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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 1 2010

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram

The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is designed to purify both the magician and his or her immediate area. It is most often used as a precursor to magical work, sometimes used as a meditation and can be pressed into service as an exorcism though in my humble opinion it lacks the power of traditional religious exorcism. However, since many magicians will know this rite (or will want to learn it at some point) and since it needs no special equipment or supplies, the LBRP has become one of the most popular banishing rituals in modern occultism. Every magician knows it and can pretty much do it at the spur of the moment.

Originally created by The Golden Dawn the rite has, through that process of occult osmosis many practitioners are familiar with, been passed along to many different traditions. Interestingly, despite the overt Judeo-Christian symbolism traditionalist Wiccans have been known to use it. There are variations which replace the Christian and Jewish references with pagan ones for the more xenophobic practitioners who dare not “pollute” themselves which such things but I have known dozens of pagans who have used the ritual as is and have not been struck down by the gods. Continue reading

Sep 7 2010

The Black Pullet

Otherwise known as The Treasure of the Old Man of the Pyramids, The Black Screech Owl, or Red Magic this little chap book that most know as The Black Pullet was once a staple of occult shops. The suspect origins of the book put many off, but the system of magic contained therein has an elegance which will appeal to the more traditional occultist and the techniques themselves make fun projects for the crafty (no pun intended) practitioner.

The process described in the book is simple, yet the execution is complex and requires time, dedication, skill and most importantly resources. Figures which are provided need to be embroidered on silk squares which are then used in conjunction with special rings (also specific to the rite and ideally created by the magician) for various purposes. The power of each talisman and ring is activated at will by hand gestures and the recitation of certain magical phrases.

I’ve owned the Pullet since my early years of practice but soon found simpler rites to achieve more reasonable results so I can’t vouch for their efficiency. Many of the results promised by this book of supposedly ancient secrets are criminal at best, concerned with magically burglarizing homes, creating earthquakes and spying on your neighbors. In that respect it is the pettiest of sorceries, but the techniques themselves I consider a kind of Ceremonial Magic.

It also comes in so many different version that many think the various titles are different books entirely. I have a 1984 Marlar Publishing edition called The Book of Magical Talismans which lists the author as Elbee Wright who wrote the Book of Legendary Spells. This version adds material that was culled from other occult chapbooks of that era.

The Trident Books version is available on Scribd:

Trident Books – The Treasure of the Old Man of the Pyramids

Hermetics.org has a .pdf available for download and there is a Kindle edition. Sacred-Texts has a complete history of the book.

I once saw one of the rings from the Pullet in a jewelry store call C’est Magnifique in NYC. For all of you New Yorkers not interested in learning to make your own rings they might be a good place to start looking for the rings involved.

Aug 21 2010

Carroll Poke Runyun on Practicing Solomonic Magic

The flamboyant Carroll Poke Runyun, founder of the Ordo Templi Astartes, is featured in this interesting but hokey documentary detailing the practice of Solomon’s Magic as interpreted by Runyun and his group. Runyun gets a bad rap in some quarters as something of a huckster due to his campy presentation and grandiose claims but I’m just old enough to remember when most practitioners were as eccentric as Runyun. Frankly, I’ve always liked the bigger than life characters who have clearly developed their magical persona which is so often key to successful practice. It’s all about confidence, or faith that you can move the heavens with your will. Runyun has that in spades.

That Runyun isn’t more well known is a crime, and largely explained by the popularity of post-80s style bland New Ageisms overtaking serious Occultism in popularity. These days people prefer to read Fiona Horne’s bloodless Hot Topic themed Wicca than Runyun’s more rigorous studies in Ceremonial magic and our community is poorer for it. Anyone interested in Ceremonial practice should read The Book of Solomon’s Magick as an introduction to the Art. This series of videos a sort of study aid to that book, but they contain a great deal of information useful to Ceremonialists regardless of their familiarity with Runyun’s work.

This has several parts so make some popcorn, sit back and enjoy. Watch it through a few times, it’s worth your time especially if you plan on going down the long, hard road of Goetia. If you’re truly pressed for time start with part III. Continue reading

Aug 12 2010

A.E. Waite’s Book of Black Magic and Pacts

Arthur Edward Waite was a mystic writer from the early 20th century who was a big part of the Golden Age of occultism. Waite, as it is claimed by some, was biased against occultism though he was deeply involved in magical groups. His preference ran toward more mystical experience of the mysteries and his writings on ceremonial magic often reflect that bias, but he was also a first rate and conscientious scholar so his perspective is unusual and often refreshing.

Thus his Book of Black Magic (also know as Book of Ceremonial Magic and The Book of Spells and Rituals) straddles the academic and the mystical in presenting portions and reviews of some of the most popular grimoires that have been circulating the occult community for centuries. This book translates some hard to find material and is a great reference book for the Ceremonialist that lays out the facts about the material you’ll be immersed in. A must read if you plan on following the Ceremonial Magician’s path:

Aug 2 2010

Paul Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft

If you were only to own one book on the practice of Witchcraft (not the religion of Wicca) Paul Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft is the reference you wold want. Not for the faint of heart and definitely un-fluffy this book is a grimoire unto itself and you could legitimately build your practice just around the information in these pages.

Huson’s Witchcraft is sort of a Paganization of a very simplified (and effective) Ceremonial Magic. There is a religious position taken in the book which may be uncomfortable for modern Neo-Pagans in certain respects and will offend Christians but for the Witch or Warlock interested in the practice of Witchcraft there is no better introduction or reference. One of the few books I’ve read that contains effective curses and bindings and it even has a section on running a coven, though the covens here are not your Wiccan covens of today.

It is currently available online but like all such things it will likely be removed once some publisher realizes they’re losing money. Get a copy from Amazon if the Scribd version is taken down, or if you want to support a great author. Like many online text this one is lousy with affiliate links so if the thought of some tool uploading Huson’s work as a scheme to make money offends you scroll through the document, don’t click the links:

Mastering Witchcraft

Paul Huson has a website. Visit him.