Search Term Shoot Back, October 2014
October 31, 2014 Leave a comment
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 October 2014.
“the ‘talisman’ used in the ritual. your name will be written 9x around the diagram using your own blood.” — I don’t know of any such talisman that requires instructions like this, though depending on the size of the talisman, I will say that that would appear to be a significant amount of blood. When using blood in ink, especially your own, I suggest taking a few drops (maybe a certain number of drops depending on planetary hours, qabbalistic symbolism, or the like) and mixing it into dragon’s blood ink or some other sacred ink you have prepared. That way, you don’t go dizzy from losing too much blood, and you can buff out the potency of blood with particular herbs. Just be careful when you tap yourself for blood: be clean, use sterilized needles or blades (preferably non-reusable and disposed of in a sharps bin), be careful that you don’t cut on an artery,sanitize the area to bleed from first, clean up afterwards, use a fresh bandage, aim carefully with the blood, and the like. And, given that the ink and the talisman has your own blood on it, be very careful that you don’t lose the stuff; you don’t want others to get ahold of your own bodily fluids, after all.
“things to ask a geomancer” — Putting my geomancer hat on for a second, well, what do you want to know? Geomancy is a pretty awesome divination system that I’ve been practicing for years, and it’s helped me countless times in my work and spiritual development. In my opinion, however, geomancy is best for queries that are clear (no confusion or ambiguity), concise (pared down to the fewest words needed), and concrete (about a single actionable topic that isn’t abstract), and ideally can be answered in a binary sense (yes/no, should/shouldn’t, etc.). Beyond that, ask whatever you want.
“making natron for egypt project with baking soda and washing powder?” — I actually wrote about this waaaaay back when, when I was just starting to get involved with Hermetic magic. If it’s any indication, this was when my blog was still hosted on Blogspot. So, natron is this nifty powder that’s like supersalt and can be used for embalming, desiccation, and making protective circles, and it’s formed from a mixture of sodium chloride (salt), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and sodium carbonate (washing soda). While salt and baking soda are easy to find, it can be a little more difficult to find washing soda in your local supermarket, and isn’t strictly necessary if you can’t find it. I make natron (I’ve really only made the one batch, since I use so little of it) by crushing all the dry parts up into a fine powder and mix it well. You could make a solution out of them in water and dry it out, but natron is so absorbent that you’d need to use an already spotless pan to hold it in and put it in the oven on high for a week; leaving it out in the open would just keep the natron moist since it’d absorb moisture from the ambient air, and in my humid house where we grow carnivorous plants, that ain’t gonna work. I just suggest grinding it to a fine powder and storing it in an airtight jar.
“ghost rituals” — Yes, I’m sure there are occultist ghosts who have free time just like I do, and I’m sure they have their own rituals and ceremonies. I don’t know what they are, however. I might ask my ancestors to see what they’re up to in the afterlife, maybe get some advice from them in my own works.
“best planetary hours for working out” — It’s true, you can use planetary hours to time pretty much anything to get more out of it. For working out, exercising, and physical training generally, I’d go with hours of Mars and hours of the Sun, which should get you three or four windows of 45 minutes to 2.5 hours a day, depending on where you live and what time of year it is. However, some of these hours are at ungodly o’ clock in the morning or really late in the evening, so you may not be able to get to a gym or it may not be safe to go outside during some of these hours. To be honest, the best time for working out is an hour you set each day every day and get into a routine of it. You don’t need magic for physical goals like this, though it can certainly help. Don’t let timing factors influence your goals for a healthier, fit life.
“is barachiel archangel recognized in the catholic church” — Alas, not anymore. Back in 2002, the Vatican banned all veneration of any angel not named in the Bible, i.e. any angel that wasn’t Michael, Gabriel, or Raphael. Any other named angel, they claim, could lead to deviation from Catholic doctrine and too permissive of “new age spiritual practices”. This isn’t new for them; back in the eighth century, Pope Zachary banned the veneration of Uriel on the grounds that the angel did not exist, because he wasn’t mentioned in the Bible, either. Now, this only applies to the Catholic church; the Orthodox church has a much more permissive view on angels, and in fact venerates seven archangels. Of course, the names and functions of those archangels may not always coincide with those popularly known, but whatever.
“can we place organite and a crystal grid by each other” — I mean, you can, but given how I consider orgonite (note the proper spelling) to be worth less than a well-timed dump, I don’t think putting a chunk of the crap near a crystal grid would do much. You can involve the orgonite into the crystal grid, sure, but at that point, why not just use a lump of peat coal or of simple quartz instead? To be honest, if I knew that putting orgonite and crystal grids near each other could cause some sort of violently explosive reaction, I’d be hawking that shit all over the place in the hopes that nobody would be googling for orgonite ever again.
“petition an angel using his seal” — While the most recommended use of an angelic seal is to conjure the angel, you don’t need to straight-up call them down into a crystal and converse with them and charge them with an action if you don’t want to go that far. You might adopt something like what the Queen of Pentacles does with “goetic conjurework”, by drawing out the seal of the angel on both sides of a piece of paper, writing the name of the angel on one side and your petition on the other, then lighting an appropriately-dressed candle on top of that. Alternatively, you could use the seal of the angel as a focus for meditation to attune yourself to them and allow for a slow-growth, natural form of contact to eventually come to you. Be aware that, in Hermetic theory, the symbol of a spirit is, in a sense, the presence of the spirit; the spirit is where the seal is, so wherever the angelic seal is drawn, so too will the angel be.
“pompeii penis sandals” — To be fair, if you look at any Roman archaeological site and especially Pompeii, you’ll note that the ancients loved them some good ol’ fashioned phalluses. An erect penis, no less, was the standard shingle for any brothel back in the day; charms to ward off the evil eye were often in the form of flying penises (some with a penis of its own!); anything from oil lamps to gambling tokens to warning signs were ithyphallic in nature. That said, I’ve never heard of “penis sandals” before from a Roman culture, much less one from Pompeii, and some googling of my own isn’t helping. So, uh, sorry.
“the japanese alphabet that they use nowadays in English” — They don’t use Japanese writing in English. We use the English writing system (a derivative of the Roman system) for English. That’s why it’s, you know, called English. Japanese, on the other hand, uses the Japanese writing system, and it’s used for a handful of other languages, such as Ainu and Ryukuan, all of which are Japonic in nature, but none of which are found outside the Japanese archipelago. Now, if you’re wondering what Japanese writing is and how it works, first note that it’s not an alphabet, and that alphabets are not synonymous with writing systems generally. Second, Omniglot is your friend when you have questions about writing systems. Third, Japanese writing is actually composed of three separate systems: a syllabary used for native Japanese speech, a syllabary used for onomatopoeia and foreign words, and a system of Chinese and Chinese-derived characters.
“best florida water to bless my house” — Surprisingly enough, there are numerous different brands of Florida Water out there. By far the most common and the most popular is Murray & Lanman, which you can usually find in any botanica, though botanicas will often have lesser-quality brandless or store-brand types available as well. Oddly, Florida Water is also popular in China, and I’ve been able to find a few bottles of the stuff in some places in the DC Chinatown area, but ohmigawd they’re shitfully terribad and smell like baby powder and rotten fruit, specifically the Butterfly and Liushen brands (at least in my honest opinion). Of course, my friends and I make our own Florida Water, and you can find my recipe on this older post of mine. My other friend uses a bit of laundry blueing and more lemongrass, so his Florida Water smells like Fruit Loops and is delicious, and a tad closer to the Murray & Lanman stuff, though ours are still distinctly different from the brand name. All the same, Florida Water is an amazing eau de cologne, though I would suggest you mix the stuff with holy water to bless a house properly, if not just use holy water. Florida Water can help brighten a room or cleanse someone off, but for real blessing, you want real holiness.
“what can i engrave on a blade to be able to slay demons” — Happily enough, you can find out here on the page I made about my ritual sword. Be aware, though, that slaying demons can be bad for your health, since demons do tend to fight back and are nontrivial to slay. Besides, what did demons ever do to you? Don’t be a douchebag. Talk it out first, maybe share a drink or five over a Circle of Art. Who knows, maybe some good demon sex could be just what you need!
“hga vs other gods” — Now this is a pretty interesting comparison to make. Generally speaking, the Holy Guardian Angel (HGA) is not a deity in the traditional sense of the word. The term itself was coined by Abraham of Worms in his Sacred Magic of Abramelin, although the concept of guardian angels generally goes back to late classical Mediterranean times in Abrahamic traditions, if not much earlier. In the Judeo-Christian scheme, the HGA is definitely not on the same level as God or the Trinity, and is under the ranks of the archangels and the four Holy Living Creatures, to be sure, though whether he belongs to a particular choir is up for debate (though the Ars Paulina would suggest that he’s of a choir no lower than the Powers or the angels of the fifth heaven). The HGA has sometimes been linked to the Agathos Daimon of the ancient Greeks and the Genius of the Romans, though with a more cosmic or divine purpose than just watching over the well-being of the human they look after. There is some similarity with the HGA and tutelary deities generally, and these tutelary deities are often called Zeus or Hera, or in Latin Jove and Juno (depending on the gender of the human), but I feel like these are different entities, personally. To be extraordinarily brief on the subject, the HGA watches over a human and guides them to divinity and their divine purpose, helping them by clearing out obstacles and providing an impetus for action where needed. Whether that intersects with other gods’ responsibilities is up to the other gods.
“ithyphallic devil” — I’m down to go down on one.
“chaplet of st. chamuel” — So, as I’ve mentioned before, there are lots of different sets of archangels. The system of seven archangels I use is that of the Orthodox Church: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel (who are common to nearly all sets of seven archangels), as well as the lesser-known Barachiel, Jehudiel, and Sealtiel. However, in Catholic and Hispanic countries, another set of seven archangels are known, which are described by the Christian author Pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite: the same big four as before, but with Jofiel/Jophiel, Zadkiel, and Chamuel/Samuel. It’s hard to map one set of archangels to another, since their roles tend to differ as well as their names. However, I did find in one painting at a local botanica the names of the Orthodox angels mapped to those of Pseudo-Dionysus, and in it Chamuel was linked to Barachiel. Whether this holds up in practice, I’m not sure, but if you’re interested, use my chaplet to Barachiel and see how the angel responds. I don’t work with the angels of Pseudo-Dionysus, however, so this is up for experimentation. According to at least one (not entirely) reputable resource, Chamuel is the angel presiding over relationships and all the love and trauma they bear. This isn’t quite in line with the role of the angel Barachiel, who presides over blessings and bounties, so I’m not sure what a chaplet of St. Chamuel would look like.
“i want to know where you live, what your apartment? how much time do you devote a day of prayer? text” — …wow, creeper. You don’t get to know that. I do devote at least an hour a day to prayer and meditation, however, and would prefer to do more if it weren’t for commuting, martial arts practice, sleep, and my office job. None of which you get to know when and where I do it.