This is, strictly speaking, a work of darkness, albeit intelligence, and as such should be timed to fall upon a night of the new moon or very shortly after. It requires thirteen days' preparation, however (which characteristic it shares with the necromancy of love), that preparation being a short nightly meditation around midnight on a photograph or portrait of the deceased whose shade you hope to summon. On the night of the fourteenth day, the new moon, cast and purify your circle just before midnight with a Mercurial incense, after making sure the room is secure from any intrusion. The paraphernalia you will need for the operation include: your Athame, cord, cup, and thurible, naturally, for erecting the circle; your wand, altar table with triangle cloth, lamps, and an equilateral triangle of white tape (large enough to stand in) on the floor outside the circle to the west. In this is placed a skull. Now this may be an actual skull if you have recourse to one, a replica of one made by you, or a drawing of one, never mind how crude, also composed by you.
In the small triangle on the altar should be placed a photograph of the deceased flanked by the lamps of art and an hourglass (an egg timer will do for this). You should have on hand a generous supply of Necromancy Incense (see end of this chapter under "Herbs and Incenses"), and also writing material to record the shade's answers.
Finally, on your breast must hang the important pentacle of protection (this applies to any companions as well).
At the first stroke of midnight, approach the west side of the altar table, facing east, and consecrate the photograph in the altar triangle with salt and water and incense. With the wand you must then trace an equal-armed cross surrounded by a circle in the air above the photograph, visualizing the symbol burning with a blue radiance as you did in Vassago ritual. As you perform each of the consecrations, say these words:
Colpriziana Offina Alta Nestera Fuaro Menut I name the [name of deceased] Thou art [name of deceased].
The circle cross you trace over the photograph is, like the triangle and pentacle, a witch symbol of great antiquity. Some witches, who are hermetically inclined, say that it is an abbreviated version of the alchemical rose cross, whereas others see it as being a type of the crux ansata, or Egyptian ankh, symbolizing divine life. In this particular instance, however, the symbol connotes a different history altogether, being derived from the same source as that old pirate device familiar to all readers of Treasure Island, the skull and crossbones. This emblem makes its appearance in more serious context in both Templar and Masonic symbolism, alongside that of the witch tradition. It is the sign of Osiris. Its proper import is that of death (sometimes accompanied by resurrection), and most necromantic processes make use of it. It is also used in laying curses on people, as you will find out in Chapter 6, which deals with magical warfare and such matters.
Having traced the symbol above the photograph, carrying the wand in your right hand, the photograph in your left, proceed clockwise, walking backwards, to the rim of the circle in the eastern quarter and, holding the wand upright over the photograph, pronounce the following conjuration to the east:
Spirit of [name] deceased, thou mayest now approach the gates of the east to answer truly my liege demands.
Berald, Beroald, Balbin!
Gab, Gabor, Agaba!
Arise, arise, I charge and command thee.
Repeat these words again to the south, then the west, and finally the north again, walking backwards around the inner perimeter of the circle, and changing each time the name of the gate corresponding to the quarter. Should you have any companions for this ritual, they too should accompany you around the circle to the four quarters, also walking backwards. Then, still proceeding backwards, you must return to the east of the altar table by yourself and, facing west across it, replace the photograph in the altar triangle. Pause for a minute or two at this point; all present should maintain a strict silence.
Then carefully place your necromantic incense within your thurible, and when it is fuming well, repeat the words of the grand citation, striking the photograph gently with the end of your wand at the completion of each line as you do so.
By the Mysteries of the deep [strike], by the flames of Banal [strike], by the power of the east [strike], and by the silence of the night [strike], by the holy rites of Hecate [strike],
I conjure and exorcise thee, spirit [name] [strike], to present thyself here [strike]
and answer truly our demands [strike].
(The "Hecate" invoked here is the classical Greek goddess of witchcraft. She is three-formed, having Persephone and Selene, goddesses of the dead and the moon respectively, as her other aspects.)
At this point replenish the thurible with more necromantic incense, extinguish all lights upon the altar table so that the room is plunged into darkness, and again moving backwards, carefully pass to the west rim of the circle, to kneel down, facing the triangle of manifestation upon the floor. Cross your arms slowly upon your breast—this is the witch gesture signifying the skull and crossbones symbol—and repeat the words of the charge inwardly as you do so: "Allay Fortission, Fortissio, Allynsen Roa!"
At this point close your eyes and again remain silent for a few minutes. Then, still with your eyes shut, greet the spirit quietly as though he were present before you. Here you may experience that most unpleasant crawling sensation, fear, but you must avoid panicking at all costs, keeping in mind that your questioning is legitimate and just. In fact, it is with this point of the ritual in mind that the whole issue of justification of the operation before the outset is concerned. You must be certain within your own mind that the operation is being conducted for legitimate purposes, all else having failed, in order to face this final moment of fear with equanimity.
Now, summoning all your courage, pronounce the deceased person's full names clearly and loudly three times, slowly extending your arms on either side of you in the form of a cross, and opening your eyes. If the operation has been successful, you will gradually perceive a dim form in the triangle before you, seemingly composed of the substance of incense smoke, sometimes illuminated from within by a very faint bluish phosphorescence. Whether the apparition is built up on a magnetic and physical or purely psychic basis or a mixture of both depends solely on whether you as a witch function best as a seer or a materializing medium, which are the two ends of the magical spectrum whereon witches function.
Depending on your various constitutions and the degree of your magical development, you and your companions may differ in what you see before you in the triangle. One may see a dim form, while another may see a clearly defined figure, and yet another see nothing at all but merely feel the presence of someone who wasn't there before. But whatever you do or do not see, you must present your question at this point, with the knowledge that if the information is not immediately forthcoming, it will be revealed later, usually by way of a chain of curious and inexplicable coincidences.
When the form fades, it will mean the power raised by the ritual has ebbed away, and the time will be at hand to conclude the operation. Return to the east facing west across the altar again, again walking backwards. Rekindle the lamps (and the thurible if necessary), place a final offering of necromantic incense upon the coals, and repeat the licence to depart, which runs thus:
Go, go, departed shade [name] by Omgroma Epin Sayoc Satony, Degony, Eparigon Galiganon, Zogogen, Ferstigon. We licence thee depart into thy proper place and be there peace between us evermore. So mote it be!
Then, finally, as with all your other Mercurial experiments, note down the results. In the final analysis, the best way to gain results is by a careful trial and error method, and this always depends on an accurate record being made. The results of your various researches should form a valuable part of your magical workbook.
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