Initiation into Magick
Welcome to this very special book that deals with the magical process of sigilization! It is unlike any other book of instruction, insofar as it attempts to present the truth about magick and open an individual path to the inner mysteries. In order to derive maximum benefit from this book, it is essential that you proceed slowly and carefully, thinking deeply about the paradigms presented to you. Despite ideas given in certain types of literature, there is no such thing as "instant" magick— no rapid path to enlightenment. Patience is, therefore, the motto to be adopted.
If I had to give you a single key—words that would serve as your guide to real magick—it would be:
Input = Output
A major law of the cosmos states that you get "out" in direct proportion to that which you put "in." The ratio is invariable. Also, note that time and money are not necessarily the criteria. It is the quality of the input that matters.
Forming a Group and Making a Covenant
The bringing together of two or more people to perform rituals has certain advantages, as long as personality clashes are avoided. Working rites with incompatible people is a complete waste of time, so get to know others first. If there is common ground, nurture it. Any group rite has to have a common objective, whether knowledge or acquisition, if it is to survive. A basic constitution should be drawn up before any ritual work is undertaken, no matter how simple or basic the work may be. Rites should be planned so that each person can function as an individual within the whole, and so that the end product will benefit all. Don't let one person run the whole show, with everyone else following. There should be a cadre of adepti whose job it is to teach others. As such, they should operate only with members on their own level, or for instructive purposes. In ritual magick, everyone should have their turn at taking every role in temple rites, seasonal ceremonies, and initiations, otherwise a magical lodge becomes a "cult" in the worst sense of the word. With four people, for example, you may have four officers, each one taking responsibility for one element and its doorway, a fact that can be used for any ritual, especially those designated as seasonal.
A seasonal rite is one that is dedicated to a season of the year, whose purpose may be attunement, learning, acquisition, or all of these. A rite at spring, for instance, may be performed around the time of the spring equinox. Its aim might be the planting of an idea that would bear fruit in the autumn. This idea can be carried around the seasons, at each of the four points of tidal change.1 Seasonal rites are very useful, both for groups and for the individual worker who wishes to understand the way in which nature works.
Group working differs from solo work on many points, and you will have to get together to work out a plan of the rite, right down to the last detail, so that everyone knows what is going on and knows what they are to say and do. A script will have to be drawn up. This should be memorized, so that every officer says meaningful things at the right time—not an easy task, but one that is well worth the time and effort involved. In doing so, you not only get involved in the rite, you also learn a great deal. At the end of a group rite, useful comparisons of inner visions and feelings can be made, and other ideas can be discussed. All conjurations, path-working scenarios, and rituals should be known and standardized.
The Individual Path to Self-Initiation
Whether you are part of a group or work solo, in the final analysis, the only realistic magical path is one of individual effort that leads to truth. A person can no more work magick for you while you reap the rewards, than a person can eat your food for you while you enjoy it! If we return to the initial idea of input = output, here you are dealing with the highest quality of input. The resulting output is bound to be ideal and more in keeping with your true path in life.
Never treat your magical work as some sort of hobby or part-time interest you fit in whenever you can spare a little time. The input = output law is bound to give you proportional results that are bound to be disappointing. Similarly, you can learn from others and, in some instances, work with other people, provided that you do not give up individuality and freedom.
tial equator are called the solstices, and these occur in June for the summer solstice (when the sun enters Cancer) and December for the winter solstice (on entering Capricorn). In the southern hemisphere these equinoxes and solstices mark the reverse situation.
Your Magical Self
You are an individual. There is no one else like you in existence, so it naturally follows that there is only one path for you to follow—your own. This path leads to truth—not someone else's truth, but your own truth concerning your magical real self and your relationship with the universe. No teacher can ever lead you to this truth. All that can ever be done is to show you the way. This is done by giving you a realistic pattern of perfection based on universal truths—for example, those laws that apply to everyone, whatever their individual paths may be. You have already been given one such law. It applies to everyone and yet it allows total freedom of expression, for such is the nature of cosmic law and truth.
What is truth? A realistic definition is that truth is the discovery of your real self, your inherent potential, and your relationship with the universe. By discovering the truth about yourself, you gain freedom and acquire power. This is a goal worth aiming for.
The word "initiate" simply means "to start." The moment you start to search for truth in any way, shape, or form, you have actually started on the path of initiation. From then on, your initiation deepens in direct proportion to your efforts. Remember, input = output.
There are many stages on a path. Each one is an initiation in itself, as certain realizations are made. Again, these are personal realizations and are dictated by your own progress and level of advancement. These levels, incidentally, have nothing whatsoever to do with the grades and titles adopted by lodges and covens. An initiate advances by becoming aware.
The Choice of Path
There are, as you will no doubt discover, many misconceptions in magick, largely due to carelessness and lack of thinking. In magick, there are two main paths to follow—practical magick and esoteric magick.2 The former, by its very name, implies getting physical results from magical workings. The latter is concerned with the subject of magick in its own right. A person may, by free choice, follow either or both paths. In fact, it is a poor magician who cannot control or understand the physical end of life or try to understand its inner mysteries.
Often you will hear of "left" and "right" paths, of the evils of "materialism" and of black or white magick. I will now set out the truth of the matter and then you must judge for yourself.
There is a mistaken idea, especially among the devotees of "high" magick, that the material side of life is evil and is to be resisted. This is silly You live in a physical world and, unless you take control of the physical side of life, it will control you. There is no compromise—control or be controlled, that is the law.
There are many reasons why the material world came to be despised. Most of these restrictive ideas came from Eastern philosophies in which poverty is held up as a mark of spirituality and deprivation as a sure sign of success. Christianity carried on the dubious tradition, adding its own dimension to an already invalid belief.
To regard the material side of life as evil is absurd. There is nothing wrong with it in itself. What is wrong is the approach. Most people simply do not understand that they can have virtually anything they desire simply because they are entitled to have these things. It is only when the wrong attitudes, such as greed, jealousy, envy, and other negative ideas, take over that trouble begins. Once people realize that, when they ask of life, instead of stealing from others, they will receive all that they need, the problem ceases.
The truth about physicality and your ability to bring abundance into your life belongs to the realms of practical magick. It is vital that you do not consider the material side of life evil or beneath you. To think like this is to subscribe to a doctrine of hopelessness and defeatism. It should be remembered that, in the past, every time there was a mistake or catastrophe, it was blamed on the gods, who, in turn, became an excuse for failure. This turned into a vicious circle that gradually evolved into the now familiar scapegoat of the "will of the gods." The crux of the matter is that most people use this as a ready-made excuse for failure and lack. People can and do blame all sorts of intangibles for their own failure. So-called "enlightened" leaders continue to teach this absurd philosophy.
Left and Right
The ideas just mentioned have spilled over into magick in many ways. Perhaps the most obvious example is found in the idea of "right-hand" and "left-hand" paths. This has caused an artificial division in magick. Anyone who uses magical paradigms to enhance their own life is said to be on the lefthand path. The opposite, or right-hand, path is exclusively reserved for those who are supposed to be spiritual. The less enlightened simply blanket all this with the words black or white magick.
The use of magical paradigms to influence the material world is perfectly valid. In fact, we all influence physicality all the time without realizing it. Instead of using hackneyed
phrases such as black and white, and assuming that one is beneath the other, it would be more sensible to look for the truth first, and then make judgments. It is regrettable that very few practitioners do think. Instead, they simply accept that which appears obvious and then try to make it work.
Good and Evil
There is no such thing as "good" and "evil." Think about this carefully, because it happens to be true. What is good for one person is not necessarily good for another. The same is true of the word "bad." In reality, it is all a question of choice. Remember that you can exercise unrestricted free choice in any area of your life. In doing this, however, you may affect others in ways that appear to be "bad."
On an individual level, you must be the judge of your intentions and try to ensure that you do not knowingly harm others in the process. As in any situation, you must look at the facts that contribute to a decision, then act on them. The facts, however, may well be wrong, and you may, without knowledge, affect someone adversely. In either case, you could be judged to be "wrong." This is unfortunate, but it does happen. By gaining more insight or wisdom, however, you can learn to make fewer mistakes. It is quite another matter to deliberately persist in a course of action that you know to be bad, detrimental, or wrong. Not only are you violating the rights of others, you are damaging yourself in the process.
In the final analysis, the best way to view good and evil is not by accepting the religious definitions of these words. It is better to be more realistic and sensible. Forget about retribution, sin and other false concepts. Instead, apply common sense and sound reasoning.
The Science ofMagick
Esoteric magick is concerned with inner truths, as opposed to the more day-to-day issues covered by practical magick. As
10 EEl Basic Sigil Magic
such, it is not higher or more noble. It is merely a different path. A fair analogy might be to compare practical magick with flying an aircraft and esoteric magick with designing it. Both are necessary; both are equally important. So it is with the two main branches of the art. In practical magick, you are concerned with getting results, while in esoteric magick, you desire to know how.
Magick is a valid art, not a pseudo-science, and should be treated as such. Its existence cannot be proved or disproved in a high school physics lab. As in any science, you have to check your theories, sift through facts, and only adopt sane and rational ideas. You have to be scientific in the highest sense of the word.
One of the greatest problems with today's magick is that, far from being scientific, it has degenerated into a shambles of superstitions, muddled thinking, and the wholesale acceptance of unfounded ideas. Rather than go into detail at this stage, I will continue to point out these problems as we come to them.
The Cosmic Paradigm
In reality, there is no such thing as God. There is only energy. This energy is not random or chaotic; it is ordered and conforms to precise laws. The ultimate conclusion must be that there is intelligence behind energy and that this intelligence can be approached and contacted. This concept makes the classical image of God inadequate.
At the opposite end of the scale there is "you." What relationship do you have with the energies of life? The answer is that you have unlimited use of these energies and total free choice in the way in which you use them. This may, at first, seem quite illogical and untrue—that is, until you look a little deeper.
Looking beyond the obvious is what magick is all about. It is the truth, not facts, that you seek and you will rapidly learn that the apparent facts are not always true. It is thus folly to use them as a basis for belief. The only equation that successfully explains your true relationship to life energy is:
YOU = YOUR BELIEF PARADIGMS = ENERGY
This apparently simple statement will, if you think deeply about it, explain all of life's problems and, equally, give you the key to vast reserves of power. You are a creative being who uses life energy and directs it according to your will— whatever that may be. There are no restrictions or limitations other than those that are believed. The word "belief" is a major factor, as you will see. Everything that exists in your life is a direct result of your beliefs. Nothing happens by chance, nor are events controlled by fate or absurd concepts, such as karma. It is all there because you willed it to be so, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Anything that is accepted or believed affects the subconscious mind—that part of you which has the ability to direct energy and, thereby, achieve physical results. It knows no limits, nor does it recognize restrictions and limitations in the normal sense. In short, give it an instruction (belief) and it will carry this out to the letter. It naturally follows that, if your beliefs are wrong or self-limiting, you are bound to get the equivalent in physical results. Input = output. Your problems are not, therefore, due to external causes, they are entirely internal. It is impossible to overestimate the power of the subconscious mind. Not only will it carry out every command you give it, but it will also answer all questions.
Everything in existence contains energy in numerous patterns. Matter without energy is inert and useless. In order to understand the nature and workings of this energy, you must find some means of dividing it into convenient units. There are several systems that attempt to do this. By far the best is the
Cabbalistic Tree of Life. This incredible system helps us categorize energy and indeed everything else in life.
The only thing to bear in mind, for now, is that the only difference between, say, an orange and a lump of rock, are the different patterns of energy each contains. Also, if you know the type and nature of energy pattern inherent in an object, you are bound to have an understanding of the object and, more important, control over it.
The Magical Trident
Access to the knowledge and power of the subconscious mind comes through three means:
- ✵ The mind;
- ✵ The emotions;
- ✵ The imagination.
These are the points of the trident. The handle equates to the will. Briefly, to activate the subconscious, there first has to be an intention. For example, something must be willed. This is then directed into subconscious levels through either or all of these three access points. Sustained will is equivalent to belief and belief always gets results. The use of these three approaches will be discussed in detail later on.
Cause and Effect
Anything that you cause to happen must have an effect. The law of cause and effect is perfect and cannot be disputed or bypassed. You and no one else are totally responsible for the instructions you give to your subconscious mind—hence the need for caution and forethought. Never dabble in magick or play games with your subconscious, or you may activate a response that is hard to control. Good technique is vital to successful magical practice. Take responsibility for your actions and practice magick responsibly.
In addition, it is in your own interest to root out all belief patterns that are not in your best interests, because these can cause problems deep within your subconscious mind. This is one reason why the mysteries stress the maxim, "Know thyself." In other words, get to know all parts of yourself, even the bad parts, so that you can correct them. The problems you have had to face in life are entirely due to cause and effect. They are not caused by some vengeful god, intangibles such as fate and karma, or by anything or anybody else. You are the cause and, therefore, you must experience the effect. Naturally, the reverse is also true. Life is really what you make of it.
Conscious Control and Blocks
When directing power to acquire a definite result, there are two factors involved: the conscious control of power, and the blocks that prevent the effective use of power. Each person has any number of these blocks or habits. They manifest as fears, phobias, compulsions, strange ideas, and beliefs or nonbeliefs that you have accepted without thinking. Magick can only be effective when all the blocks are realized and replaced by truth. This truth is different for each person, as everybody has a different point of view and no two people see the same thing in the same way. In the past, these blocks were conceived of as demons, in the same way that angels represented the higher aspects. If you wish to use the visual image of a demon or an angel (better known as a "telesmatic image"), then do so, but keep in mind what they really are or serious error will result.3 These things are not real and are not to be given any unwarranted importance. The idea of bowing the knee to an angel or fleeing from a demon is ridiculous.
Although some magical traditions portray our compulsive savage instincts as demons and the cosmic entities as angels, these are merely labels that describe the dual aspects of a single universal intelligence. The Church used rituals such as baptism, and hard monastic discipline in order to subdue our instincts. Whatever you choose to call the demonic aspects of the self, they are real enough to defeat logic and determine both individual and social conduct. In the invocation of the so-called Holy Guardian Angel, the lower self (in other words, the undesirable blocks) is made to prostrate itself to the higher true self. As long as you bear in mind that this is all a metaphor for the Self, all is well and good. The paradigm falls down when the Holy Guardian Angel is seen as something outside the Self, and the operator identifies with the lower self. Feelings of guilt and worthlessness come from the lower self and are encouraged in many religions and esoteric schools—a victory for the lower self.
You are evolved; you have power. All you have to do is rediscover it. Tackle each block as you come to it. If something appears not to work, then there is a reason for this. Blocks to completion lie within the magician or the recipient (you can't blame failure on God). For example, a ritual for healing will not work if the recipient does not truly desire healing. Humans have wills of their own. It may take a long time for you to discover your blocks, but it is all a question of effort; the more you look for them, the quicker you will be rid of them. Magick, like every practical initiatory system, starts when you subdue the primitive instincts that govern your behavior. Only then is a positive relationship with the cosmos possible.
The assertive "demonic" element of the human brain, or the lower self, knows and uses our weaknesses to anticipate every challenge to its dominance. So determination alone is not enough. A sequential strategy is necessary to overcome your blocks and we will fully deal with this in the next chapter.
1 The four points of tidal change occur when the ecliptic and the celestial two sphere lines cross twice, at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, otherwise known as the March equinox (or first point of the sign of Aries) and September equinox (or first point of the sign of Libra). The two points at which the ecliptic is farthest from the celes
2 Practical magick equates to so-called low magick and is primarily concerned with the use of magical techniques to obtain solid, physical results. The other side of the coin is esoteric magick which equates to high magick and is the path to follow if you would study magick as a subject in its own right.
3 These are personifications of some desirable quality or power; an image of a being with whom you can converse, which is repeatedly built up over a period of time in the imagination. The Cabbalistic archangels are a good example of this. Much is to be gained from this technique provided that you do not credit this imaginary being with power over you.