My post-ritual meditation session was again hijacked yesterday morning. While the scene I unwittingly participated in was brief, I am still uncomfortable discussing it in public. The relevance of what happened depends heavily on having a personal and spiritual understanding of the Eucharist, which I do not have. I can very easily run away with my limited understanding and make assumptions based on what makes me feel better, but I can also declare myself an experienced Solomonic Magician and find some obscure corner of the Internet who would believe it, lock, stock, and barrel. Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.
The incident was heavy on my mind this morning as I began the ritual. I distracted myself by realizing that I was increasingly discontent with the presence of the rutile shard. It was not required for [Patient Caller’s] presence now that the amber had been polished. I noted the thinness of the braided cord, and realized I still have not written down the adjusted ritual steps that I have memorized. I spoke the words both with mouth and mind, and soon came to the moment of summoning.
“[Patient Caller], appear to me.”
One moment I was sitting alone in the pre-dawn chill in my room. Next moment he was present across the shewstones with his clasped hands resting on the book like he has always been there. If there was any residual antagonism from yesterday’s forced appearance, he was not displaying it. I realized I did not know when I had closed my eyes.
“[O Patient Caller], have you any further words about why I should grant you access via the Hierophant card?”
«No. I have none.» Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 23 – Turn”
I woke up early. At the suggestion of a friend, I looked up as much on grimoire hierarchies as I could before the start of the designated hour. I may not need to drop the equivalent of a nuke. Perhaps I could merely send a “softly worded memo”.
So after reciting the conjuration most necessary, I added another paragraph to the litany. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 22 – Management”
Dreamt of sitting in a classroom with a written test to complete. The analog clock did not show the hour, but did reveal I had nine minutes left to finish the essay question. The proctor walked slowly around the perimeter of the room. His bright yellow billowing robes looking like they more belonged in a museum of medieval fashion than draped on a portly modern man.
The essay question was fifty percent of the grade, and I was sure I had failed the test already as I could not think of a single word to write.
“How has this course benefitted you?”
I looked at the proctor as he passed in front of my desk yet again. “How can I answer the question when the course isn’t even finished yet?”
An alarm sounded, ending the dream.
Upon waking, I recognized the proctor at once. Birto appeared to me in those same yellow clothes and body shape. His attitude during those workings were academic in nature in that he was participating in a group demonstration and leading me to [Patient Caller].
These games have layers of intrigue. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 21 – Stall”
I was dangerously tired again this morning. I thought about skipping the ritual entirely, but I knew my guilt would not leave me alone if I did. Fine, then. The physical actions will help me wake up if nothing else.
I still have not settled on what to say to clear the room prior to setting up the ritual gear. To be honest, I still haven’t settled on even how to clear the room as a rule. It has been the Law of Might in this house, physically and spiritually for as long as I have lived here. I have worked not to keep spirits out as I have to surround myself with spirits that would help me and my daughter. Sweeping the room absolutely clear would put those agreements at risk.
All felt well until I began reciting the conjuration most necessary. The words dragged out of my mouth and I struggled for consistency. My tongue felt lethargic, as if speech was an athletic competition that I had failed to even qualify for. When I finally reached the end of the passage, I had to fight to read, and speak, each word clearly.
I formally called for [Patient Caller] to appear at the end of it, folded my hands in my lap, and waited with my eyes open. The scent of the mahogany and cedar scented candle covered me as usual, and I had a feel of warmth from the untouched candle as if it had been lit. I meant to close my eyes so that I would see him in my mind’s eye.
«Don’t close your eyes. You are a blink away from falling asleep again.» Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 20 – Hold”
When I scribbled my notes immediately after yesterday’s ritual, the agreement felt like something I had witnessed rather than something I had participated in. Even throughout the day, as I reflected on the actions to see if there was any scene where my memory proved untrustworthy, the agreement remained intact, word for word. It was only when I was finally able to sit down and type up the subtleties of the scene, encasing the event in parsable words for you to read, that the full weight of what I have done pressed on me.
I am terrified.
Not of the spirit, nor of his master.
Not of the godhead, nor of the angels.
I am terrified of myself and what I am becoming as I continue to challenge the fears that were beaten into me and defy the edicts that were supposed to protect me but kept me safely caged instead. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 19 – Smoke”
I read through the Book of Oberon yesterday evening trying to find a prayer or set of prayers that I could use to sweep the room before beginning and still fit in the scant hour I have delegated to the ritual. I found many prayers and rituals, but the least of them contained more words than my entire ritual list.
I did note the common actions. The place for the ritual must be kept clean, and no “unclean acts” are to be allowed in the space. The room is to be kept set apart from the rest of the living and business spaces, and the best place for such workings is either a dedicated room or a place far from civilization.
I leave it to my betters to decide if the world I live in counts as “civilization”.
I do not have any of the luxuries required by the Book of Oberon save for keeping the ritual area clean. Under the Christianity I grew up with, these very rituals themselves are “unclean acts”, so I have no means of measuring what is allowable or not for a magician in this day and age. In the end, I read a modified prayer for the blessing of a space, but without the partial invocation it also contained.
The hazel wand continues to exude a thin film of oil. I won’t be reapplying oil to it until the wand has been dry for several continuous days. As I buff it with the rough shop towel, some of the raised grain is rubbed off while other portions of the surface is smoothed down.
There was nothing to note of the invocation itself, except to say that it happened. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 18 – Dare”
The completed wand still left a brush of oil on my hand if I gripped it hard. To be expected, as the grain of the apparently smooth surface of the worked wand lifted once the extra virgin olive oil started to soak in. I remember the same happening to my other wand as the dry wood absorbed the offering. Each day I will have to buff the wand with a shop towel to remove the loose particles and burnish the underlying surface with another layer of oil until it seals itself.
The wand was in my hand as it was too long to fit in the small shoulder bag holding the rest of my ritual gear. The two cumbersome items were the Book of Oberon itself and the large cotton shawl that was my working shroud. I had figured out a way to twist the thin fabric of the shawl into a compact knot but the book refused to bend to anyone’s will.
I stood in line with other would-be magicians. Ahead of me I saw the gilt framed doorway into a large white building and the two people gatekeeping it. They accepted some with only the inspection of paper copy of an identification card and demanded others prove the authenticity of a properly assigned and notarized card. Some they accepted without identification based on the contents of their bags, and others they violently rejected despite the bags being as complete as money could buy. I did not know the criteria by which they judged who was worthy to enter the white building.
As the line grew shorter before me, and I was able to see more of the white building, I questioned why I was in this line in the first place. I tapped the person waiting in front of me on the shoulder and asked a neutral question. “What happens to those who are rejected?”
The person turned their head to speak towards me but never turned to face me. “They are refused. It is their choice if to reapply or not. It is worth entering the club though. Doing so adds legitimacy and power to your work.”
I was able to see a sign above the doors. Large gold letters shone against a black background. “The Inner Sanctum” A smaller sign underneath the club’s title explained the club’s purpose. “A gathering for true magicians.”
Are you fucking kidding me? Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 17 – Midterm”
I dreamt of a large round banquet table covered in burgundy cloth. I was the only one seated there. Unseen servants brought covered dishes and filled the table with them such that there was only space for my small serving plate and a wine goblet filled with pure water.
One by one, the servants would lift a cover and offer me what was under it as the butler, also unseen, stood beside my high-backed chair and explain the offering.
Each offered dish was some sort of insect, spider, or worm. Some cooked and prepared. Some still alive.
“These are common earthworms from organic gardens. They are not poisonous to you, however their acidity is such that consumption of great quantities are not suggested. Their taste and texture will make a pleasing contrast with the grilled locusts from Egypt.”
“Moth grubs from the old forests in the Iberian peninsula. Normally a high source of protein and eaten raw or baked, these particular grubs were fed an exclusive diet of amanita muscaria before collection and sauteing. As you have never encountered amanita muscaria before, I suggest only having one, should you have any at all.”
I wound up selecting an assortment of sauteed vegetables and mayflies to go with a main dish of spicy grilled spiders and locusts offered with a dipping sauce made from yogurt and maggots. I passed on the amanita laced grubs. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 16 – Debrief”
I did not follow up on my “homework”. A busy day at work followed by a busier evening meant I would be lucky to get five hours of sleep if I skipped personal “hobbies” and time wasters such as catching up to webcomics, forum posts, and thousand word scripts of magic rituals and god names.
My luck ran out. I got four.
Even though I did not touch the hazel rod the night before, I still included it with the rest of the ritual gear as I set up the circles. The opened black knife sat on the floor next to my right foot. The hazel rod sat on the floor next to my left foot. I wanted both in the circle with me, and having the knife on the floor instead of on the table was less dangerous to my feet. Accidentally stepping on a flat blade is not as hazardous to my toes as knocking the knife off a thirty inch high table. Trust me on this.
All the prayers were easy for me to say, act, and have faith in until the conjuration most necessary. The “Cados, Cados, Cados” phrase is only a few dozen words into the recitation and if that phrase became a stumbling block, then the other thousand words might as well be marks of silence.
I could have called on my angelus aspect, that soul-piece recently recovered, and taken up her mantle to say the names and recitations. But that felt like cheating. Blocking off pieces of my mind is what contributed to those terrible years. I’m not going to make that mistake now. Either all of me does this, or I put the toys away and go back to sleep for a craved nap before work.
I held the Solomon’s Seal amulet briefly, reminded myself of where and when I am, and began speaking with strength. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 15 – Pivot”
“O God, hear us in thy righteousness and vouchsafe of thy holiness…” I held the hazel rod up as if presenting it to the godhead I was praying to. The twenty-six inches of long dried wood rested lightly in my hand as I recited Another Prayer to double-consecrate the introduced tool during the preparatory phase of the ritual.
The unyielding bark still held a hint of green amid the yellows and tans that developed from years of rest. The rod felt empty. An empty vessel not yet ready to be filled. I laid it in the circle at my feet. The slightly bowed rod turned as gravity pulled it from my hand. The sound was much like a fallen pencil.
Yesterday I had learned that the epithet “Cados” likely came from the Hebrew word “kadosh”, meaning “holy”. So the phrase “in the name of God, Cados, Cados, Cados…” was the same as saying “in the name of God, Holy, Holy, Holy…”. This morning I learned that the phrase “holy holy holy” is a trigger for me, regardless of language, when intoned in prayer.
I paused involuntarily as I suddenly lost my breath and unsummoned fear froze my spine. Memories I had tried to forget twisted with memories recalled into being as the history of the circumstances I would most likely have heard or spoken these words warned me that cruelty was about to be revisited onto me.
The weight of the pewter amulet on my neck reminded me of where and when I am. I took a deep breath, forced myself to look around and note all the things that were not present then, lifted the thin brown book with severe solemnity, and began the conjuration most necessary again in defiance. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 14 – Snap”