Apr 2, 2013
I have begun a very fruitful collaboration with Nephilim Press this last year as you might already know, and part of my payment was agreed to be a book or two that would far exceed my budget. They were kind enough to save one such rare piece of book art and after doing about 70 or 80 illustrations, I’ve finally earned it. I waited in anticipation for it for about a year and although I knew it was far beyond my financial possibilities, I somehow knew I would have it in my hands and kept calm, working my way towards it.
There is another type of satisfaction when you truly earn something, especially a book, through hard work and lost nights in front of my computer, drawing, scanning, altering, admiring or destroying the result. You never question the amount of money you d spend on it, thinking about how many cheaper books or how many pairs of shoes would be the equivalent, you just know that this specific amount of work will earn you that specific book. The feeling that I got opening the box and unwrapping it from the bubble wrap was awesome.
I knew that sooner or later a pirate pdf would pop up on the web, but that could hardly be of any comfort. This is the last work that E.A. Koetting promised he wouldd pen down, and incidentally, the first work by him I would own in the original format. More than anything I appreciate the work one puts into books, so I did not want a cheap ride along in the pirate ship.
I will start by saying that it is not the first book by him I ever read, and I could not count myself as a die-hard Koetting fan, but I do not have any prejudice against the author. I acknowledge his merit and am glad for his success, although i do not share all his ideas nor would I like to make his path my own. I started reading his works not as a right-hand-pather trying to find faults in one s left-hand-path ideology or as a light-side magician fighting against darkness, but as a perpetual student reading and informing himself of others successes or experiments in magic. Many people that know me and my faith-oriented nature often find my interest in all the branches of magic troubling, not being able to conceive a light-side mage reading books that would teach diabolical acts or deal with demonic magic. Well, magic is this, and it certainly is that, so I reject nothing.
I read the book with an open mind and a keen interest and found some things that I wholeheartedly agreed with, things I clashed with and things that were not at all my way of thinking or things that i liked easily creeping in and settling themselves comfortably in my mind, making me wonder if he had convinced me, if the ideas were there all along or simply if it was a seduction technique of the author. It may be all three at once, what i can say is that this book is certainly seductive. It may convince a seasoned occultist to give it a try and it may blow a beginner s mind. When dealing with the occult, there is a great power in announcing philosophical truths that cannot be questioned, such as man s desire to have more than he needs or the necessity of compliance and service that must come before ultimate ruler-ship, mixed with the desirable process, in our case, that of the demonic pact. This technique is quite well-known, selling your product with someone else s product in order to gain trust. Grimoires are no different. Some use previously known angels and demons to introduce new ideas or rituals, some use known rituals to introduce new hierarchies of spirits. Of the former category I can name The Ars Goetia and Ars Theurgia-Goetia, The Grimoire of Turiel and the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, while of the latter category, the Enochian materials of John Dee and Edward Kelly are the most widely known.
Also, the idea of otherworldly authorship is not only old, but recurrent in magical books. Venerable ancestors such as Enoch, Ishmael, Moses, Hermes, Solomon and Cyprian have ”written” grimoires long after their deaths, angelic figures the likes of Raphael and Raziel have passed on secret knowledge to man in the form of books and Honorius wrote his famous Liber Juratus under the guidance of the angel Hocroel, but books written by or inspired by demons were definitely missing. Outside of fictitious books such as the Necronomicon, inspired the the so-called Old Ones of the Cuthulu Mythos and the Delomelanicon, written by Lucifer himself, wellspring of the Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows from the work of novelist Arturo Perez Reverte, books revealed by demons missed from the Western Magical tradition. The closest thing we have to this is the Liber Byleth, a magical book quoted by Wierius in the description of the demonic king Byleth, but that has only been known in manuscript to but a handfull of experts that so far have not bothered to translate or transcribe it. A grimoire inspired by a demon was definitely needed...
Why Azazel? I have no idea. Maybe because he is the demon of desolation, isolation, damnation and sin in the Old Testament and the major Promethean initiatory figure in the Book of Enoch. He would be the most fit character to lead the magician to total damnation and initiation into the dark arts.
The book is about liberation through utter damnation, the power that the destruction of the temporary constructs has over the feeling of one s true freedom.
If in the beginning we are encouraged to find a system that responds to our needs and fits our demands and expectations, we later might feel constricted by this very system in our search for ultimate liberation. The idea is quite interesting, but is definitely not new. It may perplex students of a certain system, but all systems teach at one point or another renunciation. Death followed by rebirth is a constant in all initiatic traditions, reaching out of ancient Egypt and the ancient mystery tradition to our contemporary luciferian ideologies and Eastern teachings. From Osiris to Osho and from Prometheus to Jesus, all state that only through self-annihilation true spiritual insight can be gained.
The style of the book varies greatly: sometimes is a manual of dark ritual magic, sometimes a course in self-discovery and oftentimes a journal or a confession as to a friend. The language tends to be dense, poetic and bombastic, a feature shown in other books by the same author, but that may be excusable and lend a personal note of his own work. What matters is that it brings three new things into the world of the grimoire.
The first is the most obvious always, that is the grimoiric part itself, the catalogue of demons that Koetting claims he has called and worked with, referred to in the text as the commanders over the legions of Azazel, called Nethers. Might be an Egyptian reference, where the word Neter or Netjer usually designated a god. He gives the seals of 33 such creatures, organised in three categories or Houses, with powers, appearances and personal notes.
The second thing he brings new to the table is the very concept of the demonic pact itself. Pushing the envelope as he likes to call it, the author does things that other ascertain as toxic and destructive, even to his own personal well-being. If the entire magical lore alluding to pacts shows them as being demonic traps in which the sorcerer might lose his soul an place himself among the damned, our author heeds not the warnings and goes out looking for it. While other sorcerers take great precautions not to be beguiled by the demon into signing a pact, he does precisely that, and lives to tell the tale, of course.
The third thing being brought to the table is the author s intimate tails of gain and loss, destruction and recovery, anguish, retreat and freedom. I for one find it intriguing and interesting. It might be a technique meant to make the method more appealing to the suffering, the scarred, the shamed and the pariah, but I could not make such a statement with a content heart. Anyone who suffers and builds their life back is certainly worthy of anyone s respect, and anyone who would share it for an example with others, even more so.
The book is a good read and an interesting account, beyond the precious style that aims to make something ordinary seem like a legendary feat. That is something I found a bit bothersome: the magician never simply looks into the smoke of the brazier, he always pierces through with his magical focused gaze in the bellowing smoke of scented copal rising forth from the great triangle of manifestation, bringing to existence the very substance and idea of smokingness itself. He does not merely step into a circle, but he commands his weakened body and exhausted mind forward into the sacred precinct of the temporary temple that is the circle of the pacts.(not actual quotes, sorry, but you get the picture). As curious as this style may be to the contemporary reader, this method of combining grimoiric magic and thrill-filled stories is not new either, and not a trademark of Koetting. Many works of magic begin with warnings to the reader, advices for the imprudent and curses for the ignorant, making the grimoire even more evil and even more impotant than it really is.
The Book of Azazel is an interesting read. I have no inclination nor time to see what exactly matches Crowley, Chumbley, Ford, Grant or Yogi Bear in what he writes because I had no time nor enough interest in the Left Hand Path to read them critically, so will refrain from doing so and leave this task to other readers, more seasoned then myself in this area.
The quality of the book itself is great, the binding is good but a bit too stiff for my taste, the cover is simple yet intriguing, keeping the cover and spine decoration to a bare minimum, the drawings are superbly executed (by Frater Akherra, whom I commend for his great work), the layout is great and the black and red text takes us back to the Middle Ages, where most such books were written with the same colors.
Glad to have one of the 33 copies. Ebay tells me that one such copy already reached the price of 1200 $. Not that I m selling.
Jan 10, 2013
Ever got the feeling that the tools and implements you use in magic choose you rather than the the way around? I had. And it s a recurring thing.
Even before I got to working on Frater Ashen s book about experimenting with the Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, I found myself in an avid search regarding scrying, both with a crystal ball and with a water vessel.
Somehow, the water vessel attracts me more.
Besides the ambivalence that the four books of the Lemegeton shows towards the evoking medium (before the circle or in the scrying surface), a lot of texts carried me towards water scrying.
In particular, the method used in Arthur Gantlet s grimoire and in the Book of the Treasure Spirits, both edited by David Rankine and in the experiments of Frederick Hockley.
The method involves a table covered with cloth, a round vessel full of water, a band of divine names, one or two candles and a seal drawn on vellum or paper that covers the mouth of the vessel.
Yesterday while shopping a very peculiar thing caught my eye and I thought it was perfect for such a task: a clear, simple wide wine glass.
Filled with water it can provide the ideal vessel for scrying and the cost was very low, about 1 or 2 dollars.
Also, I needed a stand or a circular wooden plaque. Found one, bought one. Very conveniant. Now, mind you, it s not a special scrying wooden plaque, it s a hard wood, hand carved thingy people use to chop stuff in the kitchen, but the size of it was just right.
If the method does not require a holy table like Barret asks, and just the table and vessel, this very thing can be supported on three wooden legs to make the table itself.
Today I woke up and set my mind on buying a bigger one. I went to a commercial complex that sells all kinds of stuff, rushed through it, climbed the stairs and went straight to the glassware section. And the first thing I saw was this pretty thing.
Basically it s the same thing, only four times bigger than my big wine glass. The round part is bigger than my head, I think. The total hight of the thing is 36 cm (about 14 inches) while the circumference of the bulk is 58 cm (about 23 inches).
Never tried my had at scrying but always was fearful of not being able to see things in small crystals. Well.. problem solved. This is the flat-screen monster of all scrying vessels.
Only thing is that filled up with water it can hold up to 2 liters, so it can be quite heavy. The leg might give and break. I m considering reinforcing it somehow or building a tripod like stand to take some of the pressure off.
Price: the whole shebang, under 20 $. That s about half of the price I would pay on Ebay for a small glass ball being passed off as a Chinese quartz sphere.
Nov 30, 2012
Taking advantage of this Full Moon in the day of Venus, also coinciding with Saint Andrew s feastday in my country, to bring you the sixth document in the series.
I m not going to list all the purposes of this talisman because most people are only interested in one use of it: LOVE.
Love, sex, companionship, beauty, they all come under the same gentle rays of Lady Venus.
Hope to end the series quite soon with the Saturn Talisman, I have another thing lined up for you, The Beginning Planetary Invocations, being a set of full invocations to be used before any kind of planetary work, taken from veritable sources. No LBPR, no LIPR, no nonsense, just good-old fashioned invocations to start the juices flowing and build up momentul until you set your intent.
I hope to release it by February.
This is the purchase button for the Venus Talisman PDF, as usual, 7$. Enjoy!
Sep 19, 2012
The second argument regarding the practicability of grimoires is that these books were meant to fail. The authors wanted the knowledge to remain secret, for fear of the Church and for fear of misuse in beginners.
I’ve stated before that the Church did not treat mercifully the necromancers that used divine names and Christian elements in their conjuration as opposed to those who did not. The last category is practically non-existent. You did not get a slap on the wrist by putting prayers in your grimoire. You put prayers in your grimoire because you were a devoted religious man, seeking power through the use of holiness, depending on what religion you practiced. Jewish grimoires contain psalms and prayers, Islamic grimoires contain extensive surahs from the Quran, and there was certainly no Jewish or Islamic Inquisition to please using these.
The knowledge was supposed to be secret, true. But grimoires were secret themselves. The Sworn Book of Honorius was passed down in a straight lineage of masters and disciples, and if the master could not do that, he would have had it buried with him. The grimoires we have today were not published in great numbers in paperback format and advertised to make a profit or to increase one’s notoriety. Secrecy of the content was not the issue, as very few people could read, and if they could make out the letters somewhat, they were not learned men to speak Latin, and even if they were part of the scholarly world or religious world and knew how to read and speak Latin, they must have had enough money to buy or have a book bound and enough connections to get access to magical manuscripts. One simply could not go online and look for spells, one could not go to the local library and look for books on magic. You had to find a practitioner and either pay him well for his book of secrets, like Wierius might have done to obtain the Liber Officiorum from Cockars and T.R., or apprentice under a necromancer in order for him to teach you.
Their authors did not fear that people who could misuse them were to read them simply because they could control their readership. He wouldn’t even fear rival magicians. The readers were not a mass of unknown people with whom the magician had no contact, but a select few that the necromancer would make readers of his own will.
The problem of the Church was not so strict. Many of the readers, writers copyists WERE clergymen or monks, part of the Church! There is no problem if the book might have been found by a priest or a monk, as many of them professed an avid interest in them, even collected them. The problem was if the wrong clergyman would find them. Only few were so stuck up and righteous that he would grab your book and accuse you of witchcraft. If this was done, the book itself would have been burnt as well, not kept and read. Few inquisitors did read the books and extracted information used in their letters of accusation, but then they would burn them as part of the judicial process. The ones who did keep books kept them secret and they were sympathetic to the use of magic and many monks sold their books for fear of being discovered by their superiors to other monks. This is how Johannes Trithemius could assemble such a marvelous library on magic in the short span of time he was an abbot in Sponheim.
The grimoires were not false advertisers, but personal notebooks. True. There were active schools of magic in Naples, Athens, Salamanca, Fez, Toledo, Rome and perhaps many more. Not every piece of information in the course was recorded by the student, indeed. The author in question argues that the grimoires contain a bare minimum and much was left out. Moreover, much was added to confuse people, created blinds and specifically wrote them so that they would not work.
The said author does not know how a grimoire was used, I’m afraid. The fault does not lye necessarily with him, this part is a commonly overlooked detail and a forgotten element that nobody seems to remember. The grimoire was not just a simple notebook, but a consecrated object meant to make the rituals work. The most important part of the necromancer’s arsenal was the Book of Consecrations. This contained all the names of the spirits with their characters, plus a set of nine conjurations to be performed every day in a ritual of nine days meant to empower it. His was no mere hollywoodian Book of Shadows, but a powerful object meant to make it’s content effective.
And a summary and incomplete content would not do. The experiment was to be written in full, with conjurations and actions, in order to be effective. A blind or lie would not necessarily render the information invalid, but quite the opposite, funny enough, it would make the blind true!
The grimoires are not ineffective in themselves, as the modern practitioners do not use the said book, the very manuscript that the magician wrote and kept and consecrated on his knees for nine mornings with exhortations and suffumigations, but published versions of them. They do not construct a Book of Consecrations, out of lack of information or rejection of the proper way of doing it, but work from printed, on-line or oral material. Some exercises are not bound to that process and are certainly effective, but most are. For example, the Book of Consecrations states that all experiments are useless until the necromancer puts it in his book and recites the orisons to make it effective. More even, any corrupted experiment was made viable again if it be put in the Book. This is mainly why magicians were not so avid to look for the meaning and etymology of the words of power used, they did not care if they said or write Saday, Caday, Sadat, Saddai, Seday or Saclay instead of the Hebrew name Shaday. Because every experiment, no matter how corrupted, would have become effective once copied in their private consecrated book.
From this point of view, the use of a grimoire as it is is not ineffective, but the lack of a personal grimoire consecrated according to the tradition that the desired experiment refers to.
Sep 8, 2012
This article is a review of Ishtar Publishing s Secret Jinn Report.
As many of you know, I share a special bond of work and friendship with the people over at Ishtar Publishing. This bond came second to my fascination of their books and my services as an illustrator were offered at the beginning of our collaboration as an attempt for a less then well-paid illustrator to get the books he dreamt of and could never afford.
The efforts were successful and ever since, I ve been part of the Ishtar Publishing team I like to think, enjoying their trust and friendship and occasionally getting to constructively criticize or add good ideas that might help. I am in no way on their payroll and this way I can keep my honesty sharp and my opinions objective. If something of theirs is good and trustworthy, I will back it up, and if something seems fishy or out of place, I either keep my mouth shut in order to not offend, or if it seems wrong, I will openly object to it.
So far, I haven t had the chance to test the second version, a thing that eases my mind a bit.
The document I am reviewing now is a wonderful piece of esoteric work. In the old days, books on magic would be passed down from hand to hand and some even flooded the market, such as the Marvelous secrets of little Albert or the Book of Honorius. These books, much like modern paperbacks on magic, magick, magickq, witchcraft and wishcraft, are by no means scarce, quite the contrary. Yet still some works were kept in manuscript form, passed to a select few or sold for huge amounts of money. We can read the very rare and secret Triangular Book of Saint Germain of which we have but two copies and in the Faustian literature we read how the author, said to be Faust, purchased the secrets of such and such talismans for good amounts of gold, from Holland or other countries.
This document falls in the middle. It s not published as a regular book, to be circulate widely and the unsold pieces be tossed in the 5$ bin at major bookstores, but kept strictly for people soliciting it. It s also not as expensive as one might think, for in Muslim countries their price is sky high, as the very possession of such documents would earn you death by law. This is in no way a farfetched claim, and the reader can check for himself the legislation in Arabic speaking countries of magic and possession of magical literature.
The Secret Jinn Report is part of a series of documents put up by Nineveh Shadrach in which some missing pieces from other grimoires are granted to the reader. As we might suspect, and is the case with all grimoires, no one book contains all the theoretical structures, preparatory works, prayers, invocations, seals, sigils, signs, banishments and amulets necessary to the practitioner. No such book exists. Some are of the beginning level, like the Picatrix or the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, some are theoretical treatises, and others are filled with practical secrets.
If the first category can be safely distributed to any one, the second is likely to be subject to careful examination. To cite a single example, the Book of Honorius of Thebes was kept a secret by every magician who possessed it, and only a few disciples could copy it faithfully or bury it upon the masters demise, it was not published widely and advocated as a book of secrets like other opuscules. The document we have here responds to the need felt by many readers to have a beginning base in jinn magic, with things not contained in any other published work.
As far as I know, the efforts of brother Shadrach to make Arabic magic available in the West are unprecedented. Besides the Picatrix, in a few rare and expensive editions, and some articles in a number of academic journals, the West lacks any information of Arabic magic, a tradition richer than ours in many respects.
If we take into account that almost all our grimoires and magical tomes stem in some way or another from the translations made in Spain of the Great Sages and of Arabic magic books, we can have a slight idea of the vastity of the subject. Only a small portion of the available magical literature was translated then, and that small portion became the wellspring of Western magic. From astrology, astronomy, divination by lots, necromancy, nigromancy, geomancy and summoning, to alchemy, medicine and poetry, the Arabic tradition loaned us quite a number of pearls which we have held in veneration for centuries, knowing little of the richness of the necklace from whence they were separated.
He Secret Jinn Report is not the Secret of Secrets coveted by magicians, nor is it the answer to any question of the would be sorcerer, but it is far more useful than any book on magic I could order and buy. It s quite succinct and to the point, and it s content is not only rare and translated for the first time, but it s also accurate.
I believe a great deal of manuscripts are always consulted by brother Nineveh before bringing us a single version of one rite or another, as the book of the Berhatyah Oath will prove to it s readers, and I am assured that this is also the case.
What does it contain? I believe I will not cause any distress if I would disclose that.
The first secret is the Jinn King of the Sun. As any reader of Arabic magic might know, the Jinn king presiding over the planetary jinns of the Sun is called Al-Madhab. But is this enough to contact him? Of course not. Here we have not only his true name and rank, but also his true seal, his genealogy and his nickname, along with precise information of how to gain his cooperation, a true treasure in and of itself.
The second secret are 15 names of Asaf bin Berechiah. These are not contained in the Grand Key and are not translated in any work. Each name has a specific purpose, each one has a magical square, and the use of only a third of these names could bring more to the practitioner than any other grimoire out there, granted he would be willing to put effort into it. From the treatment of one s illnesses and those of others to the perceptions of the jinn and stoping vehicles in their paths, the names have a multitude of uses.
Secret three consists of a wonderful method of detecting black magic and jinn where there is doubt of the cause.
Secret four is related to Iblis, the equivalent of Lucifer in the Muslim tradition. It s the first time when I can find a comprehensive list of his descent (genealogy) and of his children. Yes, he does have offspring. Some of the most powerful jinn are said to be his descendants or direct children, one of the most powerful being Danhash.
Secrets five and six deal directly with jinn evocation, perhaps one of the most direct approaches I ve ever read.
Secret seven deals with the release of the resident jinn, a thing never taught in Western magic, but often cited in Arabic grimoires. Most evocations fail because the resident jinn of a place, be it deserted cave or one s home, has not been dismissed and sent away temporarily, and he can often cause the evocation to fail. If somebody invites someone in your own house, wouldn't you try to keep them out?
And finally, the eighth secret deals with the magical ink needed in the writing of the talisman and figures, something that has always concerned me and now I can say I am thankful of finding.
I would deeply encourage anyone who is interested in at least one of these secrets to purchase it. I would not encourage you to buy it if it seems unfit for you, if you're only interested in modern spell magic and visualization, in obtaining results with lighting scented candles and saying a rhyming diddy or with pseudo-magical workings. This is the real thing. If conducting a ritual top to bottom without worrying and whining that it s too hard or it takes to long seems something impossible for you, do not buy it.
However, if you are indeed interested in true magic, the one that channels the power and effort you put in it to achieve your goals and the kind that takes time to learn, to practice and to realize, this is for you.
You can buy this and start learning the real thing, or with the same amount of money, you can buy a book on pseudo-magic that tells you that every thought you utter is magical and little to no effort is necessary to do magic. The only difference is that the first choice is honest and trusted, and the other is a money making scheme based on flattering the ego of a weak student in magic that above anything wishes to be called a master or a sorcerer.