Making a Phylactery

After weighing my options with the different phylacteries from the PGM, I decided to go ahead and put my skills and supplies to good use to make myself a phylactery.  It’s really a simple process, but being a ceremonial magician, I decided to throw in some consecrations for good measure.  Happily, the Key of Solomon is perfect for this, and the consecrations for the relevant materials were short and simple compared to some of the rituals in the texts.  Even though combining renaissance European magic techniques with classical Greco-Egyptian charms may seem odd, the skills and tech involved are so modular and adaptable that they can be used in tandem here neatly.

The materials I used were:

  • Clean paper
  • Ink (I used my recently-finished dragon’s blood ink, which writes out as a warm grey)
  • Dip pen (I used a cheap plastic pen shaft with bowl nib)
  • Incense (I used one stick each of frankincense, cinnamon, and myrrh)
  • Holy water
  • Container (I used a cheap but sturdy metal cylindrical tin, smaller than my palm)
  • Magical oil (I used my Fiery Wall of Protection oil)

The steps I used to create the phylactery were:

  1. Clean out and purify the container from dust, grime, and filth, physical and otherwise.
  2. Consecrate the ink and pen according to the Key of Solomon (book II, chapter 14):

    [Thou shalt take a male gosling, from which thou shalt pluck the third feather of the right wing, and in plucking it thou shalt say:]

    Abray, Habyly, Samay, Tiedonay, Athamas, Seaver, Adonai, banish from this pen all deceit and error, so that it may be of virtue and efficacy to write all that I desire.  Amen.

    [After this thou shalt sharpen it with the quill knife of the art,] perfume it, sprinkle it, and place it aside in a silken cloth.

    Thou shalt have an inkstand made of earth or any convenient matter, and in the day and hour of Mercury thou shalt engrave thereon with the stylus of art these names: Yod He Vau He, Metatron, Iah Iah Iah, Qadosh, Elohim Tzabaoth; and in putting the ink therein thou shalt say:

    I exorcise thee, O creature of ink, by Anaireton, by Simulator, and by the name Adonai, and by the name of him through whom all things were made, that thou be unto me an aid and succor in all things which I wish to perform by thine aid.

  3. Consecrate the paper according to the second method according to the Key of Solomon (book II, chapter 17), using the consecrated ink to draw the characters (this is the same method I used to consecrate the canvas tarp for my Circle of Art):

    …Take any parchment, and exorcise it; prepare a censer with perfumes; write upon the parchment the characters [below], hold it over the incense, and say:

    Be ye present to aid me, and may my operation be accomplished through you: Lazay, Salmay, Dalmay, Adonai, Anereton, Cedrion, Cripon, Prion, Anaireton, Elion, Octinomon, Zevanion, Alazaion, Zideon, Agla, On, Yod He Vau He, Artor, Dinotor, holy angels of God; be present and infuse virtue into this parchment, so that it may obtain such power through you that all names or characters thereon written may receive due power, and that all deceit and hindrance may depart therefrom, through God the Lord merciful and gracious, who liveth and reigneth through all the ages. Amen.

    Then shalt thou recite over the parchment these Psalms:

    • [Ps71=KJV72] Deus iudicium tuum Regi da (Give the king thy judgments, O God)
    • [Ps116=KJV117] Laudate Dominum omnes gentes (O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him)
    • [Ps133=KJV134] Ecce nunc benedicite Dominum (Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye)
    • [Dan3.57] Benedicite Omnia Opera (O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye)

    Then say:

    I conjure thee, o parchment, by all the holy names, that thou obtainest efficacy and strength, and becomest exorcised and consecrated, so that none of the things which may he written upon thee shall be effaced from the Book of Truth.  Amen.

    Then sprinkle it, and keep it as before said.

  4. Bless the paper and prepare it for inscription according to the Key of Solomon (book II, chapter 22), using the conscrated ink to write out the godnames:

    Whensoever in any operation it is necessary to write characters, and thou fearest that thou wilt fail, do this: write at the beginning the name Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, and at the end the name Ain Soph; between these names write what thou wishest, and if thou hast anything especial to do bear the said written names upon the wrapper in silk, and thou shalt say over them:

    Most wise and most high creator of all things, I pray thee for thy pity and mercy that thou mayest grant such virtue and power unto these holy names, that thou mayest keep these characters from all deceit and error, through thee, O most holy Adonai.  Amen.

  5. In a day and hour of Mercury or the Sun, while the Moon is waxing, write out the charm for the phylactery on the consecrated and prepared paper.  I used a more lengthy variant of PGM VII.311-316 with some personal flourishes and touch-ups.  Reading out aloud each word as its written may be suggested, but it may also be just a quirk of my own workings.
  6. Anoint the paper in a five-spot pattern (a spot of oil in each of the four corners and once in the center) with the oil.
  7. Fold or roll up, and store in the container.  Seal as desired.  Clean up as necessary.

Bam, protection charm get.  The consecration of ink, parchment, and paper took maybe half an hour, and was easily done.  Writing out the charm onto the paper was a little more difficult and took half an hour on its own, since my pen kept getting stuck with fibers and resin in the nib, but this may vary depending on how elaborate you want to get with the charm.  It’s just as easy to make a phylactery out of this alone as it is to combine it with other items or charms in a mojo bag or some such object.  Another alternative is to burn it into ash and using the ash to embed in some powder, chalk, vial, or part of a ring or talisman for when that level of compactness is desired; that’s not necessary here, but it’s another viable way of doing it.  I’m still deciding the best way of keeping this kind of talisman active or strong; regular “feeding” or charging isn’t a bad idea, especially under fiery/Martian/Solar forces given the Fiery Wall of Protection oil.  I’m still unclear on where to keep the thing, too; I see pros and cons to keep it on my person at all times, with me in my bag where I generally am, or in my sacred space/altar/home base.

I’ve noticed that, while “looking” at myself, my normal sphere/energy body/aura/astral form got a neat little upgrade from equipping this charm, so to speak.  (Warning: what I’m about to say annoys even me, since it may come off as fluffy or arcanely dramatic, but it’s the best way I can describe it.)  It’s got these single-row “scrolls” of Greek letters across my sphere,in a faint but noticeable red color, slowly rotating around my system on top of my normal shields.  I’m still unclear at their exact effect, but it does apparently seem tied to the phylactery, since they weren’t there before its creation and are there now.  My HGA approves of the result, noting that they won’t last forever without some upkeep, but that the charm is potent enough to serve in combination with the oil I used.

I might have to have a friend or two poke at the recent addition to my sphere and see what happens.  It might just be me going crazy and imagining it (when isn’t that the case when you’re dealing with this stuff?), but it’s certainly a nice thing to have done for myself, you know, “just in case”.  Besides, if the recent vitriol and “religiously tolerant” intolerance keeps getting stronger without a strong smackdown, this might just come in more use than I thought.

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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.

4 Responses to Making a Phylactery

  1. Alastor says:

    Nice! Where did you get the tin? That looks perfect for all kinds of things.

    • polyphanes says:

      I got it at a gem show from a Nepalese vendor who had a lot of Tibetan, Nepalese, and Indian art. I haven’t found them anywhere else, but if I see him again I’m buying several dozen more. They wouldn’t be hard to make with a bit of metalwork skill, though.

  2. Pingback: Search Term Shoot Back, January 2014 | The Digital Ambler

  3. art t behr says:

    I love your work, i am of a very similar bent and am currently working on a set of books to leave behind me when i transition. I am having to go back and redo things i did years ago, so that i can get decent instructions and photographs. Thus i appreciate your meticulous approach. will check in from time to time and i am sure be amazed and pleased at your pilgrim progress.
    art the bear 2000 who is not only a fool but a well know yahoo.

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