Whenever you wish to work a piece of witchcraft, it is always best if you tie all your supercharged will, faith, and imagination into a single, sizzling bolt with the help of a pattern of spoken words: the charm, or incantation.
Witches, like poets, painters, and chefs, have always taken a bit from here and a bit from there in the exercise of their craft, so much so that in many cases the original wisdom has been almost totally overlaid.
Everything that seems to have an inherent power in it, that triggers the emotions strongly, is pressed into use for the purposes of magic. Snippets of folklore, religion, myth, and herbal lore, all are blended together with notorious in difference to mixing of styles and cultures. All that matters is the item's effect on you and your deep mind.
While on the subject of religious components, "words of power," Cabalistic names of God and the like, here is a tip for the wise witch: Better results will always be obtained if you happen to subscribe to the religion from which your words of power derive, in the case of the Cabala, Judaism, or maybe unorthodox Christianity. However, always remember, it is only the awe, the shiver of emotional excitement, aroused by the name or quotation, which is its chief magical value. If you can do this with an Arabic name of God, Roman Catholic saint, or Tibetan demon, so much the better. Go ahead and use it. Likewise, the name of your husband, wife, lover, favourite politician, film star, or most hated dictator will all be equally magically potent, so long as they give you that extra little kick to stir your deep mind out of its usual sluggish sleep. So much for barbarous Cabalistic words of evocation!
Usually, therefore, you will find it advantageous to devise your own incantations, as the majority of witches do. Of course, there are all the traditional charms such as you will find in the following text which have accumulated a magical charge of their own through the years, and as such, of course should be used to your fullest advantage. (And admittedly some of these do contain the occasional word of Cabalistic derivation.)
The ideal form for the incantation is that which has a beat to it. Some practitioners insist on a rhyme as well as rhythm. Rhyming couplets are the favourite metrical style, I would say. They are certainly among the simplest to construct.
Again: the deep mind is, as always, the target with this use of rhyme and rhythm. Verse, however doggerel and bad, is always potent for stirring the depths, especially when there is a certain amount of frenzied repetition involved.
In view of this particular attitude to incantation, most of the processes of medieval sorcery that are now available to the general public are seen by the average witch as extremely clumsy and, as such, highly unsuitable for performance. Not only are they closely bound up with Judeo-Christianity, but they are also always bogged down with endless preachy pages of invocation, as you will see if you ever consult one, which, far from awakening the deep mind of the operating witch, will generally tend to send it even more securely to sleep.
Apropos of religious beliefs, the modern witch tends to "reserve judgement" generally; there are those who devote themselves entirely to the fertility cult of Habondia and her horned consort. This is by no means universal, however. The gods are there if and when you need them. But more of this in a later chapter.
As a witch, you do not necessarily have to worship any complete and permanent hierarchy of supernatural beings if you don't want to. There simply exists power to be tapped— to do good or to do evil, both of which are remarkably relative concepts. Of course, as a witch, you should know from tradition as indicated in the last chapter, that there exist certain entities who will aid you in your spells; what these beings ultimately are, whether they predated man, or whether man himself created them, we cannot tell. You may call these entities gods, spirits, or watchers; or depersonalize them as powers or forces, but you must realize that they are now as dependent on your attentions as you in your spells are on theirs. However, in whatever relationship you happen to enter with them, always remember, you are the master of the occasion, albeit a courteous one! Some of these powers will be useful for one type of operation such as a love spell, but useless for another, one of vengeance, say.
What their order of precedence is in that place or state they exist in, we cannot tell, merely surmise. Only through what tradition tells us can we gain any clues. The only sort of hierarchy that exists seems to be a general one which can be classified thus:
At the top we have Great Entities, often known as Watchers, Mighty Ones, or gods by more classical-
minded witches. These include the so-called witch deities Habondia and Cernunnos, whose acquaintance you will make on a later page. They are generalized powers existing within the deep minds of all of us, Jungian archetypes, if you like, which can be contracted to bring a certain power to your rituals.
Then there are spirit entities or demons, halfway between men and gods in their constitution, traditionally predating us in their evolution, however—the remnants of the Nephelim, in fact. Vassago, who you will also encounter in a later chapter, is one of these beings.
Finally, there are the spirits or shades of the dead themselves, such as will be dealt with in the rituals of necromancy in Chapters 3 and 4.
Gods, demons, shades—these constitute the chief inhabitants of the witches' pantheon. Of course, there are many minor, elemental spirits which you will be dealing with in the course of your career, but they will generally be those which you yourself create. Any talisman, image, alraun, or mandragore you may make will partake of the nature of an elemental. They are unseen versions of the homunculi of alchemical legend, servants of your will, called into being by an application of your witch power for the performance of a task. As such, they should be treated with firmness, as opposed to the respect and deference you will show to gods and demons. They should never, under any circumstances, be let out of the command of their witch creator. Mickey Mouse's "Fantasia" broomsticks were based on a very old magical legend incorporated into Lucian's Philopseudes and later into The Lay of St. Dunstan, which graphically illustrates what can happen psychically if you ever let your elemental servants get out of control!
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