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Apr 10, 2012

Gold Lamen



Since I am putting together my Theurgia Goetia equipment as faithfully as I can, I will need the gold lamen. Tricky busyness... Not only is a disc of god extremely expensive and beyond my current financial reach (right now ever a dinner out and a movie are out of the question, but I m quite optimistic), but it would be extremely hazardous to engrave.

The grimoires mention times not a few the seals of wax. Not only the Book of Abramelin the Mage and the Liber Juratus (Sigillum Dei Aementh) along with Dee s inovations of it, but also the books on planetary images such as the Liber de Angelis and the Munich Manual.



Nothing wrong with wax seals. This is one of the materials used for its purity and magical properties in a lot of rites, in molding statues, images, lamens and even rings (in the Hygromanteia), and it would resolve my dilemma in finding a suitable body for the seal using genuine gold foil.

Why use plaster, wood, epoxy or any other metal, when I can use good ol consecrated wax, after the traditional method?

This is the step by step procedure of making a seal out of wax, gilded in gold:

1. Get some rosin (colophony).



2. Ground the rosin to a fine powder. It s quite easily groudable, very brittle and dry, and it will yeald a fine, puffy, white yellowish powder, the same athletes use to powder their hads for better grip. Right now I only had rosin, I ll also try shellac as soon as possible.




3. Melt some wax. Genuine beeswax, from a good seller, not candle mixture or spermaceti or paraffin wax. Genuine beeswax is yellow to brown and has a honey scent that is really to die for.

4. Put the rosin powder into the molten wax and stir until all the rosin is melted in the wax. This will produce a harder wax, and this was used for seals on documents. Natural beeswax is very very soft and it will become softer if handled, let alone worn as a lamen, and the added rosin will prevent that. It also provides a more solid surface for engraving the characters, letting the burin or engraving needle sink evenly into it. Add a lot of rosin powder, don t be afraid.

5. Pour the wax mixture in a prefered mold. I do something else: I boil some water in a round tea pot and pour the hot wax. The water sinks and the wax flows up. Once hardened, the wax will form a perfectly round disk, with the same thinkness all around. And if you try to take it out, you will ruin it. Trick is sticking the pot with the wax and water in the freezer, after it cools down, for a few minutes. The Wax will contract and come out on its own. If the pot is not all roud, it might get stuck, though. For this I used a tin mold, poured the mixture in and after cooling I placed it in the freezer. It came right off.

6. After your disk is ready, wipe it clean, dry it a bit and engrave your design. In my case, the Pentagonal Seal of Solomon, but I ll do a test one with my own design on the spot.  It s better to engrave it while still cold. After it gets warmer, it will become  quite soft, even from the heat of your hands. 


This was done in a hurry, and I m not particularly proud of it, I only wanted to show you the process.


7. Enter the goldfoil. For this demonstration I will use less expensive faux gold, but for the genuine experiment I will certainly use real 24 karat gold foil.
Since the wax  acts nothing like wood or plaster used in icons, nor like paper or vellum treated with gesso, we will have to attach the foil to the wax in a different way. This is when it hit me: rosin wax is stickier than normal wax. 

7a. Gently dry the wax seal to remove any water or vapor.
7b. Gentry apply the goldfoil.
7c.Blow on it and caress it ever-so-slightly with some cotton or a soft fabric.
7d. After the goldfoil settles (would take you a few months trials, but it s way easier than engraving pure gold when difficulty is concerned) press with your thumb gently but firmly on each line and character. The heat of your hand is moderate enough to melt the wax and make the goldfoil stick, but gentle enough so as not to melt the whole seal or ruin the design. I tried a lamp and a blowdrier first, but the wax melted in both cases, and this is surely the safest method.
7e. Press it again softly with some cotton or a satin rag and rub it, in order to burnish it.
7f. Behold ye fynished result, to the glorye of the Almightye God!


OK, so it looks a bit lame and cheap on camera, but in real life it actually looks good. The camera tends to show every wax imperfection and every scratch the goldfoil catches even from rubbing with soft materials.




Hope you get it right and practice the process, as I did. NEVER try gold foil from the get go, always practice with faux gold.

I will test the effectiveness in my evocations this summer. 

N. B. This is NOT the actual seal I will use. I will never photograph and post my magical tools, only my replicas. I am a firm believer in the Secret of Practice.

Take care and let me know if this was helpful.
 

45 comments:

  1. That is AWESOME. Brilliant, beautiful.

    I really like it a lot.

    But it sounds like the rosin didn't really help much. I made an SDA a couple years ago with no rosin, and it behaved about the same as yours with the rosin.

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  2. Heheey RO, thanks for the kind words!
    I made a SDA without rosin, that is pure beeswax, and it was sooft as hell. It was way harder with the rosin, and the foil sticks very very well, Makes for a harder material and a stickier surface once heat applied.

    Must try shellac, it s THE material in the making of sealing wax.

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  3. Honored Magician, and devoted servant of the All Mighty.Please excuse my intrusion on your blog, but I feel the need to make a specification, my heart does not allow me to do otherwise.

    I am just a simple witch, my knowledge and talents are negligible compared to your wisdom and greatness that you have probably obtained by working with the sacred beings described by the grimoires that you mentioned and a profane to your sacred arts. But no matter how great, wise and powerful one might be, we must never forget where we all come from. Why do I say this? Because when you describe how to use the beeswax, you forget to mention the fact that no being is entitled to steal from another. In the eyes of the All Mighty every beings life has the same amount of significance, even a small and fragile creature like a bee. You see, bees dedicate their whole lives to work tirelessly to produce among other substances, the wax, and I don't think it is in their intention to do this for a magickal talisman, no matter how sacred it will become. Thus, I think it is only fair to thank the bees for their hard work and ask for their forgiveness for the abuse that was made against them when harvesting the wax they worked so hard for, by sincerely expressing these feelings you balance the harm that was done to them, and only then continue the work and use the was as described. Otherwise, in my vision and knowledge, the talisman's material will contain the traces of it's abusive origins, and while it is totally insignificant to a human, I doubt that it will be the same for a being with infinite knowledge, who in one way or another watches over the balance of nature.

    You may find my thought ridiculous, even laughable, you may think who does this crazy woman think she is to judge how something is made to serve the Divine, but as a follower of Nature I felt that it was my duty to do this gesture.

    All the best wishes to you!

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  4. Dearest one, first of all thank you for all of your kinds word, I might not deserve them fully.

    Secondly, this is merely the practical process. I left out the benedictions, the exorcisms and the incantations, as well as the prayers. In using parts of animals (horns, hides, leather, parchment) or natural substances (honey, wax, etc) I take care first of all to pray for the people that made them possible, hunted or tended to the beings, for their health and for their forgiveness, then to the beings themselves and to the spirits in charge of them, thanking them and their kind for their sacrifice. It s the right way to do it, and your remarque is most pertinent.

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  5. Sweety, perhaps it is exactly those things that should never be left out, because with great power and knowledge comes also responsibility. Even by giving such a practical example how to make a talisman, which apparently, highlights the "handyman" aspect of a magician, we must never forget the essence of all things, the Divine. Just as your hands create the material side of the talisman, so your heart creates and purifies it's spiritual body. So take every single opportunity that you have, such as this one, to show and express the importance of respect and love for all life, a small gesture like this can prove that no life was "wasted" and no work in nature is ever vain. Show the world the fact that a true magician weaves it's heart and belief in everything he does, even the simple components of a talisman, and does that by respecting all beings alive as he would respect their Source.

    Blessings to you!

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  6. I couldn t have expressed it better myself. I too have shortcomings, and when it comes to such little BIG things, I can truly say sometimes I get do caught up in the practical aspects that I forget about all the soul to be put into this. Thank you for taking the time to remind us that.

    And many blessings to you as well, wholeheartedly!

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  7. I was just wondering... Were you drunk when you wrote the text ? Or you used a virused translation software ?

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  8. John, English isn't everyone's first language, don't be a dick.

    Asterion, you did fine. It's easier to read than most American bloggers' posts I read. Don't let an idiot undermine your confidence, keep publishing.

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  9. And I agree with the Bee Matriarch. If this article truly serves as a practical example on how to build such a seal, two very important things were left out:

    1. the fact that you precisely mentioned that the disc must be made of gold, not covered in gold; one who is true to their ceremonial practice will not pass over such exact details;

    2. using bee-wax as well as any other material from an animal (horns, bones, skin, claws etc) in any ceremonial magic ritual is highly recommended to be avoided; why ? first of all, not only that it is a theft from a being that not willingly offered it to you for that purpose, but the energy that it carries will be involved in the ritual. i don't need to explain in detail why that is totally unrecommended.

    Giving the fact that the information in this article has a practical usage in ceremonial magic, you left out some very important information and you... unintentionally misguided those who read it and are not very into the details of ceremonial magic.

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  10. Rufus Opus, my pardon, it was intended to be a joke, not an insult. And I was asking because his comments have a greater English degree than the text, that's all.

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  11. Rufus, thank you.
    JC, I might know you from some other place, if I am not mistaken.

    to answer your comment, have you read any grimoire AT ALL or just made up your own ritual paradigm...

    Grimoires abound in use of vegetal, mineral and animal parts. Not only skin, bone, hair and derived substances, but also marrow, organs and blood. And we are not talking about black magic or goetry.

    Sefer Ha Razim , Harba de Mosche, PGM, Liber Juratus, Agrippa, It would take too long to name only those on the top of my mind.

    On account of my English, please correct me, I m not ashamed.


    PS: The seal of gold is the foil itself. A very thin seal, with a pertinent support.

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  12. I believe J C to be a troll infesting my Romanian language blogs as well, so please pay no attention to him, brother.

    If this is true, any attention will simply feed him.

    If not, he should take your example and Bee Matriarch s example, and use if not a kinder tone of expression, a more elevated one, suited to such matters.

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  13. Asterion,

    Thanks for the heads up. I don't know why I've been so susceptible to trolls lately. Could have something to do with Mars. I'll have to ask him.

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  14. First of all, Asterion, I am not a troll, and I don't care about your Romanian blogs. Second of all, I pointed out two things that were based on your text and were to the point. I wasn't speaking of ANY grimoire at all, but ceremonial magic as a whole and of the basics regarding the materials used in any kind of ritual.

    If grimoires encourage the usage of animal organs, that is their problem. They don't represent an absolute authority in ritualistic magic just because they were written back then, but merely the truths of the eras when they were written, seen from the eyes of the author. Ceremonial magic, as everything in magic, evolves from a lesser knowledge to a greater one and tools and materials can and must be replaced if one wishes to improve and adapt his practice. I was pointing out what I saw as unfit for a ritualistic tool to be made of in our time. That is, MY OPINION.

    Leaving out my joke (which it seems to be inappropriate), I am sorry that I did not use a sweeter tone like Bee Matriarch to polish out your ego. I was strictly to the point. Ask anyone who doesn't have personal issues if my comment regarding the use of gold foil and bee-wax is out of place or insulting.

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  15. Dear JC,

    If you are not the same self-important critic in occult matters that has started to read all my blogs yesterday looking for tiny errors and posting questions on a harsh and ironic tone, I truly apologize. Mea culpa.

    I did not mind the fact that you did not use BM s tone to butter up my ego. I personally do not like the approach too much, but consider it fine if the intention is to establish communication, and her intentions were indeed sincere. The remark was quite sarcastic, and I can tolerate that, but was not followed by a critique, which I find quite rude.

    The fact that you do not know me personally is quite pardonable, but we haven t even exchanged pleasantries before, so your cordiality is a bit misplaced.

    If I would have been a guest on your blog or page and would have introduced myself with such poor taste in expression, you would have been equally offended.

    Furthermore, there is no general Ritual magic, there are certain species and paradigms within it. Calling yourself an adept in General Ritual Magic is not only pretentious, but unrealistic.

    You speak of tradition yet you reject the grimoires. Quite a chuckle...

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  16. John Constantine, there is no such thing as "energy" of animals in ceremonial magic. The rest is as Asterion said. You need to go back to the basics.

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  17. Asterion, my intentions here are to clarify things for myself. My remark was written with the intention to be a joke, giving the fact that I myself tend to be rather interested in such kind of a humour and rarely feel insulted by them.

    Exchanging pleasantries was not my intention; I'm not trying to court you and I believe that pleasantries are for folks who, without them, feel hurt in themselves. Excuse my decision to have passed over such things and get to the point. So no, I don't get offended by a joke neither the lack of someones presentation, but rather pay attention to what they actually mean to say. Offensions are for those who have nothing else to do than to feel hurt. This assumption of yours is false.

    I didn't call myself anything, if you would please pay attention to my words and not the tone or other unimportant things. If your impression is that there's no general Ritual magic, then I presume I'm talking to the wrong person. My apology. And for the last part, I never said I reject grimoires. I merely stated that their knowledge might have been much more fit for the time when they were written, than for now, and they must evolve.

    It seems you are more preoccupied in not paying attention to what I am saying and my so-called tone, then to the written information itself. Can we have a clear discussion this way ?

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  18. Anonymous, I did not refer to the traditional ceremonial magic that lacks words such as "energy" in its vocabulary. I am referring to a modern practice. Please pay attention.

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  19. Dear John, your first comment, albeit in poor taste, had nothing to offer. No pertinent question, no underlining any aspect that might be flawed.

    Your seconnd comment said that the seal was to be made of gold. Please read the Goetia and tell us what it says.

    Your second point was that animal products should be avoided.

    After reading the Goetia, read the Hygromanteia or Clavicle of Solomon. Then read Liber de Angelis. And Sefer ha Razim. And Liber Juratus. And might as well read the Heptameron, the Grimoire of Turiel, the Liber de Quatuor Annulis, and any that you could get your hands on.

    Do not cheat, no Wyndon Ravenheart, Blossom Gwendonell, or Donald Michael Kraig. Just the originals.

    I do not care for your tone, it does not hurt me, but your info seems to come from such a diluted source that it astounds me to think you could consider it valid.

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  20. Well JC, I do not practice Modern Magickq. Please read my blog s header...

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  21. I do not wish to interrupt but I don't think anyone truly understood what I was saying. Maybe you're right Asterion, maybe it was my tone, Nature taught me to communicate with love and respect, and as a human being, only words can do that through the internet. But maybe I should change my tone and reduce everything to the raw truth that I wanted to express.

    If during my studies and research, if I understood correctly the goals of ALL magicians are to get in the true service of the Divine and evolve, both as a spirit and as a human being. I can not believe that a magician who truly felt the grace of God and stood before an angelic being could tolerate the sacrifice of another being for his magical workings. One who reached a certain stage of evolution and felt the true love, compassion but also the severity of the One True Living God, can surely find other, higher means to replace the animal components. However I do fully understand the need to use them until one reaches that level, BUT we all need to pay our respects for that which sacrificed it's own body for our personal well beings, otherwise it is simply not justifiable.

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  22. BM, my only refference to your tone was that I would have answered as nicely even if your tone was not that warm and without the praises. I did not see it as buttering up my ego.

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  23. Great wortk Asterion.
    This is what means to be doing a real work IMHO.
    Centuries of studies and experiences have been prrof of what works and what not.
    Going deep at all that, from pasts to present days is what I expect of a real practicioner.
    There are the old texts. That time the "internet" should be a "satanic thing" to many people... LOL...

    About some ideas in the previous comments, on some optics, everything we use in our daily life must be cleansed, consacrated. The Nike and Rebook shoes are great damage to all planet, so it is wrong use it!

    New age only vision lacks many time of being objetive and consistent. In the years I was learning at Andes mountains with shamas and others, often we see something so.

    For sure I take care of all life and nature is very important. But I´m not a fanatic, sorry to use this word.

    Bees make wax. They are some of the creatures who most take the sun energy to make something we can use. I just may bless the bees and their work, give thanks to all in the process.

    And the result you have done now, to me, is a Gold talisman, on a support.

    I will take this idea very soon!

    Congrats!

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  24. I know that in Theurgia Goetia isn't mentioned anything else but Gold or Silver. No other material regarding the pentagonal figure of Solomon. Just because it isn't mentioned, it doesn't mean you can add to it anything. Reading those grimoires won't do any help for me because, as you may well know, there is ceremonial magic outside the grimoires. As those who written them found those things, others cand find similar ones outside already written pieces of information. I was talking to you directly, not asking for bibliography; still thank you for the recommendations. My practice is not based on books or grimoires though I use them sometimes for hints and ideas. Just because I can't give you "the book" to it, you shouldn't consider it invalid. And I do not practice Modern Magickq either. Again, you don't read what I write and assume too much. I was referring to the entire ceremonial magic, seen from a modern perspective, not a General Ritual. But this discussion ends here, I'm tired of repeating myself to someone who reads between the lines when I specifically asked you to pay attention to my words. I do not wish to enter an ego fight.

    Thank you for your time.

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  25. Dear Gilberto, this is not about New age, neither about protecting the environment and it certainly does not have a fanatic content, this is about respecting life generally and also in a spiritual sense. If you see this as fanaticism, then you just prove how truly little you understand about human existenceand the importance of balance.

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  26. On contraire... It will be engraved on the averse of the seal of each spirit. It s not an all purpose medal, but a design to be engraved on each seal, be it gold (king), silver, copper or tin.

    This is not a battle of ego s , at least I do not consider it such.

    You are merely repeating yourself because you state the same things responding to three people with considerable experience in magic (excluding Brian s Garner response on Facebook and myself)telling you you are not that correct. no offence.

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  27. This is turning into the standard "Traditionalist magician vs. Post-18th century magicians" debate.

    Probably would be easier to recognize that we have different interpretations, and are more comfortable working within our respective frameworks than arguing it out any further, imho.

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  28. I ll post on his behalf, from the private group:

    Bryan R Garner
    Bryan R Garner 3:12pm Apr 10

    Well done ! Wax seals are described in depth in the Fourth Book as well as The Magus. I wrote a similar chapter on it in my book. My personal feeling is that this method is the best alternative to any other for the metal seals.

    Bryan R Garner
    Bryan R Garner 3:12pm Apr 10

    Well done ! Wax seals are described in depth in the Fourth Book as well as The Magus. I wrote a similar chapter on it in my book. My personal feeling is that this method is the best alternative to any other for the metal seals.

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  29. Dear Asterion,

    Thank you for sharing that. It looks like a great substitute.
    I feel that the "magical feelings" of Grimoires are coming from the fact that it is not so easy to track their prescriptions (Pure gold, Lion skin, etc.).

    But, if we are talking practically, it seems like you found an excellent alternative. It is a great contribution for preserving of Grimoires's practice (think how many people have abandoned this practice because of the materials...).

    Thank you!
    Gal

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  30. Thank you! Gal, I have an offer for you: go online on messenger, please.

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  31. Lovely post Asterion! I have made a few seals out of bees wax myself and have found dragons blood resin to be very very good for hardening up the wax. I believe any natural resin may be used in a similar way, which has interesting possibility's I think. Anyways, may thanks for your insightful post :D

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  32. Thank you Anonymous and Jade :D May thou be granted symilar goode rewiews upon thyne owne posts!

    Anon, it depends... Dragon s blood is very martial, and thus not fit for any seal, I believe. Some resins are viscous and would produce a kind of sticky puddy, and some may not dissolve in wax. I tried Aum Arabic, with zero results. Not to mention some are very very expensive, and use them only if they are aromatic, to make the mixture more nobile.

    I ll experiment and see what results I have.

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  33. Greetings!

    Great post Asterion! As you likely know from my blog, I do a lot of work with beeswax talismans - with great results. I haven't experimented with gilding any of them, but I have heard from others that it works quite well. Something about the energy of the talisman running along the surface more than anywhere else. Take that as you will...

    J.C. is without a doubt a troll. When you come onto a Solomonic blog and bitch at the author for using Solomonig methods and materials, that's trolling, plain and simple.

    I find the concept that one simply *cannot* use animal products or sacrifice in magick to be biggoted at best and racist at worst. (For the latter, I'm thinking of the numerous indigenous folk traditions that make regular use of such things - and Westerners have no place telling them they are morally wrong for doing so.) Especially since these same nay-sayers generally think nothing of eating a hamburger or chicken sandwhich made from animals that have been tortured in corporate farms. In my opinion, if you aren't vegan, then you can STFU about ritual sacrifice.

    Meanwhile, animals used in sacrifice are generally treated very well during their lives and killed in the most humane way possible. (Some traditions will not even allow the use of a sacrificed animal that cried out during its death.)

    As for bees - they are very well kept and live in a perfectly symbiotic relationship with their keepers. It it not "stealing" from them or "abusing" them to take their wax. In fact, the bee keppers are the only ones in the world working to save the now-endangered bees from vanishing altogether.

    Keep up the Great Work.

    LVX
    Aaron

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  34. Thank you Aaron! Really an honor, coming from you!

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  35. "Meanwhile, animals used in sacrifice are generally treated very well during their lives and killed in the most humane way possible." They aren't, in one report the practitioner of Santeria kept many different birds in one small cage in the basement and one died. Also they lack empathy to animals and see them as things.

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  36. I would like to keep this about the gilding technique or wax seals, not sacrifice. Please do not go offtrack. Sacrifice is another matter allthogether and a discussion about it should be kept for a post about...IT.

    Thank you, I appreciate your understanding.

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  37. I don't quite understand how do you do this bulges? Do you scraping or special forming it?

    And I want to say that in "celestial operations" - here I mean making seals, sigills, pentacles, amulets and so on, the material isn't so important, becouse realy important are these powerfull patterns and material is only carrier of its strenght, anyway all about is said in Key of Salomon. When we don't have chance to do something perfectly - viz. election, material etc. we loose some power, but that doesn't mean that isn't working. We can use gems, metals, colors and so on, with universal carriers like parchment, paper, canvas etc.

    Regards.

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  38. 1. I do not understand your first statement.

    2. There is no doing something perfectly. The oldest versions of the Key actually say engrave on gold or silver or draw on paper. OR draw with the blood of a bat, or use the special ink.

    Substitutes are known as far back as antiquity.

    If the wax is virgin and it s properly exorcised we might gain more power than we lose.

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  39. This pattern (our seal) - what do you do it? Normally I will do it with knife, a chisel or something similar, but then the patter will be in the "deep" of wax, but your is "above" it. So do you use some form, or specially forming it or simply removing useless wax around the right pattern? I hope it's clear now.

    Regards.

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  40. It may be the way it looks, but the seal is incised in the wax (in the deep, as you put it), I used a sharp tool to scratch the cold wax deeply.

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  41. Asterion, Great Work Brother. I was dismayed at some of the comments, jokes or not. Your work is top shelf and your words are eloquent. keep writing and sharing, we all appreciate you. Comforting to know that there are magicians who are doing the work and haven't the time to be criticizing others.

    Peter

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  42. You do a GREAT work, Asterion. Some comments above are completely misplaced. Greek Theugy is the mother of the ritual paradigm and elements in Ancient Magic. The point is simple - to consacrate and pray to the Divine is to ask to the Deity who rules ALL the animals in the materials to purify it from any 'residual wathever'. Simple as that. You don't need to worry if the little bees are bored with you, because the GOD of the bees comand them to do its work and cleans the material from any whatsover. Modern people are losing the point of the Divine Hierarchy. Or someone believes the power of God or cleans everything, or don't need to bother themselves to do magic.

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