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Friday, 28 January 2011

Concerning the Cosmology of the Greek Magical Papyri

The verses of the Greek Magical Papyri exemplify an attitude that demonstrates how humanity is directly dependant on the energies of the universe. The gods of the Graeco-Egyptian pantheon now represent these forces of the universe, and in particular forces of nature. For example, the omnipresence of Helios in various amalgamated manifestations complies with the prominence of solar worship in that era. Selene’s prominence in many rites is evident and abstract forces of nature have become personified deities, such as Aion, Tyche, Chronos, the Moirai and Physis. Even the relationship between the living and the dead has now been transformed into a set of magical negotiations so that various human aims on earth may be achieved. Tyche appears to be a cosmic reality.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Concerning the Magos and Ritual

For the ritual of the magos is to acquire the gnosis necessary to alter natural reality for the purpose of providing the neccesary place of dwelling for a spiritual being, be that a god, angel, daimon or spirit, to manifest.

Monday, 24 January 2011

To Invoke the Moon as Mistress of Creation

Face the Moon, sacrifice myrrh and carve the silver heptagram of the Moon. At the centre of the heptagram carve the sign of the Moon in watery silver whilst chanting ΣΕΛΗΝΗ.  Carve the silver unicursal hexagram of Selene as ruler over the elements. At the centre carve the sign of the Moon in watery silver whilst chanting ΑΚΤΙΩΦΗΣ. Recite, I invoke you who have all forms and many names, double-horned goddess, ΣΕΛΗΝΗ, whose form no one knows except him who made the entire world, the one who shaped you into the 28 shapes of the world so that you might complete every figure and distribute breath to every animal and plant, that it might flourish, you who has wax from obscurity into light and wane from light into darkness. ΑΚΤΙΩΦΗΣ!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

The Formula of the Mystic Marriage

O son of Helios blazing from the fiery heavens above you shall witness the initiation at the threshold of orgasmos through and beyond the veil of sexual mageia. The daughter of Selene in the watery abyss below shall receive you deep inside her silver womb and lost within that abyssos of eros and mania you shall undergo the sensation of thanatos upon the zenith and explosion of the orgasmos of the Sun and Moon... the ritual dance that takes the magos beyond the abyssos and within the realm of apothanatismos, the sacrifice of the mystic marriage.

Thus Spoke Qudshu

And the Thea spoke, For you shall not encounter me as a minor Thea of sex and pleasure but as the truly powerful and primordial Thea of Heaven and Earth. For I am beloved of Ptah, lady of heaven, mistress of the Theoi, mistress of the stars, mistress of beasts, the eye of Ra and great of mageia. Behold me upon the lion in my naked splendour, flanked and venerated by Resheph and Min. Upon my crown the horns and disk of Hathor, in my left hand Weret-Hekau and in my right the blossoming papyros. For I am the Thea without her equal. Cry out my name with mania in the wilderness and embrace me beneath the starlit Heavens.

Extracted from The Papyroi of Iakkhos

To Invoke the Sun as Lord of Creation

Face the Sun, sacrifice frankincense and carve the golden heptagram of the Sun. At the centre of the heptagram carve the sign of the Sun in fiery gold whilst chanting ΗΛΙΟΣ. Carve the golden unicursal hexagram of Helios as ruler over the elements. At the centre carve the sign of the Sun in fiery gold whilst chanting ΑΧΕΒΥΚΡΟΜ. Recite, I invoke you, ΗΛΙΟΣ, the greatest god, eternal lord, world ruler, who are over the world and under the world, mighty ruler of the sea, rising at dawn, shinning from the east for the whole world, setting in the west. Come to me, you who rises from the four winds, joyous agathos daimon, for whom heaven has become the processional way. ΑΧΕΒΥΚΡΟΜ!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Concerning the Greek Magical Papyri

The literature presented in the Greek Magical Papyri is a syncretic collection of texts originating from a diversity of sources. Hymns, spells, priestly invocations, conjurations, magical assistants, ritual instructions, remedies, curses and a unique theology are all part of the Greek Magical Papyri. Dating from the early Hellenistic era to Late Antiquity, the Papyri present a unique synchretism with an interplay of Egyptian, Hellenic, Hebrew, Persian, Babylonian, Chaldean, Gnostic and Coptic magic and religion. However, the Egyptian and Hellenic traditions being the most dominant display a Hellenisation of Egyptian religious thought and an Egyptisation of Hellenic religion, with the Magos as the focal point conjuring arcane forces of the magical cosmos and also performing at times the duties of a religious functionary. On the whole, one could possibly argue in effect that the Greek Magical Papyri present an alternative attempt to initiate a new religious movement altogether with unified religious beliefs, practices and a magical worldview, for according to Sigmund Mowinckel, in his book Religion and Kultus, he writes,

Magical thinking and its practical application, called ‘magic’, is not a kind of religion, but a worldview, that is, a particular way to understand things and their mutual connectedness. Magic is the Weltanschauung which in a certain way is analogous to the view of the universe as we today attempt to formulate it on the basis of the laws of causality and the interaction between cause and effect, demonstrated by physics, chemistry, biology and psychology.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Concerning the Fallacious Myth of the Sacred Prostitute

Many acolytes of New Age spirituality, who at times have an indecent tendency to merge amateur scholarship with their own personal and unexamined biases, have failed to truly understand the nature of Qudshu by neglecting the very fact that the name qšh does not mean ‘sacred prostitute’, but instead it refers to the concept of ‘holiness’ in the sense of ‘the devoted one’. The 'mem', 'yod', 'shin', 'daleth', 'qoph' and 'tau', 'vau', 'shin', 'daleth', 'qoph' of the Hebrew Bible refer to holy men and women and not male and female sodomites and prostitutes who allegedly engaged in sinful sexual rites in Canaan. Although it was natural for the veneration and representation of the sacredness of fertility in the religions of the Near East, this should not be equated with the sexual performance popularised by contemporary society as the whole concept of fertility and sex had broader connotations for the ancient mind. For the ancient worshippers fertility did always just imply sexual activity but was understood and embraced as a broader concept. Current research on the institution of sacred prostitution clearly shows that the whole concept did not exist at all in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East and was merely invented or imagined by Herodotos in Book 1.199 of his Histories. Apart from Herodotos, the only other reference we have to sacred prostitution is in Strabo’s Geography. There are no Hellenistic sources that refer to sacred prostitution, when Greeks lived in close proximity with their eastern neighbours. It is my opinion that Strabo’s speculated remarks, which are not supported by local sources, seek to propagate the idea that the mission of Rome was civilise and moralise the regions it had conquered. 

Extracted from Scholia

Monday, 17 January 2011

Concerning the Casting of the Shield of Geomanteia

The act of divination is initiated by casting four primary geomantic figures, otherwise known as the Four Mothers because they give ‘birth’ to all the other geomantic figures. To manifest the Four Mothers cast the Geomantis should cast sixteen Root Lines required for judging the outcome by randomly squalling sixteen lines of dots. This process should take on the nature of automatic writing, with the Geomantis not being consciously aware of the number of dots being put on the paper. The Geomantis is then to determine whether each line has either an odd or even number of dots. If the line has an even number it is assigned two dots. If the number is odd, it receives one dot. The sixteen lines produce the Four Mothers. Each Mother is a figure formed from four of the sixteen Root Lines. The top Root Line is referred to as the Head; the second Neck; the third Body; and the fourth Feet. The Mothers are then placed in their respective Thrones on the Shield of Geomanteia.

The Mothers then give birth to the Four Daughters. The First Daughter is born from the rearrangement of each of the Heads of the Four Mothers. This rearrangement follows the procedure of the of the Head of the First Mother becoming the Head of the First Daughter, the Head of the Second Mother becomes the Neck of the First Daughter, the Head of the Third Mother becomes the Body of the First Daughter and finally, the Head of the Fourth Mother becomes the Feet of the First Daughter. This procedure of rearrangement is repeated for manifestation of the three remaining Daughters. The Daughters are then placed, like their Mothers, in their respective Thrones on the Shield of Geomanteia.

The following part of the procedure of unveiling the Geomantic Shield for the purposes of Divination comes into being by creating the Four Nieces. To manifest the Four Nieces add together the first and second Mothers to generate the First Niece. Add together the dots in each line of these two Mothers. If the two Mothers have the same Head, meaning that they add up to an even number, the Head of the First Niece is a double dot. If the Mothers have different dots, meaning that they add up to an odd number, the First Niece’s Head is a single dot. Following the rationale of this procedure generate the Necks, Bodies and Feet of the three remaining Nieces. The Nieces are then placed in their respective Thrones on the Shield of Geomanteia.

The same procedure that generated the Nieces also gives birth to the geomantic figures of the Witnesses and the Judge. The Right Witness is born by adding together the First and Second Nieces, and the Left Witness by adding together the Third and Fourth Nieces. These are then placed on the Shield of Geomanteia.The Judge is born by adding together the Witnesses according to the same rationale that generated the Witnesses and then is placed in the final Throne of the Shield of Geomanteia.

The method of interpreting the Shield of Geomanteia focuses on the querent, who is the person for whom the chart has been cast and is the main character in this Geomantic plot, and the quesited, who is the person or thing the querent wants to know about and is the force behind the Geomantic plot. The foundation of every form of Geomantic divination lies within the interplay and meaning of the two Witnesses and Judge. The Right Witness represents the querent and everything the querent represents. The Left Witness represents the quesited and everything this brings into the situation. Finally the Judge stands for the relationship between querent and quesited. The Right Witness also stands for the past due to the interpretation that the querent’s past experiences in life are influential factors in formulating the Geomantic quest. The Judge is also present, since the querent’s relationship to the quesited is brought into focus at the time of divination. The Left Witness represents the future, since the most important factors the quesited brings into the situation are the potentials it holds for the querent’s future life.

The Witnesses influence the overall meaning of the Geomantic interpretation. Thus a favourable Judge derived from the favourable Witnesses becomes more favourable, while an unfavourable Judge derived from two unfavourable Witnesses becomes even more unfavourable. The Right Witness represents in a way the querent’s own personal attitude and agenda. Whenever the Right Witness is favourable to the question it implies that the querent is in a favourable place at the beginning of the situation, whereas the opposite applies if the Right Witness is unfavourable from the beginning. The Left Witness provides an insight into the nature of the quesited, but this information focuses on what the quesited means to the querent. A favourable Left Witness indicates that the quesited would benefit the querent, while an unfavourable Left Witness shows that the quesited is something that will harm the querent. The Judge describes the interaction between the querent and quesited.

There is a method in Geomantia, known as the Four Triplicities, which reveals the overall forces at work in the life of the querent. They can also be combined with the Witnesses and the Judge to relate a more specific question to the broader picture of the querent’s life. The First Triplicity consists of the First and Second Mother and the First Niece. It represents the querent, including his or her circumstances, health, habits and outlook on life. The Second Triplicity consists of the Third and Fourth Mother and the Second Niece. It represents the events shaping the querent’s life at the time of reading. The Third Triplicity consists of the First and Second Daughters and the Thirde Niece. It stands for the querent’s home and work environment, the places he or she might frequent, and the nature of people he or she might associate with in these places. Family appears in this Triplicity.

The Fourth Triplicity consists of the Third and Fourth Daughters and the Fourth Niece. It stands for the querent’s friends, associates and authority figures.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Concerning the Individuality of the Gods

It is apparent from material evidence that different gods have the same iconographic elements and attributes, such as weapons, attires, gestures and postures, because they might share various divine characteristics and roles. However, I personally discern it as naive to assume that a presence of similarity in function and attributes should imply that it is a natural process to assimilate gods into a single archetypal god. Characteristics and roles might be shared and merged, but it is my opinion that the ancient worshippers were well aware of a definite distinction between different gods. Just by examining religious iconography one can identify a sense of differentiation. Ancient worshippers were not ignorant in regards to which gods they sacrificed and prayed to. Elements and attributes might have been interchangeable but the underlying reason for this was that these divine elements and attributes were relevant to all deities.

The Queen of Heaven

Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, "We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine."

Jeremiah 44:15-18

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Iamblichus, Theourgia and the Gods...

It is not thought that links the theurgist to the gods; else what should hinder the theoretical philosopher from enjoying theurgic union with them? The case is not so. Theurgic union is attained only by the perfective operation of unspeakable acts correctly performed, acts which are beyond all understanding, and by power of the unutterable symbols intelligible only to the gods.

Iamblichus, On the Mysteries of the Egyptians