“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”
“In the name of the Omni-benevolent God, Amen…”
The planetary prayer for Mercury was read with more vigor than I thought I could muster for the early morning. Perhaps I’m getting used to the early hour.
“O mighty and merciful God, which in the finger of thy deity…”
It’s getting easier to not only say the words, but to hold the poses and perform the actions that go along with them. Even though I am not Christian, for the minutes spent reciting the prayers, I had faith in the powers they called on. I never would have thought that Solomonic Magic would be my gateway drug to Chaos Magic.
“… and in the name of God, Cados, Cados, Cados…” I felt the epithet “cados” echo around me as if a chorus was repeating the name. It felt comforting until I was reminded of how the churches I used to attend felt comforting before they started extracting sacrifices from me. I snapped back into full awareness and continued on.
“… the mighty name Agla, the wonderful name Adonay, the strong name El, and the name On…” Filled with unexpected joy, I suddenly felt stretched, as if something was pulling me back and up, but my feet were still on the ground. The sensation of a rubber band snapping shuddered through me. I heard my voice continue on with the recitation, but something had changed.
I looked down at the sudden lack of weight in my hands. Instead of looking down at my lap, I was looking at the back of my own head. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 13 – Flow”
I settled down after work and obligations with a queue of podcasts, the incomplete cord, and a ruler. I had left off with five and a half feet of braided cord, and now that I had my groove, I was confident that I would finish quickly. Eighty minutes into the ninety-five minute podcast, I tied off the whipping knot. Total length of the cord itself is nine feet plus half an inch. When I include the silver hook and eye, the complete length is nine feet and three inches. A set of numbers that is very pleasing to me.
To call it a cord is misleading. A braid of three thin strands, it is thinner than a shoelace. But the hemp braid is not delicate, and will withstand both being left on the floor as well as ritual bindings. As I washed and dedicated the cord for ritual use, I understood why I had to make it myself after all.
During the morning ritual, [Patient Caller] appeared across the table so vividly, he felt solid and “real”. Only his lack of color (save for the rings), the false candle flame, and the looping of the smoke from the candle around his right little finger before entering the amber shewstone gave away his intangible nature.
«Well done. You have met me halfway.» He allowed me the indulgence of being proud of myself. «Now, we begin.» Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 12 – Identities”
Though I have not publicly recorded my dreams since beginning this challenge, dreams I have had. As they lacked any significance to the matter at hand, I noted the events and continued on. Over the past week, I have had serial dreams where the events on one night would pick up where the previous night left off. This is nothing new to me (or to long term readers).
As I went about beginning to braid the new cord to be dedicated for the making of ceremonial magic circles, I had to wind the three lengths of hemp cord onto pens to keep them from entangling as I found my braiding groove. When I had completed two feet of braiding, I noted the captive pens looked like spindles.
Immediately after that realization, I had to place the work down to keep from dropping it as the previous five nights’ worth of dreams rushed into my mind as one single story. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 11 – Sync”
Bad is not the enemy of Good, Perfect is. You can do Good, you can do Good Enough, and you can do Bad (regardless of intention). But you can’t do Perfect. Not without sacrificing a lot of things, relationships, resources, and pieces of yourself that you need to keep a lot more than you need to make the thing Perfect, and even then, there will always be one teeny tiny flaw that only you can see that will remind you that it is not Perfect and you have failed.
Social media peers and fellows gave me tips on how to hand polish amber. Some with full cognition that I was completely ignorant how to follow through, some with full surprise that I did not know such an obvious and universal skill. (May each one receive instruction with the same measure as they gave it.) I trawled websites and crafter forums looking for some instruction in terms and tools that I understood such as sandpaper grit and unpowered methods.
Finally armed with 4-way fingernail shapers and micromesh buffers, I sat down last night with my wee chunk of amber, put on headphones to catch up on some classes, and began grinding down
my nerves the “working” side of the piece with the expectation of watching the clock advance several hours before any perceivable progress would be had.
Soon after beginning, I had the sensation of being watched. The table I was working on was the same table I used for holding the book and shewstones during the ritual. Sometimes the “watcher” would be feeling as if they were sitting across the table from me, sometimes I felt the observation from over my shoulder as if the observer wanted to check the progress as I did. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 10 – Progress”
This week has not been gentle to me. Between emergencies at work, emotional shocks after work, and familial pressures that chose this week to unnecessarily escalate, I’m tired. Saturday would normally be the day to sleep as close to noon as my responsibilities would allow.
It was very hard to fully wake up as the intentionally out of reach alarm insisted.
I forced myself to be hyper aware of every sensation as I began the preparations for the ritual. Remembering the effect removing the Solomon’s Seal amulet caused, I paid attention to the ambience of the room as I initially gestured with the amulet before speaking the activating phrase. No difference after speaking. As I passed the black cord over my head, I noted passing the cord past my ears had the same effect of pulling a hood over my head.
Sounds were slightly dampened and I had the sense of being encapsulated by something invisible, intangible, yet bright.
Despite being awake, I still struggled to read the words in the thin brown book. Only those few sections that I have memorized were spoken with an unbroken meter. All others sounded like I was reading a foreign language for the first time. I called the spirit to appear and placed my hands and the thin brown book on my lap. Aware that I was still frighteningly sleepy, I kept my eyes open but ignored what I was physically seeing in hopes of remaining awake.
«I want to show you something. I want you to remember it. Even if you remember nothing else, this must remain with you.» Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 9 – Smother”
The alarm surprised me this morning and I wasted eight precious minutes reflecting on yesterday’s vivid ritual and asking myself the question I had been dodging all day.
Am I fooling myself? If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, after all. I could win a bingo match twice over with all the hallmarks, tells, and sensations I have written in the past seven days of things a complete (and incompletely geared) beginner should not have seen and/or done based on what others more knowledgeable and experienced have expressed.
I expected nothing, to be honest. I expected to act the fool for twenty-nine days and then on the thirtieth be shown a glimmer of something to either encourage me to go all in or discourage me enough to chuck it all into the nearest exposed fault.
How can I prove to myself that I’m not making this up? By deliberately making it up and running with it. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 8 – Doubt”
I dreamt of rehabilitators moving into an area in the wake of settlers who had managed to make the decimated landscape inhabitable again. As the settlers moved in and through, they had to make decisions about keeping restorable buildings intact but unusable, or make the necessary changes to obtain shelter but in the process, destroy art and or informational markings that would never be recovered.
The building that was going to become my home was still being rehabilitated. My future workroom had the walls taken down to the frame where it was discovered a cache of hidden gold coins and some plumbing. The gold tokens were plain without any markings or indication of which government had struck them. The hot water pipe had deteriorated a long time ago, but the cold water pipe was still intact.
To everyone’s surprise, when the revealed faucet knob for the cold water pipe was turned, water gushed out. The rehabilitator said the original source for the water was the underground aquifer in the nearby mountain ranges. “Once you flush out the accumulated gunk, you’ll have potable water.”
This discovery left the rehabilitators with a quandary. If the room is converted as was the original plan, the pipe would be walled up again. They looked to me for askance as this was going to become my home.
“Leave the water available to me. I can always turn it off when I’m done. If walled up, I won’t even have the option to let it run.” They nodded, handed me the cache of gold, and left the unfinished room to work on the next project.
I start to run the water into a bucket to flush out the gunk. As the water runs clear and cold, the dream ends. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 7 – The Scent of Green”
An unpleasant event yesterday evening left me with barely any energy left to take care of myself, much less double check the usual things I do before bed. Emotional traumas can turn even the strongest of spines into dust, and by the time my head had hit the pillow, all I wanted to do was sleep and mark the day as complete.
I dreamt of being part of an entity that knew all things, was all things, and had great power such that to call it a god would be to think too small of it. However, that entity lacked understanding of everything, even of its own nature. So the entity never stirred from its slumber. It created itself in its slumber. Whole worlds were created or extinguished when it shifted. Demigods were created, exalted, overthrown, and unmade during its ignorance.
As part of the entity, I observed all this impassively. I did not understand what I was seeing, and because of that, I had no interest in it.
So, of course, I overslept. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 6 – Snooze Control”
All night long I dreamt of performing the ritual. Laying out the gear and saying the prayers. Raising the thin brown book and my hand while reciting incantations. Lowering of the amulet and raising the knife.
At first, the scene was properly linear. First this, then that. The book is lifted before it can be lowered. But the scene broke, and thirty days of morning ritual shattered into overlapping snippets that were physically impossible yet completely understandable.
As long as you let go of the idea of time being linear. Continue reading “Do Magick: Day 5 – When Is Here? Where Is Now?”