Basic Spell Construction
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”.
Magick can only be “learned” by experiencing it by whatever means available. The basic message of magick is that, what is fundamental to magick is the actual doing of it – that like sex, no amount of theorising and intellectualisation can substitute for the actual experience.
If you study the traditions of magick 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 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 definitive word. This is the real secret!
There lies the basic secret to Magick and perhaps to many traditional forms of magick from around the world. However, the Practitioner must be choose with care about which traditional techniques s/he adopts, and examine them dispassionately to determine what is useful technique and what is artifice.
One of the the authentic and pragmatic keys to making “magick” truly work, is the real ability to achieve an ALTERED STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS and raise power.
But not just any old altered state will do, it is actually quite precise, yet equally difficult to attempt to imply, define and of course, teach. That is the main problem in magickal traditions; it, (the truth, secret, or whatever you want to call “it”), must come by working at “it” and when you get “it”, you will know “it”, and then you will find that you too cannot define or explain “it”.
This is the crux and bane of magickal tradition and expresses most succinctly the insurmountable difficulty throughout the ages in the successful transmission of the “secrets” of magick.
It also explains why there seem to be so many styles, forms, sects and beliefs, (in that very impossibility of explaining the unexplainable and subsequently being perceived and practiced by every individual, as they “received it”).
One can in fact, only point the direction, show the way and act as guide. You cannot be “told it”, no more than you can be shown “the” secret. No-one is “the” guru; we are all, and remain, seekers on an everlasting journey, mostly all of us at different places, different junctures and different stages in our life(s).
The required mental shift 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 Sorcerer, the Abyss, the crack between worlds.
In keeping with the traditions of the old Gnostic sects, this state has come to be called Gnosis by High magicians and especially Chaotes, (followers of Chaos Magick) – and Raising The Cone Of Power within Wicca.
Gnosis is, “the direct perception of the Void” for all intents and purposes. It might be thought of as the state when the discursive mind shuts down, leaving an unfiltered access to the subconscious.
The most common experience of gnosis 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 raising the power of sorcerers’ around the world. It can be achieved 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. Other methods might be in 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 climax.
Sexual climax is not the only path to the gnostic state of course, but is mentioned as it certainly signifies the similarities found by all serious magical sects throughout the world, including tantra. It is a proven fact, that the gnosis state achieved in this way, actually works and was further developed and researched by nearly all ancient and modern magicians and shamans.
It is a proven fact that the raising of power is necessary and the resultant sudden gnosis state in release, achieved in any way, actually works and was further developed and researched by nearly all ancient and modern magicians and shamans.
Naturally, a magician has to be able to have many other methods of achieving gnosis 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.
Many ways of obtaining an Altered State 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 getting stronger and stronger.
The second factor in successful magick, and has great bearing on the first, and is the art of total meditation and visualization , and/or self hypnosis. To be an effective magician, it’s absolutely mandatory to make a concentrated effort to learn at least one technique of meditation.
In the Coven of Cythrawl, it is defined as a system of self-control by which one can quickly and at will, stimulate, or rather achieve alpha-wave activity in the brain, which is effectively, the hallmark of a effective meditation system.
Initiates in the Coven of Cythrawl learn hypnosis and alpha meditation, as well as the more ancient and arcane Indian and Taoist yogic meditations. They learn in “Pathworking” to go to a secret place that they build in their minds while in an alpha state and during this Guided Imagery, they can successfully carry out many wonderful phenomenon, such as healing themselves and others, and are also able to carry out many remarkable magical manifestations that cannot be otherwise explained.
They are able to receive answers to complex questions and see into the past and the future. A connection perhaps, with the “universal mind” and/or other realms and dimensions is achieved, yet these remarkable phenomenons cannot be put into plain words, or explained in mundane terms, now or ever.
The important factor is to know that, it works! And that… is what is important to us! Pathworking remains an important and extremely powerful tool that all initiates learn early on in the magickal training with the Coven of Cythrawl.
Visualization is the process of using the imagination to induce specific visual illusions in oneself at will, which is what Karl Jung called the active imagination. It is the ability to make yourself “see things” that are not physically present by strongly imagining them and behaving as though they were.
In other words, self-induced hallucinations and rather deep hypnotic effects. This is in essence, the basic factors of hypnosis where our truth lies in our perception. At more advanced levels, forced imagery causes actual manifestation and manifestation by connection with the basic fundamentals and building blocks of the universe(s) and allows different realms, dimensions and powers to be visited at will.
Special Yogic positions and mind set also remains a key ingredient in certain Chaos practice, such as in various “Death Postures” and is certainly a key tool in the ancient Traditional Witchcraft of OAM, (Ordo Anno Mundi).
Another “secret” utilized by all successful magickal systems is voice and vibration. There is certainly power in the voice, or vocal sounds, and not a single religious or mystical practice throughout the world has failed to take advantage of this fact, magickal systems included.
The most famous of all meaningful vibratory sounds, being the inexplicable and mysterious Sanskrit word, “Om” or “Aum”, used by many ancient mystical schools across central and Eastern Asia. (The meaning of which is inexplicable and unknowable).
Vibrations, out of the range of normal hearing and from various sources have been the focus of many scientific research over the years and only recently, strange phenomena are coming to light, like the fascinating and exquisite geometrical shape formed by the vibrations of the word “Om”.
In fact, so many ancient, secret magical and mystical texts from around the world, one will encounter again and again the term ‘vibrate’ being used to describe some kinds of vocalization. (“Vibrate the following words of power…”, etc.)
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. 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. 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 practicing Magicians, we substitute “meta-belief” technique for dogmatic adherence to a particular ancient and inherited model. Religious acceptance is REPLACED 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 Austin Osman Spare, the founder of modern Chaos Magick never exactly revealed how the concept of sigil magic came to him, although he was an accomplished graphic artist, so it’s possible he got the idea from his drawing and painting.
The newly (at the time) 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, which Spare called the “psychic censor”.
Of course, he might have learnt that the Chinese had been carrying out sigil magick for thousands of years, as had some 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. It also compares in some respects to the traditional “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”, and talismans are 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.
A sigil can be thought of as an original artistic creation, produced by conceiving a sentence that expresses a magical intent, and converting that sentence into a pictorial representation. The point is to obtain an image that can carry the intent past the psychic censor and into the subconscious mind, where it becomes magically effective.
Because of the very nature of Magick, each working should be highly individualized and personal. Even if following a traditional spell, it should be tailored to your specific needs to be most effective for you. Understanding the basics of Spell Construction will enable you to formulate your own specific, effective spells for any purpose you desire.
Preliminary planning is necessary. The very first step is to decide precisely what your desired end result is to be. Before you can start, you must decide where you are going. You must be very explicit.
It is important, also, that you choose your time carefully. You should take into consideration all Astrological implications, energy currents and Moon phases.
The Moon is the astronomical body closest to us and, therefore, has a profound influence upon us, it is very important to choose a time when the Moon is in an astrological sign which is appropriate for your working. For example: Aries/Action – Enthusiasm, Taurus/ Renewal – Sensuality, Gemini/Communication – Curiosity, Cancer/Emotion – Nurturing, Leo/Vitality – Determined, Virgo/Organizing – Studious, Libra/Balance – Cooperation, Scorpio/Sexual – Philosophical, Capricorn/Authority – Ambitious, Aquarius/Innovation – Social, Pisces/Sensitivity – Idealistic.
Bear in mind that magickal workings for gain, increase or bringing things to you, should be initiated when the Moon is Waxing (from Dark to Full); when the Moon is Waning (from Full to Dark), it is time for magickal workings of decrease or sending away.
The highest energy occurs at the Full Moon and, therefore, this is the most powerful time for magickal workings. The New Moon is the next most powerful time for Magick.
Whenever possible, follow Nature’s natural Energy Currents. There is a natural time for starting things (a planting time), for maturing things (a growing time), for reaping things ( a harvest time) and, of course, a time for rest and planning. Flowing with these currents will make your magickal work much easier. Remember to plan your project for a time of uninterrupted privacy.
It is important that you have no distractions. Generally speaking, it is best to work as late at night as possible. A time when there is less frantic energy is most appropriate. You might consider Midnight or later.
In choosing a place to do your magickal working pay particular attention to your needs, for you must be comfortable. Your place should be private, quiet and secure. If at all possible, set aside a special place for this purpose only. An unused room, a special corner of your bedroom, a quiet, secluded spot in your garden. A place that is yours. A place that you can come to whenever need arises and that is as free from intrusion of others as possible.
Prior to the night of your magickal working, gather together the things that you will need. All of the things used are tools. They have no inherent magick. They are to help you create a mood. If correctly made and used, they will trigger primitive responses from deep within you.
They should be chosen with care. Consider the purpose of your ritual and choose your tools accordingly. If your magick is to be sexual, your candles, oils, incenses and so forth, should bring forth a sexual response. If the desired result of your Magick is Tranquillity, then the tools should make you feel calm, peaceful and serene. Any candles you might use should not have commercially added fragrances, as these may not be appropriate for your working.
Prior to your ritual, prepare yourself and your equipment by any means necessary to clean and purify. Historically, people have fasted, followed meticulous and detailed bathing practices, practiced chastity and used many other methods. Most often a Ritual Bath is the preferred method.
A bath frequently utilizing candlelight, fragrant herbs, bath salts or sensuous oils. A sumptuous hot bath, special bathing preparations and appropriate lighting, combined, can create the soothing effect which will help in the very important step of relaxing and clearing the mind completely of all mundane thoughts and experiences of the day. Your ritual Bath should, also, begin to set the specific vibrations conducive to your purpose into motion. You must not only cleanse and purify but must, also, begin to create the type of energy necessary.
A high degree of intensity is vitally important. The Altered State of Consciousness that you must reach is not a meditative state. Anything that interferes with your ability to concentrate upon, reach and control the high-energy state necessary to perform magick should be avoided.
Do not scatter your energy by attempting to do more than one magickal working at a time. Remember that Magick is the manipulation of energy, a thought is a form of energy and a visualization is an even stronger form of energy. Your visualization can be a method used to intensify further and direct your will. Your visualization can be the method by which you control the magickal energy you have produced. You must know what you want. You must see it. You must feel the high energy flow. You must direct it.
One of the most important elements in the practice of any form of Magick is the Universal Law of Cause and Effect. This means that whatever you do (or don’t do) you cause something to happen. The most important consideration is the Universal Law of Retribution. This means that no matter what you do, it comes back to you in like kind. It is the nature of things that as you send something out it gains momentum, so that, by the time it comes back to you, it is three times stronger. If you do something nice for someone, someone will do something nicer for you.
As you weave and
spin your spell,
Three fold return
the tale will tell.