The Master Ritual - The Psybermancer

Basic Sigil Magic - Phillip Cooper 2001

The Master Ritual
The Psybermancer

The first part of this book is specially designed to help remove confusion and misunderstanding, in addition to helping you discover your inherent power by using correct magical paradigms for sigilization and magick in general. The second part deals with the eight colors of magick and how you can easily apply these eight colors to sigilization rituals.1

The Essential Living Magick

In this chapter, we will look at the purpose and use of ritual. What is a ritual? What does it do? Which one is the best to use in any given situation? There are almost as many questions as there are ritual,s, for the subject is vast and complex. At the simple end of the scale you have spells and those absurd practices found in "instant" magick books, in which some supposedly 5000-year-old ritual is presented (in all seriousness) as being "effective" or of proven efficacy. At the other extreme, you find the curious practices given in the Key of Solomon (so-called) and the long-winded initiations of the Golden Dawn. Many aspirants to adepthood seek some "magick book" with all the answers. Only after fruitless searching do they learn that no such book exists. Transcriptions of ancient manuscripts like the .Enchiridion, The Grand Grimoire, and The Grimoire ofHonorius may look promising, but most are incomplete and so riddled with errors that they are little more than literary curiosities.

Nevertheless, these curious hybrids of Cabbalistic, Egyptian, and Christian mythology continue to intrigue scholars and inspire commercial plagiarists. Let me save you some bitter disappointment by explaining what a ritual is, why it can be effective as a magical tool, and how rituals work. The essential living magick is already part of your mind and simply needs to be awakened.

Magick is a pre-oral concept that manifests through symbols and imagery. The strength of magick is that it uses symbols or sigilized desires instead of equivocal human language. The desires epitomized in the sigil will elude the conscious mind but are accessible to the deep subconscious, where everything is possible. To make any ritual work, certain rules must be applied and respected. As you will see, magical rituals can be effective if common sense is allowed to prevail, instead of blind acceptance of the dubious writings and utterances of others. A magical ritual is simply a means of bringing together your mind, your emotions, and your imagination, so that they can be focused on a specific intention.

Ritual Intention

No ritual will ever be successful unless the intention is carefully thought out. Strange as this may seem, this simple fact is often missed, either through lack of knowledge or a presumption that the ritual itself actually does the work! All ritual intentions should be thought about carefully for as long as it takes to get this clear in your mind. There are many good reasons for this, the main one being that it helps to clear your mind of doubts and uncertainties that are bound to block access to subconscious levels. It also serves to help you know what you are doing and why you are doing it.

Suppose, for example, you intend to perform a ritual using yellow magick, which is fully explained in chapter 11. The first question to ask is why are you doing this? Look at your reasons carefully. Are you seeking to contact solar power:

  • ✵ Because you are bored and it seems like a good idea?
  • ✵ Because it is expected of you?
  • ✵ Because you are simply curious as to what will happen?

Look at your reasons (intentions) to see if they are realistic and valid. Obviously, the ones given above are not, and the results will be proportional—because Input = Output. If only more magical practitioners would apply the ultimate question why to all that they do magically, the art would advance at an enormous rate and the efforts of the individual would be rewarded by time saved and the achievement of more decisive results. Think about your intentions. Contemplate slowly and deliberately, and consider all the possibilities. By doing this, you are giving information to your subconscious mind, for this incredibly powerful part of you is always alert and constantly storing up information in your memory. Even though you may not be able to fully recall this, it is always there for future reference—especially your final decision, which is then contracted into a sigil.

Words of Power

Before moving on to a complete ritual using one of the colors of the eight magicks, we ought to look at speech and those so-called "words of power." Anyone who presumes that the speaking of certain ancient words or divine names will, all by itself, cause power to flow or miracles to happen, is deluding themselves. This is nonsense! No word or statement contains power. The power lies within the mind of the person who speaks those words. As with equipment, words are tools used for the sole purpose of aiding concentration.

Let me give you an example. Say to yourself, either out loud or in your mind: "I feel good." Now say this several times with feeling. In other words, mean what you are saying.


Repeat this several times. Now, can you see the difference? You are using your emotions to put power into these words. Finally, repeat the words several times and use your imagination to see yourself pulsating with energy and goodness. Do this with conviction for a minute or so.

There is now a considerable difference between the original approach and the final one. The words have not changed, but the inner work has given power to these words. This is the real secret of words of power and the difference in magical work is astounding.

When speaking words you must put feeling and imagination to work or those words are dead and lifeless. This requires practice, but is well worth the effort. Always use your vernacular prime, which is simply your native tongue. Its potency in magick is unequalled.

Magical Incense

An authentic magical incense produces solid results only when its fragrance becomes, by means of association, the key to a particular level of consciousness. The emotional and environmental associations must be preserved by using each incense solely and strictly for its own ritual purpose. The use of a magical incense for everyday perfumery purposes renders it completely and permanently useless as a magical instrument.

All incense is nothing more than a plain smelly substance. The magick comes from yourself, deep within you. The incense itself is an aid, a focusing tool to narrow down and concentrate your will and mind so that you can will what you wish and where you wish. The best way to obtain the subtlety of fragrance from magical incense is to use loose incense. This needs to be burnt on specially produced charcoal blocks in some safe container. There are brass incense burners, or thuribles, available on the market. Chrome ice-cream sundae dishes make eminently suitable containers. You will also need charcoal blocks on which to burn the incense. Some brands of charcoal are "swift-lite," which means the surface is impregnated with saltpeter or potassium nitrate, allowing easy ignition. Other brands are plain charcoal. Pour a little alcohol or eau de cologne over them in a receptacle and then apply a match to the charcoal. Alternately, the block can be popped on the stove for a few minutes to ignite it. When lit and glowing, place it into the receptacle with fire tongs, not with your fingers! A little sand or fine gravel at the bottom of the receptacle will ensure easy cleaning. I, myself, do not use a thurible, which looks very nice hanging from its chains. I use stainless steel icecream dishes instead.

Gestures and Finger Positions

The principle of rituals is based on confirming an idea, a train of thought, by an external mode of expression. To put it another way, in a ritual you produce a train of thought by a gesture or symbolic action that will be designated as conjuration in magick. All magical processes and rituals are based on the primordial thesis of body postures, gestures, and manipulation of the fingers. Here are some simple examples: As you approach the door to the inner temple (see chapter 15) prior to opening the four gateways of powers, perform a gesture simply by putting your hands together and then drawing them apart as if opening a curtain. As you do so, imagine the door of the inner temple, the door between the two worlds, opening. When opening the four elemental gateways (see page 35) make to the east the gesture of the element of Air by raising your arms above your head, palms up, fingers out. To the south, make the gesture of the element of Fire by forming a triangle with your hands, as if holding a small pyramid to the brow. To the west, make a gesture of the element of Water, perhaps a downward triangle or pyramid held at the navel. To the north, make the gesture of the element of Earth, with your arms down by your sides, palms down, fingers pointing to either side. It is not possible to give exact directions. These will have to be created individually so that they express your thoughts, ideas, and intentions throughout the opening and closing procedure.

You should develop gestures and finger postures for erecting the Cosmic Sphere, summoning and sending forth power through the four gateways, closing the Cosmic Sphere, and any others you deem necessary. Learn how to devise suitable gestures and finger positions that embody your thoughts, ideas, and aspirations. As soon as the gestures and finger positions have become self-acting with your imagination, it will be sufficient only to perform the gesticulation and finger postures to achieve the effect or influence your subconscious mind. With regular practice, the whole thing will become automatic, releasing subconscious power in conjunction with your imagination, your body gestures, and your finger postures.

Magical Use of Sound

Sound is another useful, but little used, aid. Magical sounds fall into two categories: natural and musical. There is no need to stand in a stone circle surrounded by the sounds of nature, risking gales, rain, and snow. While outdoor workings do have their uses, alternative technology, like hi-fi equipment and a headset can be used. In fact, as with incense, music or drumming at the right tempo should be used. Both incense, sound effects, and sonics should be worked into the ritual at some convenient point, according to personal taste.

In order to aid concentration and help create the correct atmosphere or mood, bring into your temple physical objects that suggest the color of magick being worked. In the case of yellow magick, a yellow altar cloth, a yellow candle, and solar incense can be used to charge the sigil. Address each quarter and at each point, open the doorway using the appropriate conjuration. Yellow power will be allowed through into the ritual area and into the Cosmic Sphere. There are no hard-and-fast rules to follow. It is all a question of individual effort and ingenuity. Half-hearted attempts and blind acceptance of the written word are bound to produce poor results, so plan carefully and get involved, even if this does seem to take the edge off your enthusiasm for a while.

The Colors of Magick and Ritual Opening Directions

Each color of magick has a natural affinity with an element and therefore a natural magical direction within the Cosmic Sphere. In dealing with the colors of magick as they exist in their own right, you may wish to use the directions dictated by the color's natural affinity (see Table 1). For example, if you wish to do a working involving yellow magick, place the altar in the south and open the four gateways beginning with the magical direction of south. This will open the southern doorway and allow yellow energy to enter into the ritual space, starting at magical south, and continuing in a clockwise direction back t< south. At the end of the ritual, reverse the procedure. If yot dislike this paradigm, simply open all your rituals beginning at east. At conclusion of the working, reverse the procedure.

Table 1. Colors and Directions.



















The Rubric ofthe Master Ritual

Now is the time for magick, the time for mortal men and women to become gods and goddesses. Who among you dares to go on, who will turn back?

  • 1. The temple is empty except for the altar at magical east. Its color depends on the color being conjured; it is all a matter of preference (see Table 1, page 63).
  • 2. Onthe altar, place one candle in an appropriate color that illuminates the sigil (which can be seen from every part of the temple). Next to this, place an incense burner with the correct incense burning. Like all authentic incense, it should be burned on charcoal. To preserve its power and subliminal associations, it must be used exclusively for the purpose it is created. Pay special attention to lighting. Many candles or lamps may be needed, depending on the degree of brightness you require. Subdued lighting is best, and alternative technology, like a rotary dimmer switch, can be fitted to control the intensity of electric light.
  • 3. Start the drumming tape. The equipment should not be visible.
  • 4. Stand facing the altar and spend some time meditating on the sigil. After a while, perform the Sun/ Moon-disc centering (see page 27).
  • 5. Perform your opening formula. Erect the Cosmic Sphere (see page 32), and open the four gateways (see page 35) allowing the appropriate color into the temple through each of the the four gateways (see page 35).
  • 6. Start to chant the mantra (if you intend to use a mantra). The drumming should begin about now. Incense,

drumming and/or musk and lighting should be arranged so that, once lit or turned on, they need no further attention for the remainder of the rite.

  • 7. Start whirling and continue to chant the mantra. Visualize the sigil as firmly as possible.
  • 8. Stop whirling.
  • 9. Hold the sigil to the candle until it starts to flame. Place it in the incense burner and watch until the fire has consumed it.
  • 10. Perform your closing formula. Use your imagination to see the gateways close, then close down the Cosmic Sphere (see page 33). Finally, extinguish the candles.

Now it is time to leave the temple, each with his or her experience, each with his or her own truth.

1 I have used the same color sequence for the eight magicks used by Peter Carroll th his book Liber Kaos (York Beach, ME Samuel Weiser, 1992).