Traversing the Paths on the Tetractys of Life

There hasn’t been much talk here about the paths themselves on the Tetractys since we figured out a way to associate letters to them.  Largely, this is because I’ve had a hard time figuring out where to start.  I mean, I developed the whole mathesis thing out of a need to work with a Greek system of paths between the spheres on the Tree of Life, yet never actually did much pathworking or meditation on the paths themselves on the Kircher Tree (which, though it goes against my usual advice, I think was justified here).  I know that the paths describe a means of change and evolution from one emanation to the next, yet beyond that…it was hard to say.  Since then, I’ve been looking at the Tetractys and trying to figure out where to start.  Unlike the Tree of Life in qabbalah that so conveniently gives us Malkuth as the starting line for our Work, the Tetractys doesn’t have anything so readily apparent.  Then again, the answer was literally staring out at me from the middle of the whole thing, and it’d be a shame for me to ignore my own patron god Hermes at this point.  Starting with that brief moment of inspiration, I started from the middle of the Tetractys and worked my way out, and now I’ve ended up developing a way to traverse the sphairai on the Tetractys of Life in an ordered and coherent way.  Bear with me guys, because this post is going to be a little lengthy to get all my thoughts out.

So, we have our Tetractys of Life.  For simplicity’s sake, let’s ignore the letters on the paths and focus just on the existence of the paths:


First, let’s talk about having a single “path” (really, a network of paths between individual sphairai) that traverses the whole Tetractys sphere by sphere.  I propose the following schema:

  1. Mercury
  2. Air/Jupiter
  3. Fire/Mars
  4. Sulfur/Sun
  5. Mercury
  6. Salt/Moon
  7. Earth/Saturn
  8. Water/Venus
  9. Mercury
  10. Light/Fixed Stars
  11. Monad
  12. Darkness/Earth

Graphically, the paths on the Tetractys selected between these sphairai look like this:


I’ll bet you’re confused.  For one, we have twelve spheres listed, with Mercury being listed three times; shouldn’t we have to go through each sphere only once?  Second, we’re starting with Mercury and not the Monad; shouldn’t we start with the Monad being the All and the Source of all?  Well, sorta.  I’ll admit, my background in qabbalah was inhibiting me from running with this sequence of paths, but then, mathesis is not qabbalah, and the Tetractys is not the Tree.  In Hermetic qabbalah or Jewish kabbalah, we have a clearly defined start and end, a Source and a Destination, and either of them will be Kether or Malkuth depending on whether you’re going up or down the Tree.  However, while the Tree is like an elaborate map, the Tetractys presents us with something different, like a blueprint.  Instead of showing how things come to be in a linear fashion, the Tetractys shows the presence and building blocks of life present in all things; the Tetractys shows how things come to be in a nonlinear fashion.  There is no single end goal with the Tetractys; the Monad descends into the Tetrad, not any one of the four elements alone.  All the parts of the Tetractys must be constantly and repeatedly traversed to become complete both of ourselves and of the cosmos, encompassing all aspects of the act, process, and result of Creation.

As for passing through the sphaira of Mercury, let’s talk about what we’re doing on the paths first.  We start with what looks like the Mitsubishi logo around the Tetractys: three rhombuses each with one acute corner at the Mercury sphaira and the other acute corner at one of the distant corners of the Tetractys.  I’ll call each of these three sets of four sphairai a system, and each system focuses on a particular theme:

  • The Hot System involves the active principles of Air, Fire, and Sulfur.  Processes of power, actively causing change.
  • The Cold System involves the passive principles of Salt, Earth, and Water.  Processes of reception, passively receiving change
  • The Cosmic System involves the encompassing principles of Light, the Monad, and Darkness.  Processes of cosmic stasis and unity.

In each case, we both start and end at Mercury, both astrologically and alchemically, being the center and present in nearly all things except the purest and most extreme of all elements: Earth, Fire, and the Source itself.  Everything else is connected with Mercury, so it makes sense that it’s the only one that can reasonably allow us to translate between the three systems. Yes, we can go from Water to Air (traversing the Cold and Hot Systems directly), Sulfur to Light (Hot and Cosmic), or Salt to Darkness (Cold and Whole), but a better balance can be preserved and future progress can be assured by always returning to Mercury.  If we spend some time in the Hot System, we should pass from Sulfur through Mercury to Salt, because Mercury is what naturally balances the two forces.  At the end of the Cold System, we pass from Water/Venus to Light/Stars; though it’s not immediately apparent how Mercury balances these two, consider the myth of Aphrodite being born from Ocean (Water) from the remains of Ouranos (Sky); the ability to create physically comes from supercelestial impetus and the latter is accomplished by the former, but also consider the endless horizon is the meeting point of the two realms.  At the end of the Cosmic System, we proceed from Darkness to Air; again, an awkward comparison to make, but recall that in the Poemander myth of creation, air is what separated the heavens from the mixed mass that would eventually become the Earth, and the ability to begin the process of rising and falling through the spheres is accomplished by means of air as an intermediary.  Mercury is a symbol of strong change, but not in a way that changes something into its direct opposite; rather, Mercury changes something into its complement, something that completes and links the two systems together.

The use of systems here isn’t just to provide a way to go through all the sphairai of the Tetractys in one go.  Rather, within each system are four sphairai and four paths, forming a kind of mini-tetractys within each system in a mini-cycle.  While one can traverse each system once to complete the whole Tetractys, I see it being worthwhile to cycle through each system several times to really grok and complete the work that needs to be done in each.  If we consider the three phases of alchemy (nigredo, albedo, rubdeo), then each system can be viewed as one of these stages, and it may take time for the Work from each phase to settle in.  Going through each stage of the work thoroughly requires several iterations; for instance, cycling through the Hot system four times would yield a pass each to focus on the ideas of Hot, Hot-Air, Hot-Fire, and Hot-Sulfur.  By cycling not only through the Tetractys as a whole but within each system on the Tetractys, we can begin to fully understand each force in its entirety and on its own terms.

All this leads to the cycle of paths that this “Mitsubishi” arrangement forms.  We start with Mercury then descend into the Hot System by progressing to Air, drying ourselves into Fire, and rarefying ourselves into Sulfur.  From there, we return to Mercury, cooling down and becoming pure Salt, degrading into Earth, then quickening into Water.  After that, we return to Mercury, ascend into the Light, achieve union or the image of the Source, then descend back down to Darkness.  From there, we repeat the process over again, returning to Mercury and heating up again into Air, cycling through the Tetractys infinitely and repeatedly, each time becoming more powerful with each sphaira and each time achieving more and more of the henosis that is the Great Work.  So, a full set of iterations to proceed throughout the whole Tetractys in this manner would involve a total of four stages that I tentatively call Initiations, progressing through the different systems or within the same system to obtain a deeper understanding of each force.  Keeping the same order within each system, the whole schema looks like this:

  1. Hermetic Initiation
    1. Hot System (Mercury → Air → Fire → Sulfur)
    2. Cold System (Mercury → Salt → Earth → Water)
    3. Cosmic System (Mercury → Light → the Monad → Darkness)
  2. Hot Initiation
    1. Hot System with a focus on Mercury (e.g. a deeper acquaintance of the Hot forces)
    2. Hot System with a focus on Air (e.g. seeing Air and how it relates and acts throughout the Hot forces)
    3. Hot System with a focus on Fire (e.g. same as above but with Fire)
    4. Hot System with a focus on Sulfur (e.g. etc.)
  3. Cold Initiation
    1. Cold System with a focus on Mercury
    2. Cold System with a focus on Salt
    3. Cold System with a focus on Earth
    4. Cold System with a focus on Water
  4. Cosmic Initiation
    1. Cosmic System with a focus on Mercury
    2. Cosmic System with a focus on Light
    3. Cosmic System with a focus on the Monad
    4. Cosmic System with a focus on Darkness

And, after this, we’d repeat the whole thing over again as many times as desired or as necessary until we achieve the Great Work.  Besides, by completely cycling through the whole Tetractys (at least in the Hermetic Initiation) starting and ending with Mercury, we hit Mercury four times, and four is a number mythologically sacred to Hermes.  And, if we consider all the Initiation passes together, we pass through the entire Tetractys a total of five times.

So, in this manner, we have a set of twelve paths traversing three systems within the Tetractys.  Each system is composed of four sphairai, all starting with and ending with Mercury; Mercury is then a liminal point between the three “worlds”, both starting and ending each set of paths within an system.  We constantly proceed from and return to Mercury as a central hub or nexus.  However, with our twelve Mitsubishi paths, we leave another set of twelve paths unused.  What are these paths?


These twelve paths never touch central Mercury or the extreme Earth, Fire, or Monad sphairai at all, but instead connect the six “middling” sphairai of Darkness, Salt, Water, Air, Sulfur, and Light.  Two cycles are presented here, shown by the hexagram paths (inner cycle) and hexagon paths (outer cycle).  Instead of having systems, we have one group of six sphairai that are each connected to everything but their complement (e.g. Salt and Sulfur, Water and Light) and four leftovers that are unconnected which would link everything else together.  Rather than getting us to henosis and the Monad, or alternatively to a fundamental understanding of how our cosmos works through Earth and Fire, these cycles keep us trapped, never able to each any extreme and never having the ability to reasonably transform ourselves into anything we need to progress.

Between the Mitsubishi paths and hexagram/hexagon paths, I think we have a distinction of how things progress within the cosmos as shown by the Tetractys.  The hexagon and hexagram paths indicate a cycle of reincarnation, always stuck hovering around and just under the things that truly break them out but never quite within reach; the one thing that can do that is Mercury, which they constantly rely on but never call upon. We’ll call these set of paths the Agnosis Schema, as opposed to the Mitsubishi paths which I’ll call the Gnosis Schema.  The Gnosis Schema connects all the sphairai together and in a way that encourages, well, enlightenment in almost a Buddhist sense of extinguishing the process of forced rebirth and reincarnation, freeing ourselves from the trap of maya or ignorance that keeps us in the cycle of being reborn without our control.  In other words, the Gnosis Schema allows us to be reborn by choice and free ourselves from this Hermetic samsara, which is a world of difference from the Agnosis Schema; we can deliberately choose to go to places that we’d never end up in involuntarily or by accident.  We continue around the Gnosis Schema as long as we need or desire to until that last iteration where we go to the sphaira of the Monad and stay there, never returning to Darkness to continue the cycle.  (And, of course, metempsychosis or reincarnation was indeed a belief of Pythagoreanism and Neo-Platonism, so I’m in the right here to bring that beast of a topic into this.)

So, going back to the Gnosis Schema of paths, we can use the order of them to figure out a numerical assignment from 1 to 10 of the sphairai on the Tetractys of Life.  Again, if we start with Mercury as the start, we assign it the number 1 and proceed along the Gnosis Schema paths in order, skipping over where Mercury is repeated:

  1. Mercury
  2. Air/Jupiter
  3. Fire/Mars
  4. Sulfur/Sun
  5. Salt/Moon
  6. Earth/Saturn
  7. Water/Venus
  8. Light/Fixed Stars
  9. Monad
  10. Darkness/Earth

This system of numbers is grossly different from that of the qabbalistic scheme of things, and rightly so.  We’re not describing a path of linear descent from the Source to the World, but a means of cyclical progressive process that continually builds one up further and further until they reach the Highest without having to go down lower anymore.  Described numerically, the Tetractys looks like the following:

numerical_tetractys_gnosisBear in mind that, although each of the sphairai are associated with some celestial heaven (from the Prime Mover to the World we live in), these numbers do not describe their level.  The celestial numbers of the heavens stay as they are, such that Saturn is still the third heaven (from the Top), and so forth.  If we were to compare the cosmological number of each of the sphairai (based on their planets) with the Gnosis Schema numbering (based on their alchemical force), we end up with the following table (which is an exercise in polyvalent thinking):

Sphaira Gnosis Schema Cosmological
Alchemical Planetary
Mercury 1 8
Air Jupiter 2 4
Fire Mars 3 5
Sulfur Sun 4 6
Salt Moon 5 9
Earth Saturn 6 3
Water Venus 7
Light Fixed Stars 8 2
The Monad 9 1
Darkness The World 10

Note that two of the sphairai, the Monad and Mercury, are essentially the same when it comes to what their force is: the planetary force of Mercury and the alchemical force of Mercury are so close that they’re conceptually synonymous.  Likewise, the Monad is…well, the Monad.  There’s literally only one Monad in any system of thought here.  However, look at the numbers: we see two of the sphairai, those of Venus/Water and Darkness/World, have the same number in both systems.  While these are the exceptions to the rule, they’re exceptions worth noticing.  That Darkness/World is 10, the final stage in the emanatory process, is unsurprising; it is completion, it is the ending, it is the goal of creation to create the World.  Although it is present in the Dyad in contrast to Light/Fixed Stars and thus “comes first” before anything lower, the entirety of the World can only exist when all the other forces are present to give it life, animacy, and agency.  As for Water/Venus, it’s interesting that it’s kept the number seven between the two, that of essence and quality of life.  It’s low down on the Tetractys as part of the Tetrad, but all the same it’s vital to giving things animacy, as opposed to Darkness/World which is what is given animacy.

Personally, I feel it appropriate to comment on what the Gnosis/Agnosis Schemas mean for the individual letters of the paths themselves.  For instance, note that all the Air paths (letters Υ, Φ, Ψ, Σ, Δ, Μ) are all part of the Agnosis Schema, as well as the other fixed signs (letters Φ, Κ, Ν) as well as the other elemental paths (letters Χ, Ξ, Θ).  The twelve letters that belong to the Gnosis path are Ο, Ζ, Π, Ε, Η, Λ, Τ, Ω, Α, Β, Ρ, and Ι, which are the six non-fixed non-Air signs and the six non-Jupiter planets.  However, all I’ve done so far is figure out which abstract paths to take regardless of their letters; I fully expect my Tetractys of Life to have its letter-path assignments change over time as I fine tune and explore the system deeper.  The system, as of now, is coherent and structured, which I like, but who knows whether it’s actually valid and practical to use.  That’s what further writing and scrying is for, and now that I have an actual path to pathwork, I think that process should begin soon.

Search Term Shoot Back, August 2014

I get a lot of hits on my blog from across the realm of the Internet, many of which are from links on Facebook, Twitter, or RSS readers.  To you guys who follow me: thank you!  You give me many happies.  However, I also get a huge number of new visitors daily to my blog from people who search around the Internet for various search terms.  As part of a monthly project, here are some short replies to some of the search terms people have used to arrive here at the Digital Ambler.  This focuses on some search terms that caught my eye during the month of August 2014.

“trithemius azazel” — So, Trithemius, properly Johann Heidenberg or Johannes Trithemius, was a German Benedictine abbot, born in 1462 and died 1516.  He was kind of fantastic at everything, and is also known for mentoring Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim who wrote the Three Books of Occult Philosophy.  Trithemius had several works dealing with the occult, including a survey of “necromantic” works, a text detailing the history of the world as shaped by angelic entities, and his famous Steganographia, which appears to be a system of angel magic but itself hides a system of cryptography.  A much later work attributed to Trithemius appears in Francis Barrett’s The Magus called The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, which is my go-to conjuration ritual; however, there’s no real evidence to suggest that this was Trithemius’ work, even though it bears his name.  The ritual is based loosely off of other well-known Solomonic grimoires, like the Key of Solomon and Heptameron, and the text itself focuses on conjuring the angel Michael (specifically the angel of the Sun), though the text also describes times to conjure the other planetary angels.  Azazel, on the other hand, though it bears an angelic-looking name, turns out to be nothing of the sort; this spirit does not appear in Trithemius’ works, and the name appears in Agrippa’s Scale of Four (book II, chapter 7) as the demonic prince of Air.  This is not a good guy; think destructive tornadoes, storms, gales that topple buildings and bridges, mindbreak-inducing doubt, and other mental or airy destruction, and you’ll have a grasp of what this spirit does.  I suggest working with Raphael, the angelic king of Air, rather than this spirit, and even then the only time you might want to conjure Azazel is to bind him out of your life for good.

“scrying with feldspar” — Same way you scry with any other material or medium: let your focus become absorbed in the scrying medium, and let your mind do the rest.  Feldspar is both a type of mineral as well as a group of minerals, and as far as I’m aware it’s not a popular stone in occult use.  Of course, there is labradorite, which is a type of feldspar, but that’s about the only variant I can think of that’s known at all.  Generally people tend to go with some variety of quartz, calcite, gypsum, agate, or even just simple glass, but labradorite sure is pretty.

“unfortunate hours planetary times” — Different texts will indicate good or bad times to do something; I recall that the Grimoirum Verum as well as the Greek Magical Papyri () have “calendars” that describe fortunate or unfortunate days.  However, when it comes to planetary times e.g. hours, it all depends on the activity in question.  For instance, starting a fight that you plan to win is better done on a Tuesday (day of Mars) than a Friday (day of Venus), since the latter doesn’t do well with fights at all.  Likewise, you probably shouldn’t start a fight on a Sunday (day of the Sun), since the Sun is about authority and rulership, and fighting against that usually doesn’t turn out so well.  Better than this, learn electional astrology; while planetary days and hours are a good rough and easy way to do planetary timing, actually timing them to fortunate or unfortunate alignments of the planets themselves is unequivocally better.

“rituwal instrucshins summin belsubub” — While I understand what you’re trying to communicate, and in that sense you aren’t failing the use of written language, I suggest you learn how to properly write, type, and spell before you dare to work with some of the more powerful demonic entities out there.  They appreciate a bit of finesse.

“st. sealtiel feast day” — So, Sealtiel a.k.a. Selaphiel is one of the Seven Archangels (depending on what tradition of Christianity you’re looking at), and is considered to be the angel presiding over prayer to God.  However, unlike Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, he’s not named in the Bible, and so while the Catholic Church is open to his existence, they cannot claim his existence as dogmatically real post-Vatican II.  As such, Sealtiel does not pass muster for licit veneration in the Catholic Church, and so doesn’t get a feast day from them.  However, the Orthodox Church gives him a bit more leeway along with the other archangels Uriel, Jehudiel, and Barachiel, and does officially venerate them.  However, the Orthodox Church also clusters all the archangels together into a single feast day that they commemorate on November 8, as a general feast day for all the angelic powers.  The Catholic Church has something similar, known as the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels or simply as Michaelmas, held on September 29.

“can my hga hear me” — At all times, on all days, and in all places, yes.  Your Holy Guardian Angel has always known you and always been around you

“rufus opus moon walk” — I’m not sure my mentor, Fr. Rufus Opus, is that smooth.  He’s charismatic, sure, but I wouldn’t bet on him being able to pull off a moonwalk that easily.  That is, of course, unless he wants to try it at Crucible Convention in front of everyone, in which case I’m all for that.

“can i combine the colors on a orisha necklace” — Please ask your local botanica’s resident Santeros and babalawos for authoritative answers on Santeria questions.  That said, as far as elekes go, I’m pretty sure it’s just one orisha per eleke.  Unless you’re doing something that’s eleke-inspired, don’t go combining the colors of different orisha on the same eleke, especially if those two don’t get along (like Yemaya and Oya).

“how to consecrate and charge a ring in naked” — The same way you’d consecrate a ring while clothed, except without clothes.

“magic square of saturn benefits” — The magic square, or qamea, of Saturn is a 3 × 3 grid of numbers, the numerological aspect of which makes it a very powerful Saturn talisman on its own.  You don’t need sigils or names or symbols or lead or what-have-you if all you have is the magic square; it all helps, sure, but the square is a potent realization of the powers of Saturn on its own.

“archangel michael invocation for orgonite” — None whatsoever, also ew.  I still stand by my conviction that orgonite is bunk; orgone technology generally isn’t, but orgonite is a crap interpretation of it all.  Trying to combine angels into this?  How would that work?  I’m not even going to fathom to what ends, but what would that do that literally any other invocation couldn’t?  I mean, the Catholic Church sure isn’t going to accept orgonite’s usefulness (nor should they bother), so they won’t be accepting canonical submissions for prayers, litanies, or blessings for orgonite anytime soon.

“how to tell if summoning asmodeus was successful” — A lot of people think that conjuration requires the physical and visible manifestation of a spirit in order to be successful.  I mean, many magicians nowadays think that’s the end goal of magic and the mark of a master, and it’s true that if you can get a spirit to that kind of manifestation, you’re pretty awesome.  I don’t think that’s the end result of conjuration, though; it’s the equivalent of a really nice party trick at a business conference.  The better criteria for judging the success of a conjuration are whether you were able to perceive them at all and, if so, whether the end you conjured the spirit for came around.  Perception can take place many ways; I’m much better at hearing, smelling, and just coming up with full thoughts than I am with tactile sensation or vision, physical or spiritual.  We have more than just the sense of sight; use all your senses and see what works best for you and how you best interface with spirits.  As for ends, well, why did you bother summoning the spirit in the first place?  Did you have a specific request to ask and, if you did, was the request fulfilled?  Did you get answers to questions you may have asked?  Did you receive confirmation over something you were unsure about?  If so, then I’d say the conjuration was a success.

“congo huge cock” — I’m not sure.  I mean, there is the cliché that African men are the most well-endowed, but I’m unsure about that, and specifically whether Congolese men more than others are the biggest on average.  Besides, I’m already spoken for, so I can’t really experiment and find out myself.  That said,

“how to cleanse and bless a home with holy water and sea salt” — I’m confused as to why you’d use both sea salt and holy water, since holy water is usually already salted and mixed with other herbs, resins, or perfumes (like rose water, hyssop, frankincense, myrrh, etc.) in addition to being prayed over.  It kinda sounds like you’re mixing Christian and pagan practices which, although not a bad thing, the use of holy water alone should suffice.  That said, I might recommend strewing the salt across your home (all across your home), leaving it there overnight, and sweeping it all up and out of the house from the back to the front the next morning while praying that all defilement and filth be swept away, then spritzing holy water from front to back across the whole house while praying for blessings to enter into your house.  The salt here acts as a sponge to soak up all the spiritual ick in the house; just be sure to be extraordinarily thorough in getting it all out!  Instead of using salt as a spiritual sponge, I might recommend setting a glass of jar in each room for the same purpose and dumped into the road the next morning, or using the salt as a layer of protection in each corner of a room along with an iron nail or a few pennies.

“interpreting triad in geomancy” — So, this is an aspect of the geomantic shield chart that, as far as I can ascertain, was first written about at length by Robert Fludd in his Fasciculus Geomanticae, but it may have been written about somewhere else before that and the information isn’t accessible yet; there are some parallels with Fludd’s technique (which he and John Michael Greer call “triplicities”) and some Arabic and African forms of geomancy.  The idea is based on the Witnesses and Judge; the Judge is made from the two Witnesses above it, and so form a triad of figures that indicate the past, present, and future of the overall situation.  We can apply that same logic to the triads of the Nieces and the Mothers or Daughters that generate them; thus, the First Triad is composed of the First and Second Mothers with the First Niece, the Second Triad with the Third and Fourth Mothers with the Second Niece, the Third Triad with the First and Second Daughters with the Third Niece, and the Fourth Triad with the Third and Fourth Daughters with the Fourth Niece.  As JMG and Fludd describe it, the First Triad describes the overall condition and state of the querent, the Second Triad describes the context of the situation of the reading, the Third Triad describes the places and location of the query and querent, and the Fourth Triad describes the people and their actions involved in the query.  It can help shed light on a Shield Chart, though I find that it’s not particularly useful if one also uses the House Chart; I almost never interpret the Triads in the Shield Chart for this reason.  It’s a useful bit of knowledge, however, especially if you prefer analyzing the Shield Chart as “the” chart, though both the Shield and House Charts for a reading answer the question the same.

“rubeus iching” — I got several search queries that focus on the geomantic figure Rubeus and the I Ching, a Chinese form of divination that uses eight trigrams (three lined figures) or 64 hexagrams (six lined figures).  Some people think that there’s a link between geomancy and I Ching because both use binary figures: geomancy uses 16 four-lined figures with either one or two dots in each line, and the I Ching uses 8 three-lined figures or 64 six-lined figures with either a solid line (single line segment) or a broken line (two line segments) in each line.  They do look superficially similar, but that’s about it; there’s no evidence to indicate that there’s anything to link the two in method or meaning.  Add to it that the earliest records we have indicate geomancy to develop between 900 and 1000 CE in the Saharan region of Africa, while the I Ching has its origins at least as far back as 100 BCE, if not as far back as 1500 BCE.  The I Ching is anywhere from 1000 to 2000 years older than geomancy, and in light of the fact that we have no evidence to link the two even by means of the Silk Road, trying to link the two systems is probably folly-in-action.  In that light, while you might be able to find a hexagram or trigram similar in meaning to Rubeus, it’d be coincidental at best and contrived at worst.

“greek alphabet oracle spread” — Now this is interesting: the use of a spread with the Greek alphabet oracle, or what I call grammatomancy.  Consider Tarot divination: you could draw a single card to get a single answer, or you could use several cards arranged in a particular way to get a more developed answer.  I actually go over several types of grammatomantic “spreads”, or what I call syntaxes, in my ebook on grammatomancy, which you should totally buy and look at.

New Ebook: Handbook of Saint Cyprian (and a lot of links!)

A while back, I was at my local botanica and looking through their baskets of prayer cards, pamphlets, and prayer books.  To my surprise, I found a small booklet written by Father Eliseo Porras Rojas of the Iglesia Ortodoxa de Latinoamerica in Bogota, Columbia; the name wasn’t important, nor was it even written in full in the booklet, but what caught my eye was that it was a novena to Saint Cyprian of Antioch along with Saint Justina.  I finally got around to translating it from Spanish, and I have to say that it’s certainly an odd novena.  Yes, it has prayers to be done over nine days, and there’s a place every day for you to make a request of the good Saints Cyprian and Justina, but it’s focused more on contemplation and meditation rather than on reciting prayers and making offerings.  It’s an unusual text, and I plan to try it out in the near future.

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve translated something from Spanish for Saint Cyprian.  He’s widely renowned (famously or infamously, depending on whom you ask) in Central and South America, and is called on primarily for defense against demons and black magic, and secondarily for love.  There’s plenty of material written in Spanish in pamphlets, prayer cards, or whole books, and much of it is out of reach of many Anglophones.  To that end, I’ve decided to gather a bunch of prayers I’ve found from botanicas and online and translate them into English into a new ebook, the Vademecum Cypriani, or “Handbook of Cyprian”, including four novenas and several other prayers that have never been translated before (or, if they have, I certainly can’t find reference to them), as well another prayer and the Chaplet of Saint Cyprian written by yours truly all combined into one document.  You can get a PDF copy for US$9.00 off my Etsy page at this link.  Go on and get it; it’ll be a useful thing to get, what with the Feast of Saint Cyprian coming up on September 26!


Of course, there are plenty of other prayers you can find to the good saint across the internet, and while I have them all copied down in my personal notes, I didn’t want to include them in the ebook, since…well, why should you have to pay for something you can find for free, and why should I profit off the creation of others without reason?  So, since I like sharing knowledge, here’s a list of links with prayers and other resources for the good saint that I’ve collected over the months:

Besides that, I highly recommend getting copies of Conjureman Ali’s Saint Cyprian: Saint of Necromancers and Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold’s Saint Cyprian & the Sorcerous Transmutation, both of which are available from Hadean Press for UK£3.00 and are fantastic resources for working with this good saint; Conjureman Ali’s book is a good worker’s introduction to setting up an altar and performing work with the saint, and Frisvold’s excellent exposition of Saint Cyprian concludes with a Quimbandero’s litany-esque prayer to Saint Cyprian.  Don’t forget the more expensive books that came out on Saint Cyprian earlier this year, too: Jake Stratton Kent’s excellent Testament of Saint Cyprian and José Leitão’s translation of the Book of Saint Cyprian are nothing to scoff at, and only add to the awesome corpus of literature on this saint.

Geomantic Meditative Music

It’s rare I do anything but share words and the occasional graph on this blog, so let’s try something different.  I was on the train not too long ago and going through my music library trying to find something to listen to, when I had the idea that “hey, I like this song, it’s not a bad example for this one geomantic figure”.  I realized that the similarities in the feelings that song evoked (for me, at least) hit home regarding that particular figure, so I went through the rest of the songs in my library and quite a few that weren’t and compiled a small playlist of songs and music videos.  Each song is selected that best represents that geomantic figure to me, which you might find useful in your meditations and explorations of the figure.  Besides, it shows off some of the songs I really like generally, and it’s been a while since I shared anything too personal about my tastes in something not explicitly magical.

Feel free to share your own music videos in the comments, and let others know what songs you think best represent the figures!

Populus: “Elements” (Lindsey Stirling, 2012), Lindsey Stirling

Via: “Eye of the Storm” (Dreamcypher, 2007), The Crüxshadows (lyrics)

Albus: “Dark Age (Karsh Kate Remix)” (Tantra Lounge vol. 5, 2007), Midival Punditz

Coniunctio: “Find A New Way” (Too Young to Fight It, 2007), Young Love (lyrics) (bonus points if you find the alternate video for this song!)

Puella: “Scars Of A Lighthouse” (Take Cair Paramour, 2010), Ashbury Heights (lyrics)

Amissio: “Find You’re Here” followed immediately by “Find You’re Gone” (Find You’re Here, 2003), Wolfsheim (lyrics here and here, respectively)

Fortuna Maior: “I Always Knew” (Down to Earth, 2008), Jem (lyrics)

Fortuna Minor: “Die Hölle Muss Warten” (Die Hölle Muss Warten, 2012), Eisbrecher (lyrics and translation from German)

Puer: “Beyond The Bounds (Eshericks Remix 2012)”, (Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner OST, 2003), Maki Kiriota feat. K Á R Y Y N (lyrics)

Rubeus: “Talons” (Intimacy, 2008), Bloc Party (lyrics)

Acquisitio: “Gold Guns Girls” (Fantasies, 2009), Metric (lyrics)

Laetitia: “El Pico” (Ratatat, 2004), Ratatat

Tristitia: “Sweet Demure” (Collide, 2008), Beats Antique

Carcer: “God Is Going To Get Sick Of Me” (The Freezing Atlantic, 2005), Aberdeen City (lyrics)

Caput Draconis: “GO!” (Master of My Make-Believe, 2012), Santigold feat. Karen O (lyrics)

Cauda Draconis: “Don’t Do It” (Portal 2: Songs To Test By, 2011), Aperture Science Psychoacoustics Laboratory