If you might recall, Key 1: The Magus was the very first card I learned digital painting on. The line work was done by hand, scanned in, and the color was subsequently done via digital painting software programs. Then it was Key 2: The Priestess, and so on.
It’s amusing to look back on those first five keys, because it’s painfully obvious how scared of color I was. =) I didn’t know what I was doing. I was winging it. And you can tell.
It’s not until Key 6: The Lovers card that a noticeable improvement happens. Then after Key 7: The Chariot, off I went! =) Now that I know how to color, after finishing the Tens I’m going to return to Keys 1 through 5. I’ve already made notes on how I want to revise them.
You can click on any of these image files for an enlarged view.
Learn a little more about this common ritual tool in traditional Asian folk magic. I’m inviting you to give the ba gua or eight trigrams mirror a try.
This video covers a few pointers on how to use a ba gua mirror to tell whether you’ve been hexed or cursed (a folksy practice that’s interesting to learn about, at the very elast), how a ba gua mirror can amplify your spell-crafting techniques, a simple intention-setting candle spell, how to make your own ba gua mirror if you can’t source one, and how to integrate this one tool and folk practice into what you’re already doing.
The Little Work: Magic to Transform Your Everyday Life (Llewellyn, 2020) by Durgadas Allon Duriel is exactly the kind of book I want to see more of. A fresh, modern take on inner alchemical work, this primer text will help you weave magic into the mundane. On that count, Duriel begins by reminding us that there is no such thing as the mundane. Rather, it’s about seeing the magic in what we otherwise have always perceived as the mundane.
Well-researched, thorough, and the kind of beginner text on contemporary magic that we should be sharing with those new to the craft, The Little Work builds confidence, knowledge, practical experience, and gives you the tools to approach the craft with intelligence, discipline, and also compassion. Duriel also inspires you to trust your intuition and lean in to your very personal, unique connection with Spirit.
One of my favorite personal rewards from launching the Witchcraft Fundamentals course is the Google Group, where all of us are exchanging insights, asking tough questions, trying to answer tough questions, and getting to know each other. To give you a sampling of what that e-mail list-serv group is like, I’m sharing something I wrote on there in one of the threads started by a practitioner of both Eastern and Western metaphysics.
The question presented is, in short, how do you reconcile Eastern elemental-directional correspondences with Western elemental-directional correspondences?
By the way, scroll all the way down for the PDF downloads of this post, which you can then print out and tuck into whatever reference manual for your metaphysical studies you have going on.
IN THIS WESTERN WITCHCRAFT COURSE, you’ll learn fairly soon that there are different systems of elemental-directional correspondences even within the umbrella of Western occult philosophy, and we cover three of them in this course:
The Rat is the start of the zodiac cycle, much like Aries in the Western zodiac. Thus, any year of the Rat is going to be prognosticated as a year of beginnings, of starting over, and new opportunities that come your way.
The Rat is considered to be business-savvy and entrepreneurial, so sole proprietorships are going to be more prosperous than usual. It’s a lucky year for small businesses or new startup ventures.
With 2020 being the year of the Metal Rat, we’re going to see a global focus on technology.
Metal years, no matter what the animal sign, are also more prone to social conflicts, so we may see more of that across the world stage. This is a year of nations and leaders trying to show off their power.
On the other hand, in terms of culture and humanities, it should be a great year for music.
Eliphas Levi, considered one of the most influential occultists in Western ceremonial magic and witchcraft, asks and then answers that question.
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.
The “Star of Bethlehem” is when Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars are in conjunction under the same sign. It is based on the mythology that around 2 B.C., there was a conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars and three sage astrologers, or the “three wise men,” predicted the birth of a child to be a savior to the people, located at the point where the terrestrial latitude and longitude of the triple conjunction is the same as the celestial latitude and longitude (and in the midheaven) of that geographic location. Such a child would become the initiator of a new epoch in world history.
The last incidence of a Star of Bethlehem was in the year 2000. This coming year in 2020, there will be a Star of Bethlehem. Then the next Star of Bethlehem won’t be until 2040. So basically, they occur about once every 20 years, give or take.