7 Angels all around me, 7 Devils in my house

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On March 1st, I began a series of rituals involving the Spirit Binaries of the Weekdays as recorded in The Magical Treatise of Solomon, or the Hygromantiea. The Binaries include an Angel and Demon for all 24 hours of the day, with the entities of the first hour being regarded as presiding Archangel and Archdaemon of that day. It was the 7 Archangels and 7 Archdaemons that I decided to work with. I formulated a ritual based off from the material present in The Magical Treatise. The Magical Treatise is a collection of manuscripts that form a Byzantine Grimoire from about the 14th century or earlier. It was only translated into English as recently as 2011 by Ioannis Marathakis and published by Golden Hoarde Press.

The-Magical-Treatise-of-Solomon-or-Hygromanteia-Hardcover-L9780738731407The grimoire provides a method of working very familiar to the Solomonic magician, but at the same time holding treasures unique to the time, place, and people who wrote, circulated, and used these manuscripts. References to The Testament of Solomon are peppered about the book, as are several hallmark methods that appear in later Solomonic grimoires, thus providing the missing link between Classical Hellenic magic and Medieval Ecclesiastical magic.

I decided that I would create 7 Lamens for each Binary and wear them during my rituals. While there are specific lamens mentioned in The Magical Treatise, these particular ones are my own innovation. I used several seals, signs, and symbols of the Planetary Powers along with the name of the Planet, Angel, and Demon written in Greek magical alphabets from The Magical Treatise. Other innovations of mine were the choice of incenses and sacrament to be consumed for Communion. The ingredients for the planetary incenses recommended in The Magical Treatise aren’t the easiest to acquire, so I went with my standard blends I can make on-hand. As for the sacraments, I usually try to observe some sort of sacred meal in my rituals and in this one specifically it would be an act of cementing the ritual into reality by literally consuming its essence. And besides, transubstantiation is sexy.

Although I began this work on a Saturday, I recommend beginning on Sunday at Sunrise. These rituals are supposed to ideally be performed as soon as the sun rises, but they can be done at any time of the day. If you were doing a working with any of the other spirits in The Magical Treatise, the ritual would have to be performed during the specific hour that spirit rules. But since this is designed for interaction between the Archangels and Archdaemons you have a broader range of when to do the ritual.

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To begin you will need to acquire parchment, ink & pen, a Ring of Solomon (any ring blessed for these purposes will work, but one with a pentagram or hexagram on the bezel is most traditional), a Black-hilted Knife (again, any blessed black-hilted knife will do, it is most traditional to have a wizard-smith forge one on Tuesday and affix it to a handle carved from a black goat horn), and comfortable ritual clothing (I wear black, but white is acceptable, or even seven different colored outfits for each day). I find it best to have everything arranged much earlier before the ritual begins. Afterword, I like to spend a few moments taking notes and reflecting on my experience.

Day of the Week

Planet

Archangel

Archdaemon

Sunday

Helios/Sol

Michael

Asmodai

Monday

Selene/Luna

Gabriel

Mammonas

Tuesday

Ares/Mars

Samael

Liteidos

Wednesday

Hermes/Mercury

Ouriel

Loutzipher

Thursday

Zeus/Jupiter

Raphael

Meltiphron

Friday

Aphrodite/Venus

Agathouel

Goulion

Saturday

Kronos/Saturn

Sakatiel

Eliditor

Ritual Outline

  • Purification Bath
  • Blessing of the Ring of Solomon
  • Blessing of the Black-hilted Knife
  • Blessing of the Parchment
  • Blessing of the Ink
  • Blessing of the Pen
  • Prayer to God Almighty
  • Prayer of the Planet of the Day
  • Conjuration of the Angel and the Demon
  • Meditation
  • Communion
  • License to Depart
  • Prayer to God Almighty
  • Reflection

Blessing of the Ring of Solomon “KYRIE HO THEOS, LEON, SABAOTH, BIONIA, ELOI, AOA, IAO, IASOU, SOUIEOA, AENIOU, OUOUNIOU, IOU, IRO. Holy Angel of God, as you did for Solomon the Wise, so do for me. AMEN.”

Blessing of the Black-hilted Knife “RHAKHOR, RHADIA, KONIL, ARONI, APHINES. Holy Angel of God, be with me now. AMEN.”

Blessing of the Parchment

“OLAI, ALBAI, ARRENETAN, IAZAKH, SEMAMEPHORA, IEOU, IAKH, NEROU, AROUTH, BAROUKH, ATTA, ADONAI, IEOU, IAOU, BAOU, IA, IABA, TETRAGRAMMATON, MESOPHAR, holy name, mighty and pure, cleanse this skin from every contamination and miasma, from every impurity, so that everything I will write on this will be pure, good, and effective. AMEN.”

Blessing of the Ink

“GEKHIEL, ATZAEL, ANATZIPH, RHATZIELE, KABIMEM, NAPHAEL, IORAM, PERTANAEL, MENTEPHHOUL, STEMOEL, RHANDOUEL, INDOUS, LAMIAR, PHATAEL, holy angels, give grace to this material at once, so that this ink will be beneficial, successful and true. AMEN.”

Blessing of the Pen

“OKTIEL, ADONAN, RHOGEETH, TERKOETS, AGIMAE, LEINAPH, THEOPHIL, OITOS, I conjure you, holy angels, to be my assistants in this action, Make all I write holy, beneficial, effective, successful, and true. AMEN.”

Prayer to God Almighty

“In your holy names, SABAOTH, ADONAI, KAMEKH, SANTAI, LAMANTOU, LANMATAN, TETRAGRAMMATON, ARCHE KAI TO TELOS, AGIOS, AGIOS, AGIOS, KYRIOS SABAOTH, the whole heaven and earth are full of your glory, Our Father who art in heaven, uphold us with your holy names, AGIOS THEOS SABAOTH, by the prayers of ENOS, CAINAN, MAHALAEEL, METHOUSELAH, SETH, ENOCH, NOAH, MELCHIZEDEK, JOSHUA SON OF NUN, ABRAHAM, ISAAC, JACOB, SOLOMON AND REHOBOAM, by your holy prayers Lord Our God, come to our help. AMEN.”

Prayer of the Sun, on Sunday

Incense: Frankincense & Nutmeg

IMG_20140301_131111 “In the name of the almighty and supreme God, I conjure you KYRIOS HELOS, the illuminator, the King of all stars, the begetter of vision. O HELIOS, who nourishes and causes the herbs and trees to bear fruit, who adorns who whole world with majesty, who banishes adversities in the darkness, and who divides the beautiful things from the ugly ones; O HELIOS, the embellishment of the priceless things, the beauty and the majesty of pearls, gold and precious stones, the glory of the Kings and the thought of the judges, I conjure you, HELIOS, KYRIOS HELIOS, inconceivable, incomprehensible, who sees the powers of heaven and understands the splendors of the supreme God SABAOTH. I conjure you, lord HELIOS, candle that burns before the dreadful god SABAOTH, do not disobey me. I conjure you in the following names: PITHANKOUZ, DORIEL, SINAE, MADOEL, LYTROPHAR, PHRYKTOUEL, PELKADON, ANDRAPHOR, IYMEDON, ALIANOS, GARAROUEL. In your above names, grant your grace, power, and virtue in the work I am going to attempt. AMEN.”

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Prayer of the Moon, on Monday

Incense: Myrrh & Benzoin

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“Lord almighty, supreme, creator, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who created and fashioned man, who embellished the heavens with stars and who adorned the earth with flowers and animals, before the sight of whose power ever creature, visible or invisible, trembles. I, your unworthy servant, beg you and I entreat you to hear me and subdue to me the virtue of this planet, KYRIA SELENE, the order and knowledge of the world, the figure of heaven, the consolation of the night and the queen of the constrained spirits, KYRIA SELENE, the indication of time, the sign of all celebrations and festivals, I conjure you, SELENE, by the Throne of God, by the Solar Rays, by the Rest of God on the Sabbath, by the Cherubim and Seraphim, by all the Orders of the holy angels, and in the following names: KHARIOMO, GALLAGIL, BENOUEL, AGRAMOUEL, ADEKAEL, THYELOEL, RAPHAEL, ZYGOTHOEL, GALAEL. For your above names, do not disobey me, but grant your grace, power and virtue to the work I am going to attempt. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Mars, on Tuesday

Incense: Dragon’s Blood, Red Sandalwood, Tobacco

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“O Lord, powerful and mighty, whose anger dries the bottom of the sea, whose powerful glance breaks mountains, the mountains feared you and the abyss was terrified of you. Every choir of the Angels and Archangels worshipped you. In your name, Lord, I dare to attempt every work. I conjure you, ARES, bellicose ARES, by the heart of the mighty lion and by the flame of the strong, burning fire, to obey me. I conjure you ARES, sanguine and daring, by the air, by the earth, and the center of the earth, to obey me. O ARES, who rejoices in calamity, I conjure you by Him who every planetary creation fears, and in your following, fiery names: AGLA, ASER, PIORIROTH, ALBAND, ENDOR, OMER, SKONAPHOR, KALONOS, ALMANOS. In your above names, grant your grace and your virtue to this present weak. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Mercury, on Wednesday

Incense: Elemi & Lavender buds

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“In the name of the omni-benevolent God, AMEN, O Lord who dewells on high and beholds the humble, who searches the reins and the heart, the Lord of Spirits, the King of Heaven and Earth, grant your grace to me, the sinner, O Lord, in order to subdue the Powers of the Planet  HERMES. O HERMES, the most skilled in logical arguments, the effective and most excellent in wisdom and science, who divides and distributes the art and craft of each person, the experienced and skilled soldier, since without you all things mobile or immobile, cannot exist; O HERMES, creator, philosopher, greatest among orators who rules over minds, I conjure you by God who created you and placed you in Heaven. I conjure you by your heaven, your sphere, by the treasure and the secret wisdom of God, by His strong and immeasurable hand and by the myriads of angels, do not disobey me. I conjure you in the following names: SIBORAZ, HYIELISPHAK, IAGROU, HYSREONO, EILIOPH, NAENDOR, GELSTAMOT, KHASELON, AREOULOUEL, TERATOUON, SPHALIKON, KYRAMEN, BARNIDON. In your above names, grant me your grace and your virtue, in order that any work I attempt be effective and true, by the omnipotence of God. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Jupiter, on Thursday

Incense: Copal Oro & Cloves

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“Lord our God, the great, praised and incomprehensible, whose height of divinity is immeasurable, unto you I pray. I, the unworthy, beg the height of your compassion, hear me and make the work I want to do highly effective. I conjure you, most valorous and most beneficial ZEUS, by the immeasurable thought of God, do not disobey me. I conjure you, ZEUS, by the grace of all herbs. I conjure you, ZEUS, by your valor and justice, by your miraculous virtues and in your following names: MISTHAN, MESAOU, ALASIGNO, PELKHAOUS, AABIO, KEDESOD, OLABER, SEDIO, AOLOI, AZANOR, MERRAN. In your most great and valorous names, grant your grace and virtue to the work I am going to attempt. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Venus, on Friday

Incense: Benzoin, Rose petals, Cinnamon

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“In the name of the supreme God, in His most desirable name, I conjure you, most harmonious, most beautiful, and most fair KYRIA APHRODITE, who lies in valor and in the might of love, who tortures the human flesh from within. O APHRODITE, who rules over passion and distributes love, most comely APHRODITE, who leads every yearning in the heart of men and women and moves the entrails of people; O APHRODITE, crowned whith the wreath of love, I beseech for your power. I conjure you, APHRODITE, by God, who created you and placed you in the heaven. I conjure you by the seal that is in your heart, by your wreath, by your heaven, and in your following names: MONTOARAN, MAUGORAN, KTIOEL, PYRGETON, LIOIKON, IKARIZI, IAKOR, LADOKON, PARINOS, PHREKTIOUZ, PHALOUMPOL, KRAIPOPHON, ALLEOPON, ESTOGE, IASEPH, ZAGLYTAI, KRIGENOS, OOULAN. In your above names, do not disobey me, but grant your grace and your virtue in the work I am going to attempt. AMEN.”

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Prayer of Saturn, on Saturday

Incense: Myrrh & Mullein

IMG_20140312_145144“Lord Our God, the Great and Supreme, who created and fashioned man, the Abyss saw you and feared, the living saw you and became lifeless. In His name and by His great and mighty power do I conjure you, KRONOS, do not disobey me. By your antiquity and by your preeminence I conjure you again, O cold KRONOS, who has authority over every harm, who gives treasures and who offeres everything. I conjure you, O Kronos, in your following names: ARPHIN, ORKIP, OULIOB, BERIK, OURAPHON, SAROK, TAIMON, ODEL, SIGEP, SOTAD, grant your grace and your virtue to every work I want to attempt. AMEN.”

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Conjuration of the Angel and Demon

“I conjure you angel _____________, who rules this day and who is appointed for the provision and services of mankind, angel _____________, who is always eager, strong, renowned, and brave. I conjure you by God who ordered you to guard this day to assist me, together with your submissive demon _____________, who is ordered to serve and attend you, and be your slave during this day. For this reason, cooperate with me, and make my work effective and true. AMEN.”

Communion

“I bless this sacrament of _____________, in the presence of _____________ , _____________, and Almighty God. May it nourish my body, mind, and. AMEN.”

License to Depart

“In the holy names of SABAOTH, ADONAI, TETRAGRAMMATON, IAO, I conjure you angel _____________, and you demon _____________, to go in peace, each one of you to your own dwelling, and come back whenever I invoke you again. AMEN.”

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All Hallows

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron….” — J.K. Rowling

We have passed through the Hallowed Nights of Feast, Fire, and Fallen Kin. We have danced Dionysian unto Summer’s Ending, as if our gyration would reverse that of the Dying Sun. Now, before Winter’s Gates we stand sobered and all too aware of the gnawing Darkness ahead.

I began the season by decorating my house in Halloween paraphernalia, getting a head start in the first few days of October. Over the next few weeks my house had been steadily transformed by cobwebs, spiders, skulls, and the occasional jack-o-lantern. On the Saturday before Halloween my partner and I threw a costume party. As secular as it may seem, I take great enjoyment in surrounding myself with the symbols of Halloween- from plastic skeletons and jack-o-lanterns. I experience arachnophobia and so creating a spider’s nest draping over a lamp and table around Halloween allows me to immerse myself in what I fear without overloading my psyche. This almost ritualistic practice every year has helped me become more comfortable with living spiders in my own way. Secular Halloween allows for the indulgence in taboo, modes of behavior that are suppressed for one reason or another throughout the rest of the year. While Mardi Gras and similar festivals also loosen the social shackles, Halloween does so in a unique way.

Browse Halloween decorations and costumes and it should become apparent to anyone who has an eye for symbolism. What is represented in most secular expressions of Halloween? In my perception it boils down to Fear, Sex, Death, and Occultism. (HELLO, Scorpio!) Monsters, Skulls, Graves, Ghosts, “Sexy (fill in the blank)” costumes, Cross-dressing for both sexes, Phobias, Murder, Gore, Insanity, Rot, Decay, Demons, Spirits, Witches, Magic, etc., etc. are all standards of Halloween paraphernalia and indicative of those categories I previously mentioned. Newspapers and Magazines try to interview Wiccans, Vodouisants, Satanists, and other occult and “spiritual fringe” people. It’s the one time of the year that it is socially acceptable to bend the rules and sometimes outright break them, or at least indulge your fascination in the taboo without being mistaken for a weirdo or an eccentric.

I always find myself musing on the history and symbolism of this time of year and all the cultures and traditions that have coalesced into the modern celebration of Halloween. I have come to understand that this holiday is simultaneously secular, Pagan, and Christian, as well as being inclusive. Each group has expressed Halloween differently, they all have been inspired and appropriated by each other. In my research of the “reason for the season” it has frequently been indiscernible as to what was “Pagan” and what was “Christian,” as well as from what particular culture certain aspects came from. One person’s Samhain tradition is another person’s Hallowmas observance, and let’s not even get started with Dia de los Muertos. While it is easy to say that the Church stole Pagan traditions in an effort to seduce new converts, it seems to me that there is the possibility that the people simply refused to give up their rituals and through subsequent generations the traditions remained, the meanings slightly altered. While I do not disregard the insidious domination and atrocities committed by the institution of the Church, I also think that the Folk are stubborn and creatures of habit. And what is a ritual but a habit saturated with meaning? What is a tradition but a set of rituals passed on? 

My thoughts also tend toward the influence of Nature on our Ancestors. What is it about this time of year? What did it mean to our Ancestors in Europe thousands of years ago? What does Fear, Sex, Death, and Occultism really have in common with October 31st?  I’m not surprised if it is hard to understand for many modern Western peoples because we have so much comfort and convenience. Even the least wealthy of us are more affluent than a large population of the world today, and most certainly richer than most people before us. We have a lot less to be afraid of in many regards. We are very sheltered and pampered compared to our Ancestors.

This is about a relationship, and a very tangible one at that. At this time our Ancestors were preparing to slaughter their livestock to be able to survive throughout the winter. Less mouths to feed and more to eat because of the lack of growing vegetation. Old and young alike were not spared from sickness and disease in winter, as well. The cold and dark is not merciful to warm-blooded creatures, especially those hunted and eaten by other warm-blooded creatures. While our Ancestors generally lived in survival mode for most of history, the time that is our modern Halloween became a gateway into the harshest session of survival mode. While we talk about the “Dark Half of the Wheel of the Year” at least a lot of us can turn on our electric lights and gas heaters. Our ancestors had to go to great lengths to acquire the necessary resources. They couldn’t always go to the market to get these things, they had to work and sacrifice to stay alive. We often take for granted how difficult it would be to survive without our structure and security.

Halloween is always saturated with thoughts of my Ancestors, those I knew and never have known. I try to honor all those who fought to survive and bonded with each other to continue to exist through time and space. The result of that love and strife is me, you, and all others here on Earth. Although I am a descendant of several European nations and have lived my life in the United States, I recognize that Ancestry and the ability to honor that influence is not bound by race, species, or cellular structure. I regard the Living Earth below me and the Stars above me as my Ancestors. Indeed, as per Nature’s design, all things decay and transform into new life- the Earth is literally our Ancestors. The matter of the Earth is created from the contents of a Star.

At Midnight on October 31st three friends, my partner and I took part in a simple ceremony and Dumb Supper to honor our Ancestors and our Beloved Dead, as well as the recognition of our own mortality. I had the pleasure of leading the ceremony in my temple/workshop room (i.e. the physical Curio Cabinet), marking the first official group ritual to be held there. We assembled in the temple, called to our respective families and loved ones, invited them to join our feast, gave offerings to them, and sat in silence for a while eating a simple meal. I had tried my hand at baking Soul Cakes, which turned out to be delicious. I ate mine contemplatively, as the tradition is that each cake eaten frees a soul from Purgatory. While I don’t believe in Purgatory, I do believe that what is remembered, lives.

Tomorrow, on Sunday, I complete my observance of this spoke on the Wheel by attending the Greek Orthodox Liturgy in honor of the 40th day of passing of my partner’s Yia Yia. I had the great pleasure of meeting this legendary woman a few times and it feels as though it was not enough. I greatly sympathize with the Orthodox tradition of the 40 day memorial. It brings the family together to celebrate the one who lived, helping to facilitate healing after grieving. The Orthodox prayers for the dead include the phrase “Αἰωνία ἡ μνήμη,” translated as “May your memory be Eternal.”

I hope your Halloween brought you joy and blessings. This is not the only time you can give thanks and love to Those Who Have Gone Before, it is just the most appropriate. You can always raise a glass in the names of the Beloved and Mighty. And I raise a glass to you, readers, for though we may be friends or strangers we are all bonded through the love and strife of our Ancestors.

May your memory be eternal. What is remembered, lives.

A Simple Lunar Ritual for the October Full Moon

Any good ritual will have three parts to it, a beginning or Ingress (the preparation), a middle where the congregants, corporeal and otherwise, also called Congress, and the ending wherein the rite is made final and closed, called Egress. This is the pattern that I follow when constructing rituals. Here is a simple one to be performed this weekend, best if done tonight during the penumbral eclipse (for residents of North America).

For this rite you will need the following:
• A ritual tool such as knife or wand
• Three pinches of sea salt in water for asperging
• Natural, botanical based incense on charcoal
• A chalice of wine, beer, liquor, or natural fruit juice
• A paton of bread, cakes, or cookies (gluten-free counts! • But no processed prepackaged junk!)
• A piece of paper for a petition spell, or optionally a length of twine or string for knot magic
• An altar decorated with Lunar symbolism or how you like it

Ingress:
Purify space by asperging and censing
Cast the Circle
Conjure the Quarters

Congress:
Prayer to Selene for any Spell
Spellcraft
Communion

Egress:
Thanksgiving
Open Quarters
Close Circle

Mix the salt and water, say:

“Creature of the Marriage of Earth and Water, bless and purify this space.”

Place a scoop of incense on the glowing hot coal:

“Creature of the Marriage of Fire and Air, bless and protect this space.”

Taking ritual tool in hand, walk clockwise in a circle three times around the area while chanting:

“Thrice around the Witches’ Wheel,
We tread the bounds from toe to heal,
From solid land to starry sky
To Underground where Mighty Dead lie,
With this chant inside we seal
The magic of the Witches’ Wheel.”

Then, turn to face the Eastern Quarter:

“From the East we conjure the Spirits of Hotness and Fire, to sanctify this space and join in our rites.”

To the South:

“From the South we conjure the Spirits of Wetness and
Air, to sanctify this space and join in our rites.”

To the West:

“From the West we conjure the Spirits of Coldness and Water, to sanctify this space and join in our rites.”

To the North:

“From the North we conjure the Spirits of Dryness and Earth, to sanctify this space and join in our rites.”

Standing in the Center:

“The Four Quarters of the World United, the Circumference becomes the Center, and the Center the Circumference.”

Then, looking towards the physical Moon if possible, or holding Her form in your imagination, recite the ancient Prayer to Selene:

Prayer to Selene for any spell (PGM IV 2785-2890)

Come to me, o beloved mistress, three-faced Selene;
kindly hear my sacred chants;
Night’s ornament, Youthful One, Light Bringer to mortals,
O child of morn who rides upon fierce bulls,
Queen who drives your chariot on equal course with Helios,
You dance with the triple forms of the triple Graces
As you revel with the stars.
You are justice and the threads of Fate:
Klotho and Lachesis and Atropos
Three-headed, you are Tisiphone, Megaira, Alekto, many-formed,
who arm your hands with dreaded, murky lamps,
who shake locks of fearful serpents on your brow,
whose mouths sound the roar of bulls,
whose womb Is decked with the scales of creeping things,
With pois’nous rows of serpents down your back,
Bound down with horrifying chains
Night-crier, bull-faced, loving solitude,
Bull-headed, you have eyes of bulls, the voice of dogs;
you hide your forms in shanks of lions,
Your ankle is wolf-shaped,
fierce dogs are dear to you, wherefore they call you Hekate,
Many-named, Mene, cleaving air just like Dart-shooter Artemis, Persephone,
Shooter of deer, night shining, triple-sounding,
Triple-headed, triple-voiced Selene
Triple-pointed, triple-faced, triple-necked, And goddess of the triple ways,
who hold Untiring flaming fire in triple baskets,
you who oft frequent the triple way
And rule the triple decades, unto me who is calling you
be gracious and with kindness give heed,
you who protect the spacious world at night,
before whom daimons quake in fear
And gods immortal tremble, goddess who Exalt men,
you of many names, who bear fair offspring, bull-eyed, horned,
mother of gods and men, and nature, mother of all things,
For you frequent Olympos, and traverse the broad, boundless chasm.
Beginning and end are you, and you alone rule all.
For all things are from you, and in you, Eternal One,
do all things come to their end.

Spellcraft:
This is largely up to the individual. I recommend prefer writing out a petition and burning or burying it. Or you can try knot magic, evoking your wishes in your imagination and binding them to reality by tying 3, 6, or 9 knots in it.

Communion:

Take up your ritual tool and the chalice, say:

“This, the Blood of the Moon, I sanctify in order that it may vivify and bless our bodies and spirits.”

Do the same with the paton:

“This, the Flesh of the Sun, I sanctify in order that it may nourish and bless us.”

Sprinkle a little wine out onto the cakes.

The wine and cakes are passed around the circle, each person taking a drink and a bite and sincerely offering the communion to the next person with the words “May you never hunger, May you never thirst.”

At this point the circle may be kept open and a dance or game may be performed. But, it is best to close it and thank the spirits in attendance.

Simply return to the Northern Quarter and, walking counterclockwise, return to each quarter and say:

“Spirits of (this direction) we give thanksgiving to your presence and power, go now and let there be everlasting peace between us.”

Then, continue to walk counterclockwise around the circle three times. As you walk imagine the magic of the circle dissolving back into reality.

Take the remnants of the communion cakes and wine, go outside and look towards the Moon. Dig a shallow hole and pour the remnants in it as a cthonic offering.

This rite is done. So Mote It Be.

Fortune-telling with 54 Devils

Playing Cards have been used for Fortune-telling longer than Tarot Cards

Over the weekend I came into posession of the book, “54 Devils:  The Art and Folklore of Fortune-telling with Playing Cards” by Cory Thomas Hutcheson of New World Witchery. You can purchase this lovely little book at a low price here.

54 Devils lays out Cory’s personal methods of divination using the cards of a standard poker deck. What sort of mystical, magical significance do playing cards have? Doesn’t Tarot work good enough? You might ask. Well, it seems that playing cards are a bit older than Tarot, giving them a longer time to be used in divination. Evidence shows that Tarot was used as a game, not for fortune-telling and definitely not ancient. Furthermore, the majority of divination systems share counterparts in the gambling and gaming world. Cards, dice, coins, and similar things all find their way into fortune-telling at some point. Both gambling and fortune-telling are overseen by random chance, or as she is called sometimes “Lady Luck.”

I recommend Cory’s book for anyone who wants to find the mystical in the mundanity of playing cards. It is a concise manual laying out the symbolism for Red and Black, Aces, the numbers, the face cards, the Joker, and of course, the four suits. While I realized that Spades, Clubs, Hearts and Diamonds are similar to Swords, Wands, Cups and Coins, the meanings attributed to them are slightly different.

My favorite part of the book was the collection of folk-wisdom in the appendix. Cory presents a story of a Soldier explaining the Biblical symbolism in a deck of cards, as well as how it may serve useful as an Almanac. Also included are two incantations first recorded by Charles Leland of “Aradia” fame. An old fortune-telling game played at parties comes next- it’s instructunes are presented as a rhyme, and meanings are different for men and women. Cory also includes card meanings recorded in a 1920’s book of Kentucky Superstitions, as well as a short fiction written by himself about the famous Aunt Carolina Dye giving a card reading in order to provide inspiration to the would-be-reader.

I’ve been wanting to read playing cards for a very long time. It’s easier to carry a playing deck than a Tarot deck. Plus, if I find myself in someone’s home or business and want to perform a reading, I will more likely be able to find a deck of playing cards. The best part of all is preparing to do a reading for someone who expects magic and divination to be a grand affair and pulling out a simple playing card deck. When their skepticism sinks in due to the seemingly ordinary cards, I invoke the 54 Devils and give them a “spooky accurate reading.”

FREE READINGS LIMITED TIME ONLY!!

If you want a free reading, to help my get some pratice in while I learn the playing cards, please contact me. I will not be doing this for very long, maybe just the next couple of weeks. I would also appreciate some feed back as concerns the manifestation of the prediction.

Email me at: thecuriocabinet@gmail.com