Thursday, July 21, 2011

Well, *THAT* was disappointing...

I decided to conjure Raphael tonight and seek from him initiation into the elemental sphere of air, as well integration of its forces into my own personal sphere.

He refused.


I mean, what the hell, right???

Copyright 2009 Howard David Johnson
Initially it really surprised me when he refused.  I thought my perceptions were failing again and so I repeated the question two more times, taking measures to open my senses more in between.  But each time, the answer was "No".  After asking him to explain, it went something like this:

"You are not ready for this particular initiation.  The weakest element represented in your personality is fire, and most of those traits present are of a negative/unhealthy fiery nature at this time.  Chief among them is a lot of anger.  Integrating elemental air at this time would be like fanning the flames and it could send those negative fiery traits exploding out of control.  Think air fanning fire, causing water to boil.  Work on strengthening those fiery traits that are more positive and would contribute something healthy to your life, like passion and creativity, drive and motivation.  Check back with me regularly while working on this, as it may not be as long as you think before you are ready."

There is a type of elemental meditation taught by Jason in Strategic Sorcery that can help integrate the forces of the elements into one's sphere.  I asked Raphael, with slight defiance, about the possibility of doing such a meditation on elemental air.  His response was simply, "Don't."

At that point I asked Raphael about conjuring Michael of elemental fire to assist with balancing that element within my personality.  He stated that it is a valid possibility and worth pursuing.  He also mentioned a couple of times that I should consult my Genius concerning these things.

So, I guess I have my work cut out for me.

In other news, I know I've been quiet lately, and that's because I've been planning some magical projects.  Top among them is a cash box.  I'm working on the design and figuring out how I'm going to work it (in terms of the actual painting, carving, etc.).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Condition Oils: Improving My Technique

Last night I completed the second out of two condition oils I've wanted to make for quite some time now.  The first was a Money-Drawing formula, the second was Money-Keeping.  I don't know what exactly goes in a traditional "Money Stay With Me" formula, but I gave it my best estimate using Cat Yronwode's "Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic".  The end product has stuff like bayberry in it to draw money as well as chamomile, mint, sassafrass and thyme to hold onto it.

I combined the ingredients in a glass measuring cup and covered them with olive oil.  Then I made a double-boiler type of situation with the glass measuring cup in a saucepan, with water in the space around it.  I macerated it over the stove on low heat for a couple hours.  Once that was done I added some vitamin E oil and bottled it with a small portion of the ingredients.

To empower the oil, I did an invocation to the powers of Jupiter and pore-breathed its energy into myself.  Then I took a bit of tech I picked up from Balthazar, which consists of fixing 3 tealight candles to empower the oil, then setting them around it to burn down.  I also placed a handwritten copy of the Jupiter invocation under the oil.  In the end I had what is depicted in the picture!

As for what I plan on using these for?  Well, those who have read "The Sorcerer's Secrets" by Jason Miller, specifically the chapter on financial magic, will have a pretty good idea.  In short, I'm going to make a cash box!  It is a talismanic box consecrated to the powers of Jupiter and Mercury, and it is made to enchant the money placed in it.  When that money is spent, the enchantment brings it back increased!  In short, it enhances the flow of money in your life.  I especially need this at this time in my life, because the past year has been financially my hardest year ever, in terms of debt and money-related stress.

With that said, I've improved the way I make condition oils, apart from the way I macerate the herbs.

When I began making my own condition oils, I tended to make large quantities.  This was especially so with my Uncrossing, Fiery Wall of Protection, and Road Opening formulas.  But I'm never going to use that much!  And so I found a solution:

A lot of liquor stores sell little baby bottles of alcohol.  Drink the contents, wash them out, remove the label...voila!  Using these, and making just enough to fill one, helps me make enough for my own use.  They are SO convenient!

Of course, I'm sure I'm not the first to discover the usefulness of these.  ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Strategic Sorcery Update: The Latest Homework

A while back, Strategic Sorcery students in my cycle all got the lessons on the astral plane and astral projection.

I consider myself to have a good amount of experience in this topic, although I am by no means an expert.  Back when I was in my late teens there was a period in which I practiced the material in a certain Llewellyn book on astral travel authored by DJ Conway.  Later I worked with material by Denning & Phillips.  I even read up on the work of Robert Bruce, which is fantastic.  However, eventually I saw progressively less use for astral travel and astral temples in my practice and shelved the whole thing.

Strategic Sorcery has me revisiting this topic with a new outlook and an improved approach, though.  Of course, one of our homework assignments was to astrally project.  The lesson appears to be heavily influenced by Robert Bruce's work (which I HIGHLY recommend; you'll see why soon), and has some very nice tips.  In preparation, I decided to read through the more praxis-related portions of Bruce's "Astral Dynamics" before I did the homework.  I'm really glad I did!

Relaxation and entering trance was an important part of the procedure, as I learned way back in the day.  However, I was not previously familiar with doing things to "loosen" the astral body.  Bruce talks about it in Astral Dynamics, but it had been so long since I had read it that I forgot.  So after relaxing, meditating, and then deepening my trance state, I performed Jason's instructions for rippling.  After that I did Bruce's Rope Technique for achieving projection.  I really did not expect what happened next.

Initially I felt a kind of twisting or squirming, and then I began to feel outright nauseous!  After that quickly passed I felt a kind of shaking, and a cooling sensation began to creep into me from the surface of my body.  On top of that, there was this type of deep-down mental/emotional/psychic pressure and strain.  At that point my intuition piped up that if I applied a little willpower I would be out.

So I did.  And I was!  (After a weird kind of "clinching-off" sensation added onto the cooling.)

I won't bore you with the details of what I did, dear readers, because it wasn't very exciting.  When I re-entered my physical body, the same cooling sensation returned, but receded from inside to the surface of my body.  I've never had those exit and re-entry sensations before, so that alone had me excited all night afterward!

The Rope Technique really works!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Confound my Memory!

See, I have this thing where I forget stuff.  Like in my last post, for example, where I mentioned doing back-to-back ritual.  Apparently, I forgot to mention the second ritual I did.

After the conjuration ritual wherein I summoned Gabriel, once everything was done and I dismissed him I moved on to do another ritual.  This one was to summon the forces of elemental Earth and Uriel to consecrate the earth oil I made.

It goes something like this:

  1. Opening by performing the Universal Center, Pillar, and the Invocation of the Agathodaimon.
  2. Zone Offering followed by casting the circle of protection.
  3. Placed the earth oil on the Table of Practice used in angel conjuration.
  4. Invocation of the powers of Earth:  "In the name of IAO, by the Spiritus Mundi, I call upon the powers of the living earth!  Forces of form and solid stability, hear my call and come to me.  Archangel URIEL, O Light of God, descend here now, I pray, and lend me your aid.  Lay your hands upon this vial of oil in consecration.  Imbue it with the powers of elemental Earth.  May it convey prosperity and protection, health and healing, form and function.  May those living beings anointed with it have the forces of earth positively integrated into their own Spheres.  May this oil be blessed, in the name of IAO.  So mote it be."
  5. Sat and chanted the Song of the Serpent until I felt a good flow of power, and released it into the oil via the Triangle of Manifestation gesture.
  6. Gave offering to the powers of earth.
  7. Dispersed the circle.
  8. Universal center.

And also?  Alliterations are fun!

I'm going to wear the oil and also practice elemental meditations taught in Strategic Sorcery to aid the integration of the elements into my sphere.

New Awesomeness and Doing What They Say

Thanks to Mr. John Santos, I am now following another blog.  Check out The Digital Ambler's blog.  It is fantastic when it comes to Hermetic practices!  He's really entertaining to read, too!

In other news, I made the Elemental Earth oil last night.  I decided on a small vial of it, as I only plan on using temporarily.  After this, I did back-to-back ritual.

First I conjured Gabriel of Elemental Water.  At first I perceived him clearly, but then he sort of just faded out and I could barely get a discernable communication from him.  He seemed to agree to initiate me into the Elemental sphere of water and integrate its forces into my sphere.  At one point I asked what in the earth realm I can do to help the process, and was basically told, "Not much".

Gabriel went on to explain that my nature is rather "Watery" already.  This makes sense, as in the past I discovered that an elemental breakdown of my personality would put water and air as the dominant elements, with water being primary and air being secondary (but not by much).  Gabriel advised simply trying to focus on taking my negative watery and airy traits and turning them around as much as possible.

Afterward, I asked for a sigil to call Gabriel by in his capacity as King of Water, and received one.

I think I'm going to take an extra week between elemental initiations at this point so I can work on further integrating earth and water.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Further Angel Meeting Notes

When I posted earlier, I forgot to mention the materia that I have involved with my evocation efforts.

When I evoked Uriel, at one point he basically said to me, "You know that Earth Oil you've made before?  Make some and call me to consecrate it.  Afterward, wear it for a while.  This will help with integration of these forces into your sphere."

I, being a lazy-ass (a negative earth quality), have not made it yet.  I think I will tonight.

In addition, in a recent post I mentioned that I made Abramelin Oil.  The other night when I evoked my Genius, I asked him to lay his hands in consecration of the oil.  I'll use it in conjunction with nightly prayer and weekly conjuration in my efforts to achieve the Knowledge and Conversation.

Meetings With Angels

Since I finished the Wand and the Table of Practice used in Frater R. O.'s "Modern Angelic Grimoire", I've performed two evocations.

The first was of Uriel, Archangel of the Elemental Sphere of Earth.  With the initiation and integration of the elemental spheres, I'm mostly going off of very educated guesswork based on the Modern Angelic Grimoire (hereafter referred to as the MAG) and Frater R.O.'s writings on his blog.  There was a change to the lamen that I made, something I had to leave out until a later time.  It's cases like this where I really wish I could afford R.O.'s Black Work course, because I'm really diggin' 'dis neo-platonic stuff!

The procedure for evoking spirits via the system in the MAG is very simple and straightforward.  Surprisingly, after calling Uriel, I noticed a change around me.  Things were...closer?  Not hotter or smothering...but it's more like I felt really, really physical.  My senses were not enhanced, but it felt like everything was more solid.  Even the air seemed to take on a weightier, solid feel.  The forms of everything around me was more distinct.

As for Uriel himself (itself? I take a Neil Gaiman view on angels), I found him rather amenable, not dark like I've heard of him before.  He was frank and down-to-earth...all the things I would expect of a spirit related to elemental earth.  Unfortunately, my scrying skills are not completely up to par.  After I asked Uriel to give me initiation and integration of elemental earth, there was some ambiguity in my perception although he did seem to agree to it.

When I thanked and dismissed Uriel, as soon as I was done, another change happened.  That close, weighty feeling dispersed, although the sensual perception remained for a little bit.  Since I did that evocation, there have been some earth-related challenges that have come my way, but I knew they were coming before the evocation, so I don't think they were a side-effect.  However, I have been good at dealing with them, and have had tiny bits of help along the way.

The other evocation was of my personal Genius.  Through the "Genius and Evil Daimon Calculator" on Frater Acher's downloads page, I found out the likely name of mine.  Using this and instructions for conjuring spirits on R.O.'s blog, I constructed the lamen, but otherwise performed the evocation as given in the MAG.  I can't remember some of the conversation, but my Genius did appear.  I ended up getting a sigil from it to place on the lamen (which I forgot to do with Uriel).

After I requested that it facilitate the knowledge and conversation of my HGA, it told me to conjure it again in 3 days.  So, come Friday, that's what I'll be doing!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Lesson From The Interview Spell

The most annoying method/habit/approach-to-magic that I have yet to get rid of 100% is the "Do the spell and leave the issue alone" tendency.  It's kind of a sub-habit of "Do the spell and forget it" practice taught in Wicca and NeoPagan magic.  You have the issue, and you do the one spell to address the issue, and then take the attitude that the one spell will solve the whole thing.


(BTW To the British:  I love you guys!  You have such nifty words!)

But don't get me wrong; part of it is my own laziness.  I'm working on it!

So, a good friend of mine (let's call her Jewel) was unemployed.  The job market has not been kind to her for the past couple years.  She finally gets a job interview, and decides to ask me for help.  I figured the first thing to tackle was the interview.  So I decided to do a dual-action type of spell using candles and a petition paper.

For the petition paper I wrote down Jewel's first, middle, and last names 7 times.  Then, I rotated the paper a quarter turn clockwise, and wrote "Success at the (whatever/date/it was) job interview 7 times, crossing it over her name.  Then, I five-spotted it with VanVan oil.

Next came the candles.  First I took a 4-inch orange candle.  I carved her name on it from top to bottom, and did the same on the other side with the phrase "JOB INTERVIEW SUCCESS".  I dressed it in VanVan, set it in its holder and put it dead in the center of the petition paper.

Then I took a 4-inch yellow candle.  I carved her name into it the same way, and on the other sides carved "OPEN ROADS".  I dressed it with Road-Opener oil, set it in its holder, and (going from my intuition) set it in the lower-left corner of the petition.

I gathered power, invoked, said a prayer, and empowered everything there.  I lit the orange candle, then the yellow one, and that was that for the evening.

Jewel's interview was the next day, in late-mid afternoon.  I was stupid and forgot to bring the petition paper with me, so I made another from a printout of a digital photo of Jewel.  I made it the same way: Her name 7 times with the petition statement crossing it 7 times.

When the time rolled around, I opened my usual way (Universal Center, Pillar, Invocation of the Agathodaimon).  Then I placed my hands over the paper in a Triangle of Manifestation and said a brief prayer to the powers of Jupiter.  Specifically, I asked that Jewel be granted success in the job interview she was going through right that moment, that she be calm and confident and in every way impressive.  Then, I chanted Jason's "Song of the Serpent" for a while before concluding my efforts.

This method of casting during the relevant event is something I picked up from Gordon, in a post on Enchanting in Real Time.

That evening I asked Jewel how she thought the interview went.  She reported that she thought it went really well.  And despite the urgings of my intuition, I farted around for the entire evening, deciding to wait and hear the results whenever.

And guess what???  SHE DID NOT GET THE JOB!

However!  She did so well in the interview, and impressed her interviewers so much, that they referred her to another position that was offered to her after a mere follow-up phone interview.  The position offered pays less than the one she wanted, but it is full-time hours.

In short, this was a case where I lost sight of the primary goal, which was the particular job Jewel wanted.  I did the spell for success in the job interview, and it worked but didn't hit the goal.  And therein lies the lesson I learned:

Always keep the primary goal in mind!

In Strategic Sorcery we are taught to hit a goal or issue from multiple angles.  In fact, it's a concept that has gained popularity among the sorcerous blog-o-sphere.  But when doing so, don't forget the main goal!  If I had followed this advice, I would have followed up the real-time enchanting with another working for her to get the job itself!

So from now on I'm going to try harder to leave the "One spell on the issue" tendency in the dust, where it belongs.