations on the same name, "Asha".
   These things
   degenerate after illiterate copying and ignorant addition of

   opinion. Such books don't help much. They give general
   instructions along
   the lines of, "Ok, now do this"; but they don't explain in
   detail. It's rare
   to get instruction like: "If you can't find parchment, skin a
   sheep, get a big
   crock, fill it full of lime, thrown in some water, throw in the
   sheep skin,
   fish it out of there after a while when it stops stinking and
   bubbling, dry it
   out, pound on it a while, put it back in ..." The Abramelin book
   starts with
   the assumption that you know nothing. It explains how to use any
   method to attain the goal of learning magick. That is the main
   value of the
   Abramelin book, but also where it has problems. All the helpful
   are for the 14th century. They've stopped making a lot of that
   May 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART III -- On the Road Again.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   In the 19th century, Mathers published "The Book of the Sacred
   Magic of
   Abra-Melin the Mage". An illustration by Mona Mathers decorates
   the title
   page of the first edition. The Mathers had what was called a
   marriage." Avoiding sex apparently kept them busy with small
   projects into
   the later hours of the night. On one evening, Mona did a sketch
   for hubbie's
   book. They got up in the morning and took a look at the sketch.
   The figure
   of Abra Melin was shown, bearded and with his initials in Hebrew
   on his chest.
   A spirit held a little box out to him. That little box wasn't in
   the drawing
   when they went to bed, but it was there when they got up. At that
   point, the
   Mathers realized that they had something, although they might
   have done better
   to consider that they were holding out on each other too much.
   The Abramelin book was considered by Aleister Crowley to
   represent the
   proper approach to learning Magick. According to the book, the
   work is "to
   seek the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel".
   instruction goes more or less like this ... Do you want to learn
   this stuff?
   First a word of discouragement, its not easy. 1,000 people try;
   maybe one
   succeeds. Here is the rule. Get yourself a place to be private
   for maybe six
   months or more. Six months is the minimum, not necessarily the
   best time, not
   necessarily the proper time. Begin it at the time of quickening
   in the year,
   Passover or Easter. Remember, you've got to go six months, and
   it's nice to
   have decent weather. Spring is traditionally the time of all
   beginnings in
   many religions, the season when the life of the Earth renews.
   It's the true
   New Year, whether it's called March, April, the beginning of
   Aries, or the
   first appearance of growth in the fields. Passover represents the
   over of the angel of death during the ten plagues in Egypt, but
   most cultures
   celebrate a time of escaping the dead time of the year. The angel
   of death
   passes by in one night. Night could be Winter. When the angel of
   death went
   by at the eleventh hour of the night, that could simply be a
   reference to the
   darkest time of the year when there is no food, just great cold
   and privation.
   People die then for no good reason, as though the hand of the
   angel of death
   touched them. Just after that is the time to begin a magical
   working. There
   are other times fixed by particular theories; but, for a good
   start, consider
   Easter, Passover, some time in March, April or thereabouts.
   It's better not to change, if the worker can cope with his or her
   Religion. For those who can't stay with their childhood faith,
   something else
   will have to be used that suits them better. Modern ideas of
   religion are
   different from those in the 14th century. Long ago, intellectual
   acts were
   religion. Anything that didn't involve working with the hands was
   prayer, or
   something very like it. To read a book, to study a mental
   discipline, meant
   to pray. This categorization is still common in the orient.
   Discipline is
   always part of religious practice, mental and otherwise. In
   modern times, the
   study of mathematics might be considered a sort of religion. Some
   mathematicians do relate it to their religion as an effort to
   view the
   perfection of the greater universe. Music can be the form of
   expression. Art and many other creative expressions are
   religious. When a book is involved there's usually a narrower
   expression of
   religion, perhaps more mystical, formulary, or theoretical: a
   "read it in The
   Book and say these prayers" kind of religion. Whatever it is, the
   one you
   have is the one you use. That's it, no matter what it is. The
   actual type of
   religion doesn't matter. Neither does the background or
   experience. This is
   a way to do things, to proceed with learning the Sacred Magick.
   flexibility is partly why Crowley was so turned on to the book.
   Here's an
   author who wasn't caught in a cultural trap, writing a basic
   outline. If you
   take the six months, you will probably fail. He says that up
   front. He
   doesn't say why. One reason for failure in six to nine months is
   simple lack
   of enough time to do it. Western culture is usually superficial,
   and lost in small detail. There is not much tendency to get very
   deeply into
   things. In this culture, accomplishing the work of the Sacred
   Magick in six
   to nine months is not very likely. To the extent that one is
   distracted, it's
   harder and should take longer. Six months, a year, maybe even ten
   might not be enough time. A magical retirement isn't just a time
   distraction. After this kind of retreat, a person has to be
   changed, not merely relaxed. To proceed with such a course, it's
   necessary to
   have something to do. The book explains how to use anything, but
   it doesn't
   supply that thing. The subject study should have an elaborate
   structure, but
   it's important to choose a study that isn't tied up with too many
   knots of
   worldly concern. In the middle ages religion was a good thing to

   because religion talked about a world so far removed from the
   physical that
   nobody had any real problems with the place. Nowadays, we have
   many immediate
   interests quite beyond the imagination of most intensely
   religious people in
   the middle ages. We don't have as clear a division between the
   sacred and the
   profane as people did in ancient times. We must find something
   that hasn't
   been poisoned by being too involved with mundane existence,
   something that
   seems isolated from the world of day to day matters. Mathematics
   is very good
   for that, as long as it isn't accounting, surveying or
   engineering. Pure
   mathematics, without application, may be quite adequate. Certain
   areas of math may be better, including group theory, set theory,
   anything to
   manipulate and combine ideas. What's needed is something with
   structure, and
   it has to be a structure that doesn't get depressing. This
   discipline might
   be challenging, even difficult; but it shouldn't be something
   that makes one
   say, "Oh God, I hate this!" Many people feel that way about
   Arithmetic isn't serious mathematics. Arithmetic is the feces of
   If you hate arithmetic, you needn't worry. You can still go on to
   higher math
   concepts unfettered by grammar school trauma.
   Prepare for an extended time without unnecessary complications.
   distractions. Grocery shopping and similar tasks should be
   minimized or done
   quickly and efficiently. The worst distractions are conversations
   involve the lives of other people. The object is to change
   Personal conversations tend to keep us unchanged, that's what
   they are for,
   among other things. When friends or acquaintances talk and share
   aspects of
   their life with one another, most of the conversation isn't about
   a problem
   and interests. Most of that sort of communion is for keeping each
   other on
   the same mental and emotional plane, smoozing a friendship,
   keeping mutual
   influence and interdependence going. It's the stuff that monkeys
   do to remain
   a monkey crew, primate instinctual behavior. Wolves and dogs bite
   each other
   on the nose or smell the other end. Monkeys giber a lot and
   scratch each
   other. People shake hands and giber a lot. It's the same
   principle. This
   behavior interferes with changing. It keeps people the same;
   predictable and reliable to others in the social group --
   insuring safety of
   the community. In some cultures, instead of "I understand you"
   people say "I
   see you". Talking with a person makes a mental image of that
   person. All the
   people around you automatically try to either change you to their
   way or keep
   you the same. That's part of being human. It's one of the reasons
   we gather
   together and form cities. It's how our families exist. If it
   wasn't for
   that, we wouldn't be here, even in the most simple way. Without
   this ability
   to keep one another locked into a pattern, people wouldn't be
   able to raise
   children. Our children take years to get self sufficient. Most
   animals can
   put up with the little creep for six months to a year and then
   its gone, get
   out of here, you smell bad! With us, the rug rat has to grow into
   independent over a couple of decades. It is necessary to separate
   from most human contact to effect change. There are families
   where "he beats
   her up" or "she beats him up", and nobody can figure out why the
   doesn't break up. They just keep patterning themselves into the
   same mold.
   Before taking the next point, here's a particular problem. It
   occurs that a couple, man and wife or less formally joined, will
   compact to do
   the Abramelin work. Perhaps one will offer to take care of
   mundane affairs

   while the other takes the magical retirement. After that is
   they will change places and the other will do it. This rarely
   works. If the
   odds are 1,000 to one against for a person attaining this, the
   odds against
   two particular people succeeding are 1,000,000 to one against!
   Remember that
   many aspects of the personality will change if the retirement is
   Other factors may arise which could be very disruptive to a
   marriage or
   partnership. A magical retirement of this magnitude, especially
   if forced
   into a short time like six months, is very risky for marriages.
   It's better
   to consider this effort either before settling down or after
   raising a family,
   like the Hindu rule to become a Sadhu. It isn't impossible to
   accomplish the
   Abramelin work while married, but it requires either an arranged
   marriage of
   convenience like the sort common in the middle ages or
   considerable maturity
   in both parties to the marriage.
   The environment is next. A different place is needed for the
   work. If
   it's done at home, a part of the home must be dedicated to this
   purpose. A
   room should be set apart. In some ethnic traditions, some
   religions, people
   who can afford it have rooms just for meditation, just for prayer
   like a
   little chapel. If that's not practical, a desk, a corner, even a
   closet can
   be used. To do it cheaply, run a drapery around a room to close
   everything. Draw the drapes in front of the book cases, doors,
   windows and
   side furniture. That will change the room into a little world.
   The idea is
   to set up something different. It doesn't much matter what. If
   there are a
   lot of things in the meditation place, they should not distract
   or interfere.
   They shouldn't be things that have memories attached to them.
   Nothing there
   should evoke memories of relatives, friends, childhood, what
   grandpa was like,
   the taxes, or the ever dwindling supply of toilet paper. Even
   shapes that evoke such thoughts should be removed. All that's
   really needed
   is an untrammeled field of view. One piece of cloth hanging down
   can do it,
   if it's possible to get close enough so that nothing else can be
   seen. The
   Abramelin book assumes that the student will find a place in the
   and that somebody will look after ordinary needs without talking
   or otherwise
   distracting. Variations, like Crowley's "China Walk", can also
   work if the
   circumstances are culturally isolating and there is lots of time
   reflection. The book makes much about minimizing all human
   contact but makes
   exception for servants. In the 14th century, common chores were
   demanding. Such common chores are not distraction in themselves,
   but only
   because we remember doing them with our parents. Daily chores are
   stuff. All of those things have memories and emotional reflexes
   with them. It is difficult to do ordinary chores without
   distraction from the
   goal of the magical retirement. The same language that keeps you
   the same
   kind of person extends into the things you learned as you were
   growing up. If
   you are in a place like that where you grew up, you will think
   like you did
   then. It's so insidious that if you get drunk on something that
   you haven't
   gotten drunk on in ten years, you will think the way you did ten
   years ago.
   This is part of being human. It's helpful in the work to avoid
   these kinds of
   The next step is self-discipline. The book says to start easy and
   progressively more severe. Cut back the ordinary things. Don't
   talk to
   people, or keep it simple if it can't be avoided. The first third
   of this
   time of retirement may involve minor efforts. Don't worry about
   doing it
   right. The Abramelin book gives some instructions which may or
   may not make
   sense nowadays, including how to purify the place of retirement.
   Those are
   mostly pretty good instructions. They are not too hard to follow.
   Orisons or
   prayers are required. Orison is speech to the deity. A prayer is
   often a
   memorized orison. Rituals are another form of prayer. Do this for
   a while to
   work up a consistent practice. Then comes the middle part. Do
   more, increase
   it, add more things of that kind. In the third and final portion,
   go at it as
   hard as possible. Get as crazy as a monk with six life-times of
   novinas to
   get through in a week. Go full blast. At that time the details of
   procedure work themselves out. In time you will achieve the
   experience called
   "The Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel".
   Other ways of
   saying it include; "contact with the Higher Self", "attaining a
   Socrates would have said: "discovering the Daemon". It's said
   that Pythagoras
   had such a personal spirit. One day he went to a seer whose job
   it was to
   tell people what their soul or spirit was like. The seer looked
   Pythagoras, went dead pale and freaked. He didn't see a spirit.
   He saw a
   god. This is the tradition: There is something that is part of
   you and yet
   not part of you. Some of you dies, some of you doesn't. We have
   nice simple
   ways of passing that off in this day and age. Most of these
   plastic, ready-
   to-go religions come out with: "O that's your immortal soul!" "It
   can burn in
   hell or live happily in heaven." "Don't forget to donate" (Don't
   let me jinx
   passing the hat. Your donation is welcome at all O.T.O. events.).
   June 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART IV -- Picnic on Bald Mountain
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   A daemon is an intelligence that doesn't require a body, but
   finds one
   convenient sometimes. There's a lot of ignorance about these
   creatures. Most popular religious stuff has been canned for years
   and has
   gone bad on the shelf. It's lost all its flavor and nutrition.
   People who
   are physically hungry will do anything, and you can bribe them to
   forget their
   religion for awhile, because it isn't doing them any good. Which
   is more like
   "demon worship": selling out your god for a sandwich or being
   because you have a real thing going? Most other religions haven't
   through the mercantile sea-change that happened with
   Christianity. It used to
   be a nice little Jewish religion. It was kind of heretical; but
   nobody was
   interested in it other than Jewish heretics, so who cared outside
   After the Diaspora it got commercialized into a brand-X -- just
   like frozen
   food or bottled gefilte fish. Some preserved foods are advertised
   with pride
   in the fact that they are bland. That goes right on the label.
   Sadly, most
   Christianity is that way too. People can't thrive on such stuff
   unless they
   put something more into it.
   Standard Christianity uses the guardian angel to explain how a
   kid lives
   through childhood. God knows that little kids are likely to
   totally destruct
   any minute, so each of us is born with a nice little guardian
   angel. It's
   sometimes depicted on nicknacks, e.g. a little switch cover with
   a picture
   molded on it for the child's bed room. Click on the switch and
   it's belly-
   button lights up. That's tasteless, but cute. Cute can really get
   out of
   hand if it proliferates. Such a guardian angel guides and
   protects in
   childhood. It leaves at the age of reason.
   Sometimes the guardian angel is identified with the idea a
   Freud calls it the "super-ego". This is the part that says:
   "Mmm..., are you
   sure you want to do that? You could get caught." or "That's
   There's this little thing inside that keeps telling you things
   that restrain
   you. That's about as far as most people get with the idea of
   The more educated Christians realize that such ideas aren't
   adequate. A
   conscience doesn't have to "just say No." The guardian angel
   doesn't have to
   limit itself to watching during the age of chronic danger of
   It may be a part of you. It may be somebody who is in some way
   related to
   you; alive once, but not of this world any more. Nearly all
   religions are
   based on dead people, so that possibility should be no surprise.
   It may be a
   spirit that is a part of you in another world. Perhaps there
   really are
   angels, and the things Greeks called Daemons really exist. The
   Greeks and
   Romans believed that a Daemon attaches to each of us as we come
   into the
   world. It's like a marriage or like twins, a physical twin and a
   twin. All kinds of theories abound.
   Find something inside that you can listen to without fretting
   over having
   enough toilet paper, whether the flashlight is about to run out
   of batteries,
   or whether you paid that bill. Perhaps it's nothing more than a
   part of you
   that is just a little bit out of it when it comes to the Earthly
   plane but is
   very together otherwise. Whatever you want to call this thing, it
   isn't a
   concept that is met with very often in popular Christianity. It's
   been pretty
   well buried. You can think of it as a soul, but you might need
   some help with
   that idea.
   Modern Christianity in the last few hundred years, certainly no
   more than
   the last thousand years, has come up with very unwholesome ideas.
   The Devil
   is only one of them. Another of these ideas is the doctrine that
   you've only
   got one soul. What nonsense! What absolute foolishness! Have you
   only one
   arm? Some people do, but most have two. Have you a pair of eyes?
   Yes. You
   got only one eye? Not if you are lucky. Why would you have only
   one soul?
   In certain of the older cultures, medical practice assumes that
   there are
   various intelligent little souls or chakras living in different
   parts of the
   body. A lot of healing simply consists of communication with
   these various
   parts. Meditate or use massage to wake them up and say; "Really,
   do you want
   to leave us this way? This part is your job. You live there. Fix
   it." That
   sort of thing works, and it's not at all difficult once you get
   over the
   simplification problem.
   In Qabalah there is a series of souls. There's even a soul for
   physical body that IS the physical body. Wonder of wonders, it's
   called the
   "Goof" -- whence we derive our word "goofy". Then there is the
   Nephesh, which
   is what keeps the Goof running. That's in animals too. A Nephesh
   lingers after death. When the body drops, this soul tries to look
   for another
   one. That's the ghost. It's not particularly intelligent. It's
   just able to
   hold the pattern it had. A wandering Nephesh will generally look
   like the can
   it was in. Electrical, who knows? It may have an explanation, and
   it may
   not. It's there. It doesn't seem to require an explanation to
   exist. Beyond
   the Nephesh is the human identity, something called the Ruach,
   the intelligent
   or human soul. This is the "somebody in there." Look at people.
   Maybe they
   are just not into looking back, but quite a lot of people appear
   to be like
   what Castenada and Don Juan would call elementals. There may be
   something in
   there, but there sure isn't anything looking out. Other people
   seem to be
   home, as it were. That's the Ruach. It's seen in people's eyes.
   The Holy Guardian Angel is deeper. In Qabalah, it's called the
   It's the first immortal part of the soul, or the first immortal
   soul. Calling
   these entities parts or souls doesn't matter. If you insist on
   having just
   one soul, call them parts. If you don't have a problem with that,
   call them
   souls. The Egyptians had a group of terms for them. The Neshamah
   is the
   first immortal part of you. Your body will rot, smell bad and
   become a mess
   some day -- unless you are weird enough to have it stuffed.
   Neshamah is not
   like that.
   Nephesh, the animal principal, is corruptible. The Nephesh is the
   people have of you as though you were in the room. It's the thing
   that makes
   friends think your ghost is present when they feel some
   intangible thing and
   suddenly see it as you. When a friend dies, a week or a year
   later, you may
   see that friend walking down the street. You hurry to catch up,
   because you
   don't understand what is going on. Suddenly, it's somebody who
   doesn't look
   at all like that person. For a moment it did. That's the ghost.
   Shade is
   another word just as good. The Nephesh eventually will die. When
   the last
   person who sees you in things or remembers you in mind passes
   away, when the
   last person who has heard stories about you goes, your Nephesh
   dies. There
   are ways to keep it alive independently for a time. Some theories
   of Magick
   describe how to make a house for the soul or help it live in a
   tree. That can
   be done, but many people doubt whether those things work in
   themselves or only
   because the person who performed the appropriate ritual made a
   effort to keep this spirit around.
   If you write a book or leave a journal, it's possible to call
   your Nephesh
   back from the dead. A sympathetic person may read your literary
   It's not enough to imagine seeing a person or to imagine what
   they are like.
   That won't bring back the Nephesh. The person must be seen as
   physically present. It's quite a spooky thing to start thinking
   thoughts and later see that person. Another way to approach this
   idea: to
   understand what life was like 300 years ago in some other part of
   the world,
   reading a book or visiting a place isn't enough. It's necessary
   hallucinate what it would have smelled like. The impressions must
   be more
   real than imagined. It's one thing to read a book and imagine the
   life of
   some famous person. It's quite another matter to read the same
   book and begin
   to think like that person.
   The Ruach survives well in books, buildings and works of art.
   That's the
   next soul after the Nephesh. If you don't smell the animal soul,
   you can
   still get ideas from the intellectual soul. Things that a
   deceased person
   left behind still function in the world as products of the
   personality. The
   Nephesh and the Ruach can be kept alive, but they will pass away
   if not
   deliberately kept alive. They depend on physical things or people
   living. The Neshamah doesn't. The Neshamah is immortal by itself.
   It always
   existed. It always will exist. In a sense it is divine. That's
   where the
   idea of a Holy Guardian Angel comes in.
   Consider the concept of reincarnation: you're born and born and
   born again
   until finally you get it together with your Neshamah; finally the
   part of your
   that's immortal unites with the part of you that's mortal. After
   that occurs,
   you don't have to be born again. Ultimately freedom from the
   wheel of
   incarnation is attained. In one-chance-only types of religion,
   there's less
   to talk about and the single incarnation is thought to pass more
   quickly. The
   same idea is there. You must unite with the immortal part of
   yourself or you
   will go to Hell and cease to have the quality of immortality, at
   least in a
   desirable way.
   Qabalah is a big subject, lots of tradition going back more than
   a couple
   of thousand years. Some of the theories disagree with other
   theories, so
   don't think there's just one. When one theory makes perfect
   sense, something
   else about it will make perfect nonsense. In Qabalah there is a
   chauvinistic tradition that says that all souls begin as the
   souls of men (I
   wouldn't sell this to anybody, but it is a historical view). If
   you don't
   have a son while you are alive as a man, you will be born next as
   a woman. If
   you don't have a son as a woman, you will be born next as an
   animal. After
   that, it's true death! Don't get caught and think something like
   that is the
   only theory there is. Another theory from Qabalah, quite
   different, is that
   souls come from roots. There is a root soul, usually identified
   with a famous
   person in the Old Testament, or one of the twelve tribes of
   Israel, descended
   from one person. Just as bodies descend from ancestors, so souls
   descend from
   other ancestors. Your soul is from that other person. You are not
   that other
   person born again. It's just that the Neshamah is the same.
   Neshamah, in a
   higher sense, is said to have three parts. In its higher parts,
   especially in
   the highest part called the Yehidah, it is the same for
   everybody. The Chiah,
   or second part, can be shared by many. The lower form of the
   Neshamah is just
   your own part, and is simply called your "Neshamah". That's your
   part of the
   root of the full Neshamah soul. That lower Neshamah joins with
   the Chiah of
   many and all such "roots" unite in the divine tree of the
   Yehidah. Chiah
   means "life". If there were just as many souls as living things,
   that would
   present quite a confusing situation. But, the individual
   Neshamah, the lower
   part of the three-fold Neshamah, is divided out of the Chiah.
   It's immortal
   in the sense that it's characteristics will never be lost, but
   it's not quite
   as immortal as the Chiah. The number of the manifestations of the
   Chiah does
   not change, no matter how many living creatures exist. There are
   crops of
   these things seasonally. When bug spray happens a lot of the
   really cheap
   ones "go home".
   There's something going on involving souls or parts of the soul.
   what this whole operation is about.
   Next month: Care and feeding of Angels, or: How to paper train
   the H.G.A.
   July 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART V -- How to find & care for your Adonai.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   The key to working the Abramelin system is to isolate yourself so
   that you
   can change yourself, so that you are not kept unchanged by the
   pressure of
   social interaction. Once isolated, proceed with the discipline
   and increase
   it gradually. Depending on the success that you have with these
   things, it
   will take more or less time. There is no upper limit to the
   amount of time.
   The beginning of this process must be very tight. It commences
   with light
   discipline, neither complex nor onerous; but what little there is
   must be
   rigidly maintained. That's quite important and not well
   emphasized in the
   book. The Abramelin book lays out a simple instruction. Since
   most of us
   would have to go at the task in a more round-about way, there is
   a problem.
   Once you have attained the Knowledge and the Conversation, once
   the "voice"
   that's has always been there for you suddenly becomes something
   realized and
   recognized, then you have begun in earnest. This is not something
   you get.
   This is something to which you awaken yourself. In many cultures
   a big thing
   is made of attracting a spirit of this kind. In the rite of
   Confirmation used
   by some forms of Christianity, a saint's spirit is attracted to
   the person to
   be confirmed. The newly confirmed Christian is given the name of
   that saint.
   Other cultures say that a god is attracted. A Christian saint is
   a god. It's
   amazing what people do with words, isn't it? Words and cultural
   taboos about
   words can distract. It's all the same sort of approach. The
   Guardian Angel,
   or Neshamah as it's called in Qabalah, is part of you. This whole
   process is
   a waking up to the fact that you've always had such a thing.
   There has always
   been the voice that advises, the voice to which you have been too
   or too busy to listen. It's always there. It will always be
   there. This
   communication needs tuning. The voice doesn't know how to talk to
   you. You
   don't know how to listen to it. You've got to fix that. You will
   have to
   isolate yourself and regularize your thinking. You can make it
   easier for the
   spirit to adapt to you. You need to adjust yourself so that you
   are not
   distracted. Then you may hear the spirit that is part of you or
   attached to
   you, whatever you want to call it.
   Be careful. The spirit appears unsophisticated when it comes to
   things. The Holy Guardian Angel doesn't come from here. It does
   not speak
   worldly language very clearly. You may find that this spirit acts
   It discovers ways that it can get your attention, like having
   your car rear-
   ended or causing an arm to be detached. You need to inform the
   spirit that
   such methods are not desirable. In many ways this relationship
   begins like a
   new friendship between children. Children are pure, beautiful and
   They don't know when to quit or what they mustn't do. They
   haven't been here
   long enough to find out. You have to occasionally say to
   children; "Stop
   that!" Try not to dislocate an arm or fracture an emotion when
   you assist
   their understanding. It's the same with the Guardian Angel. This
   is a part
   of you that you have shut off from the day-to-day world. It
   doesn't know how
   things go here. If you tell it, it'll catch on real quick. If you
   say: "No,
   I don't need to learn by catching the Hong Kong flu every second
   week. I
   realize that this makes me real quiet so that I can listen to
   you; but this
   does not really serve the purpose that you seek. Let's try to
   work out
   something better." A person can get the impression that this is
   some horribly
   dangerous thing. It is possible, by prejudicing yourself, to get
   that effect.
   If you think you are trying to conjure up the very Devil,
   whatever the Hell
   that is, your Holy Guardian Angel is going to think: "Well, I
   guess that's
   what he wants me to do." Maintain a positive outlook in these
   You are training yourself as well as your spirit. This spirit
   will never do
   anything to harm you, if you tell it what doesn't work. If you
   ask it to
   protect you, it will. In the process of asking, you open yourself
   up and the
   parts of you that have been separated are able to work together.
   There is a
   passivity in that form of request. If it is made without
   reservation, the
   mind communicates what is needed. If you demand and compel, or
   say: "Give me
   this!". You will get what you ask, not what you need. The fine
   print won't
   be right if you don't open up enough to provide detail. In
   working by
   traditional methods with demons (horrible imaginary things with
   terrible teeth
   and bad breath) you need all kinds of protection. If you relax
   protection for a moment, you have big problems. Those problems
   come from
   working with some part of yourself that doesn't hook up very
   well. That's
   what most of these negative demons are. They are parts of you,
   parts of the
   culture, and things in the world that don't get along very well.
   Demons (not
   the classical Daemons), terrible monsters or whatever you find in
   these old
   books, are of that nature. They represent sickness. They
   represent mental
   disorder. They represent pain, suffering, fear, all those
   negative emotions.
   That's why they are called devils. Work with them very, very
   carefully. It's
   sometimes convenient to go through an elaborate change of things,
   a magical
   circle, rituals performed just for this sort of purpose, special
   tools and so
   forth. When you cease doing such an evocation, you do not want to
   anything around that can bring the accompanying thoughts back
   again. Don't go
   to the Holy Guardian Angel as though it were that kind of thing.
   You will
   have enough trouble with this klutz. The gods have big feet and
   know not
   where they step. They don't notice things until after they have
   stepped on
   them and say: "Ulp, did I un-create something? Oh', I'm sorry.
   What were
   you?" Don't get into that kind of thing. Housebrake the Holy
   Guardian Angel,
   so that it no longer messes up your mundane life to get your
   attention. If
   you get too eager, you may loose connection a little bit. You
   can't get
   everything: "I want lots of money!". "Money? I don't know money.
   We don't
   have that here." You have to use something that's within you, and
   you have
   got to open up to communicate it.
   Once you have this much worked out, you've got the knowledge.
   You've got
   the conversation; you've worked out a way to get along. Now it's
   time to take
   a better look at the problems. What are they? They are the needs
   that made
   you do this cockamamy thing in the first place. Maybe there's
   somebody that's
   beating you up all the time. Maybe your family is in trouble with
   Maybe you would like to learn something or improve your love
   life. Whatever
   it is, those aren't things that are proper to the Holy Guardian
   Angel. The
   Whole Thing is proper to the H.G.A. Details are work for
   secondary spirits.
   You can say that they are part of you too, or you can deal with
   them as
   separate things. That doesn't matter. Once you have something
   going that you
   can trust, the Holy Guardian Angel, you can command any needful
   spirit. The
   tradition is to go after the worst ones first: the Kings of the
   Four Quarters,
   the terrible things that bring death and destruction in the world
   in the form
   of storms and all the ills that can come from the four quarters
   of the earth.
   If you read the old books closely, you will find that the four
   demon kings of
   the elements usually relate to the four directions. Some of their
   names are
   old terms from maps, referring to north, south, east or west.
   These things
   are the next to master. You use the connection that you have
   developed with
   your Holy Guardian Angel to compel the great terrors of the world
   to heel.
   After that you don't want to deal with them much any more. Once
   you have
   conquered the terrors of the world, you ask them to send more
   mild spirits.
   Something like the damagers of the world, not the terrors,
   please. These are
   lesser spirits. You master them and go on down the line. The
   Abramelin book
   says you can ultimately get four servants. These aren't
   particularly nasty,
   but they are in the chain of command. You have established that
   chain of
   command. They can go and fetch bigger things as needed. These are
   elemental servants that will attend you.
   These things are abstractions. The higher up the line you get,
   the more
   abstract they are. The further down the line you get, the more
   they are like
   a busted foot, one of the least abstract things you're likely to
   find short of
   a stomach ache. An archangel is the next thing to a god. An
   commands great things. Detroit might have an angel. A family
   might have a
   spirit. A nation might have an archangel. In that way, an
   archangel is a
   spirit common to all the people in a nation. An angel corresponds
   to a
   smaller class, like a few people, an extended family, village or
   city. For an
   immediate family, especially in the sense of the way things are
   done and
   believed in such a family, there is a spirit of that family.
   What's the
   spirit of the family? "Gens" is used in anthropology to refer to
   a group of
   related people. It is also a word meaning a daemon. "Genius" is a
   word for a
   person who's intelligence influences large numbers of people.
   "Genius" is
   also a word meaning a particular and personal "Spirit" or
   "Daemon", in the
   sense of the guiding intelligence inside a person. The higher up
   we go, from
   spirit to angel to archangel, the more powerful they are. It's
   like the idea
   of soul as root and tree. A tree divides near the trunk; that's
   solid, the
   archangel. When it divides again into smaller parts that
   correspond to
   angels. The rootlets and foliage of a tree are groups of spirits.
   that, there are tiny little things in the ground that don't look
   like much of
   anything, places where roots died, demons. Fallen leaves are the
   Disease is part of life. It's the most tangible part because it's
   the hardest
   to overlook. Ultimately, you want to go out from your center, the
   Guardian Angel. Find the great divisions of pain in your life,
   and master
   them. This is described in a way that seems an allegory or myth,
   but actually
   is not. People are conditioned to view this approach in that way.
   There's no
   reason on earth why you can't personify things. Maybe they have
   Animals don't have souls; or do they? If you have a pet, you may
   It's possible to make a mistake and pick the wrong spirit,
   instead of the
   Holy Guardian Angel. The H.G.A. is something that you can release
   yourself to
   completely and still end up being the same individual you were in
   beginning. People tend to get a little weird doing a magical
   retirement, so
   it's a good idea to keep a diary. With a diary, you can read old
   entries and
   figure out how you got to where you are now. If necessary, you
   can go back
   again. My favorite test is to take a break once in a while and go
   into a
   Safeway or something like that. If you can stand it, you're still
   That's the definition of sanity in this culture, able to take
   care of the
   minimum. Being able to endure a supermarket long enough to
   harmlessly obtain
   food is pretty minimal. There is a thing called a lemure or
   Larva. You can
   attract a hungry spirit, usually a wandering Nephesh, something
   that is
   dependent on somebody else to stay around. You're "it"; you've
   volunteered as
   life-support. Such a spirit is willing to pretend to be anything
   in order to
   keep on sucking. That's not the H.G.A. That's just a trap that
   people fall
   into, because they have been told that's all there is. The
   majority of those
   cases are what the Romans would call lemures or larvae, the
   Tibetans hungry
   ghosts, and the Hassids Dibukim. Such spirits need attention to
   live. It is
   just like a failed relationship with a mate. If that other person
   dependent on you for shelter and food or for some important but
   less tangible
   thing, they'll do anything up to the limits of their nature to
   keep you the
   way you are. If you want them to be something, they will turn
   into it. If
   you are angry, you will tend to evoke greater anger from them,
   resulting in
   passive reaction on your part. The partner in such a
   relationship may realize: "if this guy gets out of hand, all I
   have to do is
   yell at him. All I have to do is hit 'em once and 'es just as
   quiet as
   anything." People will usually do the things that get them what
   they want.
   Not every one, sometimes people are remarkably stuck in one
   track. These are
   lesser spirits, whatever you want to call them, hungry ghosts,
   that's what the word "vampire" really meant. It was a member of
   the family
   who hung around after he died, as long as you gave him useful
   things to do
   that weren't too difficult. Vampires aren't always considered to
   be monsters
   who make life terrible for you; they can be good to have around.
   They chase
   off peddlers, robbers, whatnot. When a stranger comes to the
   house, the
   vampire will feel very protective of the family. A "vampire" will
   pick up on
   it if a person doesn't like them: "O'h, 'don't like' means I get
   Then they will proceed to do more irritating things to that
   person. Keeping
   peace with the spirits of the ancestors is very important in
   cultures around
   the world. The Romans called the friendly ancestral spirits Lares
   and the
   pesky ones Larvae. You want Great Grand Mother's ghost to bark at
   not at reasonably behaved family members. This kind of thing
   isn't the Holy
   Guardian Angel. This kind of thing is what happens when something
   eats off of
   you. A certain amount of this is harmless, but you want to make
   sure that you
   are in charge. In some states of mind people leak like a sieve. A
   lot of
   life is being generated, not being used by the person generating
   it, and it's
   there for the taking. Something comes and says: "This is lunch.
   How do we
   make this a 24 hour diner? Very simple. Every time this person
   thinks; 'O'h
   God if I haven't ...!', he turns loose all this energy. So, let's
   see: 'Hay!
   God I haven't!' or 'Why did I do that!' -- that's a new one. That
   better. 'Your such a bummer' -- works too. Hot damn! 'You hate
   yourself, don't you!' More food!". If you ever get really
   depressed, between
   sobs, wrenches and tremors, pick up on what you are saying to
   yourself. Maybe
   it isn't you talking. Maybe it's some astral clown saying: "Watch
   him go!"
   This kind of thing is often marked by painful ideas that relay
   back inwardly
   to create more painful ideas. In order to get rid of a depression
   loop, you've got to realize that this isn't you. The destructive
   voice is not
   really rational. Jokes and humorous self-observations, the more
   tasteless and
   jolting the better, will break this sort of cycle. If you get
   that kind of
   thing going, realize it isn't the Holy Guardian Angel. That is a
   wrong turn.
   Go back and try again. That is a demon, and that is one of the
   things that
   the Holy Guardian Angel is supposed to help you with. It's
   probably a very
   stupid demon, who is only good at picking up on things to say.
   Next month: A bit more on dealing with vampires and then on to
   some sight-
   August 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART VI -- Pedigrees & Egg Suckers. Onward.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   If you keep getting the same thing over again and over again, you
   got the Holy Guardian Angel. You may have something useful, or
   you may not.
   One mark of the Holy Guardian Angel is that it leads to life. It
   enhances; it
   adds variety; you get high. If you feel lousy, including hangover
   after too
   much fun, it's not the right thing. You have heard of war? All
   the miseries
   in the world are some such thing as this. As far as finding money
   concerned, if you can catch one that really can be convinced
   that's the only
   way you will feed it, then it'll go out and find money. Most of
   them, dumb as
   they are, aren't that dumb. Most of them realize that if you
   think that you
   have money or you think that you can get money, then you'll feed
   them. They
   don't need to do more, and they won't. It's very simple to think
   of these
   other things as parasites. As long as you provide attention, they
   will feed.
   There are certain types that take pieces out of you when they
   eat, but that's
   not because anything that they devour of your attention is lost.
   You don't
   really give anything when you feed these spirits. What you lose
   is what they
   do to you to get you into a feeding trough, what they have to do
   to you to
   make you give them attention. The Holy Guardian Angel is somewhat
   like this
   in a superficial way; but it will listen to your complaints and
   try something

   else. These destructive spirits don't have that capability. The
   way it was
   put to me by my own father, if you find a dog that sucks eggs,
   you better
   shoot it. There's no way you are going to stop that dog from
   breaking into
   your hen house and sucking eggs. It's the same thing with a sheep
   dog. Once they start that, they will never quit. If you got a dog
   that damn
   near kills you, get rid of it. If you got a dog that makes the
   neighbors so
   pissed that they want to shoot you after they shoot the dog, you
   better do
   something about that dog. If you depend on those eggs in that
   chicken house
   for your breakfast, which is more important, the breakfast or the
   Actually, there are two useful things about depression, one
   rather less
   useful than the other. You can get on SSI if you are sufficiently
   The other use for depression is part of the Kundalini process.
   It's a way you
   can develop power in the Muladhara Chakra. Instead of just
   letting it spin
   around in there forever, once it builds up an enormous amount of
   realize that you are not really depressed. You have simply turned
   in on
   yourself over and over again. That's why this state of mind is
   with Saturn and melancholy. Crowley includes such methods under
   the formula
   of NOX. It can be a pretty dangerous business. Don't mess with
   that until
   you have a good general grip on your emotions.
   As to the rest of the Abramelin procedure or process, start by
   finding a
   subject, religious or something similar, realizing that religion
   doesn't have
   to be the narrow thing that it is defined to be in our culture.
   Next, achieve
   solitude. That is best if it's solitude with support, so that you
   don't have
   to worry about anything. Failing that, you can have a room in a
   Failing that, you can have a hanging on a wall or something
   similar. You can
   even have a floor cloth or small carpet that you spread and sit
   on. Anything
   of that kind will do. If worse comes to worse, you can invent a
   symbol for
   yourself, something simple that you can draw on a piece of paper.
   Such a
   symbol can be a place, but not everyone can accomplish the work
   with only a
   symbol as an astral temple. Doing it with a symbol alone is a
   little like
   trying to live off one peanut a day.
   Proceed with a three-stage process. The first stage is: "I don't
   know what
   I'm doing, and gradually I will learn." That's where rigid but
   discipline is most important. At that stage I recommend two
   either one at dawn and one at sunset or at 6AM and 6PM. Unless
   you go outside
   a lot or live in a place exposed to the natural course of the
   day, you're not
   going to think in terms of sunrise and sunset as much as time on
   a clock.
   Separate your meditations by a good piece of the day, not just a
   few hours.
   Twelve hours will do nicely. Be very strict. Do not miss one
   meditation. If
   it's to be at 6AM and 6PM, no matter what else goes on, do your
   meditation at
   those times. This takes planning, since the practice should be
   kept up
   without significant failure for about three months, certainly not
   under three
   weeks. Do it for three months, and chances are it will take. Once
   gone through that, you will find that your meditation has grown
   elaborate. You will get ideas as you are sitting and staring at a
   Tarot card,
   picturing a flower or looking into a mirror, whatever your
   meditation is. You
   will spontaneously come up with ways to enhance your meditation.
   About the
   middle of this period, start using some of these things. After
   testing such
   innovations, make a selection and use the best of them
   consistently. Develop

   a system. The middle part uses this system. The end part comes
   when you
   reach the point of listening to the inner voice.
   If you try all this without preparation, you will get lemures or
   inducing things. That comes of being a mental bunch of pieces
   with no regular
   pattern. You can't attract the one big piece that fits everything
   until you
   are more unified in yourself. Such a regular practice acts like
   With bio-feedback, the machine "beeps" wrong if you are wasting
   mental time.
   Once you have gotten regular practice well established, it will
   carry on
   without special effort. You may find that after the first three
   weeks, you
   are getting more and more done each time. Don't expect such
   results after
   only three weeks. Three months of meditations twice a day is more
   likely to
   produce such things. Write down your experiences immediately
   after each
   meditation so that you are able to figure out what's happened to
   you. Review
   your journal or diary for guidance. Whatever this experience may
   be, you are
   going to have to figure it out for yourself. If somebody else
   gives it to
   you, it's not going to be as good. You would be constantly
   thinking: "I'm not
   getting this right." Develop the method yourself, and you will
   get it right.
   It's yours. It comes from you. No outer standards are needed.
   You're the
   standard. You are making it better as you go. Trust no external
   take no concern with somebody else's idea of what needs to be
   That's very important.
   Eventually you will get to the point where you don't have to
   meditate at
   regular intervals. Maybe you can skip a day and get right back
   into it.
   After a while you may be able to skip a week. You may skip a
   little bit more
   time. Instead of doing three meditations to resume where you left
   off, it may
   only take a second meditation. Maybe instead of six, it takes
   three. These
   things vary. Numbers don't matter. Change and proportion matter.
   After a
   while you may be able to put years between these meditations and
   take no more
   to get back into them than in the first year you were doing them.
   A week's
   break can then be a year's break. What's happening is this: First
   of all
   there is the superficial matter of conditioning. You learn how to
   do it like
   riding a bicycle. It takes practice. It takes time. Eventually
   you can re-
   learn it very easily. It's not like languages. Some ways of
   languages can be transitory, readily forgotten. You will reach a
   level that
   transcends mere habituation. Whatever your meditation, if it has
   pattern to
   it, a strange thing will begin to happen. Have you ever noticed
   that when
   somebody you haven't seen in years meets you or calls you on the
   telephone, a
   lot of times it's as though no time had gone by at all? You might
   continue a
   conversation you had with that person five years ago and broke
   off suddenly.
   We live at many different rates of time. We live conceptually,
   not by the
   ticking of a clock. Some things seem to have stopped. Some things
   seem to be
   going on. Then an event will occur and one of those things that
   seemed to
   stop a long time ago will continue where it left off. It never
   did stop.
   Some things happen in their own time. What may have been
   literally three
   years by the calendar amounted to no time at all in another part
   of you.
   That's where you have to get with these meditations before you
   can be cut free
   from the time problem.
   You must to be very disciplined to get to that place. Discipline
   regularity; twice a day, 6AM and 6PM. Discipline also requires
   things to do, with no short-cuts allowed. There should be a
   pattern, a system
   to your meditations, so that you are, in way of speaking, living
   the next one
   after you have done the last one. For example, if the meditation
   is to pick
   up individual stones from one container and put them in another,
   the next
   stage of that meditation is to pick up the next stone. It doesn't
   matter when
   you do it. As you do it, you will have one event immediately
   connected to the
   next, foreshadowed, foreknown and no questions.
   Next month, Squaresville.
   September 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART VII -- Flatland, Revenge of the Squares.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   In the back of the "Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin" are
   squares made up of Latin or English letters. To approach these,
   just take up
   a good Hebrew lexicon. A dictionary wouldn't help. A lexicon
   gives you the
   roots of words. A dictionary may say: "In Hebrew, in order to say
   say 'Sholom Aleichem'. In order to say 'Hello' back, say
   'Aleichem Sholom'."
   Bull! "Sholom Aleichem" is "Peace be with you". It's just used
   like "hello"
   in English. A dictionary doesn't need to go further. A lexicon
   always does.
   H O R A H
   O S O M A
   R O T O R
   A M O S O
   H A R O H
   The Abramelin book says: "to discover any magic" and shows this
   grid of
   letters. That's nice, but rank superstition. There's this little
   thing full
   of letters in the book. What the hell do you do with it? I
   suppose you draw
   it on paper and jump around screeching a while, burn incense on
   it and stick
   it in your pocket or something. That's not particularly helpful.
   Since the
   book claims to be Qabalistic, try to figure these squares out as
   Hebrew words
   or roots. Hebrew spelling is more flexible than modern English
   spelling, and
   chances are the original author was playing with word roots
   rather than true
   words a lot of the time. The top line is HORAH, in English. There
   are a lot
   of ways for transliterating from English to Hebrew. Also, Hebrew
   is written
   right to left, opposite to English. When transliterating between
   the English
   and Hebrew alphabets, Those first two letters, "HO" can be
   transliterated into H
   eh-Vau, the definite article, "The". "RAH" is one of many words
   which mean a
   "Mother", "Woman". This first line can mean: "The Mother". The
   second line
   "OSOMA" can be transliterated as, Vau-Shin-Vau-Mem-Aleph. Make
   guesses at the
   letters and look in the lexicon for words that make sense.
   "VaShem" ---
   "Shem" means "name", especially "divine" or "holy name". Next,
   take the
   middle line: "ROTOR". There are a couple of words vaguely like
   that in
   Hebrew. One of them means "to shape" and another means "to
   enclose" or "to
   fence about". Try an educated guess: "trembling enclosures". Now,
   the second line from the bottom "AMOSO" --
   transliterating English into Hebrew. That line probably refers to
   there's a Hebrew word similar to this spelling. Hebrew is
   flexible because it
   has so many short words. You will find almost any three letter
   combination if
   you fish a bit. Finally, the bottom line "HAROH" is very close to
   a Hebrew
   word meaning "to increase" or to "wax" as the moon does, "to grow
   more". What
   do we have here? If you treat this square as though it's badly
   spelled Hebrew
   or Hebrew that's altered to make nice symmetrical patterns, you
   can get: "The
   Mother names the trembling enclosures of the night's increase".
   That didn't
   come out in the first draft, but it got that way with a little
   effort. What
   does it mean, "the Mother"? The Abramelin book has the
   traditional four major
   "demon" princes but also includes one more section just for Kore.
   Kore is
   Diana. That's a goddess. Interesting. So "the Mother" might refer
   to Kore.
   "... names the trembling enclosures of the night's increase".
   This goddess
   tells you about those mysteries of the night that become strong.
   It sounds
   like a poetical reference to the idea of Magick. That's why it's
   "to discover
   magic." It's a little prayer or affirmation made into a pattern.
   They're all
   like that.
   I A L D A H
   A Q O R I A
   L O Q I R E
   D R I I D E
   A I R D R O
   H A F E O N
   This one's "to obtain the friendship of some particular person."
   letters are easy. "L" is always the letter Lamed. "A" may be
   Aleph; chances
   are it is, but it may not mean anything. "I" is most likely Yod;
   so is "Y".
   With a little experience, it's not too hard to figure it out.
   Taking some
   liberties with secondary words, this square yields: "Divine Maid,
   beautiful of
   breath, grant us the lordly pearl. Protect us from harm. We
   exclaim at Thy
   Holy Breath." It looks like praying to some goddess and asking
   her not to
   give you bad breath. You have to think, this was done in the 14th
   People didn't take too many baths. They sure didn't have tooth
   paste. Most
   couldn't even afford salt for mouth wash. When somebody in that
   age opened
   his mouth, you knew what he ate ten years ago. It was quite
   important to be
   relatively attractive to people, even if it was only to do
   business with them.
   If people couldn't stand being near you down wind when you
   talked, you had a
   serious economic problem. There's a certain amount of common
   sense to that
   square. Another person could pick up another Hebrew lexicon or
   some other
   approach and get an entirely different result for this square.
   The results of
   such work are products of meditation, not true translation of the
   With meditation, somebody else would get something different and
   both versions
   would be absolutely correct. With translation, there would be a
   more narrow
   objective constraint on accuracy. The process of doing this is
   If you keep at it, you always get something interesting. Those
   who devote
   themselves to the symbolism of the Hebrew letters can see the
   letters and
   their combinations as sacred things, as magical things. To a
   student of
   Qabalah, study of this kind actually consecrates the talisman
   Check symmetrical squares and the ones that are asymmetrical.
   by completing ones that are incomplete in the book. Finally, try
   making some
   of your own, using the mental states acquired through meditation.
   Sit down
   with a blank grid and think: "that's an 'A', that's a 'G'..." If
   you work at
   it, you can get way out there. Start by writing down what you
   want the square
   to do. Although it's not described as part of the Abramelin
   system, you can
   then decide on the size of the square by the system of the
   Olympic seals,
   where 3 is for Saturn, 4 is for Jupiter, 5 for Mars, 6 for the
   Sun, 7 for
   Venus, 8 for Mercury, and 9 for the Moon. Make a square of that
   many on a
   side, depending on whether the question is more appropriate to
   Venus or the
   Sun or whatever planet. For the Moon, you will need a lot of
   language, since
   lunar squares are nine on a side.
   Next Month: Son of Square, the Sequel.
   October 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART VIII -- Son of Squares, the Sequel.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   One of my students knew somebody who had gotten into magic and
   himself. That called for a new square "To heal one afflicted in
   the pursuit
   of Magic". I went home, decided the appropriate size for the
   square, did my
   meditations and drew out a grid. I stared at the empty spaces
   until I could
   see what letters had to be where. Then I wrote them down. Testing
   was then
   required. Treat new squares with English letters written at
   random as though
   they are squares from the Abramelin book. Go back to the Hebrew
   lexicon and
   decode as before. Here is the new square "To heal one afflicted
   in the
   pursuit of Magic".
   T H O B
   H L B I
   I B L H
   B O H T
   The first line is an acceptable Hebrew spelling of a word meaning
   "good" or
   "beautiful" (HB:Tet-Heh-Vau-Bet). There is an extra vowel letter
   in it, but
   that's alright in the manner of Hebrew spelling. The next line is
   a over-lap
   between two words: "Hol" (Heh-Lamed), which means "bright" and
   the next three
   letters, using one of them twice, mean "a gathering together".
   That line can
   mean "Bright Covenant". For the next row: (Yod-Bet-Lamed-Heh)
   Tough one. Try
   every sequential combination to see if Hebrew can be found that
   makes sense.
   Yod-Bet can mean "wealth". Bet-Lamed can be "Bal", which means
   "Lord". "Lah"
   is the negative, "without". So: "wealth, Lord, without". That
   could mean
   either that you are dead broke or you aren't going to loose your
   money; one or
   the other. Try the positive, but that isn't necessarily the best
   For the bottom line: Bet-Vau-Heh-Taw. By the same methods,
   combining those
   letters in order and using some of them more than once, you can
   get "Enter the
   shining light". Altogether: "Beauty in the bright covenant,
   wealth of the
   Lord fails not, enter the shining light." That's a bit
   euphemistic. Beneath
   the surface you have a second meaning. Instead of interpreting
   "wealth of the
   Lord fails not", consider that the wealth does fail. This then is
   prescription. "To heal one afflicted in the pursuit of magic,"
   tell the
   person that everything that he got into is fundamentally a thing
   of beauty.
   He doesn't have to fear loss of things. He must look again into
   the beauty so
   that all will be wealth. There is another way of reading the
   square to the
   effect that the person was a dead drunk and that was why he was
   in such bad
   shape (if the Bet's are taken as Resh's, this meaning would
   emerge). When
   you come up with these things on your own, it's weird that they
   mean anything.
   It's doubly weird that the meaning relates in a fashion to what
   you intended.
   Previous familiarity with Hebrew can create a sort of virtual
   lexicon in the
   back of one's mind that will choose meaningful patterns of
   letters for these
   squares without conscious intervention. That may be how these
   things were
   developed in the first place.
   This method of analysis is only one way of approaching the
   material in the
   back of the Abramelin book. If you happen to be into the
   mysticism of the
   Hebrew letters, you can use it. If not, not. These squares are
   supposed to
   be a test, but it is presumed that you are studying something
   like Qabalah.
   If you are studying something else, you'll have to test yourself
   another way.
   Many of the squares in the back of the "Book of the Sacred Magic
   of Abramelin
   the Mage" are incomplete. It's like a school work-book. The
   squares are there to meditate upon and complete. You are told
   what they are
   supposed to do. You will probably find that the results of
   completing and
   studying the squares will not be quite the same as the
   descriptions, but you
   are not the person who originally came up with them. The new ones
   that you
   get will have a different quality, related to your experience in
   the world.
   Next month, Playing in the Sand.
   November 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART IX -- Whip Me Daddy, 4 to the Bar.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   The first step in the Abramelin working is to find a place to do
   working. Next, you need a method of divination. You can use Tarot
   astrology, or anything like that. The Abramelin book mentions
   white river
   sand. That's a tip-off. The form of divination that this
   particular author
   used was geomancy. More than that, it was probably a bit like
   Foxmancy is a practice of divination used in Africa. You put
   little bits of
   food in circles traced in sand or dirt. Each circle has one of
   the 16
   geomantic symbols in it (vertical figures composed of four lines
   of dots, one
   or two dots per line). You are supposed to look for the prints
   left by a fox
   the next day, after the fox has had a chance to come by and check
   out the food
   during the night. Where the fox stepped, that's what you've got.

   For modern
   apartment dwellers, roachmancy would be workable, but probably a
   little too
   talkative. Older apartments dwellers may also wish to consider
   There are other methods of getting and using the geomantic
   symbols. You will
   find them written up in a number of books: "A Rectification of
   the Oracle of
   the Yoruba" by Judith Gleason, Crowley's "Liber Gaias" (Liber
   XCVI) or
   "Handbook of Geomancy" in the "Equinox". The geomantic signs are
   related to
   Astrology and have names like "Vir" for "Man", "Puela" for "Girl"
   and so
   forth. There are elaborate ways of working the oracle. One method
   obtaining the geomantic symbols is to take a stick, supposed to
   be a camel
   switch about five to eight feet long, thin and whip-like. People
   often don't
   understand the principle and just pick up a short stick or even a
   <>. It should be a
   camel switch
   because such a stick is long enough to vibrate. You can get it
   going in a
   rhythm that continues after you have stopped shaking your hand.
   It won't quit
   when you do. Get a long, slender switch vibrating up and down,
   bring it near
   the ground and move it along. Count the number of times it hits
   the ground
   before you lift it up again. This trick is intended to prevent
   manipulation of the number of strikes and "cheating" the
   divination. If the
   switch strikes an odd number of times, that's one dot. If makes
   an even
   number of strikes, that's two dots. Do this four times for each
   sign you need to make a complete divination. Crowley apparently
   thought that
   you just hit the ground until you felt like stopping. If you do
   that with
   direct hand motion, you don't have the element of independence
   that a
   vibrating switch would have. That's alright. He learned it in
   There aren't too many camels in England. There's another sort of
   where you take a sand table and just go crazy in there with your
   hands. It's
   like finger-paints, only with sand. Smash it, bash it, kick it
   about. When
   you are done, you look at it. "Looks like a frog", whatever.
   works too: "Looks like a man eating a fish". Plastermancy -- use
   the sort of
   plaster walls that have a complex texture, not the modern type
   with the little
   pimples all over but the kind that looks like somebody skipped
   the trowel
   every so often. If you can find old fashioned linoleum, do
   (they don't sell proper linoleum for floors anymore, try to find
   really nifty
   looking linoleum with a random pattern. It doesn't matter what
   method you
   use, as long as you have some way of doing divination. You are
   going to need
   it. Lintmancy, TV-snowmancy, there is nothing so degrading that
   you can't use
   it for divination. Recall that the official way of doing
   divination in the
   Roman State, required of certain elected officials, was augury,
   reading fresh
   bird guts. The famous Cicero, who wrote all those essays and was
   too noble
   for Caesar to execute, was the official auger of the City of
   Rome. Cicero's
   principal job was to stick his hand up a bird's ass, pull it out
   and say "it's
   gonna rain tomorrow." Me, I'll take Tarot! Divination is intended
   to give
   you information that isn't just from you talking to yourself.
   There are
   levels that aren't verbal. Those are the ways you can reach this
   and Conversation most quickly. Verbal consciousness is tied up in
   conceits and beliefs fostered in childhood. You need a method of
   like one of the ways described, to get to the next thing.
   It's good to have unusual garments. Something comfortable, not
   distracting --robes are traditional. As long as you aren't into
   cloth and things that form-fit, a robe is cheap and easy to make.
   If you are
   into good looking robes, you probably don't need them for this.
   The basic
   idea is to have some kind of clothing; it doesn't have to be
   robes. You can
   decorate and embroider a pair of pants and a coat to match. Those
   will do
   just as well. You can also use ready-made things. Perhaps a
   Japanese robe.
   Next month, Interlude of This and That.
   December 1994 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART X -- Maps and travel games.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   In this culture it's helpful to occupy your mind. We have so much
   going on
   to distract us that we have to keep the thing busy. You can
   always try
   standard things like Zen meditations. You might feel better. You
   might have
   an experience. If you are going to take yourself apart and put
   yourself back
   together, you will have to have a substantial battery of these
   things. Zen
   meditations can do that, but they are a lot more than they seem.
   For example,
   the sound of one hand clapping isn't accomplished by snapping the
   stretched fingers of your right hand to your right palm. That's
   just a joke
   to frustrate a Zen master. The sound of one hand clapping is
   symbolized by
   holding the right hand vertically before the body, parallel to
   center line and
   palm to left. Combine that with the sudden sense of sound where
   there is no
   sound. Each separate Koan will produce another thing that can't
   really be
   described in words. You must discover these meanings within
   yourself. There
   are systems of koans. Koans are brief verses of apparent paradox,
   either by
   internal contradiction or irrelevancy to context. Koans are
   intended to
   produce conceptual stress for resolution by sudden insight. If
   you have a
   book that says: "Try this one", you are being entertained. A
   teacher can tell
   you which one to do next and say: "Ok, you've got that one. Move
   on." You
   can try Alan Watts' books: "The Spirit of Zen and The Way of Zen.
   You need a
   system because you are doing something more than one little
   thing. Most of
   these little meditations are sold for a buck as entertainment.
   Some of them
   are better than that. In this culture you need such things. In
   some cultures
   it is sufficient to have chants and koan-style meditations. The
   problem with
   those is the need for a teacher. With the Abramelin approach, you
   are the
   starting teacher; and you are seeking the ultimate teacher,
   called the Holy
   Guardian Angel, or the Higher Self, &c. You can do this sort of
   thing here
   with a human teacher or a book, but the chances of it working are
   less than in
   some other places. This culture is full of yammerings and "belief
   that you
   know things". In many other cultures, family can be a major
   problem. In this
   culture, family tends not to be quite what it is elsewhere. Here,
   family is
   often as not people you pick deliberately and have a hard time
   finding. In
   other cultures family is what you were born into. You have no
   choice, and you
   are not leaving. That goes for whom you marry too; and, oh yes,
   you are going
   to marry. The names of your kids were figured out 30 generations
   before you
   came along. In such an environment, you need to get away before
   you can do
   much, but you still need things that are familiar to you. In the
   intellectual things may be very much more familiar than human
   Consider the ancient map carved on a rock in the Camonica valley
   in the
   Alps, one of the earliest maps known. Now you can drop a buck at
   a gas
   station and pick up a map, all the while complaining that they
   used to be
   free. In those days, the idea of shaping a picture of something
   that you can
   never see but only walk was quite an outstanding leap in ideas.
   principle has been used in a lot of cultures. Some of them go hog
   wild and
   make giant shapes, like Von Daniken tried to sell to people as
   landing fields
   for space ships. Why would anybody do that? The Cerne Abbas Giant
   is a thing
   like that in England. It's an enormous figure of a man with a
   club and a
   prodigious hard-on carved in the chalk on a hillside in Dorset.
   In South
   America you find some giant figures laid out in desolate places,
   but this
   thing was definitely maintained for 1500 years or more. Every few
   somebody had to go over it and re-cut the sod to keep the exposed
   outline visible. People thought it was some Celtic relic. Then
   somebody took
   an infrared photo from an aircraft and realized that the arm
   holding a club
   originally also had a rug-like drape. Evidently that part had
   been abandoned
   over the centuries while the main figure was re-cut and renewed.
   The drape
   positively identifies the figure as Hercules, with club and lion
   skin. A
   bunch of home-sick Romans carved it there, and it's been kept up
   ever since.
   It must have impressed people. The Giant can be seen poorly from
   the ground,
   but some of these great figures are only visible from the air.
   Such figures
   are examples of order. It can be a valuable initiatory exercise
   to trace
   ancient mysteries "on the ground" while formulating an image in
   the mind,
   comprehending in toto what the "eyes" can see only in part.
   The method I chose to organize my own work was the 231 gates.
   comprise all the combinations of pairs of Hebrew letters. You can
   systematically arrange them. I meditated on each of them twice in
   a standard
   pattern. That was done at 6AM and 6PM for a month or two. Then I
   had a one
   day break and resumed. Finally, I got to the point that it didn't
   matter how
   long the break took. An example: the thirteenth pair of Hebrew
   letters is
   HB:Aleph-Nun. I wrote down their numerical working-out. You add
   fifty for
   Nun, one for Aleph, normally not using the final values of the
   letters, to end
   up with 51. You can reduce that to 6. That's 6 on the Tree of
   Life for
   Tipheret. Also, the Hebrew letter Vau is 6. Aleph in the Golden
   Dawn system
   corresponds to the Fool in Tarot and Nun to Death. That's two
   Tarot trumps
   from the two Hebrew letters. If you look up in the Sepher
   Yetzirah, 777 or
   Paul Foster Case's little book, Highlights of the Tarot, you can
   find other
   stuff. Aleph and Nun have their name spellings, which can yield
   other numbers
   and correspondences. Those names mean "Ox" and "Fish". Tipheret
   "beauty". That gives you two or three words for meditation. You
   can take the
   astrological correspondences: Air for Aleph, Scorpio for Nun and
   Sun for
   Tipheret. There are directions in space associated with the
   letters: Aleph is
   a vertical central line above to below. Nun is the direction to
   Southwest. That may seem strange, so try sitting down and
   imagining a line
   straight down through the middle of your body. Then imagine
   another line
   paralleling that first one to the Southwest. Just think about it.
   It's very
   abstract, no conditions, no complications, not a lot of stray
   It's a simple and pure meditation. There are traditional things
   with the letters. Aleph is sometimes thought of as the Breath of
   Spirit, Ruach. Nun sometimes has the qualities of change and
   associated with it. These are interpretations that are given to
   letters. You can say "Life moves", "Life changes" -- that's Aleph
   and Nun.
   The main thing is to have a system that yields a lot of compound
   subjects for
   meditation. Each individual subject fans out into many other
   subjects, some
   very abstract and some very simple. There are other things that
   associated with these letters, e.g. "Intelligences", somewhat
   later than the
   old Sepher Yetzirah, but associated with the letters and
   Sephirot. In one
   variation of that tradition, Aleph is called the "Fiery" or
   Intelligence", Nun the "Imaginative Intelligence". Meditate on
   thinking that is fiery or scintillating, thinking that's
   imaginative and
   brings out new things. Paul Case liked to associate the 12-tone
   scale of the
   piano keyboard with Hebrew letters. If you are into Music you can
   play E-
   natural against G-natural for Aleph and Nun to meditate on that
   combination. The Golden Dawn had four colors for each. If you are
   you can meditate on those colors. If you are not presently
   musical or
   artistic, here's a reason to explore those interests. All Hebrew
   letters are
   classified into several groups. Aleph is called a Mother Letter.
   Nun is the
   sixth Single Letter. There are properties and traditions that
   apply to them.
   The Mother Letters are the primal sounds. The Single Letters are
   of those sounds. The Double Letters are variations on those
   sounds. Here is
   a primal thing giving an issue, Aleph a Mother Letter and Nun a
   Single Letter.
   Look up these Hebrew letter pairs in a dictionary or lexicon. It
   turns out
   that there are a lot of two-letter words in Hebrew. Aleph and Nun
   can go
   either frontwards or backwards. Once you have words to play with,
   you can
   figure out what they mean.
   Sit down. Take every one of these combinations of correspondences
   write down the result of thinking or meditating about them. Do
   that even if
   it doesn't make sense. Examples for Aleph-Nun: "The Ox falls past
   the Sun.
   The Ox is stuck tight in the spinning rounds of the Fish who
   chases his tail."
   Well, you've obviously got to do something more than just saying
   "Ox", "Sun"
   and "Fish". Taking the elemental and astrological: "Air blows
   past the sun.
   The maddened bull rushes into the nest of scorpions (scorpio)".
   Play with
   these things. This is the first pass. A nice thing about the 231
   there are two ways of organizing them. You can hit each gate
   twice without
   having to do it all in the same succession. The first pass runs
   Aleph-Bet, Aleph-Gemel, Aleph-Dalet, Aleph-Heh, Aleph-Vau, and so
   on. The
   next time it's Bet-Aleph, Bet-Gemel, and so on. Each time that
   you start with
   another letter, repeat as many of the previous gates as there
   have been
   letters before that current one. The second time around, instead
   of just
   lining them up and checking them out with simple meditation, sit
   and try to do
   automatic writing. After meditating once on a particular pair of
   mechanical comparisons of correspondences won't be necessary.
   Just get into
   it. In the case of Aleph-Bet, there are 21 meditations before you
   hit it
   again as Bet-Aleph. Write down the feelings and thoughts:
   Nun-Aleph -- "The
   son of the sun enters the world but to die and to rise again. You
   Oh Lord,"
   &c., &c. Eventually this will evolve out into something more, one
   way of

   working with the Abramelin system.
   Next month: On your own.
   January 1995 e.v. Thelema Lodge Calendar/Newsletter
   An Abramelin Ramble,
   with visits to roadside attractions along the way and sundry
   personal advice.
   PART XI -- Junk behind the back seat.
   Derived from a lecture on 7/22/87 e.v. by Bill Heidrick
   Copyright (c) Bill Heidrick
   Some scraps of travel notes and we are done:
   In order to make use of any system, you have to learn the system
   and get it
   working. The 231 Gates of the Yetzirah is the system I've used. I
   that working considerably, just by taking more time as it became
   The present one I am meditating on is Shin-Bet or Bet-Shin.
   took his Abramelin meditation system from the work of John Dee.
   There are a
   series of Calls, organized and progressively difficult. Crowley
   was able,
   after a couple of failures, to make a go of that. He tried it in
   with the Golden Dawn "Shin of Shin" ritual, and it petered out.
   He tried it
   in Mexico and only got a little way. He went into the Arabian
   desert, paraded
   Victor Neuburg around in fancy dress and got side-tracked
   briefly, but he
   managed to accomplish the thing, as any can see in "Vision and
   The main thing that you need in this world is to learn how to use
   what you
   already have. It works that way in meditation as well. If you
   take an old
   system and don't pay too much attention to an old teacher, then
   you might
   develop a light of truth in that old system that no one ever knew
   That's new. Or perhaps, something of it was forgotten, and
   rediscovering the
   forgotten part is what you need to do. In this work, it is
   necessary that
   everything be new. Yet, the pattern will always be old. That is
   not a
   contradiction. Everything that you do from the pattern is new to
   you. By
   using a preexisting pattern, something old in that sense, you
   don't have to
   start from scratch. If you want to make a drawing, you get a
   piece of paper.
   You can make the paper yourself, an entertaining thing that one
   might like to
   try; but that is not the best way to make a drawing. It's the
   same here. You
   need a paper, a piece of paper to write yourself upon. That
   "paper" should be
   an existing system. If you originate that system yourself, it may
   or may not
   work; but you will be certainly wasting a lot of precious time.
   You will also
   likely end up with an experience that you can't explain to
   anybody. The
   biggest problem for people who get deeply into these things, as I
   have found
   and seen, is that they get so far removed that they can't
   communicate their
   experiences to others. Such folk get very very lonely and seem
   very very
   strange. Why stand on the sea-shore and reach as high as you can?
   Why not
   stand on a mountain top and reach higher? The mountain top is
   there already.
   You don't have to make your own mountain of sand. That's the
   There are various rituals and things to get into. Consider John
   original version of the Enochian Squares. That's a magical
   procedure worked
   out in Elizabethan times. He even called it "Enochian" from the
   Book of Enoch.
   If you can get situated in a little hut in the wilds, you have it
   But if you can't find a lovely sylvan setting out of a Chinese or
   dream, you are just going to have to lump it with a corner of
   your apartment.
   Crowley had a bit of a sense of humor. Consider the Abramelin
   printed in the "Equinox" just in front of his article on
   Geomancy. That one
   is titled "To undo Magic". Also, there is a similar square placed
   just behind
   the title page of "The Goetia", a portion of the "Lesser Key of
   It's another one of the Abramelin squares to undo magic.
   Tasteless trick, I
   call it.
   If you get into some method of art, by all means incorporate it
   into this.
   Embroidery of magical squares is perfectly workable.
   You will get pretty pictures if you can meditate enough. They
   don't mean
   anything? Maybe they do. In the 231 gates method, it is common to
   elaborate diagrams or mandalas, such as a combination of all of
   the other
   letters placed between the two Hebrew letters, e.g. Tzaddi and
   Hay. Every
   other letter is there, so in a sense this shows all the things
   that pass
   between the gates of Tzaddi and Hay, between the Star and the
   Emperor Trump.
   Such talismans and power drawings proliferate with this method.
   S A T O R Sow
   A R E P O and reap
   T E N E T hold to
   O P E R A the work
   R O T A S of the cycle
   To know all things Past and Future in general.
   M I L O N a night's lodging or rest
   I R A G O to alarm, terrify tremble
   L A M A L "to God" a name of Solomon
   O G A R I to cry, chatter
   N O L I M the soiled ones
   In a place of rest, tremble before the God of Solomon and
   strangely utter
   concerning mortal things.
   To know things past regarding Enemies.
   K O S E M Qof-Shin-Mem oracle, divination
   O B O D E Ayin-Bet-Dalet-Heh servants
   S O F O S Samekh-Vau-Pehfinal to be fulfilled
   E D O B O Dalet-Vau-Bet Bet-Ayin-Vau pine away; prayer
   M E S O K Mem-Samekh Ayin-Qof-Chet pining;oppression
   Take an oracle about servants who were sent away; about the
   purpose of
   death bringing prayers that make the miserable more miserable.
   Discover one who serves harm and thievery; weaken away
   To cause any spirit to appear, and take ... the form of a Bird.
   (In Hebrew, English direction)
   Shin Aleph Tet Aleph Nun The adversary
   Aleph Dalet Aleph Mem Aleph of man
   Tet Aleph Bet Aleph Tet becomes pleasant
   Aleph Mem Aleph Dalet Aleph in a garment
   Nun Aleph Tet Aleph Shin extended.
   Diary of the square: While finishing this, a call from M-A. She
   was sitting
   at a resort, by a pool. A sudden gust of wind and the large
   sheltering a table by her chair was caught up. She rose from her
   seat and
   took a couple of steps. The aluminum shaft of the umbrella struck
   down into
   the chair she had just vacated, piercing the back at the level
   her heart would
   have been, had she not left the spot.
   To be beloved by a Woman:
   (In Hebrew, English direction)
   Ayin Heh Dalet Yod Dalet Aleph Heh
   Heh Zain Yod Resh Vau Chet Aleph
   Dalet Yod Lamed Aleph Qof Vau Dalet
   Yod Resh Aleph Chet Aleph Resh Yod
   Dalet Vau Qof Aleph Lamed Yod Dalet
   Aleph Chet Vau Resh Yod Zain Heh
   Heh Aleph Dalet Yod Dalet Heh Yod
   The beloved shines forth her living breath as the burning scent
   of cinnamon
   bark. She is shy and white as the moon. Behold the tree of
   penetrate the whiteness deeply. Sing out in strength at
   From Yod-Dalet-Yod-Dalet-Heh, Zain-Resh-Chet, Resh-Vau-Chet,
   Qof-Dalet-Heh, Yod-Resh-Heh, Dalet-Vau-Qof, Dalet-Qof-Lamed,
   Chet-Resh-Zain, Heh-Dalet-Dalet, Dalet-Yod.
   New Square: To send away afflictions that come from pets.
   (In Hebrew, English direction)
   Chet Yod Yod Mem Vau Shin Mem Yod Shin
   Aleph Chet Aleph Dalet Bet Heh Nun Yod Mem
   Qof Aleph Koph Heh Mem Heh Peh Aleph Taw
   Nun Aleph Tzaddi Yod Aleph Lamed Ayin Dalet Heh
   Vau Aleph Taw Aleph Tet Aleph Dalet Aleph Vau
   Heh Dalet Ayin Lamed Aleph Taw Tzaddi Aleph Nun
   Taw Aleph Qof Heh Mem Heh Koph Aleph Qof
   Mem Yod Nun Heh Bet Dalet Aleph Chet Aleph
   Shin Yod Mem Shin Nun Mem Yod Yod Chet
   Live each day in the Sun. Join in kinship with the Sea. Abandon
   and noise --speak the sign. A blooming shoot, divine adornment. A
   conceals the sickness. Shout joyfully, in the World delight at
   plenty. Bring
   this sign to the noise amid sounds of beauty. All kinds of
   falsehood flee the
   friend. A gift deals with smell by the sign of the Most High.
   (In Hebrew, English direction)
   Heh Ayin Resh Aleph Heh The Mother
   Vau Shin Vau Mem Aleph names the
   Resh Vau Tet Vau Resh trembling bound
   Aleph Mem Vau Shin Vau of the night's
   Heh Aleph Resh Vau Heh increase.
   To Discover any Magic, [To be done on red satin with green grid,
   letters in
   black; attached in yellow.]
   7/22/71 e.v.
   Upon the plane a thousand teachers. Each is true. Each says all
   others lie. Each teaches a tale of unraveled thread. Each speaks
   of warp and
   woof. Each casts a net to catch souls. Each tells truth with
   Find a faith. Stand firm in it. Be baptized with water and with
   Affirm the opposite of the faith. Then you shall baptized with
   piety and
   Seek ever the opposite in every thought. Only through negation
   may truth
   flow. Set two legs upon the ground. Raise two arms to heaven.
   Thus you
   burrow and fly.
   A child sits in the temple. Learned men ask patronizing
   How old are you?
   How young are you?
   Who is your father?
   My child.
   Who are you?
   Who am I not?
   Whence did you come?
   Where I am going.
   What do you know of the Law?
   Only what I Will to Know.
   The doctors of the place are confused. They cry aloud: "Who has
   such devilish lies to a child? Who has schooled such insolence?"
   The child, thinking the questioning still proceeding, points to
   an empty
   room behind a veil and says: "He taught me!"
   Since the shedding of blood in the sanctuary is forbidden, the
   tell the child that he is holy and that he should depart. This
   seems the only
   The child walks out of the temple and journeys back to his
   village. His
   home is poor. He enters an empty room after lifting a bit of
   cloth which
   serves as a door.
   The priests of the temple go on worshiping outside their Holy of
   The Child dwells in His.

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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
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
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
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
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
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races