The Cone of Power is one of the methods of working magic, and refers to a technique for focusing energy within a magickal circle. The circle acts as both lens and container for the energy of an individual or group, creating a “cone” shape before being released for particular purpose. It doesn’t matter how this power is achieved, using bodily movement, breathing, yoga, chanting, the scourge, sex, or a mixture of them all, along with sigils as well, just as long as the Cone of Power is achieved and powerfully so!
Why a Cone?
The cone is the shape of energy perceived by those sensitive to the energy currents. Churches also make use of this shape to direct energy heavenwards, with steeples situated over the altar, the nexus of energy raised by the congregation, concentrated by the priest and released. The witches’ hat and magician’s hat are reminders of the shape of this energy.
Most often, within Covens, the ‘Path of Dance’ and ‘Path of Chant’, two of the Eight Paths of the Craft, are used to “raise the cone of power”. However, Paths of Meditation, Trance, Cords and the Great Rite, or combinations of any of the paths can also be used.
The basic energy is that of the human body, increased tremendously and extremely powerfully and then suddenly released and channeled in accordance with Will.
Raising the Cone of Power
In wiccan ritual, a whirling dance, starting slowly and building to a faster and faster movement, is accompanied by chants. The first “cone” in a circle is often at the commencement of the magickal work section of a circle.
It brings together the energies of the participants, bringing them into powerful resonance, before the “work”. A single practitioner of the art can also raise this cone alone, though many methods, including wild dancing, though a dance technique other than a ring dance would be used, especially ones which include rhythmic breathing as well.
The whirling dervish technique with the head thrown back can sometimes also be used when dancing. There are so many other methods, yogic chanting to a climatic pitch and resonance can be effectively used, as can sexual stimulation using sigils, (utilizing a long time or short time – alone or with a partner – by stimulation touch or by the Great Rite), effectively and eventually leading to a powerful to orgasm is extremely effective, as can a rhythmic and soft flagellation build power and cause a suitable gnosis. Very effective also are powerful rhythmic chants and heavy breathing techniques, or painful yogic positions for long periods of times, plus many more that are all tried and tested to raise the necessary power and gnosis required for eventual release. It is really up to the practitioner to try as many different ways of raising power that they can and see which ones work the best.
Mechanics of the procedure might look something like this:
- Center (at balance point of energy in body)
- Ground (to object or to the earth at the center of the physical space you are whirling around)
- Increase energy within your body
- Focus (on purpose of work)
- Direct (to place of sending, setting up resonance)
- Release (at peak of cone)
- Ground (residual energy)
- Center (re-establish personal balance)
Two practitioners can make use of polarity theory to more readily raise energy. This theory holds that energy moves from positive to negative (imagine filling a cauldron), so two people facing each other cycle energy within their own bodies, and then cycle energy between them.
Three practitioners form a pattern reminiscent of triskel designs in celtic art. As you add each person, the pattern will change and needs to be taken into account by the main person focusing the energy. If all are focusing the energy, clear agreement about how and when it is to be focused and released gets extremely crucial.
This is the trickiest part of raising the cone, requiring a sense of timing and an awareness of the level of energies. The “drop” or release is called when the energy peaks, and before it falls back
Like raising sexual tension and releasing it, the cone may plateau and drop slightly in energy before climbing to an even higher peak just before releasing. An inexperienced person may not know this, or the group may only be able to raise a limited cone at first. This must be practiced and practiced to get it right, whether alone or in a group.
Gnosis or altered State of Consciousness
This above mentioned required mental shift or gnosis, has been called many names throughout history, such as Samadhi by the yogis, jnara by the Tantrists, “awake” by the Sufi Muslims. It has been referred to as the Naugul by the South American Sorcerers, the Abyss, the crack between worlds.
The ancient Greeks and Romans used this power raising too in similar ways. In keeping with the traditions of the old Gnostic sects, this state has come to be called by many occultists as gnosis and witches can still talk about the state in many ways, albeit a definite ALTERED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS, whatever it is called.
This gnosis is also called ‘Raising Power’ and is achieved in many different ways, some better than others. When a magickal ritual is performed, regardless of `tradition’ or other variables in the elements of performance, a powerful magical energy is created and put into motion to cause something to happen.
The power of real magick cannot be found in a recipe book. If it were only that easy! Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely and a great pity that one will stumble upon the hidden grimoire or mystic amulet that will instantly grant one “magical powers”. The ability to perform real magic is attained only through diligent practice, hard work and inner inspiration”.
If you study the traditions of magic over the centuries, you might notice that certain forms and procedures appear over and over. So if you strip away the outer symbolism and only retain that which is repeated across these many systems, you might be surprised to find these “strange attractors” which point to an underlying basic principle.
It is reasonable to assume that these procedures/rites and rituals arise for the same reason that any intelligent being who uses geometry will probably stumble across the value of “pi” sooner or later. It’s something actually integral to the nature of the known and unknown forces, human mind/body and the reality we find ourselves in at the “time”.
Like many other skills, the serious art of magick skills could be construed as a “knack” perhaps. An art that is learned all in one! For instance, you cannot ‘half’ meditate, or ‘nearly’ ride a bicycle, or even ‘just about’ swim.
In each case, there is a state of “not being able to”, and then, albeit badly at first perhaps, the actual ability to meditate, swim, or ride a bike. Practice makes perfect and Wiccan Magick, like all others, takes right action, determination, perseverance, and more actual practice.
As said earlier, you will not suddenly receive this skill by the grace of a magick grimoire, or magickal passing from a magi to a student. It takes hard work – actual work being the the definitive word. This is the real secret!
The most common experience of gnosis and subsequent power raising to the average person can be achieved in many different ways and accounts for the many different styles of “bringing on this state” and in their own way of ‘raising the power’ of sorcerers’ around the world.
It can be achieved, as mentioned above, in dancing, whether in wild abandon, or in ever increasing speed of mundane dance. It can be achieved with shaking the head, the body and many other physically dynamic and oft disorientating movements, purposeful and powerful chanting and even the pointedness and pure abandon of a powerful sexual orgasm.
In other words, at the peak of the raising of power, the mind essentially stops thinking, and the consciousness is focused on a single point in space-time. This will all be of no avail however, if the magician does not then know how to properly and ‘firmly direct’ this extreme charge of dynamic power that has been charged and suitably brought to a dramatic end and then must be abandoned to do its work.
Hence when a circle of skyclad or loosely robed dancers gyrates in a Wiccan ceremony, the power flowing from their bodies, along with any power of chanting or other power raising forms, rises upwards towards the centre of the Circle forming a cone-shape, which is called the CONE OF POWER.
This power is directable by the ‘concentrated will(s)’ of those present to carry out the object of the ceremony, by bearing its influence from the physical to more subtle planes of the universe, where the power of will and imagination can, in turn, affect the physical plane again and influence material events.
Naturally, a magician has to be able to have many other methods of achieving gnosis and raising power at their command and the development of many other techniques to attain and control the “pent up” and potential power when whatever forms are utilized.
As I keep saying over and over, many ways of obtaining this Altered State and cone of power should be looked into by each initiate and experimented with, until each individual has more than a few ways to achieve this necessary gnosis and subsequently find their magick indeed getting stronger and stronger.
Another method utilized by all successful magickal systems is voice and vibration. Initiates in the Coven of Cythrawl also learn ancient “secret” exercises and sounds, or ‘vibrations’, (similar to tantric, yogic and mantra of India) from the Old Europe, where the Old Ways were being followed in earnest. This is the essence of successful chanting.
In mundane terms, what is being described is the entire human body’s ability to actually RESONATE “sympathetically” with the voice and/or other vibratory sounds present, and the sensory effects that can be experienced by doing so is far deeper than we can ever know. Perhaps the “secret” of Magic Words is this: it doesn’t matter what you say as much as it matters, how you say it!
Let’s now look the Power of Symbols. As well as clever manipulation of symbols by one person on another, it could be argued that some symbols have an arcane power in themselves.
To speak psychology, a neat parallel might be Jung’s notion of our interpretation of certain symbols being ingrained in the collective unconscious, through repetition over generations. The issue of whether a symbol can contain some “innate power” in its form alone, could be argued at length of course.
If you get nothing more from the concepts explained in this section, than the following elucidation, it will have been worth the time of reading so far. That is; The most important thing about sigil magic is that — it works!
The conscious mind is not directly capable of performing magic in its conscious self and the truth be known, it actually INHIBITS magic. Therefore, the subconscious mind must have the magical “INTENT” implanted in it somehow, so that it can “UNCONSCIOUSLY” manipulate “aetheric” information to bring about the DESIRED result.
Not only is this the basic theory model of the function of sigil magic, but it can be used to model any form of effective magical technique. Chinese Taoist magic utilizes entirely sigil magic in the writing of their “Fu” (magic paper) and the secret, (illegible) writing in one spot to complete the spell.
South American Shamanistic sorcery also obviously involves direct interface with the magician’s subconscious, breaking down the barriers by extreme disciplines and psychoactive drugs.
Complex systems of ceremonial magic can be effective, but only if the subconscious mind is trained to recognize the symbolism of the system and act on it’s linguistics UNCONSCIOUSLY. The adept \then uses the tools of their system to formulate effective magical procedures.
This explains the long apprenticeships and intense religious instruction that characterizes many of the traditions of the world, such as Witchcraft, Druidism and many others from around the world.
There is no inherent magical “power” in these particular set of symbols; it is only the subconscious manipulation of whatever symbols are chosen that make them magical and cause the effect.
However, of course, all the various magickal systems of the world in all the thousands of generations, it was obviously more magically effective (and the only recognizable method) for the aspiring student of the system to accept the dogma of its tradition from the gurus and high priests — that their symbol-set was inherently magical — without question! Plus that it would provide the REQUIRED “belief-state” to make it work!
As Witches, we substitute “meta-belief” technique and ancient and inherited models. of Religious acceptance and carried out with PASSIONATE PERFORMANCE that taps into the “unconscious archetypes” that underlie ALL the religious symbolism of humanity.
By the use of ACTIVE IMAGINATION, and certain “slight-of-mind” tricks such as “sigils”, we are able to breach the barriers of the subconscious by ‘guile, not by force, or by siege (as in traditional ceremonial magic.)
In general terms, a sigil is a glyph or symbol with mystical or magical significance. Methods originated by many magickians over the centuries never exactly revealed how the concept of sigil magic came about, but suffice to say that is was done throughout the world from China, Middle East, Ancient Europe to South and North America and still is.
The published works of Sigmund Freud and Karl Jung might have provided the theoretical foundation for the “subliminal” nature of sigil workings; that between the conscious and unconscious (or subconscious) mind there stands a “safety valve”, a filter that suppresses all non-logical thoughts and impressions, and lends towards successful magick.
Of course, we know that the Chinese have been carrying out sigil magick for thousands of years, as have many of the Traditional Witchcraft sects of Ancient Britain and Europe. India had similar magickal practices, and to this day, remain highly secret in underground traditional sects.
Sigil Magic uses the glyphs as a means to bridge the gap between the “conscious” and “subconscious” mind. Based on ancient traditional talismans from the Ancient Witches through to the Druids practicing before Christ, it also compares in some respects to the “talisman magic” of the middle to late ages in Europe and Britain, in which predetermined symbols (such as planetary or astrological ones) were used to embellish a physical device that would encompass the “power” represented by those symbols. Generally, the talisman is subsequently carried by the user as a “charm”, much as the talismans still utilized by traditional witchcraft today.
In contrast, a sigil is a customized tool designed to bring about a specific effect, and it’s physical basis is only used once at the time of the subconscious implantation, after which it is generally (although not always) destroyed. The Chinese burn their sigils (talismans) and then will drink the ashes in a drink to ensure the spell is totally consumed.
The great advantage of sigil magic is that no particular belief-set is needed to work with it; and there are no special tools or equipment needed beyond a brush, pencil and paper, and even these can be abandoned by the adept practitioner. The final statement being once again, is that “It works!”