Esoteric Thursday – “The Worship of Isis”

Sometimes, it’s good to stop, take a moment, and reboot with an old classic. October is a crazy month here at Chez Weiser, and Ankhie has barely had a moment to breathe.  So this morning, while downing yet another scalding cup of coffee, I let my eyes wander across the bookshelf behind my desk and paused on a familiar title – Dion Fortune’s Aspects of Occultism.  Opening to a random page, this is what I read:

CHAPTER V

The Worship of Isis

All the gods are one god; and all the goddesses are one goddess, and there is one initiator.

In the beginning was space and darkness and stillness, older than time and forgotten of the gods. Movement arose in space: that was the beginning.

This sea of infinite space was the source of all being; life arose therein as a tide in the soundless sea. All shall return thereto when the night of the gods draws in. This is the Great Sea, Marah, the Bitter One; the Great Mother. And because of the inertia of space ere movement arose as a tide, She is called by the Wise the Passive Principle in Nature and is thought of as Water, or Space that Flows. But there is no flowing in space till the power stirs; and this power is the Active Principle of creation. All things partake of the nature of the Active or Passive Principle,  and are referred thereto.

Thrice-greatest Hermes graved on the Smaragdine Tablet, “As above, so below.” Upon earth we see the reflection of the play of the heavenly principles in the actions of men and women. The virgin in her passivity is even as primordial space ere the tides arose. The male is the life-giver. These in the making of life play the active and passive parts. By him she is made creative and fertile; but hers is the child, and he, though the giver of life, passes empty-handed. He spends himself, and nothing remains that is his, save as she calls him mate.

His life is between her hands; his life, that was, and is, and shall be. Therefor should he adore the Passive Principle, for without her he is not. Little knoweth he his need of Her in all the ways of life. She is the Great Goddess.

All the gods are one god, and all the goddesses are one goddess, and there is one initiator.

She is called by many names by many men; but to all she is the Great Goddess, space and earth and water. As space she is called Rhea, mother of the gods that made the gods; she is more old than time: she is the matrix of matter; the root-substance of all existence, undifferentiated , pure. She is also Binah, the Supernal Mother, that receiveth Chokmah, the Supernal Father. She is the giver of form to the formless force whereby it can build. She is also the bringer-in of death, for that which has form must die, outworn, in order that it may be born again to fuller life. All that is born must die; but that which dies shall be reborn. Therefor she is called Marah, bitter, Our Lady of Sorrows, for she is the bringer-in of death. Likewise she is called Ge, for she is the most ancient earth, the first formed from the formless. All these she is, and they are seen in her, and whatsoever is of their nature answers unto her, and she hath dominion over it. Her tides are its tides; her ways are its ways; and whoso knoweth the one, knoweth the other.

Whatsoever ariseth out of nothingness, she giveth it; whatsoever sinketh down into nothingness, she receiveth it. She is the Great Sea whence life arose, to which all shall return at the end of an aeon.

Herein do we bathe in sleep, sinking back into the primordial deep, returning to forgotten things before time was: and the soul is renewed, touching the Great Mother. Whoso cannot return to the primordial, hath no roots in life, but withereth as the grass. These are the living dead, they who are orphaned of the Great Mother.

The daughter of the Great Mother is Persephone, Queen of Hades, ruler of the kingdoms of sleep and death. Under the form of the Dark Queen men also worship her who is the One: likewise is she Aphrodite. And herein is a great mystery, for it is decreed that none shall understand the one without the other…

It goes on of course, beautiful and mysterious, but Ankhie must return to the waking world of emails and phone calls, as must you, I imagine. The Dark Queen will wait…

Esoteric Thursday – An Introduction to Tantra Yoga Tradition

Although Ankhie’s flex-abilities are remedial at best (very best) she still enjoys the history and tradition surrounding the many, often esoteric, yogic practices. Author Mukunda Stiles is a master teacher, which means he knows how to convey wisdom to both seasoned practitioners and sorry novices like Ankhie. So even if you can only touch your toes with your mind, you will be enlighted by the following excerpt from Tantra Yoga Secrets:

The Tantrik Yoga Tradition

Let us consider the relationship of Classical Yoga and Tantra. Written around the time of Christ, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras offer this simple definition of Classical Yoga: “Yoga is experienced in that mind which has ceased to identify with its vacillating waves of perception.” These waves are, in essence, prana. Tantra yoga seeks to attain communion by resolution of the states of mind into a singular form of prana. Yoginis find and  eventually live in this stress-free state. Yoga seeks this state of equanimity and peace through mastery of the myriad forms of distraction that veil the preexisting True Self.

Whereas Hatha Yoga attains this through stillness of breath as prana and Mantra Yoga through mastery of the mind as pranic sound vibrations, in Tantra Yoga it is the polarities of Shiva/Shakti that are resolved into Communion.

Tantra has been greatly misunderstood, particularly in the West, where it is perceived primarily as sacred sexuality. This view is what I seek to transform with this book, so that the reader will not only understand but experience the wholeness of this path to communion. While Tantra does work with pranic energy, this energy is not merely sexual; it is the underlying energy of all forms of life. The key is to resolve all differences into the experience of spiritual reality. From this experience of unity arises a plethora of names and forms of sadhana that are the methodologies of communion. It is the communion that is important, not the discernment of their differences. Ultimately all spiritual practices reveal spirit as the fundamental ground of being and consciousness as the essence of the mind.

In the Vedic tradition, there are four arenas of life that must all be fulfilled in order to experience a meaningful life. The four areas are:

  • Pursuing righteous duties (dharma) •
  • Abundance and wealth (artha) •
  • Sensual and sexual pleasure (kama) •
  • Spiritual liberation (moksha) •

A balanced life depends on this foundation and leads to a peaceful existence, ultimately allowing one to meet death with contentment. Tantra as a yoga path can provide the means for fulfilling your destiny. The yoga texts point out that help is needed in three forms: reading and reflecting on a spiritual text, clarification of the mysteries revealedfrom that text by a spiritual teacher, and enhanced devotion to your chosen deity.

According to the first text on Classical Yoga, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the purpose of life is the dual experience of enjoyment of worldliness and spiritual liberation. This arcane spiritual classic is poignant to the level of being terse in its 196 aphorisms. The same message is delivered in three sutras; no other topic is addressed with such deliberation.

The seen world has the qualities of luminosity, activity, and stability.
It is embodied through the elements and the sense organs.
It exists for the dual purpose of sensory enjoyment and liberation of
the Self. (II, 18)
For the sake of the Self alone
does the seen world exist. (II, 21)
The mind accumulates countless desires,
although it exists solely for the sake of being close
to the True Self. (IV, 24)

Self-realization is accompanied by one of two lifestyles: the renuciate path and the housholder’s path. The one renounces worldly activities and is celibate, while the other engages in fulfillment of worldly desires. Regardless of the path chosen, the sattvic (harmonious) way of being is  predominant. The quest for sattvic balance needs to beforemost in our minds.

Sattva is the balanced state of mind, body, and prana that we wish to promote in all our yogic practices. Within this context, tamasic (lethargic) energies need to be stimulated or expressed to become sattvic. Rajasic (over-active) energies need to be somewhat sedated or neutralized to become balanced. In the highest expression of sattva, your energies will be elevated to a higher-dimension (kosha) expression. This will lead to finding Spirit in all your activities as the Tantrik process evolves all dimensions of pranic energies; over time, they will permeate all the  dimensions. More on this inlesson 3, where I explain the Tantrik view of subtle anatomy.

The details of the Tantras are given in Shiva, Shakti, and Buddhist texts datingfrom the 9th century. Among them are:

  • The Kularnava Tantra, which deals with concentration on the chakras and the supernatural powers (siddhis) that result
  • Satchakra Nirupana, by Arthur Avalon (published under the title The Serpent Power), a text of Laya Yoga and Kundalini Shakti that explains the chakras
  • Mahanirvana Tantra, which covers both socially acceptable (White Tantra) worship of your chosen deity and unorthodox or (Red) Tantrik practices
  • Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, a text of non-dual Kashmir Shaivism, as taught by my own spiritual teacher.

Hatha Yoga becomes more tantric by its mastery as the physical disciplines are transformed into energetic disciplines; this is expounded in texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, and the Shiva Samhita, which date from the 14th to the 18th centuries. These texts are very Tantrik in nature, citing the ways in which the physical and subtle bodies may be transformed to create an experience of your Self asbeing made of an energetic blissful body, flowing with amrita, or nectar.

Tantra is complementary to Ayurveda and Classical Yoga practice. While Ayurveda is mainly a science of health, and Classical Yoga is a spiritual science, Tantra is a bridge between the two. The word Tantra comes from the word’s root tan, meaning “energy,” and tra, which means “to  transform.” The foundation practices of Tantrik Yoga heighten awareness of your energy body, elevating your prana to spiritual consciousness. Tantra’s teachings focus on the energy body (emotions and mind), which is composed of the chakras. Distinct from neurological plexuses like the solar plexus, the chakras are the energy centers of desire.

Yogic anatomy depicts five dimensions. Most contemporary yoga practices only incorporate asana, which is one limb of the comprehensive eight-limb system. These practices serve wonderfully to transform the physical dimension, the first kosha. Tantrik Yoga is a spiritual practice for the transformation of each of your koshas, or multi-dimensions (see Stiles, Structural Yoga Therapy, pp. 43–46), through yogic energy practices. In contrast, Classical Ashtanga Yoga’s teachings described in Yoga Sutras II, 28–55 focus on transforming the two most subtle of these dimensions (the wisdom and bliss body). Tantra Yoga focuses on the next two dimensions (mind and pranic body). Ayurveda, the traditional medical system in India, emphasizes optimal health and longevity through lifestyle. An integration of these three systems, as described in my book Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy, can create optimal well-being and aspiritually empowered Presence.

Ayurveda describes a biological energy system composed of three doshas or primal elements that are fundamentally unstable. They are vata (a combination of the elements of air and ether), pitta (water and fire), and kapha (water and earth). While Ayurveda seeks to harmonize these doshas, our efforts are unlikely to produce longlasting benefits due to the fact that the doshas—by their very nature—do not retain stability. Therefore, our efforts need to be daily and seasonal, adapted to the individual’s constitutional makeup, so that the efforts made produce an underlying stability over time. Then, instead of reacting to stress with more resistance, the resulting deeperstability will not interpret life as stressful.

Vata is the gross substance from which Yogis develop prana (life force). Similarly, the gross material for creating tejas (spiritual luminosity) is pitta, and from kapha we develop ojas (spiritual juices). These qualities, when refined, contribute to human evolution. In all these three systems—Ayurveda, Yoga, and Tantra—to advance is to sustain the experience of the all-pervasive prana, as its stability purifies our experience of the serene mind encountering its Lord, the inner Self. In a similar manner, we speak of refining the mind through the development of insight and discrimination, sothat we can use the physical body more efficiently.

Tantra has two major forms; the primary form is for deepening the connection to your inner Self (White Tantra) with personal practice. The other forms build on that foundation of self-transformation. From a consistent personal practice, you can share your evolving spiritual and sexual energies with your spiritual partner to help bring you both into better relationship with your beloved via Red or Pink Tantra. Red Tantra encourages fulfillment of sexual energies with prolonged intercourse. In contrast, Pink Tantra promotes prolonged energy expression without intercourse. With grounding in the former (White Tantra), the latter (Red or Pink Tantra) becomes more accessible. These practices are  appropriate only for people who are courageous and committed to enhancing their spiritually focused lives through developing meditation and intimacy skills.

 

There – that leaves you with something to think about, doesn’t it?

 

Women & The Occult – Lady Frieda Harris: Artist of the Thoth Tarot

As most of you probably know, Ankhie has recently started pulling a daily tarot card from the Thoth deck and posting a photo, along with the erudite musings of Lon Milo DuQuette, here, on Facebook and Twitter.

The Thoth Deck itself has been shrouded in fabulously dark misinterpretation for years, which makes looking at it card-by-card an exciting and educational experience.  (Somewhere inside me there is a good little Catholic-ish Ankh crying out “Don’t look at it. It’s evil!” How irresistable!)

In his memoir, My Life With the Spirits, Lon Milo DuQuette (master of Thoth interpretation) humorously relates his own inauspicious first encounter with the Crowley Tarot.

“Eventually I came upon an early edition of Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot deck. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. The name Aleister Crowley sounded familiar and I vaguely recalled seeing his name footnoted in a Qabalah book by Frater Achad. I referred to my occult dictionary and discovered to my horror – “Aleister Crowley – famous Scottish Satanist…”

I may have been a wild crazy heretic but I sure didn’t want anything to do with Satanism. Knowing my brother had The Book of Thoth (the deck’s companion text), I promptly gave the cards to him – good riddance!”

DuQuette would soon come around, but it is notable that the first thing that drew him to the cards was the incredible artwork. And it is incredible – even more-so when one considers the artist – a London socialite and M.P.’s wife. Not the sort of company one necessarily associates with “the wickedest man in the world.”

But just as Crowley was much more than a “famous Scottish Satanist”, so Frieda Harris was much more than a “Lady.”

Given the impact of the artwork in this deck, DuQuette devotes an entire chapter of Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot to Lady Harris herself (entitled “The Lady and the Beast” the chapter that follows is ‘The Art”) and gives us insight into how this strange and fruitful collaboration came to be:

“Dear Aleister, say ‘like me a little.’ If I may aspire to such a position, you are my friend and when my friends are rude to me I cannot remember it. They remain the cone, the eye, the node, from which is ground all the pleasure I have in life.” – Harris to Crowley, January 28, 1940

…it was Harris, not Crowley, who first suggested that he redesign the traditional tarot images and write a book about it, which she would illustrate with seventy-eight paintings. Crowley flatly refused, suggesting simply that they “get hold of the best available old pack and have them re-drawn with occasional corrections and emendations.” A project like that, he speculated, would take only six months to complete. Harris was adamant, however. She insisted upon painting entirely new tarot images that would illustrate a comprehensive new book from Crowley. She eventually made and offer he couldn’t refuse. She would pay him a weekly stipend of 2 pounds a week to teach her magick. Crowley was bankrupt. He acquiesced.

Harris was introduced to Crowley by artist friend and London socialite Greta Valentine. They were all mutual friends of Clifford Bax, former co editor of the literary and art magazine The Golden Hind.

Harris was a Co-Mason and no stranger to esoteric subjects and ritual work, but at the beginning of the project she was a complete magical novice and by no means a tarot expert. Nonetheless, she said she felt impelled by her Holy Guardian Angel to create images that most accurately conveyed the deepest magical and spiritual meaning of each card. She thoroughly aquainted herself with the traditional tarot images and the descriptions found in The Equinox. She worked tirelessly from Crowley’s sketches and notes, and thought nothing of repainting a single card as many as eight times to satisfy his demands.

Crowley, displaying an uncharacteristic level of gracious candor, readily admitted that Harris’s genius forced him to apprehend each card as an individual masterpiece, and that her energy, not his, was the impetus that saw the enormous undertaking through to completion. It was truly a dynamic partnership of two brilliant and intensely motivated artists.

_____

Lady Harris exhibited the paintings on at least three occasions; first in June 1941 at the Randolph Hotel in Oxford, then again in July 1942 at the Berkeley  Galleries on Davis Street, London, and in August 1942 at the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours on Conduit Street,London. At Harris’s insistence, Crowley was not in attendance, nor does his name appear anywhere in the program essays.

In 1944, Crowley published the first edition of The Book of Thoth, the textbook the card  were to illuminate. Assisting him financially with this project and several others was a young American soldier, Lieutenant Grady L. McMurtry, a member of Crowley’s magical order, Ordo Templi Orientis. In 1969, he would also be instrumental in arranging to have the seventy-eight paintings photographed and published as a deck of tarot cards.

McMurtry was the only person I have ever talked to who actually met Lady Harris. He first met her at Crowley’s flat at 93 Jermyn Street, Piccadilly. Shortly afterward, Crowley moved out of the city to Buckinghamshire. McMurtry and Harris would meet once again at her home in London. It was a brief encounter, but his description of the event (which I heard him recount at least a half-dozen times) is such a charming peek at Harris’s character and so indicative of the milieu of the times that I cannot resist attempting to retell it here. I hope Crowley biographers will forgive if my recollection of McMurtry’s oft-told story differs with their understanding of objective history.

It was late May 1944, less than two weeks before he would be part of the D-Day Normandy invasion. Lieutenant McMurtry visited Crowley at his home at the Bell Inn in Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire. Because McMurtry had access to a jeep and petrol, Crowley asked him if he could deliver some papers to Lady Harris in London. Excited at the thought of seeing Harris again, he readily agreed.

It was early evening and the city was blacked out by the time he reached the Harris residence at 3 Devonshire Terrace, Marylebone High Street. As he approached the door, he heard piano music and the sweet tones of Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” from inside the Harris home. (McMurtry told me he remembered thinking what an awkward contrast he made – a lanky American soldier in jump boots standing at the door of a genteel gathering.) He knocked, and soon a man dressed in evening-wear opened the door. It was obvious there was a party in progress; a pianist was entertaining guests. McMurtry stated his business and was asked to wait outside the door. In a few moments, Lady Harris opened the door, greeted him politely, and accepted the paperwork with thanks. Then, as she was about to close the door in his face, she turned for a moment and gazed upon the bright warmth of her party – the quiet talk, the Debussy. For a moment, McMurtry was sure she was going to invite him in. Then she turned to look at him, in his uniform and boots and said, “You do understand, of course, I can’t invite you in. It would spoil the mood of the evening.”

Contrary to the absurd published statements that Crowley grew rich from the sales of the Thoth Tarot while Lady Harris went unrecognized and unpaid, neither Harris nor Crowley would live to profit financially from the project, or ever see the paintings properly manifested as tarot cards. Crowley died in December of 1947. Harris visited him a few days before he died. He did not recognize her. She became a co-executor of his will and was among the handful of people who attended his funeral. She also hosted a lavish “curry” wake in his honor in her home in London.

—–

Frieda Harris died in 1962. Crowley, who was noted for rarely saying anything nice about anyone, paid uncharacteristic tribute to her with adulation in the biographical note from The Book of Thoth:

“She devoted her genius to the Work. With incredible rapidity she picked up the rhythm, and with inexhaustible patience submitted to the corrections of the fanatical slave-driver that she had invoked, often painting the same card as many as eight times until it measures up to his Vanadium Steel yardstick! May the passionate “love under will” which she has stored in this Treasury of Truth and Beauty flow forth from the Splendor and Strength of her work to enlighten the world; may this Tarot serve as a chart for the bold seamen of the New Aeon, to guide them across the great Sea of Understanding to the City of the Pyramids.”

Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot by Lon Milo DuQuette

For more information on Lady Frieda Harris

“Demons Are Our Friends” – The Good, the Bad and the Goetic

We all have them – friends or relations who are trouble in every possible sense of the word. Their problems are catastrophic, their issues are profound, their drama (and oh the drama!) is a magnificent, ongoing spectacle. They complicate our lives in unpredictable and unsavory ways. They worry, disappoint and embarrass us. And even though they burn us, over and over again, and it is easy to see how much calmer and more productive life would be without them, we cannot, will not push them away. At least not for long. There is (as awkward as it may be to admit it) something in their fabulous mess that compliments our own (more) ordered lives. And probably, against all better judgement, we love them.

So in the spirit of embracing messy relationships, I offer you this esoteric excerpt from Lon Milo DuQuette’s Angels, Demons and Gods of the New Millennium:

Science tells us that we use only a tiny portion of our brains, and if our full potentials were realized we could exercise god-like powers – perhaps even program our VCRs. Aleister Crowley wrote, “The spirits of each Goeta are portions of the human brain.” Each section is endowed with particular powers and dedicated to executing specific tasks. Brain surgeons know that if you stimulate different areas of the brain with an electrical current the patient will react in different ways. Poke here, the left index finger twitches; poke there, the patient smells burning rubber, or recalls a childhood memory.

Could it be that in the matrix of the untapped recessed of our brains there are little areas that, if properly isolated, stimulated, and directed, are capable of performing all manner of wonders? Even more thrilling is the prospect that the brain and nervous system represent only the visible spectrum of vast invisible mind – a universal intelligence encompassing the consciousness of every monad in the cosmos. If this is so, our brains are merely terminals in a great intelligence network; the different areas functioning as keys on a keyboard. Activated with skill, they can generate messages and trigger commands to corresponding quadrants of the universal system.

Under this scenario the debate over the objective or subjective reality of the spirits becomes irrelevant. Each magician’s microcosmic Goetic spirit Sitri not only corresponds with every other magician’s Sitri, but also resonates sympathetically with the great macrocosmic Sitri. As we conjure Sitri to evoke the passions of the girl next door, we are also rubbing elbows with the same “enchantment” that draws magnetic negatives to positives, causes atoms to unite to form molecules, and lures Shakti to Shiva.

If  a Goetic demon is simply the power and potential of 1/72nd of the human brain, why is it considered an evil spirit? Is it because it punches the time-clock for Lucifer and gets bonuses for making your life miserable? Is it because it hates you because it is stuck in hell while you are free to eat pizza in your Porsche and stay up late and watch Letterman?

Like it or not, we all come hardwired with a complete set (twelve six-packs) of Goetic demons. Occasionally we unwittingly catch one and put it to work whenever we are forced to discipline ourselves to learn a specific skill, or in times of stress when we are required to draw upon extraordinary wit or courage or talent. Most of the time, however, they just run amok at our expense as we allow them to randomly discharge their energy in whichever direction offers the least resistance. They are units of untamed natural force within ourselves that we have ignored, denied, or disowned. They surface to work their mischief when our will is ambiguous and our resistance is low. After you have committed and embarrassing act of unbelievable stupidity you are referring to them when you slap your forehead and scream “I am my own worst enemy!” As long as they are ignored and uncontrolled, they are as dangerous as hungry beasts in an abandoned zoo.

Is it any wonder they are reluctant to be summoned into the triangle? Is it any wonder they try to frighten us into abandoning the operation by assuming unpleasant and terrifying forms? We have seen fit to be the absentee landlord to this rough neck crew for our entire life, we cannot expect them to be happy to see us the first time we appear at the door demanding that they clean up the place.

Besides being stubborn and scary, Goetic spirits have earned the “evil spirit” reputation because a small (but very noisy) percentage of magicians who involve themselves heavily in Goetic operations become quite mad. The cause of this embarrassing phenomenon can often be traced to a breach in the formula os Goetic evocation, an imbalance in the fundamental equation…(here DuQuette offers a specific example, too long to reproduce here)

Sadly, I have witnessed more than one mental casualty on the Goetic battlefield. Once it is discovered how easy it is to call up these critters, and how effectively they can be made to do your bidding, it becomes very tempting to call them all up and try to have them do everything for you. More often than not, this is a bad idea. You may think you are summoning the cooling winds to refresh your heated brow, when it’s embarrassingly obvious to all of your former friends that you’re only blowing your mind.

While I certainly do not claim to be the world’s greatest Goetic magician, I have practiced the art for nearly twenty years and feel qualified to at least voice my opinion on the subject, and perhaps even offer some words of advice. I feel that Goetic evocation can be an important part of a modern magician’s arsenal of skills. First and foremost, it requires that the magician establish a vital link with a higher consciousness – call it God the Holy Guardian Angel, the Higher Self. the Superconscious Mind, or whatever. Secondly, in order to understand its subtleties and wield its power, the magician is forced to confront important emotional issues and character defects that, left unresolved, will continue to hinder his or her spiritual evolution. Even in a clinical setting, such confrontations are seldom pleasant. Finally, equilibrium must be achieved in all aspects of the magician’s life, balancing the higher spiritual aspirations against the problems and challenges of everyday living. Properly executed, this is not only powerful magick but a recipe for good mental health.

As far as the evocation technique itself is concerned, I believe  it is purely a matter of artistic taste. There are those whose respect for tradition and sense of art demands that every step of the evocation be executed precisely as outlined in the Sloane manuscripts. Traditional evocations are a thrill to behold. The reader who has been lucky enough to witness an evocation conducted by C. (Poke) Runyon in Southern California has seen a master at work.

Personally I do not use the classic versions of the conjurations and constraints, nor do I protect my circle with the various Chrislemew holy names. I believe for me to identify with mythological characters I do not admire or guard my circle with the names of gods I do not worship would not only be hypocritical, but also dangerous. I do, however, acknowledge and incorporate the key elements that make this form of magick work:

  • I use the circle and triangle surrounded by words and holy names sacred to me.
  • I utilize talismans displaying the spirit’s sigil, and the standard pentagrams and hexagrams of Solomon on my vestments.
  • I ceremonially bathe and dress.
  • I purify, consecrate, banish, and open temple with appropriate ceremony.
  • I induce a trance of righteous authority by the recitation of the Gnostic Creed and Anthem from Crowley’s Gnostic Mass.
  • I recite a customized version of the Preliminary Invocation of the Goeta.
  • I conjure in the Enochian language with the First Call and a brief Enochian summons.
  • I welcome the spirit upon its appearance.
  • I give it a brief, unambiguous order and a time limit for its execution and demand from the spirit an oath that it will be carried out.
  • I give it license to depart after I tell it that I will be a kind and generous master as long as it faithfully serves me. I also inform the spirit that if it should prove disobedient I will punish it, and it necessary destroy it.
  • I banish and wait until all vestige of a “spooky” feeling disappears.
  • I keep the spirit’s sigil in a prepared container and watch for signs of it working on my behalf. If it fails to execute the charge in the prescribed time, I conjure it again and torture its sigil in fire while I remind it of its original agreement. Failing again, I conjure it one more time, destroy its seal completely and never acknowledge its existence again. Note: You will soon run out of spirits if you demand outrageous or unreasonable things. The Book outlines what these fellows do. Don’t be a complete jerk.

I have discovered it is unwise to evoke a spirit to solve a problem until I am positive I have exhausted all other avenues of resolution. If you want to hurt someone, it is much more effective (and far more painful) to just punch him or her in the nose and take the consequences. Asking a Goetic spirit to do it for you only reveals to the demon that you are a coward and unworthy of faithful service.

Let Ankhie make this perfectly clear – we do not endorse any of these practices (and certainly not the punching in the face part) but offer this information for your education and enjoyment. If you plan on messing about with demons (Goetic or otherwise) be sure to do your homework first – which goes far, far beyond the reading of this mere excerpt. Just like you wouldn’t call your cousin Agnes unless you knew beforehand that she was sober and employed, don’t call any spirits unless you know just who will answer, and how much trouble they might cause.