“Beware the Ides of March” – Omens & Portents

A little lesson in the history of politics and prediction from the the wondrous Juanita Rose Violini and The Almanac of the Infamous the Incredible and the Ingnored:

Beware the Ides of March

On March 15 44BC, Calpurnia, wife of Julius Caesar, tossed and moaned in her sleep while her husband looked on. Abruptly, she bolted upright in bed, awake, but screaming and weeping from a nightmare in which her husband was stabbed and spurting blood. Suddenly, the doors and window shutters banged open, flooding the bedroom with moonlight. That same night, a little bird had flown into the Forum, pursued by wild birds, who tore it apart in the hall. Calpurnia begged Caesar not to go to the Senate, though he had been specially summoned with a promise that he would be crowned king that day.

Other signs foretold the assassination. A group of Caesar’s horses refused to graze. A sacrificial offering made by Caesar had no heart, ans the soothsayer Spurinna warned him to beware the Ides of March. Calpurnia’s distress was so out of character that the dictator stayed home until late in the day, when his good friend Brutus arrived to fetch him. Brutus ridiculed the dream and divination, mocking Caesar and telling him that the Senate had been waiting all day for his arrival. Together they left for the Forum.

Along the way, they passed Spurinna, and Caesar remarked, “The Ides of March are come.” The soothsayer replied, “But they are not past.”

Upon Caesar’s arrival at the Senate, the sixty senators stood in respect, and then one man approached Caesar. He grabbed Caesar by the shoulders and plunged a knife into his neck. The assembly then rushed at him, unsheathing their daggers. Caesar was stabbed twenty-three times and was left dead. For the next seven nights, a comet streaked through the heavens.

“Our character…is an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be.”George Santayana

Secret Power: Today’s power is omens.

To Optimize: Understand your personal symbolism.

Psychic Self-Defence

Anyone who has ever read a book or watched a TV show on haunting and possession knows that the first thing  investigators look for are indicators of occult pursuits – you know, that cool stuff that anyone here would have on hand as a matter of course – tarot cards, crystal balls, bones, stones and witchy tomes. This raises the question-  should we be taking  precautions? Are we (some of us anyway), too cavalier with what we put in our homes and our minds?

It’s been noted here before that one should be familiar with the traditions surrounding any religious or magical objects that one acquires. If you don’t know what (or who) it is and what it is intended for, don’t bring it home with you. The same can be said for reading material. If you’re going to open your psyche to thoughts and ideas that are, by their nature or objective, dangerous, you should know how to deal with all and any fallout.

Alright then. How do you do that?

As I sit here typing on this sub-zero day (stuck at home with a dead car-battery) I have two books by my side: Dion Fortune’s classic Psychic Self-Defense, and Robert Bruce’s The Practical Psychic Self-Defense Handbook.  Both arm the reader with information on how and why psychic attacks occur – Fortune focuses on the occult details, providing history and insight, whereas Bruce offers immediate help to those who feel they may be under attack. Taken together, these two books offer reasonable and intelligent protection for anyone who dabbles in the darker realms. That’s you and me, dear reader.

Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defence has been well excerpted here already, so today we offer a chapter from Robert Bruce’s The Practical Psychic Self-Defense Handbook:

The pentagram banishment and cleansing rituals given here are cutdown versions of the full Lesser Banishment Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP). This versatile and effective  banishment ritual is an absolute lifesaver if you have serious Neg (Negative Entity) problems. The most powerful way to perform this banishment is with hand signs and verbal commands. The voice should be vibrated and deepened, and a commanding tone and attitude used.

The sacred names given here for banishment can be varied, so the ritual can be customized to suit any religious belief or tradition. The names of angels and deities can be substituted. If you do not have a strong religious preference, though, I suggest the Kabalistic version I give here be used, because this is a proven formula.

I am not a religious person. To me, rituals and sacred names are tools. I keep using the banishment method given here because it works. It has never let me down, even in many extreme situations.

The essence of a banishment pentagram involves signing a hand action while giving a direct and authoritative command in the name of the divine (a sacred name).

The Pentagram
The pentagram symbol represents humanity and the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and akasha (also called aether). When one point of a pentagram is on top, the pentagram represents light and goodness, but when two points are on top, its meaning is reversed.

The function of a pentagram is determined by how it is created and used. Starting at the bottom left point and signing it clockwise renders a banishment pentagram. Start at any other point or draw it anticlockwise, and it will not work as a banishment pentagram.

Sacred Names
All Negs are repelled by ancient sacred names. Th e sacred names used for a banishment pentagram are traditionally Kabalistic God names. The primary Kabalistic God name is YHVH (pronounced Yude-Heh-Vahv-Heh). (There are multiple ways to pronounce God names.) Other sacred God names suitable for banishment are Adonai (Ah-Doh-Nye), Agla (Ah-Glah), Eheih (Eh-Heh-Yeh), and Shaddi (Shadday). For best results, vibrate these names in the base of the throat and deepen your voice as you speak.

Other sacred names can be substituted for the Kabalistic God name. Use sacred names from your own religion or tradition. For example, you may like to refer to God as Allah, Brahman, the Buddha, God, the Goddess, Jehovah, Shakti, Shiva, the Great White Spirit.

Names of archangels and angels can also be used with a banishment pentagram—for example, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Azrael, Ariel, Metatron, Sandalphon, Zadkiel. (The archangel names are used in the full LBRP.)

The Banishment Hand Sign
To perform the banishment hand sign, stand and point the index and middle fingers of your right hand, then reach across your body and touch them to your left hip. With sweeping moves of your arm, trace the pentagram symbol in front of you with your pointing fingers. While you do this, imagine a blue streak, like a gas flame, trailing from your fingers. Imagine the blue lines hanging in the air as you form the symbol. When you have completed the symbol, imagine the pentagram remaining in place where you signed it.

Again, start from your left hip (touching your left hip with your fingers). Ascend your arm in a straight line to a point in the air above your head (as far as you can comfortably reach), then sweep down to your right hip, then diagonally up and left (to a point adjacent your left shoulder), then horizontally across to your right (to a point adjacent your right shoulder), and then diagonally down to finish back at your left hip.

Practice the hand action until you can do it smoothly with a confident, sweeping action. Once you have learned this action, add the words while you sign the pentagram.

Banishment Words
Banishment words should always be spoken in a deep and commanding voice. Spoken words are vastly more effective than just thinking words silently. The voice activates the throat chakra and projects spoken words onto the astral level. Your higher self (your direct connection with the divine) is far more receptive and proactive on the astral level.

The banishment pentagram ritual works because the combination of a command with sacred names and the banishment pentagram evokes a particular aspect of the divine, triggering a surge of banishment energy.

Direct Banishment Action
A direct banishment action is used to banish a presence, a manifestation, or a direct attack. To perform a direct banishment action, face the disturbance. Sign a banishment pentagram with hand gestures. As you do so, commandingly say: “I banish you in the name of Almighty God, Yude-Heh-Vahv-Heh, Ah-Doh-Nye, Ah-Glah, Eh-Heh-Yeh, Shadday!”

Repeat the above sequence as necessary. If you cannot ascertain the direction of the disturbance, turn and repeat this ritual in each of the four compass points around you, starting in the east.

While learning this procedure, you might find it easier to use only one sacred name, YHVH (Yude-Heh-Vahv-Heh). Add other names as you can remember them. The primary God name should come first in a banishment ritual. Th e order of the other names used is not important. Write the names on a card and hold the card in your free hand or tape the card to a wall to help you remember the sequence. It is okay if you mix up the names or forget some while learning. Just do the best you can.

This banishment can be used to dispel any kind of Neg manifestation, disturbance, or atmosphere. It can also be done while you are lying in bed, to repel nocturnal attacks and interference. Aim the pentagram at the disturbance or where you feel it as emanating from most strongly. Imagine the gas-blue pentagram forming above you as you sign it. Imagine this pentagram growing to fi ll the ceiling area above you. Repeat as necessary.

A direct banishment can also be performed on a body part. If, for example, you have a lot of negative activity in a foot or a leg, you can perform a banishment on it. Th is will help to stop or reduce activity. Repeat the banishment as oft en as necessary.

The banishment action can be imagined and the words spoken only mentally, if necessary, but remember that performing the banishment action only in the mind greatly reduces its effectiveness. It should be done mentally only if you find yourself paralyzed, or if the situation is inappropriate for spoken words. Repeat as necessary.

Banishment words can also be whispered quietly, while the words are still vibrated in the base of the throat.

Clearing Spaces
Th e following extends on the above direct banishment action, but is still a simplified version of the full LBRP. The full version is far more powerful, but also significantly more complex. (See Donald Kraig’s book  Modern Magick, listed in the bibliography, and the Wikipedia article “Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram,” listed in “Further References” for more details.)

First, use a compass to ascertain true east. Stand in the center of the room or space to be cleared and face east. Relax for a few moments and center yourself, holding in mind the intention of what you are about to do: banish all negative spirits and influences.

Perform the first pentagram banishment facing east. Hold the image of the blue-f re pentagram and imagine it hanging in the air. Touch its center with your pointing fingers and hold that position. Pause a moment to reinforce the image in your mind, and then turn clockwise ninety degrees to face south, imagining you are trailing a line of blue fire to the next quadrant.

Imagine a line of blue fire flowing from your fingertips, connecting the center of the first pentagram to the center of where the next will be signed. Perform the banishment in the south.

Touch the second pentagram in the center, pause a moment to reinforce the image, and then turn ninety degrees clockwise to face the west, trailing blue fire from your fingertips to touch the center of where you will sign your next pentagram. Perform the banishment in the west.

Touch the third pentagram in the center, pause a moment to reinforce the image, and then turn ninety degrees clockwise to face the north, trailing blue fire from your fingertips to touch the center of where you will sign your next pentagram. Perform the banishment in the north.

After drawing the final banishment pentagram, complete the circle by turning clockwise to face the east again, trailing blue fire as you move your pointing fingers back to the middle of the first pentagram to complete the circle of blue fire.

Concentrate and imagine the four pentagrams hanging in the air around you, connected by the line of blue fire touching each pentagram’s center. Imagine the pentagrams growing in size and perfection and expanding out and filling and sealing the four quadrants of the room. Imagine them forming a wall of protection around you.

A full banishment ritual (all four quadrants) should be done in every room and open area of a house that is being cleared and protected, including garage and basement areas. You cannot overdo the banishment space-clearing procedure. It will grow in power the more practiced at it you become.

During serious and ongoing Neg problems, a full home banishment should be performed twice per day, morning and evening, for best results. With a little practice, this full banishment does not take long to accomplish. At the very least, perform it in your bedroom morning and night. Other countermeasures, including incense, electric-violet fire, affirmations, running water, and electrical grounding, should be applied as necessary.

The pentagram banishment method can also be applied to the core image removal procedure given earlier. It can also be used during dreams and astral projections, where it is even more powerful.

from The Practical Psychic Self-Defense Handbook; A Survival Guide – Combat Psychic Attacks, Evil Spirits & Possession, by Robert Bruce, reprinted here with the permission of Hampton Roads Publishing.

Esoteric Tuesday – Sacred Places & Dark Portals

Many many moons ago, this young, idealistic Ankh spent most of a summer studying in Greece – traipsing from sacred site to sacred site, fueled by an academic ambition that burned brightly in my (once flat) belly. Armed with a student visa and a short-term association with a highly respected institution, I had access to places and materials that the average tourist never imagines. 

Heady times – and occasionally transcendent.

There was the evening I arrived in Athens, alone, with only a smattering of Greek – exhausted,  freaked out (I could not find a single person who spoke English and made my way to a dank, buggy hotel with the help of a cab driver whose spoke the same combination of terrible German and sign language that I did)  and wandered through the crepuscular streets to have my very first sight of the Acropolis, glowing crimson in the setting sun. It left me, quite literally, breathless.

But what surprised me most were not the famous sites –  not Delphi (although it was spectacular) or the throne room at Knossos – but the places that I had never read or even heard about, overgrown with weeds, hidden down dusty roads, forgotten by all but a few fanatical historians and goat herds. One ridiculously hot afternoon, the group I was traveling with stopped to stretch our legs at an Bronze age fortification wall. We had been driving through the mountains all morning. The site was, at first glance, unimpressive. A broken defense,  sacred to no one. It was military, and functional. Not sexy. But as I wandered atop the massive stones a cool wind from the mountains pushed through me, and for the first and only time in my life I felt what it is to have a soul. It was profound in a way that I am (still) hard-pressed to define. It wasn’t beautiful. It was primal, and a little terrifying.  It was the place itself, the air, the silence, the fragrance of warm stone, wild thyme and something cold and metallic – a memory that did not belong to me then, but does now. I can only describe the experience as sacred, although I worry that even that word – as potent as it is – somehow diminishes it.

The power of place is something that every occultist must consider…carefully.

So to that end I offer the following excerpt, from the always informative Aspects of Occultism by Dion Fortune:

Sacred Centres

“…For lead and tin are not produced from the earth … It is a fountain that produces them, and an angel stands therein.” – Book of Enoch

I don’t think that it will be disputed that certain places exert a powerful influence on human beings…

In every country there are these centres, but unfortunately, since the Christian era, they have been appropriated by the Church; and some of the most vital have been prefixed by the title of “Saint”, when perhaps the influence exerted might not be at all of saintly character. Thus the old name, that might have given a clue to the particular influence, is submerged, and in this way much of the ancient lore is lost, because the Church recognizes only one kind of experience – that of pure religious ecstasy, which is the most emotional and primitive, and therefore to the ordinary mind, the most wonderful, for it is a state of intoxication, and is therefore a purely selfish and personal experience, entirely to do with individual development along a particular line, and from the physical point of view is nearly always abortive because undirected. I emphasize the physical effect, because what its mysteries are on another plane, or state of consciousness, one can only dimly sense, or understand on the journeyings of the soul.

There is little, if any, guidance given by the Church to those who open these doors, for it is not given to all to experience a higher religious emotion; and instead of a readjustment of values – a further vision or extension of consciousness and a breaking through some of the veils of matter – the effect is, as I have said, abortive, for the experience is so shattering to the untrained and unprepared mind, that it disturbs the normal outlook on life.

There is also another side to these experiences, and of this we hear but little. Those who enter the dark portals which lead to dread subterranean palaces of the Qlippoth, and whose way is no longer that of the normal individual, return from this journey with their bias toward evil intensified.

In the Mystery Schools each initiate was carefully watched and guided, so that the experience should not be lost or allowed to destroy instead of reconstruct. We go to these places, and are not told what kind of experience to expect, beyond that it will be of a religious order, or contact with nature, (a vague term) and therefore we go in a negative condition of mind, with will and intellect unprepared, and so the real value is completely lost in an emotional storm.

As I have said before, I believe that in the old names lie the secret if the influence exerted, and these have to do with the physical, or rather the contact that lies deep in the earth.

*****

The mineral and metallic world is the oldest and the densest, and in it must lie many secrets; could we contact its consciousness much might be recovered for the benefit of mankind.

***

“Other sheep have I that are not of this fold.”John X.16.

There are many planes interpenetrating our world, inhabited by beings like, and yet unlike ourselves, invisible and unknown to each other and to man. This is due to their different rates of vibration. I will give a very crude example – that of the electric fan. When revolving slowly, its propellers are seen distinctly, increase its rate and nothing is seen but a blur.

This example only holds with regard to one sense, namely that of sight, but intensify and extend to all senses in an ascending and descending scale, and we could imagine how several cycles of life could, at the same time. occupy the same space, unknown to each other.

That will also show the reason why different people have such diverse experiences at the same place, and in psychometry, with the same object.

We all have our own particular rate of vibration, so that every one of us must be in close tune with one at least of these elemental ratios, and it is possible that the day may come, indeed, may not be so very far distant, when by an act of will we shall be able to change our own ratio to that of whatever cycle of life we wish to contact…

So that in the future we may actually, and with all our senses be aware of these denizens of a hitherto unknown and invisible world.

*****

There are in this world many tides of varying length, which are called in Eastern terminology “Tatwas”, and these range in length from thousands of years to a few minutes. The greater ones we are only aware of by looking back on the rise and fall of civilizations and the changes on the face of the globe. These are under the dominion of one of the great Northern Constellations, but there are many lesser ones, and to these we can attribute the falling into disuse of some of our centres, and the gradual reopening of others. In the last hundred years or so there has been the uncovering of many buried cities and even great civilizations with their many Gods and creeds.

Whenever a place has had prayers and concentrated desires directed towards it, it forms an electrical vortex that gathers to itself a force, and it is for a time a coherent body that can be felt and used by man. It is round these bodies of force that shrines, temples, and in later days churches are built; they are the Cups that receive the Cosmic downpouring focused on each particular place.

There is very little teaching on these matters, and I think it advisable now to speak of the dangers that may be encountered from the lesser known and more primitive psychic centres. That there was a danger was recognized by the Druids and the Romans, for they raised altars and offered sacrifices to these woodland peoples, and it was an act of propitiation, for if you don’t give, they take, and what they take is unfortunately something that you cannot spare. It is life-force, for they seek ever to come closer to man, to mingle with him and to take on his ratio, for it is said therein lies their hope for immortality.

Should we wish to help these “Sheep of another fold” we can do so by a wish to understand their needs and by bringing to them a knowledge of the finer ideals of our later times, and in that way the sacrifice need not be one that is hurtful to our health and sanity.

We must remember, however, that they are of an older and more elemental race, that they belong to another country, and that their laws are quite different, so that we might be seriously injured in mind and body by such encounters…

from Aspects of Occultism by Dion Fortune

Bad Booty Call: Incubi, Succubi & Their Nasty Offspring (adult-ish content)- Terrible Tuesday

More horror from Raymond Buckland and The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts: Apparitions, Spirits, Spectral Lights, and Other Hauntings of History and Legend:

Incubus

The incubus is a spirit appearing as a male figure, a demon lover who seduces sleeping women and has intercourse with them…the name comes from the Latin in, meaning “on top of” and cubo meaning “I lie.” The belief in incubi was strong in medieval Europe, and it was thought that any misshapen child was the result of such a union. Variations on this belief are found around the world, in all cultures. The child of a union between an incubus and a mortal woman is known as a cambion. It was said that Merlin – magician to the legendary King Arthur – was a cambion.

An incubus supposedly has an ice-cold penis. All energy is drained from the victim, leaving the woman extremely debilitated. It is said that repeated intercourse with an incubus can bring about death.

It was thought by some that incubi and succubi (male and female) were all the same demon or spirit, taking on a different form depending upon whether or not it was seducing a human male or female. A succubus would then obtain semen from a male victim and deposit it in a female victim.

Alu-Demon

This is a Semitic (belonging to a language family originating in southwestern Asia) entity that is said to be the female offspring resulting from the union between a succubus and human. It hides in caves and around dark corners and slinks through darkened streets at dead of night, laying in wait for the unwary. It is said that the Alu-Demon has been known to enter bedrooms and to terrorize the people there, threatening to pounce upon them if they try to close their eyes. It will freely answer questions, but the answers it gives are unreliable and often unintelligible. Though part demon, not all Alu-Demons are inherently evil (though those of  a good disposition are extremely rare). The typical Alu-Demon is said to have dark eyes and hair, with small black horns projecting just above the eyes. They also have small, leathery, black wings.

(from The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts by Raymond Buckland)

So keep all this in mind as you tumble, sleepy and unsuspecting into your comfy bed. Sweet dreams.

Zombies! – Because It’s Terrible Tuesday

In the spirit of scream season, we offer you the following excerpt from Raymond Buckland’s terrifying tome The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts:

The zombie of Vodoun is a living corpse, a human ghost. It is a person who has apparently died and then been brought back to life. There have been documented cases of Haitians who have had a family member die unexpectedly and have buried him or her only to hear that someone has seen the “deceased” many months or even years later. The “ghost” is usually mute and in a greatly debilitated state, barely skin and bone and dressed in rags. The word zombie comes from the Congolese nvumbi meaning a “person deprived of its soul.”

In Haiti, where most zombies are found, the dead are not embalmed but put into a wooden coffin and buried as quickly as possible. A boko is a magician or sorcerer who deals in magic and charms. Most bokos are unscrupulous and will place a curse on anyone for a fee. (They will then remove the curse if the person affected pays a higher fee.) It is the bokos who are responsible for zombies, creating them as a means of cheap labor.

An alkaloid drug is introduced into the victim. This is a drug that produces a cataleptic state easily mistaken for death. Often there is no death certificate asked for or issued and, with the heat and humidity, the body is put into the ground as quickly as possible. By the nighttime the main effects of the drug have worn off, and the boko can dig up the “corpse” and administer an antidote, then lead away the victim into a life of servitude.

What drugs would be used for this? The most obvious would be Atropa belladonna, Hyoscyamus niger, and various species of Datura. There are other locally available narcotics such as Terminalia catappa, Hippomane mancinella and Spondias dulcis; all deadly poisons if used incautiously.

from The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts by Raymond Buckland.