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.
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 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.
What is the difference between witchcraft and ceremonial magic?
I’ve been struggling to understand for myself what the distinction is between witchcraft and ceremonial magic. Because the immediate go-to points of differentiation you often hear people reach for feel kinda superficial.
There are more significant differences between two different traditions under the heading “witchcraft” (or two different traditions under “ceremonial magic”) than there are the alleged differences between the main generic headings “witchcraft” or “ceremonial magic.”
It was all “maleficia“…
Pretty much up until witchcraft or maleficia was no longer outlawed, what we today might associate with ceremonial magic would have been tucked under the heading “witchcraft.”
The law (back when the law cared about public accusations of maleficium…) lumped it all together and while I was doing historic research for my novel, bishops and otherwise powerful men had gotten accused of witchcraft and for being witches (though in those cases, they were probably false accusations; those men were just challenging political power).
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.