Magick & Divination


LeMulGeton, by Leo Holmes

By Anton Channing | April 7, 2014 | Leave a comment

LeMulGeton, by Leo HolmesLeMulGeton: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition, by Leo Holmes
Fall of Man Press, 105 pp. (incl. bibliography), 2013

The title LeMulgeton combines the titles of two older books, Lemegeton and MUL.APIN. Written in the 17th century, Lemegeton, otherwise known as The Lesser Key of Solomon, contains a list of 72 demons with sigils and instructions for how to summon them, how each of them appears and their relative strengths. MUL.APIN, on the other hand, is the name of a Babylonian compendium on astronomy and astrology that dates back three thousand years.

When LeMulGeton arrived in my home and I unpacked it, I immediately noticed both its small size and beautiful presentation. It comes in a black card box showing the stars of the constellation of Orion in silver and a red wax seal. Inside we find a plain black paperback book with the full title, LEMULGETON: Goetia and the Stellar Tradition written simply on the cover in a bright silvery grey. Simple, but stylish. The box with wax seal adds a touch of unique style.

Holmes’ book argues that demons in the Lemegeton actually represent a kind of survival of ancient Babylonian star lore. This of course raises some interesting questions in and of itself. If true, how was this lore passed on in the intervening centuries before Lemegeton was written? LeMulgeton only offers a brief speculative discussion on this question, its bulk more concerned with establishing that this knowledge has in fact survived.

The book continues with a list of the 72 demons and discussion concerning which constellation from MUL.APIN they map to. To his credit, Holmes does not try and force any of these correspondences. Where uncertainty exists, he states his preferred correspondence but shares the alternative possibilities, inviting the reader to engage in further research. I found this exploration revealing in that so many of the attributions work so well.

I have also found it useful in my own magical explorations. My fiancée and magical partner, Lolita Perdurabo and I have been evoking spirits we remember contacting us in our childhoods and communicating with them. On Saturday, September 14, 2013, we contacted one of her childhood spirits that had the form of a crocodile. The notes in my diary for this evocation however record that it told me it has appeared to others in the form of an old man. On Sunday, October 27 I was contacted in a dream by a spirit claiming to be connected to the star Algol. Algol is a star in the constellation of Perseus, which Holmes tells us is the Sumerian constellation SU.GI or the Old Man. This refers to Anu, who represents the dome that covers the flat earth. Outside this dome lives Tiamat, depicted variously as a dragon, a crocodile or other reptilian monsters. Holmes equates this to the Goetic demon Agares, a fair old man who rides a crocodile. Thanks to Holmes’s book I was able to connect my dream to a previous evocation, and obtain correspondences between spirits we evoked with ancient deities and a Goetic demon!

Stellar magick such as described in this book provides much fertile material for magicians working some form of UFO paradigm, ultraterrestrial or otherwise. This doesn’t escape Holmes’ attention and he briefly discusses the CE5 techniques used by CSETI (the Centre for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence) as a form of evocation. CE5 means Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind, and essentially refers to human initiated contact. Evocation in magical terminology. The CSETI group themselves use a combination of laser pointers and remote viewing type techniques to summon UFO encounters. Leo proposes similar techniques to communicate with goetic spirits outdoors via their constellations.

Holmes also compares the sigils of some goetic demons with the shape of their corresponding constellations via side by side illustration of three examples. Those so chosen for this task, of Bael with Taurus, Zagan with Aquarius and Buer with Sagittarius are quite striking. The reader might wander if the other 69 match quite as well. Looking at my own example above I can certainly make out a similarity between Perseus and Agares, when I factor in how the crescent like arc of the milky way intersects with the constellation. He also discusses star lore in tarot, the writings of Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant, the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, Middle Eastern traditions and the Hebrew alphabet. These seem scholarly and well researched, and offer the reader sources of inspiration for how the book might actually be used.

The highest accolade I can give a book these days is to say reading it has had an actual impact on my magical practice. This book has definitely achieved that. My journey with contact with Agares continued with a star gazing meditation on January 20, 2014, a deliberate evocation of Agares on the 25th January and a pariedolic manifestation of Agares on a trip to Clava Cairns, so strong that for a while I was absolutely convinced there really was an old man present. Lolita actually had to convince me that he wasn’t really there. During my journey with this entity I have found that my communication skills are greatly improving. Agares is said to teach all languages, and it seems this includes the use of language also. LeMulgeton has proved invaluable in making this connection.

Pisces, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk

By Gesigewigu's | March 10, 2014 | Leave a comment

Pisces, by Joanna Martine WoolfolkPisces, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Taylor Trade Publishing, 9781589795648, 90 pp., 2011

This book takes an in-depth look at the sign of Pisces and what it means.  Woolfolk stresses early in that sun sign descriptions are often too perfect and too cookie-cutter, and she wants to show the range of Pisces expressions. She does this by looking at Pisces in several ways, starting with how people perceive the Pisces, and how the Pisces person feels about themselves. Simple, but this is an important distinction, because it is easy to dismiss a sun sign description because it isn’t how you (want to) view yourself, so Woolfolk gives both sides.

Getting more involved, she looks at the decanates, cusps, and individual days, giving a more precise view of Pisces. Continue reading

The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk

By Gesigewigu's | February 26, 2014 | Leave a comment

The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine WoolfolkThe Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, by Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Taylor Trade, 9781589796539, 2008

The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need is an updated and revised edition of the 1982 text, now including more depth in the meaning of the signs, relationships, and includes “the latest information about new discoveries in astronomy.”

Let’s tackle this book based on the title, is it really the only astrology book you’ll ever need? It is a fairly comprehensive text. It covers all of the basics of modern astrology that you’d be looking for: sun signs, decanates, moon signs, ascendants, the planets, the houses, and how to read a chart. All of these sections are well written and informative, though I feel a bit of expansion would be helpful for those with less of a background in astrology, especially near the end of the book when everything was being drawn together in chart interpretation. That being said I found the descriptions of the different concepts fairly reliable and more precise in wording than a lot of current astrology books. Usually the language is a bit more cloudy and vague in an astrology book, here the language is more exact and specific, which is refreshing to see an astrological author willing to put their money where their words are because it’s a lot easier to be wrong when you’re specific rather than hedging with vague language. Continue reading

Stones of the Seven Rays, by Michel Coquet

By Freeman Presson | February 20, 2014 | 1 comment

The Stone of the Seven Rays, by Michel CoquetStones of the Seven Rays: The Science of the Seven Facets of the Soul, by Michel Coquet
Destiny Books, 978-1594774331, 352 pp., 2012

Stones of the Seven Rays contains two major parts: “The Esoteric Tradition of Stones,” and “Stones of the Seven Rays.” The latter catalogues the properties of the primary stones for each Ray. Within each section, substitute stones are listed (e.g., rock crystal for diamond), which expands the usefulness of the material.

This edition is very nicely produced. It is printed on extra-gloss paper, and is full of excellent colour photos, mostly by the author. It gives a structured overview of gemstone lore associated with the doctrine of the seven rays.

The model of the seven rays comes from Theosophy. The best source for anyone who wants more detail on the Rays and their natures would be Alice Bailey’s Esoteric Psychology, Vol. 1: A Treatise on the Seven Rays. The Rays are considered to be primary energies and intelligences emanating from the Source, as the archetype of all of our septenary enumerations (planets, heavens, days of the week, and so on), and as forces that condition the course of evolution by cycling in and out of prominence in a great cycle reminiscent of the Yugas of Indian cosmology. Continue reading

A Magical Tour of the Night Sky, by Renna Shesso

By Gesigewigu's | September 24, 2013 | 1 comment

A Magical Tour of the Night Sky, by Renna ShessoA Magical Tour of the Night Sky: Use the Planets and Stars for Personal and Sacred Discovery, by Renna Shesso
Weiser, 9781578634958, 261 pp., 2011

A Magical Tour of the Night Sky is a pretty unique book. Despite the title, sub-title , and even some of the back cover this is not a book about astrology; it is a book about the sky, and our selves. While astrology does come up, there is some discussion of signs and planets and what they mean in astrology but it isn’t about astrology really, there are no mentions of personality traits, predictions, or matching Sun signs with one another. Instead this book focuses on the mythology, and the astronomy, the latter making it an especially interesting book.

Each chapter – starting with the Pole Star, to the Zodiac, then out through the planets – has Shesso weaving together mythology and history from various cultures, most notably Greco-Roman, Norse, Egyptian, and Babylonian. The reader is given a sense of the spiritual importance placed on the planets, as well as seeing how these views permeated the cultures and show up in everything from basket weaving to architecture. Though occasionally the links feel like a bit of a stretch, and some are just incorrect (the etymology of Yule and the history of term Summerland for instance) overall they’re sound and intriguing. She also then explains some of the astronomy behind the planets, and that’s the section that is probably most useful to a magickal practitioner. To generalize most Pagans (like most people in general in modern Western culture) can’t look at the Moon and say if it is waxing or waning, but Shesso explains simple ways to tell just that. She explains how the orbits and motions of Mercury and Venus function, the appearance of the morning/evening star, and interesting mathematical and astronomical facts about each, such as how Venus’ solar conjunctions slowly trace a pentagram in the sky. The ability to locate and understand the movements of the planets is a great step in being able to use them more efficiently. Continue reading

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