Why Grimoires Are Dead Wrong

So, a gentleman by the nom-de-plume “Asterion Mage” has decided an attempt at refuting my article “3 Reasons Why Almost All Grimoires Are Dead Wrong,” which he has posted on my facebook.

I wanted to repost this here for the perusal of any who are interested.

I’ve also included some of my comments to Asterion Mage. I invited him to post this thread on this forum, but he declined, so his commentary will not be included here.

I’d love to see your comments!


Here it is, part 1. Feel free to remove it if it sparks too much controversy or if the comments get out of line. Thank you.

As I was browsing through the many leaves of the magical tome called the Internet, I came upon a very concise and strongly-motivated article that detailed the author’s main motives for considering the traditional grimoires ”dead wrong”. As I hold this occult practitioner in high regard due to what he has acomplished so far and respect his freedom of expression, but also value the traditional systems that have undoubtably been very effective in my practice, I decided to write an article countering the author’s reason of dismissing the said grimoires and also exploring a few missunderstandings related to them. I am by no means writing a rebuttal aimed at this person or his school, as that has proved in many cases throughout history more counterproductive and unwise for all parties, but merely explaining my own motives for employing the traditional grimoires.

  1. The Chriastian biased perspective.

The author claims that most of the grimoires we now possess are published or translated during or after the 15th century, in full power regime of the Catholic Church, thus the old conjurations to the gods and demons have been painted over with prayers to the Christian God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

Why is this assertion wrong, in my view? For two reasons: the first is historical and the other is confessional. The historical argument is that in every age, in every culture, the forces employed by magicians, especially demonic forces, were called upon, exorcised and put to work by the magician not in his own name and authority, but in the authority of a greater god, of a suit of powerful supernatural beings of similar but lesser godhood or of a long litany of ancestors with great merits, be they heroes, saints, magicians or otherwise. It is a natural process of magic to be moulded after the religious view of the practicioner.

In the Egyptian world, the priests would call upon the higher gods and their secret names to force the lesser gods or the demons of the diseases to dispell or retreat. In Mesopotamia, the same thing occurred. In fact, the story of how Silik-mulu-ki, the god of healing, came to the aid of men in defeating the seven evil spirit princes (Maskim) with the help of the most terrible and secret name of his heavenly father, Ea, is not so different from how 17th century German conjurors employed the aid of the healing Christ by means of the names of the Father, to conjure and subject the seven Electors of Hell to the sorcerer. We cannot say that the Faustian conjurations, created in a Catholic environment, are simply Christian rip-offs of the Akkadian incantations, because there is a great gap between the two and no connection whatsoever, but we could guess that they are similar constructs meant to obtain similar results for two completely different people, separated by time, space and dogma.

Even before the rise of the Catholic Church, the gnostics countered the evil actions of the malevolent Archons with the authority of Jesus, or some, with the authority of the veterotestamentary God of Abraham himself, IAO. Still before the rise of Christianity as a religious and political power, in the fourth century A.D., the Testament of Solomon tells of how the wise king Solomon, a key element in all subsequent magical books and sagas, compels the demons with the help of the Judeo-Christian God.

The religion of Islam is no different: Arabic magicians hold grimoires that have never seen the scrutinous eye of the Inquisition or of the Vatican, yet constrain demons and djinn by the use of mystical names of God and by the powers of their frustrating angels, such as Mikhail, Jibril, Ruqail and Israfil, the same ones that European treatises conjure. While the Catholic magician empowers his rituals and conjurations by the 100 names of God and 72 names of Christ, the Arab empowers his with recitations of the 99 names of Allah and the 28 names of power of the Barhatyah Oath. Is it quite so unbelievable that the Catholic will use quotations from the Bible, namely Psalms and Gospels, while the magicians and sorcerers of Yemen use their surahs from the Quran?

Every religion has it’ s magicians, and every magician appeals to the utmost source of power known to him, namely, the God of his tradition. It is with good reason that the sage Abramelin advises Abraham of Worms (another author of a 15th to 16th century devotional grimoire that had nothing to do with the Church) to not change his religion. He states that every man or woman can attain the secrets of magic, be they Pagan, Muslim, Mosaic or Christian, with the condition of not renouncing his religion for the sake of another. This means the Sumerian, the Greek, the Egyptian, The Syrian and the English magician can set in motion the same forces with the same results, if they stick to the tradition that is most suited to them and has been empowered by other magicians of his own kind by trial, error and oath.

That is why most grimoires of the traditional kind do not work for a large number of their employants. It is not the grimoires that are dead wrong, but the approach of the practitioner. They are being attempted by people desiring to change their content, replace their names with others, employ other spirits with the same methodology, affix GoldenDawnish rituals and pseudokabbalism to where there once wasn’t any and disregard their requirements. One of the first reasons why the traditional grimoires do not work is that they are not being attempted by people of a similar paradigm to the one of the author: German and Italian grimoires are attempted by non-Catholics, Jewish grimoires are attempted by gentiles, Arabic grimoires are attempted by non-Muslims and worst, Babilonian curses and rituals are being performed by living people… The same goes with secret orders: a non-initiate may do Golden Dawn rituals all his life daily, if he is not accustmed with the Order’s philosophy, beliefs, rituals and initiatory currents, he will obtain little but mental illusions.

The most flagrant transgression is when a grimoire writen in the spirit of a religion is atempted by an opponent of that religion or by a skeptic. A Christian grimoire will never have any effrect with an atheist or with a satanist. A grimoire employing the names of the Judeo-Christian God can not be reversed engineered to resemble a pagan conjuration and achieve results accordingly, no matter how well attested our analogies are and no matter how clever our religios philosophy may be. A satanist wanting to put into practice the Goetia or the Grimoire of Honorius would have to do something quite agaist his beliefs, like renouncing Satan formally in a Christian ceremony, much the same way the Christians of the Middle Ages would want to give themselves freely over to the powers of darkness renouncing their Christian God formally, in ritual desecration of the Cross, the Holy Host or of certain icons. The two are quite similar and it is quite useful to study the history of such ritual conversions to uncover their mechanisms and utility, beyond that of theatrical amusement of the wealthy and bored.

This brings us to the second argument, that is the confesional one. The Catholics wrote the grimoires! Yes, some of them were. The Jews wrote them! Yes, some of them were. Pagans, Arians, Nestorians, Orthodox, Catholics, Jews, Muslims wrote grimoires. We use mostly Christian grimoires, with overwhelming influences. Most of the God names of our Christian grimoires come from Jewish sources. Most of the spirits’ names, as well. Some spirits of the air, like those found in the „Heptameron” and the „Liber de Annuli”, such as Varcan, Sarabotres, Zaaba and Maymon, are simply Western interpretations of the seven kings of the djinn, such as Burqan, Shamhurash, Zawba and Maymun. The Martian spirit Samax of the „Heptameron” is called „Rubeus Rex, Filius Diabuli” (the Red King, son of the Devil), an exact translation of the Arab name of the Martial King of the Spirits, Malika Al-Ahmar, bin-Iblis. Does this mean that the original spirits were painted over with Islamic dogma? Not in the least.

The grimoires in use in the West today were indeed written by Catholics. But they were not disguised as prayers or composed in such a way to appease the Catholic Church, they were written like that because of the belief of the practicioner in the power of the said prayer. There is no falsity in these grimoires, they were all written to serve the purpose they advertise of serving. There were not only a lot of Catholic practicioners, but almost all magicians of the Middle ages were exclusively monks and priests, as Richard Kieckhefer quite eloquently proves in a specially dedicated chapter of his work, „Magic in the Middle ages” called the Clerical Underground.

The Church as a whole did not look upon magic and grimoires with good eyes, quite the contrary. When discovered, such books were confiscated and burned and their employers accused of witchcraft. Should the said grimoires bare the names of God, of the Virgin Mary, the Saints or Christ, or portions of the Roman Liturgy mixed with the conjurations, the sentence was not milder and the author was not forgiven, but even worse, he would have been charged both with witchcraft and heresy, along with other chages as using the Holy Sacrament in magic and taking the Lord’s name in vain. By putting Cristian elements in the rituals he employed, the Catholic magician did not seek the clemency of the Catholic Church nor an excuse for his magic, but quite on the contrary, he was risking a lot more than mere witchcraft charges.


‎"A Christian grimoire will never have any effrect with an atheist or with a satanist." If, by “Christian Grimoire,” you mean most of the traditional grimoires out there (the Keys, Arabtel and Almadel, Grimoirium Verum, etc), then my friend, you are indeed wrong, as I am a living witness to the efficacy of these grimoires, once the unnecessary religious aspects are removed and the actual system of the thing is understood. That’s exactly where I’m coming from: this whole thing is a system. If you understand the system by which these powers are activated, anyone can active them, regardless of their religious affiliation.


‎"There were not only a lot of Catholic practicioners, but almost all magicians of the Middle ages were exclusively monks and priests." Who else besides clergy and nobility had access to education enough to read grimoires, or to pen them?


Now, I wasn’t aware at the onset that you would be using my professional facebook page to advertise Christianity, and if you have studied my work in any depth at all you would know that I am neither interested in Christianity, or interested in debating Christianity. Your original pretense was to demonstrate how grimoires, as they are, are not dead-wrong. So far, you’ve acted as an apologist for Christianity as a whole, and have only demonstrated that unless the Operator is Christian, he will not be able to use the Christian grimoires. Again, this is dead wrong. I have proven this myself time and again in my own workings, and such has been vindicated time and again by the hundreds if not thousands of people who have successfully utilized the system that I lay out in my works to evoke any spirit they wish, regardless of their religious beliefs. I will tell you this once: if your goal is to argue your case for Christianity, which it seems to be, then you have come to the wrong forum. If you’d like to continue your attempt to demonstrate how grimoires are not dead wrong and even dangerous to use if taken at face value, I invite you to continue.

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EA, do you know if the use of the Circle and Triangle appears in any other text besides the Christian Grimoires? If they in fact invented the outline for Evocation, it would be a compelling argument on their side.


I dont read Asterion Mage as being an apologist for Christianity or endorsing it especially. I read him as saying most all the old Grimoires are right so long as you have sufficient faith and motivation in the underlying belief system. A kind of chaos magick proposition in a way though he argues it as less of a cynic perhaps…A famous child psychoanalyst once said when asked what kind of therapy works and what doesnt, that he could help anyone but only if they interested him…I see this as that kind of argument and I have some sympathy with it. But I also agree with your point Eric that the underlying structure is the thing not the wrappings which you have worked to reveal.

A final point is I wonder if the pared down sparse approach developed by yourself is in keeping with the digital, no hanging around, no frills, no bullshit, 21Century Zeitgist and is as much of its time as any of the others, or will Mages look back in hundreds of years and say that was the seismic shift in Magickal consciousness right there!

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Now, keep in mind that the debate isn’t whether Christianity is right or if they have had a major hand in the development of modern evocation. The debate is whether grimoires are safe and practical to use on their own, without any prior discipline, experience, or study, and if every aspect of evocation as detailed in the grimoires are necessary to the final materialization of the spirit.

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The original article is here: http://www.becomealivinggod.com/evocation/3-reasons-why-grimoires-wrong.php

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Fair enough. While the grimoiric material may be watered down with dogma, you cannot deny its core system had major influence on your occult practice.

Sure, it had an influence. So did the Book of Mormon. My point is simply that neither the Book of Mormon nor grimoires are accurate, usable, or safe on their own.

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lol - The Book of Mormon.
Same gig here, in fact I often wonder if the BOM was legitimately translated from some record provided by an Angel that J.S. evoked (since his family was found in the possession of hermetic evocation parchments), but twisted and manipulated toward Joe’s personal desires and means to power. I mean, how else do you get three witnesses to testify that an angel came down and showed the plates to them, then later after leaving the church never (apparently) denying the fact to those who held inquiry?
Anyway - totally besides the point. Asterion Mage makes some interesting observations, but obviously has not studied enough to understand that the second you put a god in front of you, instead of usurping the throne for yourself, then yes, you have placed a limitation on yourself, and the use of other “gods” or their subordinates will probably not respect you or follow your command.
Now, I’m still a beginner, and I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I do understand the concept that we are all divine and can achieve godhood and a level of authority equal to the spring of creation itself. And that once this is established and correctly wielded - there’s not one oscillation of creation that will not bow at your presence and obey every command.
One basis for my belief of this, as that I have not yet ascended to having merged with creation, is that those who have, and those who have reported their experiences and knowledge are the ONLY magicians who have reports that completely and utterly coincide without but minimal variances.
I actually saw his original post and was wondering how he was going to counter EA’s claim. But now that I see it, I understand that his claim and its limitations are the very reason why those who do not reach for the ultimate power of becoming creation and developing your own godhood can only utilize the powers under the god of their choice, falling short of wielding the powers of other gods and their subordinates or other spheres of greater power than that which is held by the god they worship.
I am totally convinced that “The most flagrant transgression” IS NOT “when a grimoire writen in the spirit of a religion is atempted by an opponent of that religion or by a skeptic.” - rather, The most flagrant transgression is not reaching for your own divinity and falling under the power of some limited god that is not yourself.

[quote=“Neophyte, post:6, topic:392”]I dont read Asterion Mage as being an apologist for Christianity or endorsing it especially. I read him as saying most all the old Grimoires are right so long as you have sufficient faith and motivation in the underlying belief system. But I also agree with your point Eric that the underlying structure is the thing not the wrappings which you have worked to reveal.

A final point is I wonder if the pared down sparse approach developed by yourself is in keeping with the digital, no hanging around, no frills, no bullshit, 21Century Zeitgist and is as much of its time as any of the others, or will Mages look back in hundreds of years and say that was the seismic shift in Magickal consciousness right there![/quote]

I also read it that way, but maybe this has something to do with my atheist/science-fundamentalist background (kinda curious about why there seem to be so few former atheists on here).

Ive not started with evocation yet as Im currently more in need of mastering Soul Travel. But maybe I should let Asterion Mage know when I start evoking. My atheist ass should have zero results according to him? LOL

Good final point Neophyte, I was wondering about that myself.

Ow and DK, stop calling yourself a beginner, you`re making me feel like a fetus! :wink:

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I read his post and comments on FB and he does advertise Xtianity indeed. That’s my impression.

Besides that, I have always had problems with all those Holy names in almost every grimoire. My parents were Jehovah’s Witnesses so fear for everything “God” forbids was something I had to deal with for a long time. I finally managed to get rid of those taboos and now am able to use the grimoires freely, albeit only for the names and the sigils in them.

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Of course the grimoires work. I don’t see how anyone can refute this anymore. Ask any practising grimoire magician (there is alot of those around these days). The question is no longer “Do the grimoires work”, because of course they do. I haven’t done an evocation from a classical grimoire by the book yet, and I am still a newbie, but everything I understand and have experienced with regards to magical experimentation tells me when I read a grimoire that working totally by the book will not only work, but it will also work really well, IF I can dedicate myself to the perspective this book works from. Alot of energy and intention that is harmonic to the operation will be focused into the ritual when working by the book from, lets say, Heptameron. A very elaborate ritual. When I read a grimoire I understand that the operation mentioned in the book is for the uninitiated to help him/her produce the manifestation. The last few times I have performed a spell I found that the spell would be more effective the more energy and intention I focused into it. It would make a difference if I fasted, or if I did not fast. It would make a difference if I took a ritual bath or if I didn’t. It would make a difference if I used visualisation or if I didn’t. It would make a difference if I felt a strong love and connection to God or not. Not to say that I couldn’t make the spell work without the ekstra energy, but it was my impression that the more energy (as long as it was in harmony with the whole operation) would only increase the effect of the ritual.
Not to say that I myself am experienced enough to set things straight in this discussion, but from my experience and from reading of other practisioners experiences I have come to the conclusion that working by the book with a complicated grimoire will work very well.
The question is, what is the difference in the effects and results when working the rite by the book, and when working it by what you consider to be the core mechanics and disregard all that you think isn’t necessary.

Regarding Christianity and it’s influence on many of the classical grimoires… Catholicism looks very alike some older religious traditions. From what i’ve come to understand there is an great amount of greek religious practice in catholicism. It is camouflaged and distorted, but it’s there. And a lot of magical practice eventhough the catholics don’t view what they do as magic (because they don’t know what magic is). This has diminished over time of course. People have become a lot less practical minded with their religion, but if you go back in time you often find little spells in prayer books and such. The whole idea of using an alter at home, in the way used, for praying for certain things is also very old and magical. Most of what makes Catholicism is taken from much older religions and magical traditions. Using a high All Father deity to bind lesser entities is by no means a christian idea.

I like Asterion Mage and there was a few things he wrote here that I agree with, but most of it I disagree with. Of course you don’t need to be a Christian to work the Arbatel. Anyone who has some experience with simpel spells will know this. I think some in his talk about religion has some relevans, but I disagree with his conklusions here. And it’s fair if you are repulsed by Christianity and religion. Completely fair enough, I can relate to that, but religion is still very relevant to the study of how magical practice has evolved throughout the ages of humanity. The way I see it, the evolution of magical practice is a clash between understanding the old, and acknowledging the new. Tradition aswell as modern inventions are of prime relevans to magical evolution of any magical practitioner in my honest opinion. But again, I can completely relate to how one can be grossed out by religion. There is a reason why most of us here are black magicians.

No, I don’t believe that the grimoire magicians made the books look christianlike in order to be accepted. I only believe very few grimoire authors was trying to be accepted. The author of Arbatel was obviously trying to be accepted, Dr. Thomas Rudd was trying to be accepted, but most grimoire authors was trying to hide their practice and philosophy from the church. The religious grimoires were written religiously because the authors experience told them that their religion made the magic more powerful. Cornelius Agrippa also believed this, and his word is what many traditionalists go by. Whether or not this is true, that religion makes the magic stronger or if it hinders it, or if it’s just irrelevant, is up to debate of course.

A problem is that I don’t see how we will ever reach a finished conclusion here. Because a religious magician can’t very well experiment to see if his religion’s influence boosts his magic or not, and neither can the non-religious magician. To work your magic at it’s peek you need to be completely dedicated to it, and if you are to figure the difference debated here out through experience then you need to be completely dedicated to both extremes at the same time, and that is not possible. There are far too many factors to take into consideration to be able to get a final conclusion to this debate. So I think this debate will continue forever.

Sorry about the wall of text

I appreciate your considerations on this subject, Attis. However, very few magicians (none of the hundreds that I’ve personally spoken with) have attained the sort of success in working with the grimoires as they are written, versus utilizing a more systematic approach, which turns that which is otherwise puffed up as a religious rite into instead a method of scientific practice. Asterion may be one of the rare cases of those who are able to not only produce materializations of spirits but also produce real and verifiable results in alignment with the intention of the ritual. Lisiewisky is another who makes that claim. So, that’s two. Two out of hundreds seems to be more of a fluke than anything.

Furthermore, I constantly find myself helping aspiring magicians pull themselves out of deep troubles that they have incurred by following the instructions in grimoires, awakening powerful forces in their lives, but having no way of controlling them, as the Constraints given in the grimoires rarely work at all.

The grimoires DO lay down the skeleton of a system of evocation, and then hide that system with forests of silliness.

As for your final statement: “cause a religious magician can’t very well experiment to see if his religion’s influence boosts his magic or not, and neither can the non-religious magician.” Actually, the non-religious magician CAN experiment in such a manner, utilizing methods of subjective synthesis. And most who do come to the same conclusion as I: most of the traditional ritual, as recorded in grimoires, is useless and even misguiding to the point of being dangerous, and more direct methods will yield more direct results.


I can’t say I can really relate as far as having actually experienced anything extremely negative. I’ve worked with goetic spirits, the BoA, and PME - with, of course, experimental contacts, the archangels, some of those in Evoking Eternity. I have flipped through a lot of other grimoires simply in search of what I needed but have always used EA’s method with overtones of Bardon’s method here and there. Mostly just room impregnation and alternate methods of invoking divinity. So I’ve never had any serious problems, or at least, any problems I haven’t been able to take care of myself.
But I can definitely see how an inexperienced person, who has natural magickal abilities could get into some pretty serious trouble by following the recommendations in some random grimoire, especially those specific to malevolent entities and powers.
The same reasons pointed out in the article though, are prevalent in almost any literature of great content, with very literal guards to keep the uninitiated from successful operations. Especially the older alchemical texts, when divulging the instructions of the creation of the philosopher’s stone, would often, if followed literally, actually produce a poison - killing several who attempted the synthesis without taking into account the secrets woven between the lines.
So - it comes to the logical conclusion, that if the alchemists of old (many who ran in the same circles who, as well as personally worked, with evocation - would knowingly kill a person who did not understand the process of alchemy - why then would it be hard to imagine that these same initiated persons would have any problems writing instructions into the grimoires which would have such adverse effects as even death - or worse.
Very few texts seem to deliver legitimate information that can produce legitimate results. EA, you definitely are among those who have no problem laying it out in its purity. Though, even at that, I’m sure there are those things you keep from divulging to the public eye. Still, you don’t poison that which you do publish with deadly formulas and intentional misguidance.

I came to the conclusion long ago that not everything in the grimoires was required for evocation. I think some things were put in as blinds while others were put in as pitfalls to the operators overall success and other things like the fancy costume dress up that some have and whatnot in some of them to be just outright humor in some cases. Taking the goetia for example you have very specific items made from precious metals and jewels that are to be used in the ritual of summoning these spirits and since this grimoire although supposedly older is set within the philosophy of what I would determine to be a 15th to 17th century sorcerer paying heavy lip service to the church. I would say that these things were put there as a means whereby the inquisition would be able to identify people practicing such arts by paying off the artisans or offering them some sort of contract with the church that would normally be hired to make such articulate pieces to notify the church if something strange like that were to arise upon their worktable thereby exposing the heretic and making an “example” of the would be mage.

As for the workable parts of these books it was laid out quite usefully in Evoking Eternity that the skeletal framework for beginning the work of evocation consists of 6 tools (7 if you want to count the sigil), one of which is considered a necessity according to the book. You have the ritual dagger, the altar, the chalice, the circle, the triangle, and of course the incense with which the smoke forms the basis of the materialization of the subject being evoked. According to Evoking Eternity, at least in my perception the incense or at least some vaporous medium is the one thing that EA states cannot be done without. It is encouraged in the book that each one has a purpose for the up and coming evocator but as the operator progresses these tools are to be discarded much like the training wheels of a bicycle with the exclusion of the smoke, mist, or any other type of translucent vaporous material.

The dagger being the first tool used in the operation is used after invoking omnipotence in order to transfer that omnipotence to all of the other things used in the ritual. Personally while reading this I thought to myself “if one transfers omnipotence to the dagger directly why wouldn't the operator do this with everything else as well?” But this is why it is the first and the easiest to be discarded. 

I bring up the dagger by itsself to drive home the entire point of the chapter I am referring to. These items are likened to training wheels while mastering the art of evocation and are taken away when one becomes accustomed to the ritual in general and can recreate all of the necessary things in evocation without these psychological aides that act as stepping stones between you and the spirit summoned. 

It is my belief that these symbolic mechanisms weren't always there but as humanity began to move away from the spiritual for whatever reason it became more and more difficult to accept the reality that the operation of evocation could be performed and these things were used as a way to reintegrate this practice to the man/woman who sought to gain spiritual knowledge straight from the source as I believe our very ancient ancestors used to.  

The one thing that I have found to be in common with all spiritual encounters is the smoke. Why this is I can only speculate but my thought is perhaps it has the same effect that a dimmer switch has in a romantic situation. It “sets the mood” if you will. The smoke being physically visible yet not entirely tangible is enough to call out that hidden part of our psyche that sees between the worlds where all barriers fall away without the possibility of psychological recoil. I would even propose that this was the first tool that man incorporated into the operation given accounts in folk lore of beings coming out of mist or smoke such as aladdin and the genie (the operation of rubbing the lamp or coercing the genie as it were to appear in a cloud of smoke) or even the arthurian tales of the magickal beings of the misty isle of avalon. Not to mention native american traditions and others as well that all seem to be tied together by this one common factor.

When speaking of psychological recoil in the face of something man cannot explain I’m sure most people here understand what it is I am referring to but I will give an example just in case.

I was 19 years old and living in an apartment complex at the time and studying heavily into chaos magick. I had a side project going on at the time with a fellow chaos mage concerning a sigil that he had created called a tesseract sigil. obviously named after the reality bending concept of the tesseract in Madeline L’Engles book A Wrinkle in Time. I had entered the laundry room of my apartment complex with my arms filled to capacity with the gigantic bag of laundry that needed to be done and my mind equally filled with thoughts on how one might go about applying such a sigil in the use of teleportation when I noticed a young couple. The girl couldn’t have been much older than me and the guy was probably two or three years older and they were going on like young lovers do making small talk, giggling and looking at each other as they waited for their load to finish. I hadn’t really paid them much attention until I noticed that their laundry had finished and they were heading towards the door. They stopped for a moment and looked at each other without saying anything and then the girl pipes up “That sounds like a great idea Tom”. Now Tom was a tall lanky guy with a bit of a grungy punk rock look and I didn’t really think much of him at first but I was watching them close enough to know that he hadn’t said anything to her at all yet here she was replying as though he wasn’t just standing there staring at her like a blithering idiot (I was a bit of a negative person back then and I’m telling the story from that perspective). “Ok so he can project his thoughts big woop” was my reaction to the whole thing and so I turned my back to them facing the window to continue my contemplation only to be annoyed by them again walking by the window. They stopped at a distance of about I’d say 10 yards away from the window when they exchanged smiles to one another and the girl walked away carrying the laundry basket off toward one of the buildings and I expected Tom to either follow her or go to a different building. He did neither of those things but instead turned and looked directly at me. This startled me slightly for reasons I’m still not quite sure of but it compelled me to keep both eyes on him. He didn’t stay still long though once he realized he had my attention. In the next moment that he moved he pivoted slightly bringing his left foot out in front of him almost like a stance one would see from elderly people doing tai chi in the park. He then proceeded to turn his upper body bringing his left hand in line with his right hip and then…

Nothing. He was gone. The man had literally vanished leaving nothing behind but empty space right before my very eyes.

At that I was utterly shocked and nothing since has ever come close to having that effect on me to this day. I found myself utterly dumbfounded with my mind reeling, feebly grasping at some sort of explanation that wasn’t coming and all of a sudden it felt like in my inability to accept what had just happened my mind was trying to forget it and was screaming NO! But my will screamed louder and I rushed to the window looking at the very spot where Tom had stood and burned the memory of what had happened into my mind. Forcing myself to accept the reality of what I had just witnessed and determined to give my mind no reason to argue with me anymore I rushed out the door of the laundry room completely ignoring the buzzer on the machine telling me my clothes were ready for the dryer and headed over to the very spot where he had stood moments before and looked around for any way he could have possibly just slipped from sight with some sort of optical illusion or something but it was all for naught. There was nothing he could have ducked behind in a completely open area and his foot impressions were still on the ground but only in that one spot. There was no denying it at that point.

After that I dove even deeper into my spiritual development determined to make certain that if something like that ever happened again I would not struggle with the experience of trying to process it. Suffice it to say that I was utterly pissed off at myself for having that reaction because if I couldn’t accept that one thing then I would never be able to accept the possibility of me doing something of equal or greater magnitude. It’s hard to say if I’ve been successful in my endeavors to make my definition of reality more flexible since then as I’ve never had another experience quite so profound as that one but I do know that if the mind isn’t ready to handle something it will fight tooth and nail to refute the possibility of that something.

I think I’d better wrap this up for now though because it has gotten rather lengthy. One question that I have to pose to EA in all due respect though is this. Why didn’t you go to the next logical step in Evoking Eternity and stop using the incense since all of the other mechanisms were left behind?

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The incense or as the old school grimoires like to call it, Perfume of Art, is more than just an offering, or a means of filling the air with fine particles which can be used by the spirit to assume a physical form. There is an occult principle at work here which is virtually unknown to the majority of modern Practitioners. That principle involves the occult issue of Alchemy. Although this subject is far too nebulous to discuss in detail here… but specifically, there are three alchemical ingredients composing all matter. They are termed the “Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury” of a substance. Here, we are referring to the Salt, Sulfur and Mercury of the incense. The Salt is actually the Body of the herb. It is not the body you see when you buy or pick the fresh herb. It is what remains of the herb after it has passed though fire, so that only a gray or white ash remains. As such, it is these rarefied particles that will pass into the air and be used by the spirit to assume physical form. Ironically, even demons require pure substances in order to summon them forth, and such an alchemical body of a herb will do just that. But the issue is even more complex than that. The Sulfur of the herb is its Consciousness. As the herb burns, this consciousness, whose vehicle in the Herbal Kingdom of Nature of the physical world is an oil, passes in the air along with particles of the body of the herb, enabling the spirit to interact with the Magician mentally, or consciously. Finally, the alchemical Mercury of the herb is its Life. During the burning of the herb, this Life (whose specific vibratory nature is congruent to the nature of the spirit being evoked) enhances the ability of the spirit to interact with the Magician on this Earth plane by providing an agreeable quality for the spirit’s nature. Thus, the combination of the alchemical Salt, Sulfur and Mercury of the incense, are as critical in Evocation as is invoking omnipotence and attaining the theta-gamma sync.

First and foremost Revenant I like what you’ve said here as it does give me something to wrap my head around both in the art of evocation as well as the use of herbs in magick in a general sense. I see you’re a very intelligent person with a solid magickal background and I appreciate your thoughts.

Secondly I have to retract my question to EA because upon rereading the chapter I’m about to bring up I found he did do away with the incense smoke for a time.

Towards the end of chapter nine of Evoking Eternity EA gives an account of a time in which he summoned forth a legion of angels outdoors in broad daylight to visible manifestation without the use of incense smoke. Since there seemingly was no alchemical transmutation taking place by the burning of the incense how would you propose these beings manifested if the burning of incense is as crucial a step as the invocation of omnipotence?

This account is what has prompted my current belief that these are steps that are gradually shed as one becomes more familiar with the working and can accept that which has become so unfamiliar to mankind.

I am firmly convinced that some sort of manifestation base is required, whether it be incense, a blood sacrifice, burnt offerings of other sorts, an Elixir of Manifestation, or the gaseous vapors of a flowing river… in almost every case, the base exudes a vapor, and in that vapor the alchemical process occurs, as Revenant so eloquently discusses above. I am certain as well that the Salt/Mercury/Sulfur connection can be made to most of these as well.

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