The Angel Tarot and Occult Tarot by Travis McHenry first came out via Kickstarter, and then got picked up for traditional publication by Rockpool, which launched earlier this year. I’ll be covering both in this review.
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.
This is a supplemental lecture in Module 11 of the Witchcraft Fundamentals course, titled “The Magic Chain.” If you’re working through the course in the order outlined by the syllabus, then watching this video lecture would come after having watched the video lecture for Chapter XI in the Doctrinal Basis workbook.
However, this supplemental lecture is being provided for free public access.
Download the LECTURE NOTES (PDF):
PURCHASE THE COURSE PACK:
This is the second module of Western Witchcraft I: Fundamentals and Doctrinal Basis online course provided for free preview. Learn more about that course and how to enroll by clicking here.
DOWNLOAD LECTURE NOTES:
Chapter 1: The Candidate (pdf)
This is the preliminary module to the Western Witchcraft I: Fundamentals and Doctrinal Basis online course. Learn more about that course and how to enroll by clicking here.
DOWNLOAD LECTURE NOTES:
- Preface (pdf)
- Chapter 0: Introduction (pdf)
- Chapter Structure of Doctrine and Ritual (pdf)
- About Eliphas Levi (pdf)
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.
In the pdf, check out p. 505.
In this post I’m going to share how I modify the instructions from the Key of Solomon for the First Pentacle of Mercury and adapt the core principles from Key to make it my own.
If you want to read the original instructions, you’ll find it in this 560-page e-book (physical copy of the text is pictured above) by downloading it from here.
The more common representation of the First Pentacle is what you’ll see above, where the Hebrew letters for the angelic spirit name AGIEL (אגיאל) are inscribed around the pentagram counter-clockwise and then around the outer ring clockwise.
Above, in the carved wood disc on the left page spread, you can compare it to the original instructions and see how I’ve changed it up so it’s more “me.”
I was working with birch wood for the wood’s protective qualities (metaphysical correspondences) and carved the design into the wood with a wood-burner (pyrography– writing with fire! ooh, how fun!). My pentacles are also two-sided. I’ll talk about what I did with the back side of the pentacle later in this walk-through.
I made two different versions, which you’ll see above. The left one is a stylized version of the Phoenician alphabet equivalent, and the right one above is in the Celestial Alphabet.
Worth noting here that practitioners will hold very different and conflicting perspectives on just how much you can embellish or modify the original seals. I think, like any other science, it depends on how you’ve modified the original seal.
Working with the doctrine of analogies, it really is just like cooking. You can swap in different ingredients, but exactly what ingredients you’re swapping with will affect the taste of the resulting dish. Some ingredients are enough like the original that you probably can’t taste a difference, though there will still be subtle undertones you can pick up on; and with others, you’re probably basically creating a totally new dish.
Inna Vinitski’s Seals of Solomon Magic Cards are the perfect companion tool to go along with your copy of the Key of Solomon, or Clavicula Salmonis, which I offer a free download of here. So although this deck does not come with a guidebook, everything you need to know about these seals and now to work with them can be found in that free download. I’m going to be making page references to that free download pdf of Key of Solomon.
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.
I’ve converted selected text from the Introduction chapter of Eliphas Levi’s Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual (here I’m using the English translation by A. E. Waite) into a much easier to digest reference table.
That is all. I’ll expound on this more at a later time. For now, those who know what to do with this, go forth and be merry; those who don’t care for this kind of thing, no worries! =)
Click on any of the tables for an enlarged view or to save the image file.