Mishkan ha-Echad

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The License to Depart

There has been some debate in recent times regarding the importance of the License to Depart, and, if, indeed, it is needed at all. While some make arguments for the latter I personally believe the License to Depart is necessary for good practice of ceremonial magic. Yes, ceremonies can still work without it, but I think they work better with it, and it's included in most grimoires and traditions for a very good reason.

Sometimes it is not employed due to pure laziness, while other times it is not employed because the magician in question believes it negates the effects of the previous invocation. Others dislike the idea of telling spirits to "get the hell out", but really I believe this shows a lack of understanding of what the License to Depart actually is. A License to Depart is the giving of permisison to leave (i.e. they are required to stay the length of your working for whatever your need is), not a command to leave. If they fail to leave (most genuine entities will not), then follows the banishing to remove them and anything else. Thus a banishing can still be quite essential even after a License to Depart is employed. Usually when a Divine Name ruling the spirit in question is employed in the License to Depart (for example: "depart in peace in the name of [Divine Name]") there should be no issue with the spirit leaving. A general banishing may be appropriate for other stray energy or elementals attracted by the ritual.

Some form of "closing" is essential for the sanity of the magician. To not close (in whatever fashion) means that the mental state and magical energy raised are being brought into one's everyday life. If a magician opens, then they should close. It would be like not removing one's robe after a working. The initiation ceremonies of the Golden Dawn employ an Opening and Closing for a very good reason, and just as we employ the structure of these rituals (particularly that of the 0=0 in the Z-2 formula) for our ceremonial work, so too should we employ a suitable Opening and Closing (points E and X of the Z-2 formula).

A general formula for writing a License to Depart is as follows:

  1. Thank the entity for showing up, particularly in the case of Angels, etc.
  2. Ask the entity to depart in the name of a higher power (in much the same way you would have asked them to appear by such a name).
  3. Add a clause for peace between the entity and you ("May there be peace between us").
  4. Add a blessing to the spirit if suitable, particularly depending on one's religious affiliations ("The blessings of God/Yeheshuah/the God and Goddess be upon you").
  5. Close with a suitable phrase or word ("In the name of... Amen").

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Ritual Voice, Part 2

Frequently I am reminded of the importance of how we deliver our lines during ritual. In addition to the points made in my previous post there is the matter of how we pronounce different words in the ritual.

I do not mean that we need to employ a certain accent or correct imperfections in our general pronunciation (though such corrections may also help), but more that we pronounce the words with the sound that represents the meaning behind them.

For example, if the word "whisper" appears in the text, it should be whispered. There should be a softness, a sound of a breeze billowing through the Hall, as if sounded by some ethereal voice. In contrast the word "cry" should be cried aloud, forceful and full of emotion. The word "roar" should be roared (not to say that you let everyone in the city hear, but that you encapsulate the sound of a roar within a smaller setting).

It helps, therefore, to spend some time considering the sounds that each word makes and what these sounds suggest to you, because sound affects us in ritual just as much as colour, smell and movement do. Harking back to our school lessons on onomatopoeia can pay dividends in this regard.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Poetry: A Pale Afterthought

In these mingled moments when the earth grows cold,
When all of us yet living watch catastrophe unfold,
There is a lonely glimmer buried deep beneath the rubble
Of our colder hearts that led us to this trouble.
If only we had dared to cast our greedy glances
Upon the poorest nations who do not get our second chances
To live a life worth living on this angered earth,
This little ball of rubble that is our place of birth,
Then maybe, for a moment, we would make a change,
A bargain well worth making, a life for death exchange,
A little bit of offering, a helping hand in need
Instead of giving only to our hungry friend called greed.
Then maybe we could give to them when they're still alive
Instead of this pale afterthought to help a few survive.
I suppose it clears our conscience, makes us feel real good
That our aid has reached these people now... instead of when it should.

Healing for Haiti

I join with many other mystics and magicians in offering my prayers and magical energies to Haiti, to both the living, the dead, and the dying. Please join your fellow Fratres and Sorores in offering your time, money, magic, or anything you can to aid the people of Haiti and the aidworkers who are struggling to deliver this aid. Monetary donations can be made to a number of organisations, including the Irish Red Cross.

Let us also take time to remove the veil of ignorance and spend some time and money on preventing such disasters occuring. There are other poor countries around the world who are prone to natural disaster, only they do not have the resources to prevent buildings collapsing, etc. This is the man-made disaster that made things worse.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Hermetic Virtues, No. 11

Issue 11 of Hermetic Virtues has been released, containing the following excellent articles:

+ Basic Alchemy for the Golden Dawn by Samuel Scarborough
+ Temperance by Harry Wendrich
+ The Will or Rotzohn by Olen Rush
+ Sacred Geometry: Polygons and Polygrams, Part I by Sandra Tabatha Cicero
+ The Seven-branched Candlestick and the Angels of the Heptarchia, by Nick Farrell
+ An Exposition on the Infernal Habitations, Part I by Rachel Walker
+ An Interview with Pat Zalewski by Nick Farrell
+ The Story of "Venus Awakening" by Nicola Wendrich
+ The Secret Fire: An Alchemical Study - a Review by Samuel Scarborough
+ V.I.T.R.I.O.L. by Vic Sabljic
+ A Solo Winter Solstice Rite by Nick Farrell

To obtain a copy, click here.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Monday, 11 January 2010

Notes on Geomancy

Nick Farrell published a free guide to Geomancy on his website, which can be found here.