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Feb 4, 2011

The Magical Sword

The Solomonic tradition does not rely on the iconic athame, chalice, pentacle and wand, as Hollywood made many people believe. Or was it Waite who started it all?

 In my view, the sword is attributed to Geburah, while the Wand/Staff/Baton is attributed to Chesed. The wand held in the left hand while citing benevolent spirits is an attribute of a Jovian nature, the magician as a priest or benevolent king; the sword held in the right hand while constraining temperamental spirits or evicting them is Martial, akin to Geburah, symbolizing the magician as a conqueror. 
This is just my take on the matter and how i perceive things, so i might be wrong. Mathers describes both the wand and the sword made in the hour and day of Mercury, but he gives the same instructions for nearly all the implements.
In his edition of the Key of Solomon, Mathers writes:

Swords are also frequently necessary for use in magical arts. Thou shalt therefore take a new sword which thou shalt clean and polish on the day of Mercury, and at the first or the fifteenth hour, and after this thou shalt write on one side these divine names in Hebrew, YOD HE VAU HE, ADONAI, EHEIEH, YAYAI; and on the other side ELOHIM GIBOR (see Figure 70); sprinkle and cense it and repeat over it the following conjuration:

THE CONJURATION OF THE SWORD.

I conjure thee, O sword, by these names, ABRAHACH, ABRACH, ABRACADABRA, YOD HE VAU HE, that thou serve me for a strength and defence in all magical operations, against all mine enemies, visible and invisible.
I conjure thee anew by the holy and indivisible name of EL strong and wonderful, by the name SHADDAI almighty; and by these names QADOSCH, QADOSCH, QADOSCH, ADONAI ELOHIM TZABAOTH, EMANUEL, the First and the Last, Wisdom, Way, Life, Truth, Chief, Speech, Word, Splendour, Light, Sun, Fountain, Glory, the Stone of the Wise, Virtue, Shepherd, Priest, Messiach Immortal; by these names then, and by the other names, I conjure thee, O sword, that thou servest me for a protection in all adversities. Amen.

This being finished thou shalt wrap it also in silk like all the other instruments, being duly purified and consecrated by the ceremonies requisite for the perfection of all magical arts and operations. 
Three other swords should be made for the use of the disciples. 

We are only insterested in the Magister's sword.


The Coniuration of the Sword.

Coniuro te ensis per ista nomina habraam, abrac, Tetragrammaton, quod est aglane quae tu in meo opere nocere non possis. Coniuro te per nomen sanctum quod est onoyteon et purum stimulaton et per festinâtem Elsefarêa, et per iustum emsyotam, et per hec nomina dei ineffabilia egyrion, Usirion, Osistion, etionam, Usiromis, brasni, onela, perasni, rohim, Zocoph, et ita nomina Sother Emanuel, Sabaoth, Adonay, primus et nouissimus, [50r] unigentus, via, vita, manus homo usyon, primogenitus fons sapientia, virtus, alpha et omega, caput finis, os, verbum, gloria, splendor, Lux, Sol, Imago, foris, vitis, mons, Janua, petra, Lapis, angulus, sponsus, pastor, propheta, sacerdot, athanatos, Iogirios, yskyros ysus, ysyos ichyos pantor craton, Jesus Alleluya per hec et alia nomina vos Coniuro quod mihi nocere non possitis sed me in hoc meo opere ad invetis,
Then let these be put in a fayre place untill the time that ye worke, as it is in the silke cloth, and with such knifes and swoordes, and Instruments of Iron, and Arthano, and a rodd and a staffe, as the artes and experiments be done with. 

(quoted from Peterson's translation) 

There are numerous traditions, each with it's own designs and prescriptions.
Many out there feel discouraged by the simple thought of buying the sword, let alone forging it and engraving it.
 Up until now i had no need for the sword in my magical practice, but it is an indispensable instrument, nevertheless. I used a black hilted sword on a few occasions, but i had no way of engraving it. There are few places where i live that might engrave metal, but none engraves steel. Too hard. I found someone who would engrave steel, but i was disillusioned to find out that they did not engrave less than 200 pieces. Since i had no 200 swords to engrave, i took matters into my own hands and sought better and cheaper solutions.

Using a burin is out of the question, since it skips and runs of even on copper. Steel would be nearly impossible to engrave with that. Best solution is acid. I tried nitric acid to no avail, but after a short research i found that only sulfuric acid reacts to iron and steel. Not the simplest task, but after a few months i obtained a fair quantity of it.
Obtaining acid is one thing, etching markings into a blade is another.
there are two methods.
1. Positive etching.
2. Negative etching.
Negative etching would be tracing the symbol onto the blade with a paint marker or wax, then dipping the blade in acid. Needless to say that would be a waste, shining symbols on a corroded blade wouldn't cut it for me. No pun intended.
Etching a positive means dripping acid onto the surface and letting it corrode the metal in the shape wanted. Some use a wax coating, with the symbols dug carved out in wax, immersing the blade in acid so the acid would only react to the exposed metal, leaving a shiny surface beneath the wax and a corroded symbol. 
The method works just fine. In theory. And on other metals. Even shiny copper has problems with this, not to mention a very polished steel blade. Once the wax hardens and you try to carve a seal into it, the wax just slips off. I tried carving it with hot tools, such as a heated burrin, a heated needle, even a burning toothpick. The wax does not break, but the carved channel fills up again with molten wax.
All i could do was was literally to write out the characters in acid on the blade. Easier said than done, because shined steel is not paper and sulfuric acid is not ink. I can't use a pen, a stick, a feather, i cannot use anything to form the characters and seals. Only thing that acid does not react to that i could think of was the glass cointainer itself. Eurica! A small glass dropper will do the job! And it did! Taking fine amounts of acid with a small glass dropper, i dropped tiny amounts on the steal and observed... The knife i was practicing on was steel, so the acid just puddled into drops on the surface before etching it. I tried sanding it to reduce the shine, and it worked well. Still, the steal of the sword was better polished, and i did not want to ruin it. 


I used a sword replica i use for decorative purposes, that looks just like my magical sword to be. (Never engrave or etch or try anything new on your magical implements before trying it out on something else.) I decided to try a simple cross near the handle, than the letters TETRAGRAMMATON.
I kept moving the drooper to and fro, but the acid was too stubborn and did not want to stick. Then i instinctively whipped off those little acid dropplets with some tissue, covering a good portion of the blade and kept rubbing it, until the surface bcame someewhat opaque. This was that i needed! 




I tried again and the acid stuck to the shape, as we see in the pictures below. After about 10 minutes, the corroded area became grey and opaque, and after half an hour, the characters were made out of a crust of green ferric sulfate. I whiped the blade with a wet towel and i saw the results. In my oppinion, if you don't own a heavy duty laser engraving apparatus, that's the way to go.


So to recap:
1. Get sulfuric acid.
2. Buff the steel surface, either by sanding it with a fine grain sandpaper, either by rubbing it with a bit of acid, or even saliva.
3. Form the characters with a glass dropper, leaving the whole thing in a well ventilated area.
4. Repeat the process until you've masterd acid-writing on steel
5. Do your sword and other iron implements.
6. Heat them in consecrated fire and temper them in water with juice of what the book says...



Hope this was informative. Good luck!   

16 comments:

  1. Yes, for all the Lord of the Rings fans out there, it s a replica of the Strider's sword. The only one i was able to find in my restricted area of sword shopping that was not a cheap katana knock off.

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  2. Notice that sword is described in Key of Solomon only to trace circle. It is done in Mercury time. And there is black hilted knife that is used to strike terror in spirits. In my opinion in Key you hold the knife and the wand. In Heptameron you can use sword made in martial day.

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  3. True, that is the case for the Sword in the Key of Solomon, but read the whole thing, there are more details. Other texts, such as the Liber Juratus, the Munich manual and the Rawlinson Necromantic manuscript, to name but a few, offer other uses for the sword, such as thrusting it into the air, brandishing it about, supporting the Magister, kneeling upon it, gazing in it's blade, etc...

    That is exactly why i am doing this study, to find all aspects relating to the use of magical implements.

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  4. I had some sucess with the wax thing: the trick is to coat both sides of the blade & the edge so the wax wraps completly around it, also if the wax is at least 1/2 centimetre thick helps. Next, purchase some cheap mini wood chisels (sold on amazon for 5.00 and up) sharpen & consencrate the lot & voila- they cut through the wax with ease (& patience & a steady hand- trace out yr characters first on the wax!)Sulphuric acid can be bought at the hardware store- sold as a heavy-duty drain opener, around 20.00 I believe & manufactured by the Roto company. Another method I had sucess with is to buy an electric engraving tool, then cover the blade with packing tape, trace out yr characters on tape & start engraving- the engraver does not slip very much with the tape. Remove the tape & residue & use a touch up pen made for auto paint to paint on yr characters over the roughed up steel from the engraver. give it a coat of clear acrylic spray & it holds up nicely.

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  5. I'd like to see some pictures of your works, man. Thank you for the comment. Now, you have too keep in mind i live in Romania. There is no such thing as sulphuric acid in the hardware store. I barely could obtain a few mililiters... Electric engraving tool? again, a very beautiful dream for me. The wax method is the oldest but if you have patience and if the steel isn t shined to a mirror, it renders great results.

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  6. Romania- well that does change things a bit. My sword broke (under odd circumstances) and I've gotten rid of it. I found yr blog looking for helpful tips before I began another . . probably should have taken pictures, but I'm a bit shy about showing people ritual implements (even in photos). I might make a pratice one & take photos of that- could do both techniques if you are that interested. I would send you an engraver but I'm not sure how customs would handle that! There is another method of metal engraving involving electricity & salt water- I've never tried it, but I hear it works. I just posted the previous because when I started out it would have saved me quite a bit of time & trouble (& swords!) if I had known. So hopefully it may do someone some good.

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  7. Thanks for posting , Anonymous. Are you from evocationmagic? I m shy about taking pics too, this is a practice sword. You re very wise for doing so. Try engraving a knife or an inexpensive item.
    I think customs can handle anything very well, we have no problem here, and packs arrive pretty fat, but i couldn't afford an engraver.

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  8. Hi Friends,

    The Magical Sword is the next thing on our list to get. It's twice as powerful as the White Sword we have equipped now, making it four times stronger than the Wooden Sword. It contains very informative matter. I would like to come here again. This type of posting should go on.

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  9. For the wax coating to work you need a wax with a high oil content. 8% oil or more, otherwise it is going to crack as you described. Natural waxes like bee or soy are too dry and standard candle wax has too much tallow to be of use. Look for a petroleum wax like paraffin or slack wax.

    Regardless your work around turned out great!

    -Fio

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  10. Anonymous was right. Electricity + salt water - the best way for engraving on metal surface. Even for pentacles.

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  11. What are the specific hebrew names? I need the letters and all. I can't find yayai anywhere...

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    1. I suppose you don t mean Google: what books about kabbala have you consulted and cannot find this name?

      YAYY is the gematric sum of 31, equaling AL.

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    2. Thank you. I don't have any books of jewish occult yet, unfortunately, but I now have what I need to engrave the sword. I would like to ask where I can get the crystal used in solomonic evocation, more specifically the 24k golden disc around the crystal.

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    3. Thank you. I don't have any books of jewish occult yet, unfortunately, but I now have what I need to engrave the sword. I would like to ask where I can get the crystal used in solomonic evocation, more specifically the 24k golden disc around the crystal.

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  12. Dear Anonymous, if there waz a shop where you would buy every article of this magical art ready made, I wouldn t have endeavored to create them myself. Have you read my blog thoroughly? Of not, please do. Hope my reply is not harsh, but with enouigh research, if you simply do not want to put any time and effort in your tool, you will discover people that are willing to do them for you, for a price. The stone can be bought form a stone shop, the disc can be commisioned from a jeweler, the hazel wand.. well.. they grow on trees, literally! :D best of luck.

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  13. I want to try my hand at ceremonial magic. Though i have neither the money, nor privacy for it. Any suggestions?

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