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Oct 27 2010

Reader Question: Where Can I Find Electrum Magicum

I’m paraphrasing but to answer reader “Lilitu” who asked about a magical metal used to make bells that summon angels I believe you are thinking of Electrum Magicum. In E.M. Butler’s Ritual Magic it is mentioned in the chapter called The Faustian School.

The metal is formed by “melting in the prescribed order and with due regard to planetary aspects golf, silver, iron, copper, tin, mercury and lead, and mixing them together.” I have not tried such myself and know of no one who has but I have been in contact with people who make their own bullets and from that have gleaned that mixing the above metals is something that is practically impossible.

Butler mentions that the complete process can be found in two different magical chapbooks. One is Magia Divina which was published around 1745 the other was Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis. The latter is also noteworthy because it explicitly espouses the heretical view that the demons Magicians summon are both able to receive and desirous to receive forgiveness and salvation from Jesus Christ.

Magia Naturalis et Innaturalis was often claimed to be authored by Faust himself, a lucrative conceit that was common among chapbook printers at the time. Electrum Magicum in that book was formed into balls that were used to threaten demons, find buried treasure, unhex people, banish ghosts and do all the varied things Magicians used to do to earn a few coins. Magia Divina only gives instructions to make a bell that summons angels.

Outside of a museum or perhaps a university library I’m not sure where you could read the ritual. And I know of no reputable source that claims to have possession of or be able to make Electrum Magicum.Butler had access to the two while writing her book, but that was in the 1940s so checking with the universities she was affiliated with (Cambridge, I believe) may or may not pay off.

However, if you did figure out a recipe you need not break the bank building a workshop to melt and mix metals. As I said before the popularity of bullet making among shooters means cheap high speed melters and ingot molds are available in versions that can fit on a workbench. Hope that helps.

Good luck and have fun.

Oct 25 2010

Oklahoma Shocked to Discover Satanists are Kind of Childish

The devil you say! Pun intended.

If you have spent a significant amount of time in the occult community you have met Satanists, who are not part of any individual religion but more of a collection of left hand pathers who adopt the name to describe any number of theologies. This includes the radical atheism of some Church of Satan members who expressly believe that there is no Satan.

I have known and been friendly with a few self-described Satanists and some were decent enough but most were a bit childish and unsophisticated, especially in regard to their Art. Most were not so much pro-Satan as they were anti-Christian and anti-Wiccan. A few were literal devil worshippers, but in reality most people who describe themselves as Satanist are simply being pretentious.

The Internet has changed that in some respects. Easy access to a wider variety of materials than The Satanic Bible had given the “Satanic Underground” more depth than they had in the 80s when I first came to know many. Diana Vera’s Theistic Satanism was on the forefront of the resurgence of a more occult based Satanism which coincided with the sudden popularity of Demonolatry and Luciferian Witchcraft. While these trends created a (somewhat troubling) new seriousness in the theological underpinnings and magical practices of Satanist, culturally the Satanist has never progressed from the days of Anton LaVey’s magically meaningless orgies disguised as rituals.

So it came as no surprise to me that “Satanists” created some sort of scene in Oklahoma which seemed designed to irk Christians. When said Christians did what the Satanists wanted them to do (pay attention to them) the Satanists reacted like scolded children:

The ritual began at 8 p.m. Thursday and drew plenty of controversy.Before making it inside where the Satanists were practicing their religion, prayers were heard outside by groups opposing the ritual.Chiquita Carbajal said she is against the ritual.

“No place for Satan in Oklahoma,” she said.One woman outside began screaming at the Christians to kill each other and rape children.

God doesn’t exist,” she said.

Sad really. Then as icing on this childish cake the Satanists, who claimed that all would be able to witness their “Blasphemy Ritual” locked the doors so that no one could see them do whatever it was they were supposedly doing in there.

Which you and I both know was nothing.

There are indications that Satanism is maturing and we may all hold our different opinions as to what that means, but right now no one should be shocked to discover that your local Satanists are more interested in offending you than Satan’s will.

There’s a video report at KOCO-TV.

Oct 14 2010

To Bind a Dog to You

The Long Lost Friend gives two charms meant to bind a dog to you which work as long as no one else has charmed the dog before.

The first is to draw some of your blood and mix it in with the dog’s food The author assures us that the dog will be attached to you after this. The second charm is a bit more involved:

“Or scrape the four corners of your table while you are eating, and continue to eat with the same knife after having scrapped the corners of the table. Let the dog eat those scrapings, and he will stay with you”

While the charm involving consuming blood will make sense to many (the dog has taken in some of your essence, which you sacrificed willingly) the table scraping method is a head scratcher. Since the Long Lost Friend was written a couple of hundred years ago we can assume most people had one table that was either made by hand or passed down through the family, so there perhaps the table represents a symbolic initiation into the household by partaking in something that has great value to the family and is used everyday. But this one eludes me, but I like the old world, folk magic flavor of it so here it is.

Though I’m a confirmed cat person, having owned dogs I admit that I’m perplexed as to why you would need to bind an animal programmed for loyalty. I have always assumed that this was for a familiar but since the book was originally made for Christians it’s unlikely to be the case.

Oct 13 2010

Introduction to Geomancy

Geomancy is a form of divination in which the diviner makes random marks in the earth (or a bowl of soil) that are interpreted by their shape and position. It is a complex sounding system that puts many fledgling diviners off, but many feel it’s worth the effort to learn and it is really no more difficult to master than any other divination tool. Geomancy as we practice it now (in which dots are randomly poked into sand, soil or on paper with pencil) is often attributed to Agrippa and is fairly easy once you get the hang of it.

You will find magicians of every stripe practicing geomancy, and while I don’t fancy it myself it was considered something one should learn when I was first learning to practice Witchcraft. Like divination with dice, geomancy can be very useful for readings by people who are uncomfortable with the much more subjective tarot and rune divinations that are now popular.

I found this manual of geomancy on Scibd which is Aleister Crowley’s Liber Gaias which is considered a fairly good introduction to geomancy that you may want to read through. In the 90s an academic named Elizabeth Barrett posted some great information on geomancy on the Princeton website, including an English translation of Agrippa’s Of Geomancy which you may want to check out first.

A Handbook of Geomancy

I happen to think that other divination systems are more utilitarian for most practitioners but those into more traditional magical practices may enjoy these more complex processes not just as divination but as meditations.

Oct 8 2010

Witchcraft in England in the 1600s

Neo-Pagans often use the phrase “the burning times” but most have no firm grasp on the history of Witchcraft prosecutions (which stretch back into Pagan Roman times at least) or modern occult history. This is largely due to the surprising resistance of the modern Neo-pagan community to allowing themselves to be exposed to academic, historically accurate materials regarding their new found faith. This is one of the key differences between the “old school” of Wicca and Neo-Paganism and today’s Hot Topic Pagans.

Le Loup, a historical re-enactor who runs the excellent blog A Woodsrunner’s Diary, posted this video at the blog for the Armidale New England Colonial Living History Group (1680-1760). It is an excellent overview of one of the most infamous Witch hunters in history, Matthew Hopkins, and a excellent introduction to for young and new pagans to the history of Witchcraft prior to it being legalized. It features Cambridge Anthropologist Alan Macfarlane who made a career studying Witchcraft belief.

Part I:

Part II:

An interesting end to the Hopkins story is his death by “consumption” which most people nowadays take to be tuberculosis but is known by practitioners to also describe the wasting away of victims of curses.

Oct 8 2010

The Otherworld or Glimpses of the Supernatural

This book is volume II of Frederick George Lee’s theological exploration paranormal phenomenon using historical documents. The first volume will only be of interest to the devout Christian (and even many modern Christians will be offended by the views of Lee) but this volume is of interest to anyone investigating apparitions and materialization of ghosts and spirits, even with the authors theological bent. The original was published in the the late 1800s so don’t expect much New Age philosophizing as the book is written in a plain, newspaper journalism style that sets the stage for Charles Fort’s works (like Wild Talents) a few decades later.

Of interest to many will be his chapters on Spiritualism which gives some good history of the faith and discusses different types of mediumship in depth without the romance or hysterics found in other writings: