“The first rule of magic is simple. Don’t waste your time waving your hands and hoping when a rock or a club will do.”

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A Curse is defined as the use of enchantment techniques to bring harm to another person or

persons. Love and war being the human animal’s favorite pastimes, aggressive magic is probably second

only to love spells in sheer popularity and interest. To some, Hex magic is an abomination, and should never be spoken of except when accompanied by a dire warning to avoid it at all costs.This is much more often the case on the Right Hand Path then the Left. Clichés about giving loaded guns to children will be dutifully spouted. I don’t agree with the analogy. It would be more accurate to describe it as giving a child a box full of the parts to construct a gun, along with gunpowder, lead and shell casings with a reloading machine to make the bullets. It’s highly unlikely that a total novice will be able to assemble the parts into anything harmful, to themselves or anyone else. By the time they

accumulate the knowledge necessary to construct something dangerous, they will also know how to

avoid shooting themselves in the foot (But oftentimes, feet still get shot off in the process ).

What remains are the ethical considerations of arming people with the weapons of magic.This is completely subjective, as all ethical choices are.  Personally, I consider it to be similar to teaching people any other kind of martial art. It’s very rare to hear about a black belt holder in karate going around beating people up for no good reason or getting into bar fights.

Like martial artists, most magicians with sufficient power to actually bring harm to anyone else:

A) Have better things to do with their time.

B) Have come to know that there are usually more efficient ways to deal with potentially violent

situations

C) Have achieved a centered mind and the self-discipline that makes senseless violence unappealing.

There will always be exceptions to the rule, of course. If a Hex is needed, and at times it is needed quite badly, it should be done with efficiency and skill.As a Left Hand Path Practitioner your only judge on if your Magic is “Black” or not comes from your own will, not some outside force. Aggression by means of magic must be approached with the same attitude of seriousness one should bring to any other form of aggravated assault. If one cannot conceive of doing physical violence against

an enemy, then certainly one will be equally unable to do so Magically. Any coward can swagger about

brandishing a gun, but be totally incapable of handling the consequences of pointing it at someone and

blowing their head off. Magical curses have been known not only to inflict grievous harm on their intended targets but on any others in the target’s proximity as well — and quite often instead of the intended target. Magical violence (like any form of violence) is an extremely blunt instrument. The greatest disadvantage of magical attack

is its maddeningly bad accuracy. All of these negative connotations are multiplied when two or more

magicians attack each other. Peter Carroll aptly described it as fighting a duel with hand grenades.

It often comes down to the fact that if you have to take a motherfucker out with Magic, frist look to Sun Tzu, as he said in The Art Of War, “Supreme excellence in warfare is to defeat the enemy without engaging in battle.” and if you can’t, then be no more emotional about calling death upon your victim than stepping on a cockroach.

 

“The first rule of magic is simple. Don’t waste your time waving your hands and hoping when a rock or a club will do.” was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

Demonology Study: Baal

Hello Gentle Reader, and welcome to the frist in a long line of Demonology studies I’ve planned on doing for some time now.I will only include entities I’ve worked with over the course of my practice, and I am not a “catch em’ all type of Conjurer, so the order will not follow any pattern but the one in my head.That being said, I will start with my old buddy Baal (Bael), the frist of  72 Demons in the Pseudomonarchia daemonum, Ars Goetia, Discoverie of Witchcraft, Ad nauseam…for this is often the first entity called by those young upstart conjurers with an itch to call a “Demon”.

baal

A few words about the books mentioned above,

In 1583, Johann Weyer wrote a treatise on witchcraft called “De praestigiis daemonum”. He included a section which listed the names and descriptions of demons called the “Pseudomonarchia daemonum”.In 1584 Reginald Scot translated the list into English in his “The Discoverie of Witchcraft”. Most of these demons found their way into Mather’s Goetia much later. But enough about all that, you came for some info on Baal, so let’s get down to work.

“Baell – Their first and principall king (which is of the power of the east) is called Baall who when he is conjured up, appeareth with three heads; the first, like a tode; the second, like a man; the third, like a cat. He speaketh with a hoarse voice, he maketh a man go invisible [and wise], he hath under his obedience and rule sixtie and six legions of divels.”-Pseudomonarchia daemonum.

This is the standard description of Baal, also known as Bael, Baël (French), Baell. MacGregor Mathers cleans it up a bit for the readers of his day,

“The First Principal Spirit is a King ruling in the East, called Bael. He maketh thee to go Invisible. He ruleth over 66 Legions of Infernal Spirits. He appeareth in divers shapes, sometimes like a Cat, sometimes like a Toad, and sometimes like a Man, and sometimes all these forms at once. He speaketh hoarsely. This is his character which is used to be worn as a Lamen before him who calleth him forth, or else he will not do thee homage.”

This is how he is known by most of the”Bell,Book and Candle” Evokers when frist starting out.He is also spoken of in Dictionnaire Infernal by Collin de Plancy, but he just makes a reference to the le Grand Grimoire, calls him the head of the infernal powers, then quotes Weyer.So we have established how he is known as a Demon, but Baal didn’t start that way. The antiquity of the worship of the god Baal starts around the 14th century BCE among the ancient Semitic peoples, especially among the Canaanites. The word Baal means “master” or “owner”, although it could be used more generally; for example, abaal of wings was a winged creature, and, in the plural,baalim of arrows indicated archers.Baal was common a name of small Syrian and Persian deities. The Baal we are talking about here was of Canaan. He was the son of El, the high god of Canaan(thought to be the model for YHVH, but that is for another time.). The cult of Baal celebrated annually his death and resurrection as a part of the Canaanite fertility rituals.It is said that these ceremonies often included human sacrifice and temple prostitution,but those who said such things, the Israelites, had a beef with the program of Jezebel, in the 9th century bc, to introduce into Israel her Phoenician cult of Baal in opposition to the official worship of Yahweh (I Kings 18). By the time of the prophet Hosea (mid-8th centurybc) the antagonism to Baalism was so strong that the use of the term Baal was often replaced by the contemptuous boshet (“shame”).

Baal with thunderbolt. Limestone stele, 15th-1...

Baal with thunderbolt. Limestone stele, 15th-13th century BC. Found at the acropolis in Ras Shamra (ancient city of Ugarit). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To paraphrase the Baal Cycle from the Ras Shamra tablets, I turn to Alan G. Hefner-

“After defeating the sea god Yam, and building a house on Mount Saphon, and taking possession of numerous cities, Baal announced that he would no longer acknowledge the authority of Mot, “death.” Baal not only excluded Mot from his hospitality and friendship, but also told him that he could only visit the deserts of the earth. In response to this challenge, Mot invited Baal to his abode to taste his fare, mud. Being terrified and unable to avoid the dreadful summons to the land of the dead, Baal coupled with a calf in order to strengthen himself for the ordeal, and then set out. El and the other gods donned funeral garments, poured ashes on their heads, and mutilated their limbs, while Anat, aided by the sun goddess Shapash, brought the corpse back for burial. El placed Athtar, the irrigation god, on the vacant throne of Baal, but Anat bitterly missed her dead husband. She begged Mot to restore Baal to life, but her pleas went without avail, and Anat’s attempts to interest the other gods in helping her were met with cautious indifference. Thus, Anat assaulted Mot, ripping him to pieces “with a sharp knife,” scattering his members “with a winnowing fan,” burning him “in a fire,” grinding him “in a mill,” and “over the fields strewing his remains.” El, in the meantime, had a dream in which fertility returned, which suggested that Baal was not dead. Afterwards, he instructed Shapash to keep watch for him during her daily travels. In the due course of time Baal was restored, and Athtar fled from his throne. Yet Mot was able to arrange another attack, but on this occasion all of the gods supported Baal, and neither combatant could gain the victory. Finally El intervened and dismissed Mot, leaving Baal in possession of the field.”

This gives an understanding of how Baal is linked to the alteration of the seasons and became a god of rain, thunder, and lightening. He was also popular in Egypt from the later New Kingdom in about 1400 bc to its end (1075 bc). Through the influence of the Aramaeans, who borrowed the Babylonian pronunciation Bel, the god ultimately became known as the Greek Belos, identified with Zeus.So as you can see, from Fertility to Rain god, Egypt and Zeus himself, this entity has gone through quite a few changes over the years to now be known as a simple Demon.This has been done to most of the spirits that are called by modern Art workers today ( I can bring up Beelzebub, Astaroth ,and Moloch just to name a few off the top of my head),and I’ve found that the relationship you have with these Spirits deepens considerably the more time you spend researching the Providence of the entity.They also quite enjoy reliving the taste of power most had in the past, and when you offer a Demonized Old God something from its past, they tend to be quite grateful.

He has appeared to me as a Frog with a crown, eating a fly over and over in a loop , and as a warrior King with a Spear raised and ready to be thrown. Often rude and full of himself (you would be too if you once held the title Canaanite God), yet quite helpful if spoken to with respect. I’ve used him for work concerning Invisibility for a client (to make certain things in his home unable to be seen, worked well for the agreed upon time ) For information on Canaanite History, he is an invaluable resource and will gift you with such wisdom if you compose a Hymn in his name and recite it during the next thunderstorm. When working with him he has asked that his Sigil be placed in interesting places as payment for services (A Newstand, Coffeehouse, and Hospital come to mind) where it can be seen by the most amount of passer-by.I’ve called him by a number of different methods, Goetic (Lesser Key and Poke Runyon’s System), the demonolatry method of S.Connolly using the Enns, as well as with my own self-made system of Conjuration and he is always quick to answer.

Sorces- Pseudomonarchia daemonum-Johann Weyer, http://www.deliriumsrealm.com/wier-demons/,Baal by Alan G. Hefner,http://www.pantheon.org/articles/b/baal.html,The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the King: Lemegeton – Clavicula Salomonis Regis, Book 1- Aleister Crowley (Editor), Grimorium Carceris (unpublished)-Vincent Piazza.

Copyright 2015-Vincent Piazza

A Daoist Time Manipulation Ritual

Taoist Sorcerers have always been deeply concerned with time.The late Han through the Six Dynasties rivertime period was one of political chaos and social turmoil. Constant warfare, rampant epidemics, and natural disasters were perceived as symptomatic of a continuing cosmological crisis: the various cosmic cycles and the natural harmonies were disordered, leading to the disasters and depredations which inflicted suffering on the population.(much like today) Scriptures from this period abound with descriptions of the sorry state of humanity and are filled with eschatological foreboding of the end of civilization.

 
The solution advocated by Daoists was twofold. On the one hand, Daoists were urged to adhere to a moral and ethical path, which called for following the precepts of the Dao as presented in a number of texts. On the other hand, they championed ritual that would enable humanity to reestablish the original harmony within time. If one were to follow this twofold program, one would be able to change the course of events in his or her favor.In this post I will examine the ritual to summon the Eight Archivists (bashi ), spirits of the Eight Trigrams, which exemplifies working with time in Daoist ritual. This ritual is, first and foremost, a ritual for the mastery of time.  I will focus on the ritual for summoning Eight Archivists as it appears in the The Upper Scripture of the Five Ascendant Talismans of the Highest, Limitless Great Way and the Self-Generating Perfect One (hereafter shortened to Five Ascendant Talismans), one of the original Lingbao.Note, that as of yet I’ve not performed this ritual,for it is quite difficult to do correctly,but may write a version of it that is able to be performed without the insane requirements of this one,but not until I try and work this ritual as closely  to true form as I can.

 

 

In the rite of summoning the Eight Archivists the herb employed, zhang ju , more commonly known as zhanglu, or shanglu , is used for its psychoactive qualities.Modern researchers identify it as Phytolacca acinosa,“Masters of the Dao always plant this medicinal herb in the garden of a Silent Chamber. It leads one to communicate with the spirits.”These effects occur not only when the herb is ingested but also when the roots are carved, as during the preparatory stage of the ritual for summoning the Eight Archivists. At this stage, zhangju roots are carved into human shape, while the adept contemplates the forms of the spirits of the twelve chronograms . This causes the spirits to appear, indicating that the active ingredients may be absorbed cutaneously. Intriguingly, this use of the herb was still known in the early-Qing:
“Those of the left Dao carve the zhanglu root into human shape, and utter incantations to it. It enables one to know calamity and fortune. It is called Spirit of zhanglu. Medical books say to take the leaves of shanglu and dry them in the shade for 100 days. As you pound it, not yet eating it, lie down and think of things which you wish and they will immediately appear by themselves before your eyes. Two aspects are supernatural in these perfect plants, their moving the Yin pneuma and their possibility of imparting much knowledge. Small men will be transformed in a flash. Ghosts and goblins by the hundreds will be expelled.”

 

As you can see,this has a number of analogs in Western Occultism and ritual,not to mention that south American use of psychoactive Plants,but that’s for another time and post.So here we go….

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THE RITUAL FOR SUMMONING THE EIGHT ARCHIVISTS
The ritual begins by marking out the ritual space, which at this stage extends beyond the home:
You must mark, around your home, the eight directions and the twelve chronograms. At each chronogram direction and to the left and right of the gate plant the zhi herbs of spiritual communication, fourteen shoots in total. Take the memorial-like diagrams of the Eight Trigrams to make the Mysterious Cavern Talismans of Numinous Communication at the eight directions. Place the five talismans of ascendance in the center of the room, on the central roof beam.

 

The ritual space is therefore marked on the outside by the twelve markers of time. Note that at this point these markers of time are outside the home. Inside this circle are placed the eight talismans signifying the trigrams, the Xuandong tong ling fu.The five Lingbao talismans are hung on the central roof beam.
In the next stage the ritual space is moved inside the home: Purify the hall, making it a pure chamber, mark the eight directions and twelve chronograms. Take the zhangju roots, fourteen in all. First, place those of the gate in front of the hall outside the doorpost, so as to forbid the hundred evil spirits from being able to enter and oppose [the ritual]. Then, take the twelve [plants at the] chronogram points, beginning with yin , to the front of the hall. Each is carved into a human [shape]. [Plants on] Yang  [chronograms] are to be made into males, [those on] Yin are made into females. Place each inside the hall at their respective chronogram point. At each point dig into the ground, making holes [deep enough] so that their heads are level with the ground.

 
This completes the emplacement of the ritual space. The instructions now turn to the time element of the ritual:
On the fifth yin  day of the vernal equinox, pick orchids and, in the center [of the ritual arena] make an infusion [with the flowers]. Wash [yourself with this]. On the fifth mao  day take the brewed chrysanthemum and boil it to a broth, at the place of yin and mao. On the next day pick the zhangju stalks. Just as you are about to pick them, purify the [ground at their] side. Of small mats make fourteen seats for them. Light incense, and worship each with wine and dried meat. Bow repeatedly and say the incantation: “Zhangju beings, of pure and uncorrupt bodies, protectors of the twelve pneumas of the palaces,40 communicators with spirit numina, now I shall unite my spirit officers with you,41 be your companion and travel with you to some famous mountain’s south face. If called you must respond, if asked you must reply. Neither of us is to deceive the other in this [contract]. We join tallies as a covenant.”(Notice the conjuration technique,sounds like something straight out of a 18th century grimoire ,Hmmm?)
After presenting wine, the adept is to carve the roots into human shape, naming them and distinguishing male from female. Now that the twelve images are ready, the ritual enters its climactic stage. This is the first mention of the East Well (Dongjing ) constellation, which marks the beginning of the ritual cycle:
At dawn the next day when the heaven points to East Well, and the sun is before the door, kneel and say to yourself: “Your descendant, so-and-so, has taken this day to bathe.” Then, enter the room and set out the zhangju. At the advent of each of the “days of the five ascendances” take a brush to draw the talisman of the day. Make the five talismans in accord with the method. In ten days you will be finished. Then light incense and sacrifice to each zhangju at its chronogram position. First, using their names call out this incantation: “Lord so-and-so of Numinous Communication. Now, together with you I guard the twelve chronograms.” After sixty days they will respond to you. When the twelve days of sacrifices are over, at the following dawn light incense, and retain in mind the eight Archivists, recalling their surnames and personal names. At the same time take “dried white flowers” powder and ingest a spoonful of it in the hall so as to make your body spirits and the archivists unite in companionship.
This completes the procedure for the first stage in the ritual cycle.

 

From this point we seem to be entering into the realm of ritual time played out on the divining chart:
At the following occurrences of the East Well day, unfasten the talismans and always take them when you wash. When finished, return and refasten them. The next day, again, take them out according to this model. When all five washings have been completed, a period of 124 days will have elapsed. All the spirits will have arrived. You will have heard their voices or seen their shapes as on the charts. At dawn the next day worship them below the doorpost. The spirits will then speak with you. You must ask the Eight Archivists about seeking the methods of spiritual transcendence and long life. The archivists will enter the heavenly lodgings for you to examine the registers and tell you. If initially you lack a life record on the transcendent registers, and are far removed from transcendence, it is fitting that you cultivate and revere the Archivists, in order to garner wealth and extend your life by three to four hundred years.

 

As you can see,the final preparatory stage of the ritual is reached when the zhangju plants are harvested and carved into human shape. This part of the ritual proceeds according to a precise timetable. On the fifth yin day after the vernal equinox the practitioner is to prepare an orchid infusion and wash. On the next day, the fifth mao day, he is to boil this infusion and place it between the markers of yin and mao. On the next day the plants are picked. On the following day, defined as the day of East Well, the actual rite of carving occurs and subsequent communication starts.
The day of East Well is a crucial date for the ritual. East Well, a constellation of eight stars in the southern Palace of the Vermilion Bird, is the twenty-second Lunar Lodge.49 In calendrical terms it correlates to the second month of summer, in which falls the summer solstice. The timing of the ritual follows the passage of the sun among the twenty-eight lunar lodges. Depending on the actual day of the sexagesimal cycle on which the spring equinox falls, the fifth yin day after the vernal equinox would fall 51 to 60 days later, almost a month before the summer solstice. Within two days, we are told, the sun rises in East Well. This makes good astronomical sense. Although usually associated with the summer solstice, the East Well constellation actually covers a wide swath of the heavens. The sun enters it a month before the solstice in the median period of the fourth month.

In temporal terms, the constellation covers three fortnightly periods.The ritual of Summoning the Eight Archivists, which incorporated the symbolism of the East Well, demonstrates the synthesizing process by which the Lingbao scriptural and ritual tradition was formed,this shows the Daoists’ rejection of popular practices as theological,and taking a more Left Hand Magical outlook. First, the unity and formlessness of the Dao transcended all popular deities,and it was often thought passe to worship anything at all. Secondly, moral and ethical precepts were intended to transcend the taboos related to demons and ghosts terrorizing the populace. Thirdly, the petitioning ritual that the  Daoists used for spirits was to replace popular sacrifices to Gods or Deities.

I will try and cover more on the East Well and The Eight Archivists as I do more study and work with the rite as I understand it (now to find some zhangju roots,anyone is San Francisco want to take a trip to Chinatown for me?),but for now I think that is a good taste of it for the evening.Till next time,Stay gold.

Sources: Nathan Sivin, “Chinese Alchemy and the Manipulation of Time”, Fabrizio Pregadio, “The Representation of Time in the Zhouyi Cantongqi, Nickerson,“Shamans, Demons,Diviners and Taoists”,Marc Kalinowski, “The Use of the Twenty-Eight Xiu as a Day-Count in Early China,David Pankenier,“The Cosmo-political Background of Heaven’s Mandate”.Gil Raz,Time Manipulation.

Copyright 2015 Vincent Piazza

A Daoist Time Manipulation Ritual was originally published on The Hidden Left Hand

H.P. Lovecraft and H.R. Giger: How Their Dreams Became Our Nightmares

Fantastic eZine found here….,In Lovecraft view, one myth is as valid as another. An ecstatic produced in an individual by reading Lovecraft’s stories was as real as those produced by religious myths.

Lovecraft eZine

This post is by John A. DeLaughter, a Lovecraft eZine contributor.

H.R. Giger, by Marvin Lorenz H.R. Giger, by Marvin Lorenz

“The Dutch customs once thought my pictures were photos. Where on earth did they think I could have photographed my subjects? In Hell, perhaps?” (1)

“If there not be some virtue in plain TRUTH; then our fair dreams, delusions, & follies are as much esteemed are our sober waking hours & comforts they bring, If TRUTH amounts to nothing, then we must regard the phantasmata of our slumbers just as seriously as the events in our daily lives…” (2)

Howard Phillips Lovecraft and Hans Rudolf “Ruedi” Giger. In portrait, both men looked quite ordinary. Whether on a busy sidewalk in a European capital like Zurich, Switzerland, or a congested walkway in the Red Hook district of Brooklyn, New York – there was nothing about either man that would make them stand out in a crowd.

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