A Variation on the Trithemian Table of Practice

I was bored and decided to throw together a potential design for a customized Table of Practice, a kind of combined summoning circle and Solomonic triangle used to conjure spirits into.  This one is a bit more complex, and was based on ideas from using the Zodiac on a Table of Practice I made for my sister, a dream I had involving a more complex and circle-based form of the Solomonic Triangle of Art, as well as the three-ring arrangement from the Greek Sigil Wheel developed a few weeks back.  To me, it borders slightly on gaudy and cluttered, but since when have magicians ever had good taste?  There are a few blights in the design, but you’ll get the idea.


The Table of Practice as described by Trithemius is a triangle with an equal-armed cross in one corner, a pentagram in another, and a hexagram with a Hebrew letter yod in it in the last.  The triangle is circumscribed with a circle and the names of the four elemental kings; these names are circumscribed with another circle and the names of the seven planetary angels along with their planetary symbols.  All this is bound in one final circle.

This customized Table of Practice, however, has a few extra bits:

  • There’s another ring of names around those of the planetary angels.  These are the names of the twelve angels ruling over the Zodiac (Agrippa, book II chapter 14).  The signs of the Zodiac are also next to each angel name.  This helps incorporate the sphere of the fixed stars into the Table of Practice.  The Hebrew spellings of the names came from Tyson’s edition of Agrippa (note 13 on book III chapter 24).  I knew that there were angels ascribed to the signs of the Zodiac, but this is the first time I’ve ever come across or used their names; given their lack of attention in the grimoires I’ve found, I don’t know what they’d bring to the table (zing!).  Chances are one might normally talk to the angel Raziel of the entire sphere of the fixed stars (Chokmah) instead of the angels of the zodiac or the angels of the lunar mansions, but I don’t have experience of this yet.
  • The names of the elemental kings are written in Celestial and not Roman script, and also have the symbol for their ruling elements (Agrippa, book II chapter 7).  This reaffirms their nature as angels and clearly links them up to the four elements in no uncertain way.  Using the Roman or Hebrew scripts, though, might also be suggested since these are not, strictly speaking, celestial beings.  I went with Celestial for uniformity and angelicosity.
  • The three godnames Tetragrammaton, Elohim, and Tzabaoth are written around the central triangle in Hebrew.  This reflects one interpretation of the three godnames Tetragrammaton, Primeumaton, Anaphaxeton written around the Triangle of Art from the Goetia of the Lesser Key of Solomon.  This was done in Hebrew and not Celestial since, well, God is kinda higher and more-inclusive than any one sphere.  To that end, these could also be written in Paleo-Hebrew, Roman, or any other script.
  • The number of circles and bands drawn around the central triangle are now four and three, respectively, bumped up from three and two.  I like these numbers better, since they can now represent the four worlds of Creation and the three parts of the triune God.  A nifty side-effect of this kind of design.

I’m unsure about what changes in efficacy, strength, or style these changes would have on the Table, but it’d be interesting to try.  My current Table gets me decent results as it is, and I’d need to find an extra-large circular plaque of wood to fit everything on neatly, so I doubt I’ll be making one of these anytime soon.  If you ever wanted to experiment, though, have at and let me know how it turns out.  I also posted this under the Designs page for easy access; I’ll eventually go back and fix a few of the errors in the design and maybe change the design around for improvements.


About polyphanes
I'm a software developer and Hermetic occultist living near Washington, DC, USA. I claim that I'm youthful, dashing, daring, and other things. I make things and chant stuff, and periodically write about them.

3 Responses to A Variation on the Trithemian Table of Practice

  1. How have your experiments with this table gone? I’m working through some of the 28 mansions of the moon, and I’m tempted to incorporate them into a Table of Practice somehow.

    • polyphanes says:

      I haven’t used it, and I probably won’t put it into use anytime soon. Like I said, I was bored and threw it together based on a few other ideas. I know there are names for the angels ruling over the mansions of the moon, and they have their own symbols as well (I remember the astrology program ZET 8 having a collection of symbols for them), so either might work. However, the sphere of the fixed stars (which includes both the solar zodiac and the lunar mansions) is ruled over by the one angel Raziel, so again, I’m unsure if there’d be much of a difference, or if using Raziel is more preferred or not. I’m gonna hold off on this line of investigation until I get to working with Raziel or the zodiacal/mansion angels.

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