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Talismanic elections, 2nd half of 2020 through end of 2021: Talisman 1: Alphecca

By unanimous demand by the 8 people who voted on Twitter, I am presenting my talismanic elections for the 2nd half of 2020 through 2021.

You might not be at all surprised that 2020 was a little challenging, and even the Astrology Podcast has had difficulty this year with the challenging Saturnian placements. First I’ll present each of my elections, followed by my approach:

1. Alphecca Talisman: November 19, 2020 (San Antonio, TX: shown in synastry with my natal chart)

This is a talisman designed to bring out the healing speech factor of Alphecca. Who wouldn’t want to be subtly healing our fellow human beings simply be speaking as we normally would? Put another way, who wouldn’t want our normal speech to also happen to be healing?

Yes, I’ve opened myself to some criticism: “This has both malefics in domicile! Are you mad?” Well, first thing’s first: if you’re making talismans, you’re a magician. If you’re a magician, you’d better know how to banish. If you know how to banish, you’d better banish appropriately! So the first recommendation is to banish Saturn (via the Greater Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram or other means) before making the talisman, because as you can see, he’s still doing his stuff in the 8th house. This leaves the moon without a ruler, but she’s getting some out-of-sign sextile support from the Sun & Chiron.

Second, even awesome talismans are still going to hit your natal chart, so planning around this means doing a synastry with your own natal chart. So what to do about the Mars placement? Well, as you can see, this Mars placement isn’t so bad for me: it’s my natal Mars! Also, I’ve put the Part of Fortune conjunct Mars, which at 19deg Aries is trine my natal, to take the edge off and make it productive. This makes the rulership of the Sun & Mercury suddenly strong but also more positive. 11th house could indicate fights, or it could indicate hard work in social organizations–what better use of the healing factor than in a social context? Mercury also gets support by trining the MC, and Uranus, though in the 12th house, is sextiling it.

How to design such a thing? Because this is a talisman for a fixed star, the only thing we’re invoking is the conjunction (even if we want the “birth” of the talisman to still be a good chart). Use Agrippa’s sigil for Mercury:

as well as the Mercury square, then add the Alphecca images (cf. Christopher Warnock’s Fixed Star, Sign and Constellation Magic) as well as any stones to your base, in a design of your own making. I usually try to make the square (including the numbers) and then draw the Agrippa seal in a circular manner around the whole thing.

How do you charge it? My recommendation is to fuse a modified version of Liber Israfel to request some divine energy (in this case, call upon Hermes or Mercury), or use the techniques provided by Warnock (I prefer the YHVH to Arzel to Raziel method from Damon Brand’s book on the Shemhamphorasch angels–but who knows, I may change my mind). Regardless, be sure to add into your request to the deity or deities inside you that the talisman be energetically charged.

Good luck!

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Knowledge & Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel: Techniques and Rationale

“Who am I? Why am I here?”

Beyond a political in-joke about the bottom of the third-highest-popular-vote presidential ticket of any third-party in U.S. politics, this question is one that cuts to the core of an individual’s search for meaning. The intensity of this question usually starts getting asked around adolescence and there are large sub-fields in psychology devoted to it. However, it should not be taken lightly, nor thought of as an “adolescent” (i.e., immature) question, because it cuts to the core of how we spend our limited lifespan, doesn’t it?

So as one starts their journey into adulthood, one of the first things to do is to get started on where one is at the moment, then, if one has the luxury, move on to other questions as they become pertinent. Usually this means stabilizing the circumstances (basic needs) and becoming self-sustaining (either working or on the path to working via education). Along with this requires growth, but–all too easily–it is here that what I would deem major mistakes begin to be made.

The mistakes that can be made are simple: starting work or education at something that one doesn’t like or has other misgivings about: selling dangerous products, not making the world better as a result of one’s work, or simply not feeling one’s job or field in one’s heart. This is not always easy: some professions or fields are difficult to discover, or haven’t been invented yet (there were no YouTube stars who make all their money off of videos when I had my high school career counseling!). Another possibility is that one wants to do with their life may have very little to do with one’s career. The best that one can do is approximate what they want to do and learn what it is they really want to do via trial and error. Of course, this presumes a completely “balanced” and “head on their shoulders” personality!

The magical traditions of the West (and those of the East as well, but these are not the focus of this post) focus on the possible steps of development and usually lay them out in a sequential order. This is slightly problematic, because people often have some degree of initiation later stages, but overall the system works well. One learns how to integrate the tools that they need in order to progress, and these are metaphorically labeled as elements: earth (both physical and the metaphorical structure of security and routine), water (physical and the metaphorical emotions that a person carries, which can leak out or be put to positive use), air (physical as well as the tendency of the mind to blow from place to place like the wind), and fire (the dangerous passion that can nonetheless be used to accomplish will). Those familiar with the Golden Dawn can see these elements in the lowest Kabbalistic sephira, Malkuth.

Once these are established and recognized, it becomes important to see how important it is to balance these; doing so can provide the foundation (Yesod) for further work, as one discovers the tendency of the mind to discover splendor (Hod) of possibilities of form, and finally to victory, Netzach, of using one’s energy to pick a general possibility to work towards…but which one?

This is where the middlemost sephira, Tiphareth (Beauty), comes in. Anyone who has had to leave a career path that they discovered wasn’t for them (or leave the idea that a “career path” is the focus of what they should be doing) can understand at least one of the following thoughts (I’ll add the associated sephiroth and the Kabbalistic ruler for reference): I need to stay at this job I dislike just to scrounge together rent (Malkuth/elements). I’m kind of stable but I don’t know how to get my life ready for change (Yesod/Moon). I don’t know all of life’s possibilities or how they even work or fit together (Hod/Mercury). I don’t know how to pick a possibility, and how to make it work for me (Netzach/Venus). Ideally, you would know exactly what you would want to focus on and, like Jimi Hendrix at the age of five after seeing a cartoon character playing a guitar, you would know exactly what you were supposed to do.

For most of us, this sense is not so easy. There are techniques to answer this question, and of these, those proposed by a teacher of mine, Jason Louv, are excellent (and during a pandemic, when everything is being questioned, is as good a time as any to ask if one is doing the right thing with one’s life). Another technique is to seek heavenly guidance, that offered by the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel (K&C HGA, for short). This highly personal entity is unique to each individual (and is not to be confused with the Natal Guardian Angel/good daimon), and is the beginning of initiation into Tiphareth, wherein resides the True Will, that which the individual feels compelled to do with their life. Aleister Crowley considered K&C HGA the essential work of a magician, and for good reason, as it was to lead the individual–among other things–to understand and carry out their True Will.

There are multiple techniques for obtaining this (and I have an ongoing study trying to suss out how people obtain K&C HGA–contact me if you ware interested); some, I am sure, have come to it completely spontaneously, others after massive trauma. I’m not one to recommend seeking out trauma, but if one finds oneself in the midst of it (such as, say, a global pandemic), I believe that this can actually be a catalyst for an otherwise longer process.

When I requested a topic for my blog, I was asked specifically how to go about obtaining the K&C, including modifications to existing rituals necessary for the modern age. For this, there are no easy answers, but I would start with the essays in the Holy Guardian Angel anthology by Nephilim Press, especially Scott Stenwick’s, which provides techniques to get you started straight away. Stenwick also provides additional information on HGA initiation on his website.

After this preliminary, there are two famous classic techniques for K&C HGA: Abramelin and Liber Samekh. The former has several requirements, including Abramelin oil and incense, but also a separate room, restrictions on sex, as well as thrice daily prayers. Being written from an esoteric Jewish tradition, there is also the matter of aligning to the Jewish calendar, specifically Passover. My recommendations on this for the modern practitioner, whether Jewish or not (and I am not) are as follows: try to balance the elements externally (Abramelin oil, interestingly, balances both yin and yang ingredients) via the Abramelin oil and incense (if it’s in your budget) or via the gratis LBRP and/or LIRP; focus on self-isolation (did I mention we’re in a pandemic?) to maintain this elemental balance (i.e., others’ drama doesn’t throw your delicate elemental balance off); and devotional prayers (three times a day at a minimum) and the self-abnegation quality of the technique. Going to a closet or if need be even a bathroom for a short time to make a sincere prayer is sufficient (Scarlet Magdalene reports going to her car over her lunch hour, a technique I copied). Wash your hands (did I mention we’re in a pandemic?) and continually reflect on the outward cleansing and isolation from human affairs as a means to more clearly attune yourself to the purity of the Divine and the messenger thereof. As I have hinted, this pandemic is actually something of an ideal time to begin K&C HGA work!

As far as Liber Samekh (adapted by Crowley from an exorcism ritual known as “The Bornless Ritual” from the Greek Magical Papyri), so in another manner, this also isolates you from spirits–and eventually the delusions surrounding yourself that have accumulated. I would also recommend no less than three times a day for this technique as well.

Both the Abramelin ritual and the Liber Samekh ritual can be done silently (the latter requiring more memorization and visualization of one’s astral body completing the techniques–but it can be done). It is possible, for people with a great deal of cleverness and insight into the technical aspects of magic, to create their own ritual for the K&C HGA (the key features of this from a technical perspective seem to be elemental balance, crowding out things that throw off that balance, and a powerful technique to petition–or take upon oneself–the celestial). Regardless, from a practical perspective, the essential is to pick a technique and make sure that the people in your life expect to see less of you for many months. This is a unique task that few in the West undertake, and taking it on deserves respect, a great deal of reflection, and no small amount of testing of the spiritual breakthroughs you may think you achieve along the way (false insights are the worst!).

What are the advantages of K&C HGA, as opposed to just learning your True Will via an audit technique (or other means)? The biggest advantage is that your HGA is also an interface with all other entities (including people) and can help you navigate an otherwise confusing landscape. The HGA is your biggest ally and works to evolve you after K&C is reached (to the extent that you actually engage with this invaluable resource). Regardless of what you encounter, your HGA will do its best to lead you down an optimal path and has heavenly authority to protect and guide you along it. The only downside to this is that the HGA is not human, and so keep your rationality, practicality, and common sense handy! Furthermore, the HGA can accompany you only so far on the path–crossing “the Abyss” has its own, ah, “pitfalls” that the HGA must temporarily step aside for the aspirant to face.

Is K&C HGA necessary? To end on the positive note requested by the other suggestion for a blog entry: it is a gorgeous first step toward calling forth one’s own divinity, one that I never regret having taken. Yet others have not needed this step in order to reach very high states of spiritual development. So, if it seems right for you, then explore it.

I wish you good luck either way.

How to “OM” (among other ways)

So I was thinking about how to improve some foundational work. There’s probably no limit to how much a foundational technique can be practiced, if done with attention. I decided to say a mantra, and–keeping it simple–I decided to try to improve on my Om:

  1. Inhalation as you drop mouth simply (“Ah” shape to mouth, don’t vibrate yet). If you can, visualize a small (5 cm or 2″) hemisphere that is ironically forming away from your mouth.
  2. Shape mouth into “O” (which is halfway between “Ah” & “U” (which sounds like the “oo” as in fool) vowel shapes) and vibrate the “O” sound. I always tell people your voice should have a slight vibrato–not a huge one like an opera star but not like simple humming, either. Imagine the other half of the sphere now forming, touching about where your mouth is.
  3. Slowly reduce the size of this “O” until you are forced to briefly make the “Uu” sound as your mouth closes. Continue visualizing the sphere completing its formation.
  4. Mouth closed (nearly a kiss shape), continue vibrating. Your sphere can now gain luminosity and color. It should also have a gentle shadow to it and feel balanced. Allow lips to return to simple closed state (i.e., neutral) and continue humming “M.” The sphere floats away,
  5. Drop mouth again & inhale, repeat 1-4.

On attempting to unify angelic systems

Having worked with different systems of angelic magick (including the Shem Hamphorasch and, of course, Enochian), part of me has wondered how the different systems relate to one another. Having requested this of God for the last few weeks, I received a vision of a spiral emanating from a center point, and am receiving the following transmission:

“All things proceed from the Center that is God, the solar God, the God balanced across All. Behold the angels who proceed, radiating from this Center, first from this pure-light Center, then turning at the four quarters, until, having completed these turns, they complete the wheel.

“The angels of the Shem Hamphorasch, they proceed from the Holy use of this same turning of the Holy Logos.

“The angels of the angelic language [Enochian], also proceeding from this spiral, but from a many-dimensional spiral emanating from this Center.

“Every angelic system can be found to correspond with this emanation from the Center, and followed back thereto.”

Angels identified as seraphim that I’ve encountered

I received the name of a couple of seraphs during scrying which you may take or leave; this is the first (as transliterated from Enochian):

SERAFA PIAP ORS-OLPIRT aka SERAFA PURAN, meaning “Seraph who balances darkness and light” or “Seraph of sight.”

I also received a seraph name and had some interaction with it:

IVGAR (as transliterated from Enochian letters)

Before presenting its sigil, I was shown this:

(the arrows just represent the rotation of the circles).

Then I saw this, which was mentioned as the sigil for IVGAR:

However, it seems likely that these two symbols should be combined thusly:

IVGAR had a very Last Supper feel, in that it took on forms which we are to incorporate. “GAR” has been identified in The Whole Enochian Dictionary by the “Archidoxical Order of Magi” as meaning “Archangel of the East.” “IV” is the prefix for an angel name and also for IUMD which means “is called” in the same dictionary.

I’m very grateful to these angels and of course all the angels with whom I’ve worked and, naturally, the Divine.

Planets ruling Sephiroth on the Tree of Life

Perhaps it’s Uranus transiting over my natal sun right now that’s inspiring me to write a bit about the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. For beginners, I’ll just mention that the Tree of Life is an interesting model of consciousness. Based on the mythical tree in the book of Genesis (from which one could eat and live forever), the Kabbalistic Tree of Life (often abbreviated as ToL) metaphorically explains how divine energy can move from the heavenly to the earthly.

Most sephiroth on the ToL are considered to be ruled by celestial aspects or by the elements; the ten sephiroth, or spheres (i.e., of consciousness/spiritual states) on the ToL and their respective rulers are:

  1. Kether, “The Crown”
  2. Chokmah, “Wisdom,” ruled by the Zodiac
  3. Binah, “Understanding,” ruled by Saturn
    (Da’ath, “Knowledge,” is considered to be a false sephirah; in some traditions it’s also thought to be all sephiroth at once, though I find this unhelpful and somewhat incorrect)
  4. Chesed, “Mercy,” ruled by Jupiter
  5. Geburah, “Strength,” ruled by Mars
  6. Tiphareth, “Beauty,” ruled by the Sun
  7. Netzach, “Victory,” ruled by Venus
  8. Hod, “Splendo(u)r,” ruled by Mercury
  9. Yesod, “Foundation,” ruled by the Moon
  10. Malkuth, “Kingdom,” ruled by the four elements

The rulership of these sephiroth differ from the astrological essential dignity of domicile, which holds that planets have greatest effectiveness in zodiacal sign (e.g., Aries, Taurus, etc.): the Sun is strongest in the royal sign of Leo, the Moon in the nurturing sign of Cancer, etc. There are further essential dignities including

Sephirothic rulership, however, is less about what brings the planet strength, but rather what brings the sephiroth completeness. The Splendor of all the possibilities of form to be made in the physical world is brought to completion by Mercury, which can flow from idea to idea, configuration to configuration. The Triumph of any given form, moreover, is brought to completeness when it is in fact a pleasurable one (for what is the point in Victory without the thrill?).

One consideration is whether to re-assign the planets Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto to the final two sephiroth. From personal experience of the higher sephiroth, my judgment is not to do so. Uranus, the planet some folks consider to rule Chokmah, is commonly considered among astrologers as a “wild card” planet and a rebellious planet. My experience of Chokmah (“Wisdom”) is that it provides an individual insight into an optimal approach to reality. Wisdom is an optimal means to govern one’s life because it is an incorporation of an undeniable aspect of nature, which can be succinctly declared in a Law. Rebellious Uranus doesn’t seem to fit this idea, though one could argue that the newly declared Law is a necessary reflection of a previously unseen aspect of reality.

Nonetheless, more fundamental to my judgment is the contrast between Binah (“Understanding”), ruled by Saturn, the greater malefic and Lord of Time, and Chokmah. Binah occupies the top of the pillar of Severity on the ToL, while Chokmah occupies the top of the pillar of Mercy (ascending the Middle Pillar of Mildness is often considered a standard goal of the Kabbalah). Saturn reflects the need for discipline and patience, and brings Binah (often described as all possibilities and thus bringing the initiate the Vision of Sorrow) to completeness by imposing its cold order and a logical connectivity of these possible states into a coherent flow (eliminating–bringing death!–to nearly all of them!). If feminine Binah is ruled by the Lord of Time, then masculine and protruding Chokmah, it follows, should be ruled by Space itself. Space and time being essential aspects of the universe, the Zodiac seems like the superior choice of ruler.

What rules Kether, the Crown? As you might guess, I don’t believe it is ruled by either Neptune or Pluto. My argument is that it lacks formal rulership, except that it is existence itself, which does have limits. Therefore, I would argue that perception rules Kether–reality perceives itself, no matter what, and therefore perhaps the best way to put it is that the Divine rules it, for the Divine is the Complete Perceiver, and initiates into Kether may partake of the perception of the Divine.

Some scholars suggest that the Biblical Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are the same tree. Eating of the Crown this Tree, I can tell you that the answer is yes: as I put it when first scrying the Enochian Aethyr of LIL: “This is the End of Death.”

Miniature SDAs

Those familiar with the Enochian system are likely aware of the Sigillum Dei Aemeth (SDA), or “Seal of God’s Truth,” a disc made of beeswax which is carved by the magician. This gorgeous seal has on its top an outer ring segmented into 40 parts, which circumscribes a heptagon of 49 spaces (7 for each side), which touches an inner heptagram at the points, within which are two more heptagons, the inner of which touches a pentagram. On the bottom, the Notarikon AGLA (Atah Gibor Le-olam Adonai,” or “Thou art powerful forever, Lord”) is written in a clockwise formation, within which several interlocking crosses are arranged.

There are hundreds of letters and numbers to be written on the spaces in the front in order to complete this seal. This can be done, but it takes patience on the 9″ version to do so when working with the beeswax: it an immense amount of when working on the four 4″ versions! My recommendation is to do so on the miniature (4″) SDAs soon after making the geometric template (and not waiting for a year, as I did!). Another caution is that it’s much easier to make a mistake with these, so be patient and careful. Double-check each place before lettering it. However, the angelic “high” that comes from making these smaller pieces of the temple furniture is the same as for the SDA, so it’s worth it from that perspective alone.

I’ll be reporting back after having done the lettering on all 4 of these. Chances are I’ll re-scry LIL again (that being my main Enochian activity nowadays).

Chakra awareness ritual

Another non-Enochian ritual. This one came to me from a female figure in a dream.

So during meditation or as you fall asleep, think back to your birthday, and then back to your conception day.

Think of your parents and all the energies they were bringing to that sexual act—the raw emotionality.

Now take your astral hands and make a clasping fist over your navel, like a Christmas caroler. Alternate back and forth over which hand is on top. Increase the speed (remember, this is astral, so you can technically have them going as fast as the Flash, just don’t move your physical hands).

Now, extend your astral palms in front of each other, about six inches apart, like you’re trying to show how big something is to someone, except this your hands are closer to your navel. Alternate where they are with your navel as the common center.

You’re going to make an octagon by rapidly alternating your extended palms in opposing locations: up down, left right, up-left/down right, & up-right/down-left. Just keep alternating your hands’ locations about this common center.

Now imagine a glow appearing where your fists were, but your hands are now making an octagon about it (it need not be an inscribing octagon). Next, imagine a screen appearing around where the orb was. You can still have your moving hands in the back of your mind but now focus on the screen.

A story may appear about what’s happening with you at this chakra on this screen.

Note: you can do this same technique for each/all of your chakras. You can imagine multiple pairs of hands (like a Hindu god) on the astral. You will have an opportunity to create a new alignment of how these chakras are relating to each other and to the world at large. When I did this for my third eye in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, I saw a crying child on the screen. I then rearranged the chakras in order to better use the energies there….

Review | Success Magick: The Hidden Power of Enochian Rituals, by Damon Brand

This book challenges a great deal of the conventional wisdom surrounding Enochian magick. I’ll start by listing some of the proposed changes, then evaluating the relative justification of these changes. Along the way, I will evaluate the practical usefulness.

One of the first modifications made by is the proposed working order to the Aethyrs. As author Damon Brand admits, this is quite controversial for practitioners, where the bottom-up, Numbers 30 to 1 approach is the norm.

The justification that Brand offers is a dubious one: that this is the order that Dee received them in. However, this ignores an obvious reason as to why the angels presented the Aethyrs to Dee in this order: the Angels, looking at the highest Aethyr—it being closest to God—start there (they are messengers from God, after all) and then work their way to the farthest Aethyr.

Furthermore, having scried all 30 Aethyrs (from the bottom up) and also having scried some Aethyrs out of order before having done all 30, I can emphatically state that the energy of this Aethyr is quite intense. Readers of this book, introduced to this energy of LIL without prior experience, would either have to manage such energy without any experience with it, or would get a limited version of it.

For practical and theoretical reasons, this is not an approach I endorse. Regarding the sigils for the Aethyrs, they seem plausible enough (the outer circle uses the initial text of the call to each Aethyr), but using them as means for “success” without touching on the depth of the energy at play was disappointing. I’ve no doubt that the Aethyrs can provide a means for success, but the practitioner may get far more than bargained for, not in the sense of a “monkey’s paw,” but rather in the sense of perhaps being set upon a path to do advanced work that was not necessarily chosen. While I personally value the soul-unfolding nature of this work, novice readers may not yet share such a value.

Additional changes of note to the restored Enochian system are the changes made the watchtowers. The watchtower tablets are modified into sigils so as to include god names and three angels for each sigil. Why, for a 7-based system, the three additional god names that are also used in the ritual to call upon these angels weren’t included as part of the sigil is strange. Indeed, these angels and the additional three god names themselves already appear on the watchtower tablet, so their inclusion in a standalone sigil seems superfluous and redundant. Furthermore the main god names from the black cross can be incorporated into the watchtowers without issue: the watchtowers themselves are sufficient.

The effectiveness of such watchtower-derived rituals seems likely, but the rationale for them is unclear; angels are intelligent beings who can indeed be called upon via derived rituals, without calls, but it seems strange that a method to sidestep the means of communication–namely, the Enochian calls–that the angels themselves transmitted. This strikes me as the celestial equivalent of calling a friend during work hours who asks that you text them. Sure, they’ll kindly reply, but is this really how you want to treat them?

Ultimately, I give this book 3.5/5 stars. It’s likely to have some effectiveness, but not as much as the means offered in other works on Enochian. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be a good introduction into the system. One line in particular I take issue with: “[T]he angels…urged us to stop fretting over the nature of the magick, to stop worrying about the details, and stop obsessing over what it all means.” I dare say that most who have studied and practiced this system magick know better.

Heart invocation

This ritual includes some Enochian; it translates to “Arise, move, and appear, Crown-Heart-Mind-Diamond-Light-Body, to the intent that thorns of the marrow of the heart may become trussed with light. Because all is one, listen and look, as a covenant with all, (on) the voice and wonders of all.”

Heart invocation

Procul, procul, este profani.

Bahlasti! Ompehda!

O, All which I perceive, in the name of PELE, give me true answers eternally as to everything about which I wonder.

O, you poetry in motion,

O, you speaker in the stillness.



Out of the utter marrow of our hearts cometh this: we can no longer be silent, and our ears must open as our mouths! We must forge the glorious song that is begging to be birthed among us! Music must pour forth from us as one glorious harmony! 

O, Come into me as one, You Who govern my perception, Ye Who perceive me in my subtlety and divinity, Ye Who move me and Ye Whom I move, Ye Who govern all my relationships.

Come into me as one, in an eternally unfolding and enfolding multiplex relationship with all I am, Ye Whom I have called, and allow us all to work harmoniously, hearts crowned in our True spirit as a gloriously living and aware nexus.

Come into me as one, Ye parts of All, You totality of All. Let transcendence and mundane, unfolding and enfolding, become married in our midst!

Behold! I am I! I am They! I am All! All is one! Eternally rolling, evolving, leaping, reveling, revealing, growing, and weaving, in an inexorable roaring flow! This perfect magnetic flow shall be borne witness to, as it bridges light to light, color to color, dust to life, life to awareness, awareness to continuity, continuity to fullness, the fullness to the beauty of infinity.