Eliphas Levi, considered one of the most influential occultists in Western ceremonial magic and witchcraft, asks and then answers that question. His answer:
The knowledge of great secrets and the consciousness of power.
Those are my two objectives for you in this course: (1) to confer to you the knowledge of great secrets, and (2) to endow you with the consciousness of your personal power, to show you the heights that your power can achieve.
At every single point of my work in putting this course together, I thought, how do I facilitate development of the most powerful, most knowledgeable, most versatile, wisest, and most formidable occultist there ever was? How do I show you how to be that person?
And that was the inspiration and the ambition behind this course.
Western Witchcraft I focuses on the doctrinal basis and theoretical fundamentals of transcendental magic. This course is an immersive study of the first 12 chapters in Eliphas Levi’s Doctrine, Part I, of the greater collected work Transcendental Magic: Doctrine and Ritual, and structured like a one semester 400-level university elective.
Be prepared for an intense amount of reading. The video lectures only supplement the reading assignments and are not a replacement for them. In addition to the reading assignments, the weekly practicum, ritual, and energy training is also demanding on your time and your efforts.
Attain familiarity with the doctrinal basis and theoretics of Western ceremonial magic
Study the first 12 chapters of Eliphas Levi’s Transcendental Magic, Part I: Doctrine (and to supplement, pick up selected key principles from the first 12 chapters of Part II: Ritual)
Gain essential insights from Levi’s Key to the Great Mysteries, the book he wrote after Doctrine and Ritual
Craft your first four altar tools and use Levi’s Conjuration of the Four ritual to charge and empower those tools (main focus in this course will be on the wand and the pentacle, per Levi’s assertion that the wand is first and foremost your most important ritual tool and second in importance to the wand is your pentacle)
Craft a divine lamp for ritual use and work through a prophetic astral vision
Train yourself to harness the Astral Light, then learn techniques to both strengthen and increase your flexibility with the Light to produce the Magic Chain
Build a rock solid foundation in the theoretical and magical principles of Western witchcraft and ceremonial magic, which will then be able to support the structure and edifice of any mystery tradition or Path you subsequently pursue
A future course offering, Western Witchcraft II, will advance upon the fundamentals established in this course. Western Witchcraft II will conform to Levi’s Ritual, Part II and delve into spell-crafting, talismans, seals and sigils, spirit conjuring, and the many forms, types, and purposes of ritual in transcendental magic.
A “Seal to Defeat All Foes”? Oh, snap. That sounds badass. We definitely need to give this one a try, right?
You’ll find my write-up of this in one of the back-end appendices of Key of Solomon and Collected Studies on Spirit Conjure. It’s a free e-book download here, and if after checking out the pdf version you realize you want it in physical hard copy paperback, that link will give you instructions on how to order one.
I’ve been at work on something, but in the meantime, wanted to come up for air and share this. Because I found it pretty cool, and suspect you might, too.
Well, the above is not it. That’s my own sketch of the Key based on Postel’s text.
Here’s the original illustration from the 1547 publication, Absconditorum Clavis by Guillaume Postel (1510 – 1581).
Postel was a truly fascinating figure and if you’ve got some time, read a biography on him. He also believed in the Eastern esoteric concept of soul dualism, though he framed it differently, i.e., instead of saying “yin and yang” aspects of soul, he said “female and male” aspects of the soul, with one being emotion and the other being intellect. Oh. Wow. Anima and animus, anyone? (Yeah, yeah, I know, not the same…) Nonetheless, bear in mind that Postel pre-dates Carl Jung by some odd 365 years.
I think the single most compelling reason to acquire this deck for your toolkit is to use them as easy, go-to charging plates for your charms, talismans, gemstones, crystals, and other metaphysical knick-knacks. Here, Inna Vinitski has already done the work for you. Once you get these cards, consecrate them and voila! Incredible! A set of tools for planetary magic at your fingertips!
This post will both showcase the Seals of Solomon cards, which I urge you to get if you want to deep-dive into working with the Key of Solomon, and also get into what the Key says about these seals, or pentacles.
To start, let’s try a little something, shall we? Below in the photo of the three magic cards, take a moment to gaze at each one, connecting your third eye (that space just between your brows) with the eye depicted on the card back. For one of these three cards, the tug at that space between your brows will feel stronger, more intense than for the others. Note which of the three cards gives you the strongest intuitive sensation.
Remember it, because we’ll be returning to your card selection later.
Solomonic magic is pretty much the foundation of occultism, modern witchcraft, and ceremonial magic west of India and China, encompassing Europe, the Middle East, and now the Americas.
What you will discover within the pages of this book I’m sharing, you’re going to find to be the keystones of Persian magic and witchcraft, the magical practices of Muslim-influenced Southeast Asian countries, the Golden Dawn (though many of their correspondences differ), hoodoo, Wicca, and maybe even the traditions you’ve inherited and have been wondering where those traditions might have come from.
If you’re serious about your occult studies, then I hope you’ll add this text to your library and read through it cover to cover at least once.
From my vantage point, this book is essential reading, even if for no other reason than to take it apart to realize once and for all this is not for you. That, too, is invaluable. Whether you want to strengthen the connection to these roots or you want to sever ties with the roots altogether and grow anew, either choice calls for an examination of this text.
The images from historically significant grimoires, the essence of the ritual instructions provided, and the methodology behind the crafting of seals, devising the magical scripts, and even how to prepare for ritual can help to inspire your own creativity, offering sparks and revelations for how to do Craft your way.
If you’re a total beginner, then please do not try out any of these rituals or operations on your own. Plus, the instructions are pretty clear that most of these conjurations should never be performed solitary.
At the beginner and intermediate level, a light read of this text is going to be the best introduction to ceremonial magic, witchcraft, and occultism west of the Indies you can get.
This should be your orientation manual into the Craft and the beginner steps for realizing your Great Work. Levi even says as much, which is why in a course I was putting together focused on Levi, I ended up having to back-track and start first with the Key of Solomon.
The Tarot Study Journal is for you to record all your card meanings and correspondences reference material. The structure of this journal is the same as the one previously shared for the tarot journal collab, except this one includes the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot deck. In other words, it’s a study journal for the Tarot de Marseilles, Rider-Waite-Smith, Thoth, and the SKT.
For those who have been following along the Tarot Card Meanings with Benebell video lecture series, this Tarot Study Journal is basically keyed to that video lecture series. So you can print out a copy of this journal and take all your notes from the lecture series in these pages.
She and I also teamed up to put together two free downloads for you. The Tarot Study Journal is, in short, where you keep card meanings and your research. The Tarot Readings Diary is where you log readings you’ve been doing for yourself or for others.
I will be creating these two journal versions for those with the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot deck (I’ve got the e-mail addresses for all purchasers) so stay on the look-out for that! I’ll be sending the downloads to your e-mail inbox in the next few weeks.
Psst… If you’re working with the SKT deck, then hold out for a version of these two journals that include sections keyed for the SKT. I’m going to be contacting you all via the SKT Newsletter with a ton of downloads, DOCX and PDF.