One of the most fascinating aspects about pop culture magick is the adaptability it grants you. Case in point, recently I’d been reading Disinfo’s Book of Lies, particularly the essays on Austin Osman Spare. The ideal state to be in to charge a sigil is one where the mind is blank, vacuous, and thus open to the influences of the sigil. I began to think about that and how pop culture could be applied to charging and firing sigils. Continue reading
Creating Magickal Entities: A Complete Guide to Entity Creation, by David Michael Cunningham, with contributions by Taylor Ellwood & Amanda R. Wagener
Egregore Publishing, 1932517448, 143 pp. (incl. appendices, glossary, selected bibliography and index.), 2003
Perhaps the only work of its kind solely dedicated to entity creation, Creating Magickal Entities offers step-by-step information and instructions on servitor creation. Everything from possible uses and precautions, practical advice and examples of entities previously created by its authors is discussed in depth.
While Creating Magickal Entities assumes the reader knows little about magickal entities, it is not designed to be a beginner book. It offers little introduction to general magickal theory or technique; the authors expect the reader to know a thing or two about what they’re doing beforehand – and it is highly appreciated.
A created entity is noted as being an extension of a thought-form, which is described as “a symbol that represents a concept or thought for the person…It is entirely in the realm of concept until the person makes the thought-form manifest into reality.” A created entity is defined as being a “vital principle held to give life to an immaterial essence, which has been created to have a self-contained and distinct existence with a conceptual reality, by the deliberate effort to personifying segregated thoughts and emotions.”
The methodology authors lay out for entity creation details that by “taking specific thoughts and emotions and identifying them with things like names, symbolic attributes, etc., we are better able to work with them in a conscious manner.” Advising that it is ‘very important that we wisely chose our thoughts and the way we understand them. If we do not understand our thoughts and emotions and try to use them for our own benefit, the results can, and more often than not, will be counter-productive.
I do, however, have a few minor quibbles. While it is refreshing that the authors do expect a certain intelligence of the reader, footnotes may have been a good idea. For example, not everyone may be familiar with the Pythagorean system of numerology mentioned frequently throughout the book, and while a brief description is given in the glossary it wasn’t noted anywhere prior to that.
Beliefs common to chaos magickians such as “the important thing is to use whatever feels right to you, and works best for you” are frequently stated, though there is no formal mention of chaos magick by name. Despite the subject of the book. Creating Magickal Entities does not use the chaos magick terminology. Common chaote terms such as “servitor” and “sigil” are curiously absent from this work, words like “entity” and “programming symbol” are employed instead. While not bad, it is curious that the have authors have gone out of their way to avoid these terms. Perhaps it is due to the negative connotation that chaos magick has, and the desire to appeal to a broader audience?
Several practical examples are given in the appendices, using various methods employed by the authors are likely to make for excellent reference for the novice entity creator.
Cunningham, Ellwood and Wagener offer a concise, methodical approach to entity-creation without pandering to the lowest common denominator. With practical advice and step-by step instructions, Creating Magickal Entities is well written, and may be of interest to magickians interested in learning more about servitor creation.
From: Xi O’Teaz
>>Sentient entities as a general rule will strike out
>>if you try and put them “under control”. Much the
>>same you or i would. The only difference is the
>>mutlipurpose servies have the advantage of access to
>>a whole range of nasty non-physicals.
>thus, my hesitance at making something too ‘multi’ in
>purpose it could get muddled & angry, like me :)
See, I read about this, but I don’t find that to necessarily be the case. First of all, if you harbour Doubt and Fear and MisTrust in your Own Creation, the chances are good that the servitor may indeed become unruly.
Perhaps I got around these problems with a strong Belief in the following:
I have always treated my servitors as Creations, whose DNA is its Intent; i.e., just as we humans have certain *drives*, e.g., sex, food, water, shelter–”that is what we do”; so too do my servitors perform their functions because “that is what they do”. That’s their purpose, Intent, and Destiny. Part of their Intent is to generally be likeable, agreeable, and protective of me. Thus I generally give them Personalities, and we “talk” (sorta). I call them, and think of them as, my “Friends who take care of things for me” ;-) They take care of things they are good at, and I take care of things I’m good at.
And as far as “servitors getting pissy ‘cuz they’re not getting ‘fed’ enough” theory, I have yet to find that to be the case. But then again, I guess I generally say some sort of “thank you” (energy exchange) whenever a Friend does something for me, but that’s just having good (energy exchange) manners, IMHO.
That being said, I have never had any real problems with a “serfie revolt” or some-such-thing, anymore than any of my physical friends would do such a thing.
But then again, I would never really try and put a friend under “my control” in a slavish manner as is suggested by many a Grimoire and Manual of Magick!
Perhaps the key to the whole “getting along with servitors” thing is to Percieve the servitor relationship from a different Perspective…
3 Coyotes Dancing
Music and !0Magic!1
I’ve stumbled on what seems to be an excellent system for creating ACOUSTIC sigils to go along with a respelling of intent. I’m sorry the explanation is a little long and maybe difficult to understand for the musicially uninitiated. Like many things, it’s much easier to put into practice than explain unfortunately.
Before I get into the actual process, I wanted to talk about the importance of instrumentation in “magical” music.
I’m attracted to the trance producing capabilities of music and so have gotten interested in 1) the gamelan music of Indonesia. It’s stated goal is to place the audience in a half-awake half-asleep state. 2)the ecstatic qawali singing of Persian music and 3) the polyrhythms of Africa and therefore Voudou.
What is interesting to me is that gamelan instruments are played in pairs which are roughly a quarter step apart and this creates binaural beats which are in the range of the alpha or theta brainwave frequencies. Also, the gamelan is tuned to a scale that is divided into 10 equal parts instead of the normal 12 of western musical practice. The number 10 has magical correspondences which I will leave up to you to extract. In a related topic, the music of Thailand, with a very similar rhythmic structure and instrumentation to that of gamelan, is in 7 equal steps to the octave which relates to Uranous and 7 headed dragons if you’re into that sort of thing.
The scales used in Persian music are in 24 or 48 equal but have most of the notes tuned to normal notes like the music of India but the Setar (not sitar) has two of it’s strings tuned to C and C1/4sharp producing the binaural beats again. The setar is the preferred instrument of Sufi mystics!
African music for ritual and worship is always polyrhythmic in a western conceived measure of 4/4 played simultaneously with another measure in 12/8. The 12/8 polyrhythm is characteristic of all voudou drumming. Another interesting facet is that in Africa, the Amadindas xylophone is tuned to a scale of 5 equal steps. When creating rhythms and melodies on a wheel as I’m about to show you, it makes a PENTAGRAM! for the Paganly inclined. This is just a subset of the 10 equal of gamelan music. The 5 equal tones to the octave from Africa are what gave rise to the “blue” notes in blues music when African slaves were deprived of their native instruments and had to adapt to the idiosyncrasies of an instrument like the guitar.
Having music in “weird” tunings separates it from the music of mere mortals and adds to its potency in magical work. So, I have started combining these elements to produce the ritual music I’m looking for.
The music I come up with is not difficult to play but requires at least 2 people to get increased efficacy out of but preferably 4 people should be used and ideally 8. However, 1 person playing in 12/8 is enough to throw something unusual into the music because we’re so used to hearing and playing music in 4/4 or 3/4.
When creating a statement of desire, I use the method of first eliminating any repeat letters to create a “mantra” which has no recognizable similarity to the original statement. It’s important that it have at least 2-6 consonants because these will end up as rhythmic events. This is what “well-formed rhythms” have every 5 seconds which roughly equals about the span of one measure. Another interesting aside is that Masks of Alaskan shamanism are always distorted to show the “magical” source of the spirits they’re fashioned after, so there is a historical justification for this method of distorting the magical tool prior to that of Osman Spare.
Anyway, I will eliminate the vowels as well and like to add my own again later to create the “mantra.” If eliminating letters reduces the mantra too much then it’s not necessary to do it and the substitute method of only eliminating the vowels is used. If either method leaves you feeling that the word is still too recognizable then a method of extrapolating permutations is used. So, if the statement of intent is, “I want to love myself better. This is simplified to “I love myself” and the vowels removed with the result “lvmslf.” This has a duplicate letter “l” so I eliminate the second one. I like to reinterject the vowel “a” with the result “lavamasafa.” For me, this is staisfactorily unrecognizeable but if you didn’t think so then you could take lvmsf and rearrange them putting every other letter on a different side such as lmf/vs. This results in lamafavasa. If your mantra is longer than 6 consonants then you can use both methods and do anything else you have to do to make it come down to 6. I’ll use the first one which goes lavamasafa because I was happy with it.
Now draw a circle and mark the quarters and cross quarters. This represents both the diatonic melody and also the rhythm in 4/4. For ease of reference I’ll use the C major scale but any mode of this scale or Persian scales such as Rast or Indian Ragam could be used instead which have microtonally flat scale degrees, as long as it has 7 notes to the scale and the includes the octave. This will also work for the Thai tuning.
The point at the top is the notes “C.” The next note going clockwise around the circle is “D.” The one after that is “E” etc… all the way around until you get to the 8th position which represents the “C” an octave above.
Now, I write the alphabet around the circle starting at the top with “A” going clockwise around. Next, I look for the correspondences between the alphabet and the notes of the scale. The mantra is lavamasafa so the first LETTER I’m looking for is “L.” When I find it I see that it corresponds to the NOTE “F.” The next letter is “V,” since I’m avoiding all the vowels, which corresponds to the note “A.” I draw a line from the “F” on the circumference cutting across the circle to the note “A.” The matrix created by the note/letter correspondences also produces the SIGIL! by drawing a line from note to note Cool!!! Another side comment is that advertisers for products like Marlboro cigarettes know there are gender differences in logo attractiveness. Designs with sharp points, like this method creates, are likely to appeal more to a males unconscious and not as well to females, at least the ones living in North America.
After you’ve plotted the whole thing you’ve got the order the notes should be played in and only PART of your sigil because you will have to create the rhythm for the 12/8 cycle to superimpose over this one in order to create a polyrhythm.
You’ll be happy to hear that the rhythm for the 4/4 portion is already contained in the design of the sigil. The notes “C” of the scale is also the first beat in the measure if you now treat the circumference of the circle as a rhythmic matrix instead of a melodic one as we have been doing up to now. This sigil shows that its rhythm has NO events on the first and second eighth notes but DOES have events on the next four. We are finished creating the rhythm for the part which is in 4/4.
Before we go on to the 12/8 portion, we can place the notes of the melody in the linear form of the rhythm i.e standard music notation. So, not only is the rhythm the first drum part, it is also the rhythm for the melody associated with it.
In this case we have one note left over which doesn’t fit onto the rhythm so I alternate playing it and not playing it to help create a little variety.
The melody should be played on gamelan instruments, Thai instruments or Setar. Or, if you’re capable, sung, as the voice is the preferred instrument for communicating intent in Shamanism.
A 12 string guitar can also be adapted to play binaural beats by detuning the sets of double strings by a 1/4 step, Persian musicians outside of Turkey usually tune to 1/8 steps and this still corresponds to acceptable brainwave frequencies for magical use. Or two instrumentalists can play purposefully out of tune a bit on western instruments of any kind in a pinch.
African music also has a pattern played on bell(cowbell, agogo or otherwise) which I derive by rhythmic diminution of the part I already have. In laymans terms it means to play one part twice as fast as the drum part on an obnoxious bell, if you’re into traditional African music, or on a shaker or rattle if you’re crossing over into shamanism.
The Shaman often holds the rattle close to his head because the random, multiple strikes occuring inside the rattle also affects brainwaves placing himself into a magical state or if you shake it above a patient, putting them into the alpha “healing” frequency.
Next we create the melodic and rhythmic patterns in 12/8 the same way we made the ones in 4/4 except we make a new circle marking the quarters but this time we don’t mark the cross quarters and instead ultimately have 12 stations on the circumference of the circle.
Plot the alphabet around the circle and draw the sigil based on the letter associations from the statement of intent.
If you wish to derive a melody from this, the most natural way is from the chromatic scale which has 12 notes or you can devise some other scheme.
Again, the station at the top of the circle is the first beat of the “measure.” This word is in parenthesis because African musicians don’t conceive of their music in measures or of even having a downbeat. Anyway, rhythmic events are known because of where the sigil makes tangents with the circle.
Most rhythm around the world is additive and not necessarily divided exactly in half as is western music. It’s easier to play in 12/8 if you think of it as 3+3+3+3. This rhythm has a rhythmic event on the first beat in the first group of three. An event on the last beat in the second group of three. On the first beat in the third group of three. And on the first and last in the second group of three.
I forgot to mention that the kind of repetetive music which sigilization constructs is very similar to avante guarde music and the music of John Cage who is mentioned on some of the Chaos “magic” websites I’ve seen. I forgot to mention previously that instruments can be acquired or made inexpensively or free. A gamelan metallophone/xylophone can be constructed out of electrical conduit and a pipe cutter or out of discarded wood. Just experiment with the lengths until you get the right pitches providing a whole range of tuning possibilities very cheaply. 5 gallon plastic water bottles make great drums and the small ones also work well as a kind of bongo. Anything can be used really such as foot stomping or an upturned garbage can. Salt shakers or toothpick vials make nice shakers. Different lengths of ABS pipe with end caps make stamping tubes which can function as a drum part producing different pitches. In Cuba a brake “drum” taken from a car is often used which can function as the bell of African music in this context. I use big circular saw blades as gongs since they are prominent in the rhythmic structure of gamelan music playing on every fourth beat with the lowest pitched gong playing before everyone begins and as the last stroke of a piece of music. A fretless instrument like a guitar or violin can be made from some wire, a broom handle and a coffee can for a resonator/body. Use two strands of wire and tune them a quarter step apart. Use coloured tape to indicate different places where to put your fingers. Mapping out The Thai tuning, gamelan tuning and standard scale steps or whatever is your preference. If you want to play it like a violin or cello, a bow can be made from a dowel and any piece of fabric that you can put dried tree sap on.
If anyone wants to post this on their personal website has my permission.
Re: Net Shoggoths?
PARKER RYAN (parker[at]mhd1[dot]moorhead[dot]msus[dot]edu)
Tue, 11 Oct 1994 10:03:48 -0500 (CDT)
This is a short essay on a rite I developed. It seems quite effective. Indeed it was MUCH more effective than I anticipated. It rapidly showed itself to be a powerful but potentially dangerous magickal working. Unfortunately it is written entirely in a male context. I did not wish to speculate on how to adapt this rite for use by female mages. I’m sure that they are very capable of doing this themselves and would almost certainly do a better job.
According to HPL Shoggoths were (originally) mindless creatures created as servants/slaves by the Great Old Ones. They could assume whatever form their master wished in order to perform their task. Shoggoths are unruly servants becoming more intelligent and rebellious the longer the are employed. Eventually they may attempt to destroy their masters. HPL also wrote that Shoggoths are sometimes seen in visions from hallucinogenic plants.
Magickal traditions from around the world contain formula for creating magickal creatures as slaves/servants. These creatures can be created in what ever shape is needed or desired by the magician. These magickal creatures are called “Tulpas” or “thought-forms” by the Tibetans. In “Mystery and Magic in Tibet” Alexandra David-Neal tells how she created such a Tupla as an experiment. The Tupla became more and more independent and troublesome as time went on. Eventually Ms. David-Neal had to discontinue the experiment because of the Tulpa’s growing power. Mr. G.H. Estabrooks in his book “Hypnotism” writes of his attempts to create a self-hypnotic pet polar bear. “The technique of autosuggestion is difficult, but it can be mastered. Once the subject has obtained this mastery he will find that not only can he produce, say, hallucinations in the trance itself but can actually suggest posthypnotic hallucinations to himself. It does sound weird but it can be done. . . . Auto suggestion gives us an excellent device with which to study many strange things. The writer had a ‘pet’ polar bear which he was able to call up merely be counting to five. This animal would parade around the hospital ward in most convincing fashion, over and under the beds, kiss the nurses and bit the doctors. It was very curious to note how obedient he was to ‘mental’ commands, even jumping off a three story window on demand.
But auto suggestion has a certain menace which this phantom bear illustrated. He became so familiar that he refused to go away. He would turn up in the most unexpected places and without being sent for. The writer was playing bridge one evening and almost through his hosts into hysterics by suddenly remarking, ‘There’s that damn bear again. I wish someone would shoot the beast.’ He also had a nasty habit of turning up in dark corners at night, all very well when one realized he was just made of ghoststuff but rather hard on ones’ nerves for all that. So he was banished and told never to return. It was fully a month before the writer felt quit sure that his ghostly form would not be grinning at him over the foot of his bed during a thunderstorm.”
The magickal and shamanic writings of the world also record the way in which magickally created entities can become independent and troublesome. Sometimes even dangerously rebellious. Tibetan Buddhists and shamans from around the globe say that these “thought forms” or magickal creatures can be seen when in the gnostic state caused by entheogenic plants. Thus we can see that these Tulpas (sometimes called egregors in western traditions) are closely related to HPL’s Shoggoths. Both Shoggoths and Tulpas are created entities. Both are servants or slaves and can assume any form needed by their masters. They both can become rebellious. Shoggoths as well as Tulpas are sometimes seen after ingesting entheogenic plants. Thus I think that there is a fairly firm link between HPL’s Shoggoths and the thought-form entities of Magick and Shamanism.
Creating a Shoggoth
In this section we’ll look at some practical considerations related to creating a Shoggoth (thought-form entity). There were many techniques for creating thought-forms throughout the history of magick and shamanism. We must consider which of this multitude of techniques is most appropriate for magickally creating a Lovecraftian Shoggoth.
The word Shoggoth is, according to Kenneth Grant, related to the Chaldean word “shaggathai”. Shaggathai translates as “fornication” and provides a significant clue as to what methodology should be employed. “Beth Shaggathai” which means “House of Fornication” may be related to or even a progenitor of HPL’s “Pit of Shoggoths”. The idea of a link between “Shaggathai” (fornication) and Shoggoth is not as strange as it might first seem. The use of sexual energy in creating thought-form entities is a particularly old and powerful technique.
This technique is particularly suited for creating violently powerful and unpredictable entities such a Shoggoths. Indeed poltergeist phenomena are almost without fail associated with to pubescent children. The upheaval and dynamic release of sexual energy at puberty can, especially in the emotionally disturbed or repressed, result in a “poltergeist”. Thus it might seem that techniques using sexual energy are, perhaps, the most suited for creating a Shoggoth. The classical technique involves direct manipulation the sexual fluids to create the thought-form entity. HPL’s description of a formless Shoggoth as a viscous mass of protoplasm seems reminiscent of this technique. Some of the formula for creating a Homunculus are particularly potent forms of this methodology. A medieval prescription for making a homunculus was to place manure in a vessel to which the magician would add his sperm three times accompanied with the appropriate word formula and visualizations. This process would begin the entity’s existence. Next the magician would place drops of his own blood in the vessel each day for forty days. At the end of these forty days the Homunculus would be mature and allowed to exit the vessel. This technique is particularly powerful and dangerous because of the use of blood. The magician must always use only his own blood. This is because the blood of others can be very difficult to control. However, this technique is still dangerous and difficult to control even when using one’s own blood. The escaping energy from the blood can be directly manipulated to incarnate the entity. Indeed HPL in “The Dunwich Horror” says that certain entities “can not take body without human blood.” The use of ones own blood is a dangerous technique that should not be attempted by novices. The above formula for creating a Homunculus will be adapted below as a method for generating a Shoggoth.
You must first decide the function that the Shoggoth will serve. Once you have determined what the task of the Shoggoth will be you must create a sigil that represents this purpose.
Prepare a container with the Sign of the Elders on the outside of the lid and the talisman of Yhe on the inside surface of the lid. Place the sigil on the bottom surface of the container.
You must choose a form for the Shoggoth to assume that is both consistent with its task and with the nature of Shoggoths in general. (H. R. Giger’s works are a good source for Shoggothic images.)
Place the container on an altar dedicated to Shub-Niggurath. (Shub-Niggurath is chosen because of the Black Goat’s association with fertility and thus creating new life.) The working space should also be set up with the colors (black and brown), symbols (goat, tree, inverse pentagram, etc.), and sounds (a recording of a goat baying and drumming work very well), etc., associated with Shub-Niggurath.
The magician begins the Rite thus:
Facing the altar he takes up his dagger and inscribes his circle (normally a magick circle is not used in Cthulhu oriented magick. However, in rite we must endeavor to keep any unwanted influences from removing energy from the Shoggoth or swaying the direction of the rite) He then returns the dagger to its place on the altar. He faces the physical representation of Shub-Niggurath and declares:
“Shub-Niggurath is the Lord of the Woods. From the Wells of Night to the Gulfs of Space, and from the Gulfs of Space to the Wells of Night, ever the praises of Great Cthulhu, of Tsathogguau, and of Him Who is not to be Named. Ever their praises and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods. Ia! Shub-Niggurath! The Black Goat with a Thousand Young!”
“Shub-Niggurath, Great Lord of the Woods, giver of Life, bestow your productivity to this rite. Confer your fertility. The portents of your fecundity are rejoiced. Ever praises to Shub-Niggurath the Black Goat of the Woods. Ia! Shub-Niggurath.”
The Magician now removes his (black) robes and opens the container and begins to stimulate himself as he faces the sigil of the Shoggoth. He should carefully visualize the form chosen for the Shoggoth in the container. As the energy builds he should envision the energy going into the Shoggoth vivifying it. Deliberate over-breathing can be used to strengthen the ASC and energy of the rite. As the point of orgasm approaches the magician calls forth:
“(Name chosen for the Shoggoth)! Come forth!”
As he climaxes he should allow his mind to be overwhelmed by the sensations, eliminating completely (as possible) conscious thought. In this blank state of mind the Sigil (which the magician should be looking at) is the UNconscious focus and directs the energy. The magician allows his sexual fluids to land on the Sigil energizing it and incarnating the Shoggoth.
After this the container is shut and the magician says:
“Thanks and praises to Shub-Niggurath The Black Goat.”
He then makes the Sign of Koth followed by the Elder Sign. He then closes this portion of the rite in his customary fashion.
The above process should be repeated three times on three days (the may or may not be consecutive). The next stage of the rite is “feeding” the Shoggoth. Again, a magick-circle is advisable. The magician should enter whatever form of excitatory gnosis he feels suitable. Next, the magician opens the container with his left hand and makes the Elder Sign with his right hand. He then takes up his dagger and draws a small amount of blood. As the blood drops on the Sigil he calls forth:
“(Shoggoth’s name)!, I command you to feed and grow powerful so that you may serve my will!”
“I command you to feed and grow powerful so that you may serve my will!”
“I command you to feed and grow powerful so that you may serve my will!”
“(Name)! Drink my blood and take body!”
As he does this he VERY INTENSELY visualizes the form of the Shoggoth. If he wishes he can envision the Shoggoth growing slightly. “Imagining” the Shoggoths form clearly is VERY important to the success of this rite.
Each time this is repeated the image of the Shoggoth should become more and more clear and independent. As the days pass the Shoggoth should seem to appear as soon as the container is opened before the magician even tries to visualize it. This process is repeated every day for 37 more days. The entire rite takes forty days to complete. On the last day, after “feeding” it, the magician commands the Shoggoth thus:
“(Name)!, I command you to leave your receptacle. Enter the world and perform your task as I will. Go forth and (state the task assigned to the Shoggoth). SO I COMMAND!”
He then makes the Voorish Sign and destroys the talisman of Yhe and the Sign of the Elders on the lid of the container. If the function of the Shoggoth is fairly permanent (i.e., a Guardian of a location or object) the Shoggoth may need periodic “recharging” This can be done with either sexual energy or any other method of imparting magickal energy the mage deems fit.
The Shoggoth should be VERY powerful as thought-form entities go. It should also be (or rapidly become) fairly independent and capable of autonomous action. With continued existence and use the Shoggoth will seem to develop its own “personality” and can become troublesome. If the Shoggoth becomes rebellious it may be necessary for the magician to destroy the Shoggoth. A standard but thorough banishing and the destruction of the Sigil should suffice.
Any comments or suggestions welcomed.
This rite should not be attempted by novices!
Please post or e-mail me with any results if you attempt this rite.
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