Do Magick December ’18: Day 1 – Cut & Paste

For the December 2018 DoMagick Challenge, I’m going to keep things as simple as I can. Which is neither simple nor easy because I have the tendency to overcomplicate everything. I could probably overcomplicate breathing if allowed to dwell on it for too long.

There are times I’m comfortable doing things for the sake of doing them, but with magic, I like to have some sort of goal worth stepping out of my comfort zone for. Such as improving my comfort zone. My work environment is filled with uncertainty and fear as the office is being taken over.

While I have mostly gotten my shit together since August, I will gladly accept any assistance that will help me keep my shit together and prevent me from being distracted by unnecessary panic. As such, I think a talisman that will make me “be delivered from all fear” would do nicely as a worthy goal.

The talisman I will be making and using for the month is very simple and direct. A SATOR square drawn on a small piece of paper that I will keep with me at work. Each morning I will say a little “prayer” over it to refresh its (read: my) intention for 30 days. At the end of the month, I will burn it to ashes to destroy whatever foulness it had managed to soak up by then.

The SATOR square is well known and there are more theories about its origin than I have fucks to give am concerned about. For all its versions, it is generally attested to be an effective apotropaic device. The version I will be using is from the Book of Oberon (Harms, Clark, & Peterson 2016, page 372) and is listed as a seal to be carried so “you will be delivered from all fear, and against shot to be further off”. This version of the SATOR square has the names of the Three Magi written around it, with Jasper’s name written twice.

From the Book of Oberon (Harms, Clark, & Peterson 2016, page 372: Two seals in red ink are shown. The seal on the left protects the bearer in war and prevents the bearer from fearing their enemy. The SATOR square is the seal on the right. It is surrounded by the names of the Three Magi (Jasper's name is written twice), and two concentric circles.
From the Book of Oberon (Harms, Clark, & Peterson 2016, page 372: The SATOR square is the seal on the right.

Well hopefully I won’t be shot at due the changes in upper management at work, however since gossip and rumors are considered “shots of the tongue” or “shots of the voice”, I’ll test the seal’s effectiveness for deflecting those attacks just the same.

The seal will be placed in a small “mini-book” that I can keep in my wallet, purse, or if need be, pocket to carry around at work. It is also small enough that I could place it in discreet nooks in my office, however that leaves open the possibility of discovery by coworkers and I’m not ready for those conversations ever.

The following YouTube video is a quick (one minute and nineteen seconds!) video showing how to create the 18 page mini-book. (Video courtesy of Simple and Easy Projects.)


How to Make an 18 Page Mini-Book From One Piece of Paper
A copy of the page showing the seal is on the table. Surrounding the seal is a pair of red handled scissors, a glue stick, and a small mini-book.
Neither pictured nor described: All the fussing and expletives involved to get the seal dark enough to be usable. Red is apparently a difficult color to copy with a black & white printer.

If I had the time and the patience, I would break out the compass and ruler, and hand-draw the seal into my wee little mini-book. But I have neither, and my personal point for this exercise is to be as uncomplicated as possible.

This is not my first talisman using this technique. Earlier this year, I used a different seal from this book to make a planetary Venus based talisman involving a small compact mirror, a seal printed in green, and the act of adoring my reflection as part of the invoking phrase. It works very well as intended.

The seal is placed on the fourth page of the mini-book. The mini-book itself is turned to be used in the landscape orientation. There are certain words that will be written on the second and third page. The first page (the outer page) will be kept intentionally blank so not to give away the contents should I be caught with it in my hand.

The SATOR square seal has been cut out and glued to one of the pages of the mini-book.
The mini-book will be used in a flip book format as that will be easier to write notes in later.

Technically, I can just end the construction of the talisman right here and call it a night. But that’s too simple and absolves me of my responsibility to be an adult to the best of my abilities. It is too easy to just make a thing, toss it in the metaphorical corner, and then release any further responsibilities to that thing.

“Oh that? That’s my Bad Vibe Decoy. I don’t have to do any active work to protect myself because that sucker will soak up all the bad vibes for me.”

And according to some theories, an elephant can hang off the edge of a cliff with its tail tied to a dandelion without falling. I don’t want to be there for the testing of that theory, if you know what I mean.

The point of this particular talisman is not the reflection of evil, but the delivery of fear. And to me, that means I have an active part to boosting the effectiveness of this talisman. I have to acknowledge and recognize that sometimes my fear will be greater than my comfort, that fear will be baseless, and I will have to do something to alleviate that fear or be consumed by it.

A couple of years ago, a wooish blogger wrote a bit on a certain phrase used in the Headless Rite. He made note that the phrase could be viewed not only as a call to the gods for attention, but a call to the spirits surrounding the magician, and even the magician themselves! A declaration that the speaker is not to be acted upon, but is an act in themselves.

While he has since left the blogosphere, his remarks continue to guide me in my private notes. A lesson I have been learning the hard way all year is this:

We cannot unmake what has happened. We can shape what comes after.

“TheHeadlessHashasheen”

In application to this talisman and its use, I may not be able to prevent myself from becoming afraid, afeared. But I can seek to control what my response is after. The following words will be written on the second and third pages of the mini-book to be read every morning before work, and as needed when necessary:

AŌTH ABRAŌTH BASYM ISAK SABAŌTH IAŌ. Subject to me all daimons, so that every daimon, whether heavenly or aerial or earthly or subterranean or terrestrial or aquatic, might be obedient to me and every enchantment and scourge which is from God.

From the Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist (PGM V.96-172)
The quoted text has been handwritten on the page preceding the pasted seal in block letters. The handwriting is neat enough to be easily read.
Extra-Fine point pens are currency.

My handwriting may not be photogenic, but for this part of the talisman, I felt it was of utmost importance that I wrote it myself instead of relying on a pretty print to literally cut and paste.

Prior to writing the text, I realized I had actually pasted the seal on the fifth page of the mini-book. Which served me well, as the paper I had chosen to make the mini-book out of would have allowed the text and image to be seen through the initial page. Moving everything over one page places two physical layers of paper between the first (outer) page and the actual writing and seal. Inquiring eyes won’t see anything unless I allow it.

And that’s it! I’m effectively done. The seal is a passive device and works just by virtue of being placed there. The prayer is an active device and I must choose carefully what words follow the prayer itself.

In this case, after I completed writing the prayer, I spoke it aloud, reading the same words I had just written, and concluded by saying the following:

“Let the power of the SATOR square be activated, and by virtue of its placement in this mini-book, so long as this mini-book is kept with me, let me be delivered from all fear. Let all evil set against me or encountered be confused and ineffective. Let all shot that comes toward me, whether physical or not, be deflected and turned against those who sent it.”

And now really, that’s it! I could have just cut a little slip of paper, placed the seal and words in it, folded it and called it a day. But I wanted the option of adding to the seal as necessary. Perhaps later in the week, I realize I need a little extra help. The extra pages will allow me to write the seal of a being that is willing to help me out. Perhaps a particular person is being particularly unhelpful and I will need to write out something in the mini-book that will tie their hands away from me.

When I first put this plan together, it was with the intention of burning the mini-book to ashes at the end of the month to release anything that needed to be release and banish anything that had accumulated between paper and ink. That is still my plan as of today. We’ll see how it goes over the next thirty days.

The only thing left to do is to call the day done.

Done.

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