Llewellyn - New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit - www.llewellyn.com

Dec 3 2011

A Collection of Rare and Curious Tracts on Witchcraft and Second Sight

This 1820 collection is archived on the web and well worth your time to see the history of the study of occultism and non-Wiccan Witchcraft:

Jul 22 2011

Kenneth Grant’s Outer Gateways

Kenneth Grant’s controversial work continues to influence many occultists even while others claim grant was a fraud. Whatever the truth Grant’s works are notoriously hard to find and expensive when you do find the. The Connecticut library system actually does have several floating around – or did 10 years ago when I had them ordered from a small town branch miles from the college town I was in.

Outer Gateways is one of his more interesting works. A kind of Lovecraftian, neo-realism is presented her that touches on the fictional Cthulhu’s relationship with Crowley’s Liber 418, the Necronomicon as metaphor for The Primal Grimiore and the theory that UFOs are actually magical entities seeking contact with us. That’s just the first chapter.

Your best bet is to try to find it in a library unless you can afford paying more than $100 for a used book but here’s 177 of the 272 pages available for free. It’s a fun read and packed with enough information to keep you busy even if you can’t read the whole thing:

Kenneth Grant – Outer Gateways

Nov 7 2010

Akkadian Exorcism for Sickness Induced by Magick

This exorcism is a translation of an ancient Akkadian incantations translated by scholars in the late 19 and early 20th centuries. It is believed to date back to around 1800 BCE.

I first came across this particular charm in E.M. Butler’s magnificent Ritual Magic which translated the charm into English from Kiesewetter’s  Der Occultismus des Alterums. I have had modest success with it alone as a chant and others report it is easily blended into larger rituals of your own design.

The Seven are Born in the mountains of the West,
The Seven go down in the mountains of the East,
Their Throne is in the depths of the earth …
They are the instruments of the wrath of the gods,
Disturbing the high road, they encamp by the way,
The foes, the foes:
Seven are they! Seven are they! Seven are they! …
They are the day of mourning and of noxious winds!
They are the day of fate, and the devastating wind which
precedes it!
They are the children of vengeance, the sons of revenge,
They are the forerunners of the plague …
They are instruments of the wrath of Nin-kigal,
They are the flaming pillar of fire which works evil on earth.

There are some phrases missing from the original tablets. Butler goes into great depth describing the meanings of the references above and she’s well worth a read just for her commentary on these almost pre-historic incantations.

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 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 1 2010

A Quick Banishment of Evil or Disease Using Vinegar

I have received several requests for exorcisms, banishments and general protection spells from spirits of various types. For minor inconveniences, which all who practice will run into from time to time, no elaborate ritual may be needed but simple fumigations are enough to dispel the type astral entities that are attracted to magical practice and tend to linger in places where magic has been performed.

As related in Kathryn Paulsen’s The Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft one such fumigation allegedly practiced by the Chinese was to burn vinegar in red hot cast iron pots. This was thought to banish both evil spirits and diseases, and also increase wealth.

One need not be a chef to imagine what happens when a liquid is poured into red hot cast iron, and I assume the violent reaction would quickly fill a home with the vapor, which is the point. Vinegar left out in a dish is said to interfere with the materialization of psychic energy and is sometimes recommended in cases of poltergeist haunting. The complete fumigation of an area with vinegar vapors, while certainly not pleasant for people within, would assuredly overwhelm any non-physical entities and drive them from the premises or at least weaken them to such a degree that they would be essentially harmless.

I believe this measure would be a temporary solution the problem. But if you are experiencing problems with spirits it should “hold the line” while you seek out a more permanent solution.

As to why vinegar has this effect on spirits … I don’t know, but even Islamic exorcism utilize vinegar so this isn’t a belief that comes only from one group. Vinegar is mentioned in chapbooks like The Long Lost Friend and Egyptian Secrets so we can assume many people have found the substance to be effective for a variety of occult purposes.