On a Tuesday or Saturday midnight, with the moon waxing, cast and purify your regular circle, using an incense of either pure dragon's-blood resin or one compounded of one part church incense, one part lignum aloes, one part powdered alum, and five drops of Cedarwood oil. Then take some of your talisman paper, and from it cut three four-inch squares. Exorcise these with fire and water.
Then, with your pen and ink of art, draw the following five-pointed star on the first of them. (See illustration.) You will see that it is a more complex version of the one in your workbook and is sometimes called the pentagram of Solomon. Having drawn the figure as carefully as you can - it will probably be easier if you rule it in lightly in pencil first, using a pair of compasses to construct the circle - proceed to fill in the magical symbols and words, starting at the top point, working around clockwise and finishing with the centre. As you write each magical word, chant it deliberately out loud in combination with the following charm:
• 1. "Be ye far from us, all hostility, deceit, and illusion, in the name of Abdia!"
• 2. "Be ye far from us, all hostility, deceit, and illusion, in the name of Ballater!"
and so on.
When you have finished, repeat the process, this time using your Athame to trace over the star and the symbols above the paper, in your witchly imagination seeing them burn in the air with spectral blue witch fire.
Now take your second piece of parchment and draw on it the six-pointed star, or hexagram of Solomon, as in the illustration, inscribing the T-shaped cross in the centre last. This cross, referred to by witches of the last century as the triple tau of the arch Mosms, is a variant of your triple sealing cross.
1. The secret seal of Solomon
2. The hexagram of Solomon
3. The pentagram of Solomon
Combined with the hexagram and the six minor taus, it is regarded by witches as an extraordinarily powerful talisman of protection.
When the ink has dried, retrace the inverted triangle [upside down traingle] with salt water from your cup, chanting these words:
"So therefore he who would govern the works of fire must first asperge with lustral water of the loud resounding sea."
Then with the thurible, trace in the air above the star the upright triangle, chanting:
"And when after all the phantoms are banished, thou shalt perceive that holy formless fire, that fire which darts and flashes through the hidden depths of the universe: Hear thou the voice of fire!"
Finally, retrace the whole star yet again with the Athame, this time in silence, visualizing the symbol glowing in blue light.
The design on the third piece of paper must be written with your pen of art in blood - your own or that of a beefsteak, chicken, or lamb chop from the supermarket again will do. You should wipe your pen of art carefully free of all ink before you embark upon this. This last design is known as the secret seal of Solomon and traditionally was the symbol by means of which the seventy-two lords of the demons or Djinn were imprisoned in a brazen vessel by the magus-king and sunk beneath the ocean. They were later released, providentially it seems, by certain Babylonian wizards. The legend probably stems from that of the drowned Nephelim.
When you have drawn the symbol and let it dry, retrace over it with your Athame, charging it strongly with light and conjuring with these words:
Bound, bound, bound be all demons and powers of adversity from the north, south, east, and west!
Bound, bound, bound be all ill-wishers and those that practise violence against the bearer of this!
Bound, bound, bound shall be all;
bound and sealed from N [witchname], son of M
Bound and held subject to his will.
Having completed all three designs, sandwich the last, the secret seal, between the pentagram and hexagram, which should be facing outwards with their stars visible. Then, with exorcised needle and red thread, sew neatly around the four edges to combine all three papers into a permanent packet. Over this you must then chant the following words as you hold it in the incense smoke, the tip of your Athame blade pressed against it:
O Pentacle of Power, be thou fortress and defence to [N] against all foes, visible and invisible, in every magical work!
While doing this, strongly visualize the blue fire passing down the Athame blade to charge the pentacle.
Finally, complete the ritual by drawing the triple cross in the air with your Athame, and sealing with the words "So mote it be!"
A small wallet of chamois leather or red silk should now be made to contain the pentacle, which in turn should be sewn to a red cord or ribbon to be worn around the neck of the bearer. In this manner the pentacle can remain concealed. In certain demonic conjurations (similar to that of Vassago), the pentacle may then be removed and exhibited to the four quarters or to the gaze of the manifesting entity.
If you organize a coven, you will have to also prepare a round metal plate, pewter or copper or even aluminium, on which is simply engraved or painted a five-pointed star or pentagram; this is used in a similar way to an ecclesiastical "paten," and bread, cakes, or salt to be used during the Sabbat are placed on it. It is also confusingly referred to as the pentacle, but on this occasion refers more to the pentacle-disc or coin represented in the suit cards of the minor Tarot arcana. It is also a direct descendant from the Lia Fal of pre-Celtic lore, but has picked up Cabalistic overtones through the ages, still in tune with its earthy symbolism, however.
Cabalistically, it refers to the final "Heh," last letter of the Tetragrammaton, the supreme Cabalistic word of power. In any case, it must be prepared by water and fire in Hertha's name.
To return to our beleagured witch group, however. Having hung your talismanic pentacles about your neck, you should proceed to draw around yourself the grand magical circle. In principle this is identical with the regular variety, save for the fact that it utilizes certain invocations as well as the usual line of blue light.
Before casting your circle, make sure you have with you all and any amulets you require during your vigil, including your magistellus. Though during coven practice the circle can be left and reentered without impairing its efficiency; when used as a means of magical defence, this is quite out of the question, serving as it does a completely different function, namely, that of keeping hostile currents out rather than acting as a lens to focus power within. So decide carefully on what you will need. Articles of extra clothing, pillows, cigarettes, food, and water are also to be considered. Make sure that everything is not only clean, but exorcised with fire and water before you introduce it.
Mark out your circle with masking tape as usual, and draw your triple circle of light with the Athame. Then exorcise the ground as usual with water and fire, using a Tellurian Incense in your thurible. Now, in addition to demagnetizing the ground within the circle, you are going to employ a magical guard at the four quarters. This magical guard, or watch, passed into Christian practice through the ages, being transformed into that night spell known as the Black Pater Noster:
Four nooks in this house for holy angels, a post in the midst, that's Christ Jesus, Lucas, Marcus, Matthew, Johannes,
God be in this house, and all that belongs us.
Or as the God-fearing Victorian child knew it:
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, bless this bed that I lie on!
The archangels and evangelists here represent the Christianized regents of the four elements of the wise: Michael and Mark of fire; Raphael and John, air; Gabriel and Matthew, water; and last, Uriel and Luke, earth.
However, you as a witch will bypass these later accretions and return to the old-style symbolism, namely, that of the four Watchtowers of the world. Some occultists trace their use solely back to the nineteenth-century Rosicrucianism of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, others to the experiments of the Elizabethan magnus Dr. John Dee. To a witch, however, they are a direct representation of the four "castles" of pre-Celtic lore, which are said to stand at the four corners of the world. Each castle or watchtower is referred to one of the elements, that of the east to air and childhood; south to fire and youth; west to water and maturity; and north to earth and old age.
Witches sometimes refer to the north as the "abode of death," and the watchtower of the north is sometimes known as the "glass castle." Glass is here symbolically analogous with unbreakable adamant, and this "Land behind the North Wind" refers to that vast abyss of death through which we all must pass before being reborn into the world of men again. It is also, of course, a direct reference to the vitrified towers of the elves. Your magical implements, or "weapons," may be assigned to the various Watchtowers, but here opinion differs considerably as to their correct assignation. Many witches tend to use the Cabalistic identification of the rod to fire, sword to air, pentacle to earth, cup to water.
The cup seems to be about the one implement about which no one is in any doubt. More traditional, perhaps, is the concept of the sword of fire, rod of air (sometimes an airborne arrow or spear), cup or cauldron of water and pentacle, plate or shield of earth. These are directly analogous with the four magical treasures of pre-Celtic lore mentioned earlier; In later Celtic myth they became known as the Sword of Nuada, Spear of Lugh, Cauldron of Ceridwen, and the Stone of Fal. (The latter, incidentally, is said to be none other than the Stone of Scone which at present reposes under King Edward's throne in Westminster Abbey.)
The way to invoke the Lords, or dominant entities, of the four Watchtowers is thus:
Place one of your lamps of art at the east just outside the circle boundary and light it; then taking your wand in both hands, raise it high above your head, close your eyes and slowly and powerfully chant an invocation to the powers of the air such as the following:
All-wise Eagle, Great Ruler of Tempest,
Storm, and Whirlwind, Master of the Heavenly Vault, Great Prince of the Powers of the Air, be present we pray thee and guard this circle from all perils approaching from the East!
As you do this, strongly imagine a wind from the east begin to blow on your face, steadily increasing as you repeat the spell. Similarly, through your closed eyelids be aware of a light from the east beginning to shine in your face. Be aware of the rising of the wind, and hear the sound of the creaking of the branches of the world tree, that tree of knowledge upon which the Lord of Wisdom hung for nine stormy nights; hear the beating of those mighty wings! All those present with you in the circle, should they be witches, must also maintain the same visualization as you chant. Relinquish the wand, and move clockwise to the south now, lighting a lamp of art there. Take your Athame in hand and raise it high above your head. As you do, visualize the sun above your head, blazing with midsummer intensity. Suddenly, form the burning orb, a "fiery sword," a searing bolt of lightning cleaves the baking air, forking toward the south side of your circle, answering the summons of your uplifted witch blade.
See a pillar of incandescent fire spring up at the circle rim! Hear the thunderclap crash in your ears as you cry the words of summoning to the Fiery One! Feel the heat radiating from him as he takes up his watch in the south.
O thou Lion, Lord of Lightnings, Master of the Solar Orb, Great Prince of the powers of Fire! Be present, we pray thee, and guard this circle from all perils approaching from the south!
Again all present should accompany you in your visualization.
The powers of the west should be invoked by the chalice, here representing the elemental power of water.
Sprinkle a few drops of salt water from the chalice to the west and, as you do, see a mighty, glass-green sea open beneath your feet. Low over the waters hangs the full moon. Feel the cold mist rising from the waters and listen to the eddy and swirl of the currents, the lap of waves upon the" shore.
O thou Serpent of Old, Ruler of the Deeps, Guardian of the Bitter Sea, Prince of the Powers of Water, be present we pray thee and guard this circle from all perils approaching from the west!
Finally, passing to the north, light the lamp, and taking in hand the pentacle-paten (not the pentacle of protection which you are wearing around your neck), close your eyes and sprinkle a few grains of salt from the disc on the ground outside the west of your circle. Chant the spell. As you do, feel the earth begin to tremble and rock beneath your feet, ever more powerfully, increasing in magnitude and finally thunderously splitting asunder, gaping open before you in a yawning chasm!
Black Bull of the North, Horned One, Dark Ruler of Mountains and all that lies beneath them. Prince of the Powers of Earth, be present we pray thee, and guard this circle from all perils approaching from the north!
Finally, return to the centre of the circle, and facing east, standing with your legs wide apart, extend your arms on either side of you and close your eyes; then chanting the sealing words "So mote it be! "As you do, visualize a brilliant rotating wheel of fire within your own breast, throwing out spears of scintillating light in all six directions: to the north, south, east, west, up, and down. By visualizing thus, in this particular stance, with your arms and legs flung wide apart, you are representing the magical five-pointed star, or pentagram. This is a symbolic enactment of the fact that within you the four elemental powers are reconciled by one special principle, the so-called alchemical quintessence. This is the holy centre, or "stillpoint of the wheel." The indestructible part of you. You may also at this point chant the Hebrew word of power, "Ararital !" (*)
Your last step in the ritual will be to place your mandragore or alraun just within the circle perimeter to the north, with its head pointing north, towards the place of greatest darkness.
You may then settle down for the night to weather the magical blast.
The worst type of attack you are likely to encounter will be quite adequately dealt with by this circle. It is unlikely that any more magical working will be required of you from within your psychic fortress, so you can safely sleep in peace, confident that your magic circle is ample defence.
[*] Which signifies "The One; principle of His unity; The principle of His oneness. His changing form being One!"
The only practitioner who would in theory be able to pierce the defensive boundary is one of extremely advanced powers, and as such he would probably be well beyond the need of having to resort to anything as ill-advised as a magical attack on his own. A whole coven maybe. That is another matter. There seems to be folly as well as strength in numbers. From the non-human point of view, supernatural entities such as shades of the dead or demonic intelligences appear to have very little interest in the human race, especially the last-mentioned class of beings. They generally only become involved in magical warfare when summoned and directed specifically, and as such their power is limited strictly to correspond with that of their invoker. So the circle and watchtower formula will still prove effective. And finally even with the combined forces of a demonic entity and a whole coven working against you, the circle will still hold together in all probability, such is the sloppy and dilettante attitude to coven practice generally these days. As I say, it requires an extremely clever and powerful practitioner to break through the watchtower seals, and quite frankly one such as this will have long passed the stage where bouts of magical fisticuffs still hold any appeal.
The grand circle should only be used at the height of the attack. As you can see, it is physically very limiting and places you completely incommunicado from the outside world save for the use of a telephone, which incidentally should be on your list as one of the things to take with you into the circle. Should you step over one of the lines in the circle, it immediately releases the magical force field you have so painstakingly erected, and leaves you instantly susceptible once more. It is lucky that occult attacks usually take place at night for this very reason. During the day, when you will quite naturally wish to be out and about, you may merely draw an imaginary circle of blue light about you deosil in the air with your Athame and chant a few words of intention to the effect of:
I [N] hereby surround myself with this circle of protection across which no hostile power dare set its foot.
This will generally remain effective for twelve hours or so, and then should be renewed. Should your adversary decide to actually visit you in person to deliver his curse, you must make sure that one of the following old traditional measures has been taken.
First, paint or draw pentagrams, pointing outwards, on your doorsteps; charge them with your Athame and then cover them with the doormat. Then nail either horseshoes or horns upward over any entrance to your home.
Or hang an old knife or sword on the front and back door, surrounded by a wreath of bay leaves.
Or hammer three iron nails (traditionally "taken from a coffin") into each of the doors, two below, one above, in triangular formation.
Or beneath your doorsteps bury a witch bottle, a bottle stuffed full of bent nails and pins.
The use of iron is very important in matters of occult defence as you can see. It appears to have a definite "jamming" or "scrambling" effect on any magical signal when used with intention. It is partly for this reason that iron, and indeed any metal, is usually rigorously excluded from the dress of the candidate in magical initiation rituals where a definite transmission of power is required.
Should you know that either you or your enemy is particularly gifted as a materializing medium, you should also take the precaution of placing a small saucer of very dilute nitric acid or vinegar in every room at the time you expect the attack to take place. The acetic solution seems to have the power of absorbing alien witch power in some manner, and thus preventing unpleasant materializations or poltergeist phenomena. If you haven't the time or wherewithal to do this for some reason, an old standby is to halve some onions and place a newly cut half in every room; this appears to have a similar effect. Don't make the supreme mistake of eating the onions afterwards, though. Get rid of them immediately!
Finally, should someone come to you with a suspected attack and be unable or unwilling to undergo the inconvenience of using these complex protective measures, a very simple and sometimes effective expedient is the Rowan Cross Spell.
Tie two small twigs of rowan wood together to form a cross, using red thread or yarn, chanting these words as you do, and mentally charging it with light:
By this cross of rowan, I [N] forbid all adverse and hostile forces entry to the house and home of [bearer's name] I forbid you his flesh, and blood, body and soul. I sternly forbid you entrance to his mind, fears, and strengths until you have traversed every hill and dale, struggled through every stream and river, counted every grain of sand on every shore, and enumerated every star within the night sky!
Then hang the cross around the bearer's neck with these words:
About thy neck this cross I place, cross of quickbeam, cross of grace; may it safely guard thy way and keep thee safely night and day. Heed this charm, attend to me; as my word, so mote it be!
Finally, some information about traditionally protective magical herbs and recipes. Before beginning, however, here are a few general observations on plant lore that, as a witch, you should know about.
More and more witches are tending to grow their own herbs, protective and otherwise, these days. Apart from the pleasure one may derive from the pursuit, it does ensure that one can obtain the required ingredient in a pure form, and picked at the right phase of the moon. Should you wish to do this, even if it be merely in a planter or window box, you should try to observe the following conditions:
If you are planting an herb of which the end product will be the root, do this at the dark of the moon, when it is waning. On the other hand, those herbs you intend to use for their leaves or flowers should be planted during the waxing moon.
When you wish to pick your herbs, do this in the moon's quarter which corresponds to the type of magic you intend to use them (see Chapter 1, under "Magical Times and Seasons"): bright for constructive witchcraft, dark for destructive.
Whenever you wish to compose a sachet powder or incense with whatever intent, you should plan on using something like the following routine; it is known as trituration.
First, assemble all your ingredients.
Sachet powders generally contain two types of these: the "agents" and the "base." The latter often contains an herb such as orris root, patchouli leaves, rose petals, or some pulverized wood base such as sandalwood, lignum aloes, Cedarwood shaving, and the like. These should always be well mixed and ground in your pestle and mortar, before adding the agents. The first of these are the flower essences or perfumes of the recipe. They should be ground well into a portion of the herb powder. Now any gum resins such as frankincense, myrrh, or benzoin should then be added to the remaining herbal mixture, and likewise powdered as finely as possible.
These two powders should now be mixed together, and the oils or other liquids added last (honey, wine, blood) and mixed in thoroughly. Should the oil be in very small quantity, is can be dissolved first in a small amount of pure alcohol which is then mixed in, thus providing a greater blending power.
The resulting compound should be allowed to steep at least overnight, and extra quantities of the base added if the result remain too liquid. Completed incense and powders should always be stored in well-stoppered, nonporous bottles, labelled distinctly, and protected from bright light at a moderate temperature.
Here are four examples of different types of compounds which you can make. They are all germane to this chapter, they are in fact herbal amulets of beneficence.
First, a herbal mixture which may be placed around the house in sachets or suitable containers, and is both fragrant and traditionally beneficent (it also incidentally makes an acceptable Halloween gift to bestow on those who appreciate such matters):
To a selection of dried protective herbs of your choice, add two quarts of rose petals. Place in a covered, nonporous container with one pound of table or ground rock salt to remove any excess moisture for three weeks or so. At the end of this time, sift the salt out of the mixture, and place on one side. Now take two ounces of powdered orris root, and grind in one ounce of gum benzoin and three ounces of brown sugar. Add this to your herbal mixture, and mingle freely.
Finally, take one ounce of pure alcohol (failing that, brandy will do) and mix in four drops of essential oil of your choice. Pour this onto your dry mixture, and mingle it well together. Leave overnight to steep.
Similarly, a home protection sachet can be prepared with the following ingredients:
Powdered orris root 8 parts Pulverized sandalwood 6 parts Powdered lavender flowers or leaves 4 parts Powdered patchouli leaves 2 parts Powdered cloves 1 part Powdered pimento 1/2 part A drop of musk or civet essence
Tie it up as usual in white cloth with red yarn or ribbon, "in Hertha's name."
Finally, a Tellurian Incense for any of the Earth Spells referred to on the preceding pages: Either
Dried powdered juniper wood 3 parts Or
Cypress raspings or leaves Gum myrrh or tincture of myrrh 2 parts Powdered orris root 1/2 part Powdered patchouli leaves 1 part
(or a few drops, patchouli oil)
Reduce finely by trituration. Should you wish to make incense cones instead of loose grains, add 1/4 part saltpetre and enough patchouli or myrrh oil to make a thick paste. Model the cones by hand and let them stand to dry.
Before you embark on any complex operation of witchcraft, such as demonic conjuration or necromancy, purists will always advise that you take the purificatory bath beforehand. In all cases of bewitchment, this is also to be advised, especially before entering the grand circle, or before going to bed in the evening. The composition of these baths varies a great deal, but an excellent one can be made thus:
Dried rosemary 7 parts
Dried lavender 7 parts
Dried basil 4 1/2 parts
Dried vervain or lemon verbena 2 parts
Dried hyssop 1 part
Dried valerian 1 part
Dried sage 1/2 part
Dried fennel 1/2 part
To these herbs, add half again as much cooking or table salt. When you wish to bathe, after tying up a handful of your mixture in a small muslin or cheesecloth bag, cast it into the water chanting such words as you use for your water consecrations, or the following:
So therefore he who would govern the works of the fire must first asperge with water of the loud, resounding sea.
Failing this combination of herbs, you may use either hyssop and salt or sweet balm and salt to almost equal effect. Finally, here is a list of other magical protective herbs to be used either singly or in combination in your rituals and sachets:
Holda (elderberry) (berries or flowers to be gathered at midsummer)
Dragon herb (tarragon)
Holy thistle herb (replace after seven days) Bishop's-wort (betony) Garlic flowers
All-heal (mistletoe) (May be carved into ring or bracelet) Dog roses Arum lilies
Benet, holy herb, or avens (geum urbanum)
Lucky-hands (unexpanded fronds of male fern - Dry-opteris filix mas - dry over Sabbat fire)
And last, but by no means least, those most powerful of all herbs which from time immemorial have been held potent against sorcery of all varieties:
Trefoil, vervain, St.-John's-wort, dill, Hinder witches of their will!
(Trefoil is simply a three-leafed plant of any type, such as clover.)
Should you wish to soothe the fears of those who suspect bewitchment, it should be comparatively easy for you to concoct a protective potion from edible herbs, such as by steeping a little powdered angelica, marjoram, bay, and fennel seed in some hot wine, chanting a few suitable words of benediction and reassurance, charging it strongly with your witch power.
On the other hand, should you suspect bewitchment by means of a power object or philter, you can resort to the following technique:
If you have a sample of the bewitched substance or the wax doll itself, your task is made comparatively simple. If not, you will have to content yourself with a sample of the blood, hair, urine, or saliva of the actual victim. Failing even that, you will just have to rely on the strength of your pyramid powers alone. With the moon waxing, cast your circle and bind or anoint with your samples (if you have any) two twigs of broom plant tied together crosswise. Then, on a piece of your talisman paper, draw with your pen and ink of art a simple image of the person you think has bewitched you, and on the breast write his name. Name the figure with fire and water (as in your Vassago ritual, using your Athame to write the suspect's name in the air above the image). If you don't have any idea of who was responsible, just name the drawing "He who has wished me ill." Then burn both the cross and the paper in your thurible with these words:
Three blows hast thou dealt;
by evil heart, evil eye, and evil tongue.
These same three blows be thine own reward!
by fire and water, earth and air, and that which binds and governs them
I charge thee, touch him not!
With the last words, draw a pentagram above the flame with your Athame blade, and stab the centre with your blade, charging the star with magical light. This is known as banishing.
If the means of bewitchment is that of a power object such as a voodoo doll, conveyed into the presence of the victim, then simply remove the pins, if there should be any, and exorcise the image with fire and water. Obliterate the name of the victim inscribed on it if there is one, and rewrite that of the attacker instead. The doll will be impregnated with the maker's magnetism, so it in turn makes an excellent object link with him! Name it thrice with his name, asperging and fumigating it as you do so; then recite your countercharm:
"Three blows hast thou dealt by evil heart, evil eye, and evil tongue; these same three blows by thine own reward, etc."
Again banish with the pentagram. If it is a clay image, finish by breaking it in little pieces, crushing the pieces up into dust and flushing the dust down the toilet or burying it in the earth. If it is wax or cloth, simply incinerate it, and again flush the residue away or bury it deep in the earth. Should the imagined aggressor indeed have tried to cast the spell, the countercharm will cause it to rebound with unerring accuracy, inflicting upon him those things he wished upon his victim, but only to the extent that he himself would have been able to initiate. If his curse would have been ineffective to begin with, then it will be ineffective in the rebound.
Finally, should you be confronted by a really bad case of haunting caused by bewitchment, asperge and fumigate the four corners of your home with one of the following incenses, using your usual exorcism formula of fire and water, and opening all doors and windows beforehand. This has a practical as well as a symbolic meaning, as you will see when you try the fumigations for yourself!
1. Calamint Peony Mint
2. Simple gum asafetida
3. Jumper Rosemary
Hemlock (plant, not tree, very poisonous) Sloe
Frankincense or pine resin Dried garlic
4. Myrrh Frankincense Hellebore St.-John's-wort Sulphur
5. Myrrh Sulphur
Red Sandalwood Rotten apples Wine galls Vinegar Red wine lees Arsenic
The last three incenses are somewhat poisonous as you can see from their composition, and great care should be taken with them. Personally, I would advocate the use of one of the first two mentioned, but the last three are traditional, and as such you should definitely know about them even if you don't actually put them to service.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.