## Dice Divination

After my introduction to grammatomancy, I’ve found myself using dice a lot more for divination in various ways that I think are pretty nifty.  When I say dice, I don’t mean standard six-sided dice, but a complete set of tabletop RPG gaming dice.  These kinds of dice have the advantage of being rather portable and pliable to many divination systems, and are fairly innocuous and subtle to boot.  Plus, for those who play tabletop games that require them, the notion of divination and the notion of action checks can be intimately similar.  For those who’re unfamiliar with such dice, one of these sets are usually includes seven dice, each with a different number of sides:

• A six-sided die (d6), cube, numbered 1 through 6, the standard and most common die
• A four-sided die (d4), tetrahedron, numbered 1 through 4
• An eight-sided die (d8), octahedron, numbered 1 through 8
• A twenty-sided die (d20), icosahedron, numbered 1 through 20
• A twelve-sided die (d12), dodecahedron, numbered 1 through 12
• Two ten-sided dice (2d10), pentagonal trapezohedrons, numbered by ones from 0 through 9 and by tens from 00 through 90

Although dice divination is ancient, the phrase itself refers to a manner of generating symbols by means of dice.  This could be as simple as odd-or-even for a yes/no question or as complex as rolling several dice to get a more complex symbol.  In my own practice, I use each of the dice for different purposes depending on their shapes:

• For geomancy, I use the d4, d6, d8, and d20.  These are four of the five Platonic solids, and each is associated with a different element: d4 with Fire, d6 with Earth, d8 with Air, and d20 with Water.  I roll these four dice at the same time and inspect whether each die is odd or even to generate a geomantic figure.  If a die is odd, the corresponding elemental line is active; if even, passive.  Thus, if I roll a 2 on the d4, 6 on the d6, 7 on the d8, and 1 on the d20, I get the geomantic figure Coniunctio.  I’d do this three more times to generate four geomantic figures, then generate a complete geomantic chart based on those.
• For grammatomancy, I use the d12.  There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet, so I roll the d12 twice: the first roll gives me an odd or even number, which refer to the first 12 or last 12 letters in the Greek alphabet, while the second roll gives me the letter within that set according to its rank.  So, if I roll a 5 and an 8, I end up with the Greek letter Theta (eighth letter of the first half of the alphabet).  The dodecahedron is the fifth Platonic solid and not associated with any one element, although some attribute it to Spirit/ether.  In a sense, this is fitting for grammatomancy, since (using stoicheia) each of the letters of the Greek alphabet can represent one of the seven planets, five elements, or twelve zodiac signs, and 7 + 5 + 12 = 24 = 2 × 12.  I could use a d2, the two-sided die also known as a coin, to determine whether to use the first half or second half of the alphabet, but I like the simplicity of using just 1d12 rolled twice instead.
• For yes/no divination, I use the normally leftover and otherwise useless 2d10.  I use a scale from 0 to 99 to determine the answer, with the higher numbers meaning “yes” and lower numbers meaning “no”.  I divide the results up into five groups: 0 through 19 meaning “fuck no, GTFO, DIAF”, 20 through 39 meaning “nope”, 40 through 59 meaning “maybe” or “meh”, 60 through 79 meaning “yup, sure”, and 80 through 99 meaning “fuck yeah, awesome”.  The categories are taken from obi divination using cowrie shells, but with a finer gradient.  So, if I roll a 50 and 8, the result is 58, meaning “maybe” to a particular question, indicating unclear circumstances or too much confusion, but with an inclination towards an affirmative answer since it’s on the higher end of this range.  An answer of 0 in particular indicates the most abhorrent and worst omen, while 99 would be the most direct, favorable, and absolute in its awesomeness.

What I haven’t yet quite figured out, though, is a proper consecration of the dice.  After all, like the good lil’ ceremonial magician I am, I’m practically obliged to consecrate or sanctify any and all tools I work with.  I’m thinking a consecration under the powers of Mercury/Hermes, given that he’s the god of gambling, adventures, and divination, all of which use dice in some manner or another, and all of which relate directly to Fortune itself.  I’m still undecided, but I’m sure I’ll come up with a ritual to do this eventually.  Perhaps the next time a good Mercury election comes around, I suppose, or when the Moon is full on a Wednesday in otherwise good conditions.  In the meantime, a quick prayer to Hermes and Apollo before casting the dice will suffice, I should think.

Do you guys use dice in your divination?  I’ve seen other methods of dice divination before, but it seems like it can vary from person to person or from culture to culture with few set rules to it.  How would you guys use dice, if you would at all?

## Altar and Ritual Framework for Manifestation

After lots of talks with the angels and figuring out how exactly to accomplish something magically, I think I’ve finally settled into a pattern for a manifestation ritual using my magician’s altar, properly called a Table of Manifestation.  Because, you know, it manifests shit.  Fr. Rufus Opus has described the magician’s altar as their terminal to access the cosmos and put in requests or commands to it to magically alter it.  He put up his now well-known Altar Glyph to describe the schematics of such an altar:

For background on why the altar is set up the way it is, I suggest reading up Cornelius Agrippa’s Scale of Four (book II, chapter 7).  The altar layout, representing our perception and vantage point outwards from the whole cosmos, is primarily designed according to the elements, the building blocks of the world we happen to find ourselves in.  Thus, the things that are fiery are placed in the East, airy in the West, watery in the North, and earthy in the South.  From the inside outwards, we have things under our direct control, things we choose to let loose or bind in the cosmos (this is represented by the four demon princes of the elements, which I hide wrapped up in black silk under my altar and left alone; the surface of the altar uses the central point as the ritual focus space).  Outside that we have the four archangelic kings and the legions of forces/forces themselves that the magician will call upon to bring something into manifestation.  Beyond that we have the four elemental tools, our means to work with both the terrestrial elements and the celestial planets, which allow us to work throughout the cosmos.  Beyond those we have representations of the seven planetary forces, each aligned according to their element, which act as pumps or sources for those forces to pull from.  Beyond that we have…well, really, anything else.  A consecrated candle or lamp is helpful to have, positioned to the East to represent the Infinite Light and Source of All.

This picture illustrates my altar layout, set up for consecrating my magic ring of Solomon a while back.  In the middle is the ritual focus, which is here the ring to be consecrated put atop a Kamea of the Sun as given by Agrippa (book II, chapter 22).  Closest to the focus are four amethyst crystals, each a different Platonic solid, which I use as representations of the four archangelic kings and their forces (tetrahedron/d4 for Michael, octahedron/d8 for Raphael, icosahedron/d20 for Gabriel, cube/d6 for Auriel), each aligned to their proper elemental direction.  Just beyond those I have my four elemental weapons: the Wand of Fire in the East, the Sword of Air in the West, the Cup of Water in the North, and the Disc of Earth in the South.  Outside those I have the seven planetary talismans, again each aligned according to their elemental direction: Mars and the Sun in the East, Jupiter and Venus in the West, Saturn and Mercury in the North, and the Moon in the South.  At the edge of the altar I have my consecrated candle (set in the East) and incense burner, and nearby I have other tools and supplies as needed.

So, I had all these fancy tools lying around on this table I got from Ikea a while back, but…well, never really used them.  Sure, it serves as a display and storehouse for all the energy and forces I work with where I can use or draw on them as necessary, but mostly it sits there gathering dust.  Sure, I use it as a focus to charge stuff I consecrate, but I never really used it in ritual.  It took a lot of figuring out for me about what to use the elemental weapons for; perhaps it’s because of my lack of modern neopagan training or because the old grimoires never really used this set of tools, but I never really got into the habit of using them.  It’s only through continued talks with the angels who have instructed me in their symbolism as well as their ritual use that I got into the habit of using them in ritual, and I’ve finally pieced together how to use them all coherently in a ritual for manifestation.

I feel like this is about as basic and introductory a topic I can get to, but honestly, it (embarrassingly) took me a while to get to this point to even write about this much.  To help prevent other magicians and newbies to magic from getting stuck on how to use that fancy altar with all them tools, here’s a framework I ended up using to manifest or alter something using the magician’s altar.  Influences from this come mostly from the Trithemius ritual of conjuration, as well as elements from the Clavicula Solomonis and other rituals here and there.  Essentially, the ritual framework describes a kind of shortened conjuration but without a crystal, concentrating the force of some sphere or other onto a ritual focus to effect change instead of just a mere chat with an angel or other spirit.

Before even getting anything together, make sure you have an actual intent, goal, and method to accomplish something you want to change.  It’s all well and good to ask the angels for good shit, but it’s better to state clearly what exactly you want from the cosmos, for what purpose you want it, and in what way you plan to obtain or otherwise accomplish what you want.  As always in magic, the more specific you make your request, the more exact and refined your result will be.  It helps to do some prior divination or chatting with the angels or spirits you’ll be working with to make sure your magical plan of attack is solid, as well as making sure any physical activity or material means you want to back up with magic are going to work as well.  When you have that done, figure out the time in which to perform the ritual.  Figuring out the planetary hour and day best associated with the intent and goal is awesome, as is finding a suitable election, or you might just use the phase of the Moon (waxing or waning, full or new) or the direction in which the clock hands move (both up, both down, etc.).  Once you have the basics done, you’ve got a plan.

As with any ritual, start with preparation.  Make sure your altar’s in good order with all the supplies you need at hand (charcoal, lighter, holy water, incense, etc.).  Put on your magical garments and talismans, along with the requisite prayers if needed, as well as prepare yourself with aspersion or ablution with holy water.  You might also consider energetically linking the tools on the table to the central focus, a la Jarandhel’s notion of a crystal grid, to tie everything more closely in practice.  Do whatever energy work, quarter-calling, sevenths-calling, banishing and balancing ritual, or whatever you like to do to get yourself in the proper mindset.  Most importantly, pray.  Pray for guidance, pray for holiness, pray for strength, pray for protection, pray for wisdom, but pray.  You might also call on the help of your HGA, patron gods, supernatural assistants, or similar to empower yourself and make more effective the ritual you’re about to perform.  I generally do all the preparation just before the ritual begins, in the closing minutes of the planetary hour prior to when I want to do my ritual.  As for the actual intent or thing to manifest, the use of a sigil, talisman, figurine, or other stand-in is often helpful; I typically create a sigil with my desire or will and use that.

Once you’re sufficiently prepared and once the appointed time has come, light the candle and consecrate the flame to officially begin the ritual.  Take up the wand, sword, or whatever other tool of intent you prefer up to and including your dominant hand and trace out a circle around your working area, blessing and consecrating the area for the work.  This could be around the altar if it’s free-standing or around a Circle of Art if you’re working within one, with the tool pointed downward at the ground, or around the perimeter of the room if the altar’s not free-standing or if you’d like to use more space than allowed in a Circle, with the tool pointed upward towards the conjunction of the ceiling and walls.  Light the incense and consecrate it, waiting a few seconds to let the incense smoke rise up and fill the space a bit.  I generally wait until I can distinctly smell it for a few seconds before continuing unless I’m in a huge rush.

Now it’s time to call the spirits you’ll be working with.  If you have something specific to consecrate under a particular force, call up the spirits associated with that force; e.g., for solar spirits, you might choose Michael, Nakhiel, and Sorath, along with the aid or blessing of any solar patron deities, familiars, or allies you might have.  If you want to effect some significant change in the cosmos, you might do well to call up all seven planets and all four elements.  Agrippa lists several types of spirits for both the planets and elements and don’t appear to match up immediately, but after talking with both kinds of angels and with Rufus Opus a bit, here’s what I’ve figured out:

1. Divine force, or the force in the qabbalistic world Atziluth, also associated with the divine Intellect or the element of Fire.  Among the planets, this is the aspect or emanation of God as represented by the godnames of the sephiroth.  Among the elements, however, which are all in the sephirah Malkuth, they’re all kinda lumped together; due to their distant, material nature, the four elements are part of the same divine force.
2. Mental force, or the force in the qabbalistic world Briah, also associated with the mental abstractions and ideals and the element of Air.  Among the planets, these are the planetary angels.  There is no corollary between this and the elements, since the elements are too low in manifestation to reach this high up in the cosmos.
3. Guiding force, or the force in the qabbalistic world Yetzirah, also associated with production, feeling, and desire and the element of Water.   These forces indicate how things should be directed and manifested in the world, the design that fulfills the requirements given to the mental force above.  Among the planets, these are the planetary intelligences; among the elements, they are the elemental archangelic kings.
4. Active force, or the force in the qabbalistic world Assiah, also associated with the concrete force as controlled and effective as well as the element of Earth.  These are like the personified or belegioned forces themselves as opposed to the directing rules or guides; it’s like the charge in a battery instead of the wires that connect it to a radio, which indicate how that charge should flow.  Among the planets, these are the planetary spirits, and among the elements they are the elemental rulers.  Any familiar spirits, elemental or planetary allies, or angels from the forces’ respective choirs are also members of the active force.
5. Manifesting force, or the force that actually pops up and does stuff in the material world.  These are spirits that actually do and create stuff on this plane with the four elements, the building blocks of this world that the other forces have to manifest through; because of this, there are no planetary forces that fulfill this role, since they’re too abstract and unformed to manifest directly in Malkuth.  Instead, these spirits are strictly elemental, specifically the elemental princes (Oriens, Paymon, etc.), who are close to goetic demons, but are so close to manifested reality that they can directly manifest things on behalf of the higher forces that guide them.  The demonic princes (Samael, Mahazael, etc.) do this too, but in ways that are shitfully terribad (ergo, don’t call on them).

Once you call up the relevant spirits for the forces you want to work with, thank them for their presence, since it always pays to be polite.  Once you get everyone together, the process is fairly straightforward:

1. Declare your charge to the cosmos and to the spirits present.  Clearly, authoritatively, meaningfully, and wholeheartedly proclaim what you want the spirits gathered to help you achieve and attain in the cosmos, what needs changing or removing or adding to the cosmos, and how you want the manifested thing to take form and effect in your life and reality.  If you have an object, sigil, or figure that represents your intent, display it to the four corners, to the heavens, and to the earth, then place it in the focus of the altar.
2. With the Wand, call on the divine forces present to turn your Will into cosmic Law.  Proclaim your intent and desired goal, establish your will as something the cosmos, universe, and world shall fulfill, and call on the blessing of the divine force and the assistance of the guiding forces to assist you.  Take up the Wand, point at the ritual focus, and have the Infinite Light begin to manifest around the focus and intent-object (if any).
3. With the Sword, call on the mental forces present to turn your Reason into cosmic Design.  Straighten the path between divine intent and manifest reality, cut out all obstacles or impediments to manifestation, sharpen your stated will into implementable method, and call on the assistance of the mental force to reverberate the cosmos with your desire and plan.  Take up the Sword, cut the area around the ritual focus, and penetrate into the ritual focus area with the point to let the Light begin to fill the focus.
4. With the Cup, call on the guiding forces present to turn your Emotion into cosmic Direction.  Pour out your need, fill the world with your desire, and guide the flow of forces you call upon to fill up and take form within the cosmos, calling on the assistance of the guiding forces to direct, guide, and flow the force called upon into manifested reality.  Take up the Cup, make a pouring gesture with it around in a clockwise pattern closing in on the ritual focus, filling the focus with the force you desire and taking form in the manner you desire.
5. With the Disc, call on the active and manifesting forces present to turn your Reality into cosmic Manifestation.  Actualize your desire, manifest your goal, and have what you desire and will be made concrete, real, physical, material, and effective in all the stated ways, calling on the assistance of the active and manifesting forces to bring the desired goal into manifestation.  Take up the Disc and lower it down onto the ritual focus, pressing the form into concrete, hard shape and seeing it as real as the Disc itself.
6. Finalize your charge to the cosmos and to the spirits present.  Reiterate your will, intent, desire, and goal to the spirits, proclaim it sealed and finished, and declare your work finished by the authority, power, strength, wisdom, and Light within you and within your manifested intent.  Charge the intent-object by suffumigating it in the incense while repeating any prayers, intoning any mantras or sacred sounds, or visualizing force flowing in and strengthening the intent and manifestation as you find necessary.  Focus the Light from the candle and the Light within yourself onto the ritual focus, supercharging it as bright as the Infinite Light itself, and sending it off as a discrete entity into the cosmos.  Declare the work done using a Great Amen, “So Mote It Be”, “Thus have I spoken/thus are the words”, or similar closing, final statement.

After this, you’re pretty much done.  Ask for any follow-up advice or directions, thank the spirits for their presence and aid, bid them farewell, and give them leave to depart.  Afterward, make any thanksgiving prayers to the Infinite Source, to your patrons or HGA or supernatural assistants, and to any spirits of the cosmos you may find helpful or meaningful.  Put out the candle, remove the ring and ritual garb, and clean up.  You’re done.  Let the intent-object stay in the altar focus for however long you desire, or keep it in a place that can be easily accessed or viewed until the intent is manifested according to your desire.

This is a framework for a ritual, not a ritual itself, since the ritual specification can change depending on what exactly needs to happen; e.g., for consecration of an object under a planetary force, you might do away with calling on the elemental spirits and the use of the Disc entirely, or any of the elemental tools, perhaps using the planetary talisman instead as your tool to channel the force of the planet desired.  The prayers and calls needed for the ritual can also change drastically, but the links I’ve provided above give good grimoire examples of what you might use.  All told, for manifesting things in the cosmos, the above framework is pretty solid, if I do say so myself.

The studious or observant magician will notice that, although I’ve included the forces of the elements and the planets, I haven’t mentioned the sphere of the fixed stars and their forces.  This isn’t because I don’t think they’re worthless, but it’s because I don’t have experience of working with them yet.  In the future, I may begin doing just that, perhaps including the angels of the zodiac signs or the lunar mansions as the guiding forces and Raziel/Iophiel (depending on which text you’re reading) as the mental force, but I haven’t gotten there yet.  Still, the use of the fixed stars isn’t absolutely necessary, though I’m sure it helps; calling on the aid of the planets or elements is quite enough, and enough pagans and more simple magicians than me get by fine with just the four elements, so YMMV.

## Getting Burnt by the Stars, part 2: Stop Worrying and Love the Burn

Last time, I talked about the costs of magic.  It sucks, and it costs, and it will burn everything from your bank account to your soul itself, but magic is worth it.  Magic is the locked gate that keeps higher fulfillment and human realization from most of the world, and magic is the golden key that unlocks the mysteries to attaining them.  It may have a high price, but it has an even higher payoff that makes magic worth it.

Being a magician for only a few years now, but having the success and results of people who’re far older than I am (I credit having good teachers, good friends, and good allies abounding), I’ve learned a few things that helps in minimizing the burn, or at least in maintaining onself through being burned, so as to keep on keeping on.  This works for me, and I can only suggest it as part of a daily practice and regular maintenance in any magician’s life.  Even these steps may suck at times, but they help overall in minimizing the real burn going on from the real magic.

1. Sanitize.  Keep your entire sphere clean and cleansed, from the basest material components to the highest intellectual and divine ones.  Air out your house, vacuum your carpets, sweep the floorboards, dust the fanblades, wash the car, light the candles, burn the camphor, sprinkle the holy water, clean all the things.  Asperge yourself with holy water or other cleansing agents frequently.  Do regular banishing and force balancing on yourself.  Recleanse and reconsecrate your tools, talismans, and ritual space every so often.  The more astral dirt you accrue by tracking it in from the higher spheres, or the more dust you bring in from inviting higher ups down into your house, the more confused and imbalanced things get down here and up there alike.  Keep yourself, your surroundings, your tools, and your mind clean, cleansed, and clear.
2. Learn.  You can’t do anything if you don’t know how to do it.  Read any and all books you can get your hands on magic, philosophy, religion, spirituality, mathematics, literature, mythology, archaeology, linguistics, folk traditions, fiction ancient and new, science, engineering, history, economics, crafting, and more.  Take classes in whatever you have an interest in, whether it’s related to magic or not.  Talk with friends about their hobbies, experiences, stories, advice, warnings, hopes, dreams, fears, and desires.  Expanding your mind also expands the potential horizons you can explore, no matter how innocuous or trivial something may seem.  Don’t harbor any biases on what you read, study, or discuss; keep an open mind and admit anything with practical merit.  Go on roadtrips just to see new things.  Walk in big cities to see new faces and fashions.  Read blogs with political opinions opposite yours (but are well-written and reasoned).
3. Protect.  If you’ve got one foot in the door to get into the mysteries, you also leave the door ajar for ethereal nasties to come at you.  Don’t let them.  Set up barriers, shields, or guards around your house.  Make protective charms, phylacteries, or enchanted trinkets to keep on yourself.  Find out what force you best resonate with and manipulate it to act as a shield around you.  Always keep an eye out for anything awry or ominous.  Create a few magical or ritual weapons to call on or call up when needed.  Create magical oils or incenses to keep out bad things and keep in good things.  Be mindful of barriers, boundaries, and circles that have already been erected.  Don’t go looking for bad stuff just to mess with it for shits and giggles.
4. Breathe.  Breathing is the source of life down here, and aspiration shares the same root with “inspiriation” and ”spirit”.  By knowing, feeling, and controlling our breath we control our voice level, our speech and diction, our bloodflow, our thought patterns, and ultimately ourselves who are tied into material reality just as we are into spiritual reality.  Breathing is the crux of meditation, and meditation is the crux of knowing yourself, which is the holiest injunction humanity has.  Breathing, just breathing, is magical in and of itself; it’s what animates us, ensouls us, and keeps us alive and living.  Breathing is the foundation of magic, and breathing must be known, understood, and integrated constantly with oneself in order to progress.
5. Pray.  Humans, powerful as we are, were never meant to be alone in any sense of the word, nor can we make it to our goals on our own.  We need help, and prayer is how we obtain it.  Pray for guidance, for patience, for mercy, for compassion, for humility, for forgiveness, for health, for sight, for knowledge, for wisdom, for authority, for power, for light (and in that order).  Pray the Source, the gods, the angels, the celestials, the elementals, the dead, and each other for their blessings, advice, guidance, alignment, unity, and boons.  Pray to know how to use the blessings and boons given to us to the best of our abilities and for the best result for all of us.  Pray with praise, pray with emotion, pray with silence.  Pray with your entire body, soul, spirit and mind.  Pray every day, pray several times a day.  Pray.
6. Stay healthy.  Humans are amphibious, both spiritual and physical.  Magic is largely focused on the spiritual, but it always needs to bring the spiritual and astral down into the material and physical.  Be sure you don’t neglect your body, because that’s the primary vehicle you have to work magic, and the one tool you’ll always have with you in the world.  Get enough sleep every night.  Go to bed at the same time every night.  Get enough to eat every day, but no more.  Eat the proper things in the proper amounts.  Shower, wash your hair, brush your hair, brush your teeth, floss your teeth, exfoliate, deodorize.  Get at least half an hour of light physical activity every day.  Expose yourself to the elements once every so often.  Go outside and enjoy the sunlight, moonlight, starlight, wind, mist, clouds, rain, rivers, oceans, dirt, trees, and animals.  ”Healthy” has its roots in the same word as “whole”, and you need to stay whole physically in order to spiritually progress wholesomely.
7. Get dirty.  Actually go out into the world and remind yourself that you’re still a physical, material being that has physical, material needs.  Everything in moderation, yes, but also including moderation: get sick, get jacked up, get fucked up, get high, get rich, get poor, get happy, get sad, get angry, get lonely, get loved.  We’re human beings to experience human life, after all, and without that experience we’ve ultimately failed at out birth’s purpose.  Getting ourselves meshed in human life, living in the world while not wholly of it, helps keep things in perspective and shows the power of the cleansing, cleaning, Light-bearing work we’re doing.  Plus, getting dirty helps us realize that even the dirt is pure and holy, that nothing is truly separate from the Source from which it came.
8. Do it.  Complain however much you like or don’t complain at all; magic is going to suck no matter what.  That doesn’t change the fact that you’re a magician to do magic.  Do it.  Do it now.  There’s no other way, time, or place to do it.  Just do it.

The more you burn up, the more of you there is to burn until burning doesn’t need to happen anymore.  Don’t worry about what’s burnt up and gone.  Worry about what you have left to burn and what can still be purified and transmuted into the pure divine essence we really are and should be.

I’m prone to gingivitis, the inflammation of the gums generally from plaque.  Part of it’s my own dietary and hygienic habits, and part of it is my genetics and natural body’s processes.  That doesn’t mean I need to have gingivitis, much less that I should.  How do I keep my gums clean and free from the disease?  More toothbrushing, flossing daily, rinsing with mouthwash, and watching what and when I eat.  Does this all get easier with time?  Nope; it still takes as much time the hundredth day as it did the first, the same spots in my gums still need maintenance, and my food choices are still as obnoxious as ever.  Is the payoff worth it?  Totally; my teeth are whiter, my breath stinks less, my gums bleed less, and my mouth is generally healthier than before.  The payoff here is worth the cost of the daily maintenance, and if (heavens forbid) I ever have to go under for a root canal or other major dental operation, it’ll all go easier before, during, and after due to my lack of gingivitis and better oral care.

Magic works much the same way.  Dealing with the raw forces of creation and the stars is dangerous and you risk not being able to handle the influx of those energies without the proper maintenance.  Laying the foundation of daily practice to stabilize, sanctify, and secure your life goes a long way in dealing with the heavy machinery of the cosmos.  If you don’t have the rest of your house in order, don’t expect good times to result when you invite emissaries and presidents of foreign planes of existence in.  If you have your house and life in order and prepared in the proper way, you’ll still have to go through the paperwork and shopping and security drama, but the emissaries and presidents will be more pleased, more willing, and more able to help you who’ve helped yourself so much without them.  Daily or regular mainteance takes time and effort all in itself, and that’s not even where the real heart of magic lies, but it’s that very same regular maintenance that builds the tower to get to it.

## Prayer of Anointing

Since I’m in a sharing mood, here’s another prayer I ended up developing in my own practice.  After my morning prayers and meditation, I usually follow it up with an anointing of Abramelin oil (or any other oils I might need that day, e.g. King of Solomon oil for wisdom if I’m doing readings, or Money Drawing oil if I’m going to a show to sell stuff), some prayer, and then follow that up with my daily attuning.  It initially started off just by reading Psalm 23 based on the recommendations of this one anointing oil bottle, but then I started to follow it up with impromptu prayer that, over time, settled into a stable form.  It’s based off another structure of prayer I tend to use, but since this is a little more inclusive and specific, I figured I’d share this one.

While anointing yourself (perhaps on the forehead/lips/chest or on the temples and palms of the hands), recite Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd…”).  When ready, say the following prayer.

Almighty God, creator of all things, lord, king, master, helper, hear me!

As I anoint myself with this oil,
so too anoint my body, soul, spirit, and mind with your grace, mercy, forgiveness, power, strength, wisdom, patience, authority, and light.
As I come before you now and call on your holy name,
help me, o Lord, that I may come to see you, hear you, know you, and be with you,
that I may align my will with yours,
that I may know my True Will,
that I may carry out your Will,
that I may go where I must go, know what I must know, do what I must do, and become what I must be.

Whatever flaws there may be in my body, mend them and help me mend them.
Whatever gaps there may be in my soul, close them and help me close them.
Whatever holes there may be in my spirit, fill them and help me fill them.
Whatever cracks there may be in my mind, seal them and help me seal them.
However I am imperfect, o Lord, make me perfect in my imperfections,
that I may come to see you, hear you, know you, and be with you,

Amen.

Follow up with whatever prayers as necessary or desired (I suggest an Our Father and a Glory Be).