I am not unfamiliar with Cassiel, as the matter of the Crossed Ring installed me into certain places even as certain places were installed into me. But Cassiel as called in the framework of Rufus Opus’s Seven Spheres, is simultaneously a completely different entity and an expansion of the entity I was introduced to the night of the ring’s dedication.
Three years ago, when I came to the Sphere of Saturn, I scoffed at the book’s warnings about the severity of the sphere and regarded the appellation of “optional” as something to be disregarded. As a consequence, I encountered the Cassiel I already knew. In hindsight, I did not gain anything of worth that day.
This morning, I reviewed the relevant chapter in Seven Spheres concerning the Sphere of Saturn, including the author’s warnings, and reviewed all that has happened in my life since I last did this ritual. The matter of the Crossed Ring made the sphere a requirement, however I agree that it should be the last sphere attempted because of the forces involved. Heeding the warnings, I took the solar talisman I had worked during my introduction to Patient Caller and wore it under my clothes. (The Sun is there, and I am here, and here I am.)
I told myself that I was better prepared to encounter Cassiel on their terms instead of trying to force preconceived notions and other people’s expectations. I actually believed it until Cassiel’s presence was announced with a severe drop in the ambient room temperature. For all the heat that was present, I started to shiver from chill.
Cassiel asked for what reason did I work the Seven Spheres series. What was the motivation that prompted me to begin this working twelve days ago and what was my motivation now for completing it. So began a dialogue between me and the severe angel. In it, I had to acknowledge the ways I had been blocking and sabotaging myself and the ways I had permitted other people’s perceptions to become my reality. I had to acknowledge that I wanted something that wasn’t “pure” or “holy” according to popular and trendy voices of the time but this wasn’t about trying to be a “good” magician, this was about setting my personal kingdom right for my sake.
What then, asked the angel, gave me the right to be so selfish and to request assistance with matters that singularly benefited me and not how to be changed for the betterment of mankind.
I got angry. I wanted to yell. The identity of who was challenging me almost slipped my mind entirely. The Crossed Ring pinched my finger and reminded me of that singular fact. I ceased my rebuttal immediately and forced myself to stand in a position of apology. Forced or no, I had summoned the angel to me and I was being a poor host. While it might be said by some that the angel started it by being a poor guest, no, they did not. Cassiel did as Cassiel is. This is just the first time I have personally experienced them to this level of fullness.
Over that silence where I remembered my place, Cassiel spoke. “You ask how to set and enforce the boundaries of your kingdom? You do it. There will be those who will yield before you. And there will be those who will fight to keep what is yours in their hands. You call yourself a [worker]? Then [work]. If you do not use what is within your reach, then it was never yours and it is right for it to be taken from you.”
The angel dismissed themselves and left to me only the task of formalizing the close of the ritual. And as I did, my teeth chattered. It was warm in the room, to the point that it would have been a relief to fully open the window. But I was cold, to the point where I had to sit down at my first chance to rub my arms and legs to remind myself what the outside weather was. As I did, I realized the cold was centered around the table of working. The further I moved away from the table in any direction, the warmer that area of the room was.
There was still the matter of the lit incense and my personal decorum of holding vigil in the room until the dedicated incense had been used up. The angel and their attending spirits had been given leave to depart, but there was still a column of chill at the table. I sat close enough to feel the unnatural cold but far enough to not be affected by it.
As I held vigil, I wrote down my notes of the ritual and reflected on what was not obviously apparent once the angel had seized most of my attention. Rufus Opus warned in Seven Spheres to have a solar talisman on your person when performing Saturnian rites and I had complied with that warning. The pewter disc was still hung around my neck, and when I gripped it for comfort, I realized what was in the warming echo of the rite.
“When the night comes, the only warmth you will have is what you carry within you. The only light you will have is what you carry with you. As you seek to set and enforce your boundaries, do not neglect to balance what is within your power for your benefit. For all others may say about the duty to others, you have a duty to yourself first and foremost.”
As the last of the incense burnt itself out, and the preternatural chill now yielding to the cooling of the extinguished candle, I just wanted to stand there and cry. These seven summoning rituals of the angels of each planetary sphere has not been gentle, kind, or soothing. There are those words that have been written for the public eye and there are those words that have been written in my private diary and there are those words that have been engraved upon my soul and no salve will ever remove their sting.
When I did the Seven Spheres workings in 2020, it was with the attitude that it would be a “one and done” matter with the occasional check-up to confirm that I am indeed a good magician. These thirteen days have ended with a terrible grade and an annotation reading “Needs Improvement”.
The first act of remediation will be picking up everything I had laid aside to help others. If that means being viewed as selfish and self-centered by observers, so be it.