Publish and be damned they say. I feel a bit like that with my book Kaos Hieroglyphica: Alchemy for the New Aeon. I started writing this when I was just 23 and had finished writing it by the time I was 28. It wasn’t published until I was 29, nearly 30. I am now 35. Inevitably my 35 year old self cringes at some of my decade old writing. However, in the first article I ever had published, namely “Liber Minor 0”, I had enough sense to write one of the best sentences I have ever written, namely that ‘I reserve the right to disagree with myself at a later date.’
Well, here I am at a later date exercising my right to disagree with myself! In particular I have cause to revisit the Psyche Magic chapter, in particular the ritual. Rather than rewrite the ritual, I am going to tell the story of its actual performance, what lead up to it, and how the recipient has been empowered by it since.
When I was about 19 I met a girl who for the purposes of this article I will call Jane. We were both in the same class at university and became friends. I drew a picture of Jane in which I depicted her aura surrounded by demons.
Eventually, as I spent more time in her company, I would notice that she occasionally went into deep trance states in which it was impossible to talk to her. Attempts to touch her or comfort her would be beaten off, and she would remember nothing of what transpired after the trance was over. Having learned basic chakra meditation and performed some telepathy experiments with another meditator, I opened a connection between my ajna and her throat, and my throat and her ajna during one of these trance episodes. I figured it had to be worth a try. I wasn’t experienced enough to deal with the result. A huge black spider with a malicious face filled the room with etheric darkness. All I was able to say was ‘There is something in the room’. Jane immediately snapped out of trance at my words.
This was the second time I had seen her spider, the first time being when I drew it in my picture for her. It turned out that she had been plagued by this demon for the past 4 or 5 years and that it had been causing all sorts of poltergeist activity. I didn’t really know how to deal with it so I took her to see the owner of the local pagan shop, who explained that she needed to confront and talk to this spirit and find out why it is following her and ask it to leave.
Jane did this and it left. It turned out that it was a kind of servitor she had summoned in order to protect herself from the painful memories of a childhood abuse incident involving an older boy. The son of her babysitter.
A few years after this and I was still in contact with Jane, (we remain in contact to this day), and it turned out she now had another problem. It seemed a more malevolant entity was troubling her. This time it wouldn’t leave when she asked it to, and it seems it was planted in her by her abuser, using her pain and fear as gnosis for its creation.
By this time I had gained a significant amount more experience and confidence in dealing with such a situation and we decided to perform an exorcism. The ritual described in my book is a faithful account of that exorcism.
I will summarise what happened here. There were three adults present in the ritual, Jane, a magician we shall call Brother S and myself.
First we used Austin Osman Spare style sigilisation to create a name and a sigil for the demon to be excorcised. Then we made sigils of protection and power over the demon. We drew a representation of the demon on paper, and marked it with its sigil. Then all recipients took ritual baths or showers of cleansing.
The preparation over we made our collective way to the venue in which we would perform the rite. The demon did give us some trouble by causing some of what we were carrying to be lost from the bag, but we retraced our steps and eventually found it in the street. Once in the venue Brother S lead an alchemical banishing rite sealing the room with the seven classical planets, after we all had the sigil of protection drawn on our foreheads. Jane was sitting down for the next part where I made the statement of intent to destroy this demon, and then I lead myself and Brother S in summoning the demon to visualisation. We chanted for sometime, but soon we were confronted with the unmistakable vision of a black form rising up out of Jane.
We then commanded it to bind with the drawing and sigil of itself. Once it had done so I issued the command that it was now utterly bound to the representation, such that the life of the drawing and sigil were its life, and the the death of the drawing was its death. I then burned the drawing, making sure all of the paper was turned to ash. I tried to get Jane to do the burning, but she was frozen solid to the chair. It later turned out that the demon was trying to make her run from the room and she was using all her will power to simply stay put. I did however ask her if I could destroy the demon on her behalf and she was able to nod her consent.
After the destruction of the demon, the atmosphere lightened considerably, and Jane was free to make a statement of intent of how to use the freed part of her mind. No longer frozen to her chair.
After some reflection where we all made sure nothing else remained to be done, Brother S removed the seals of the ritual area, ending the ritual.
Man years later, and Jane has been plagued by the demon no more. The ritual did not cure her of all ill effects of her abuse, and she still made use of counselling and other traditional methods of dealing with childhood trauma, but none the less the ritual was a success and has made a real difference to Jane’s life.
It is this kind of magic that I feel most proud of in my life, being able to help someone with a very real problem that regular medicine was unable to help with. Not the time I successfully enchanted to find money, nor the times I successfully cursed those who wronged me. Not the times I summoned trains that weren’t on the timetable, nor satisfied other lazy whims. As impressive and amusing as those achievements seemed to me at the time… :-)
First published on Plutonica.net 10 September 2009.
Image credit: Nick Saltmarsh.