Amulets


Amulets are a tricky subject.  For the most part, real-world amulets can only do two things: protect,enhance and attract.  Protection is usually from those unseen, nasty, etheric creatures discussed in Greer’s book Monstersenhancement usually is of psychic abilities, and attract, well, there’s love, money, success, etc.  Everything that doesn’t require physical skill can most likely be enhanced.  I say most likely because I haven’t finished reading all of the old magical tomes (books, that is), to see if absolutely everything can be enhanced.  The only physical thing that might be enhanced is stamina, but that just might be psychosomatic.  Incidentally, the amulets of Saturn, the Moon, etc., are amulets of the heavenly bodies not of the corresponding Roman Gods,

Like I’ve said elsewhere, and probably will keep repeating, if you follow a certain panthenon (Greek/Viking/Babylonian, etc), then it’s logical to carry the amulets of that culture and only that culture or tradition. Some ancient cultures, such as Egypt have left us with more amulets than we can count, others, like the Anglo-Saxons have completely been obliterated from the archaeological record.  Yes, some have been found in the earliest of graves, but the early Christians did such a good job of ‘sanitizing’ the spiritual lives of the early English, that I’m surprised that even the ones that were found were found at all.  Heathenry amongst the Norse, on the other hand, lasted longer and so there are more amulets to be seen.  It seems that Germanic Heathenry lasted the longest in Iceland leaving us with the book Galdrabók, which is quite detailed in the art of Rune magic.  And before you ask, no I didn’t buy the book, not at that price (click on the link and you’ll find out).  It seems some generous soul has (badly!) scanned the entire book into a pdf and posted it onto one of the torrent sites.  If you search for Edred Thorsson’s books you’ll find it.  Judging from the scans, the Galdrabók has only a small amount of pre-Christian amulets/spells in it.  Most of what’s contained are a blend of Heathen and Christian beliefs and formulas.  However, at the very least, the runic patterns would make lovely decoration if incorporated into embroidery patterns on one’s robe.

In peace,

N.

 

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Water Symbolism


As I said yesterday, the symbolism of water is completely different in the Druid magical tradition than in others, however, none of Greer’s books that I have in my possession give any satisfactory discussion of elemental symbolism in other Western magical traditions which is highly annoying.  However, in the Druid tradition, water is the element of learning, growth and development.  It also has close ties to trees and other growing things.  There are a few other things, which I shall put in the Second Gate document.

In peace,

N.

Breathing Stage: Rhythmic Breath


Like in just about every other meditation style on the planet, Greer’s meditation also uses the count-pause-count-pause style of breathing:  breathe in for three, pause for three, breathe out for three, pause for three.  He warns us not to close the throat when holding our breaths because it can lead to lung problems.

Like before, we’re supposed to practice only the relaxation and breathing parts until the breath rhythm becomes automatic and we can remain comfortable relaxed for five minutes of breathing.

In peace,

N.

But Wait, There’s More: Another Cheat Sheet


After you perform the Elemental Cross Ritual, you perform the Circulation of Light Ritual, which is a protection ritual.  I have also included on my documents page.  This is also mostly Greer’s words, with a slight alteration by myself.

Cheat Sheet: Elemental Cross Ritual


If you’re working through The Druid Magical Handbookthe first exercise you’ll come across is the Elemental Cross Ritual.  Greer separated it into sections, vocal, posture and imagination, but I’ve combined them all in a cheat sheet for myself, which I’m going to post here.  Essentially I’ve taken his text and combined them all so I have one set of instructions.

In peace,

N.

Magical Theory


The French mage Eliphas Lévi was an accomplished author of the 19th century.  In The Druid Magical Handbook,  Greer had this to say about him and his work:

What we call imagination, Lévi terms the diaphane, the subtle body through which the human mind can sense and shape the astral light (life force).  Thus dreams and day dreams, stray thoughts and all the other products of imagination are not simply inside one human brain; some are created by the diaphane of the person who experiences them, others come from outside, but all are projected onto the astral light.  When this is done with intention and concentration, it sets up patterns and flows in the astral light and these accomplish magical effects.

In peace,

N.

The Fifth Element


In Western magical theory there’s a fifth element, one that rarely gets any press: Spirit.  This is what Greer has to say about it in The Druid Magic Handbook:

Spirit originates, witnesses, and reabsorbs all the other elements.  The old elemental lore gives it no qualities of its own, because all qualities unfold from it.  It corresponds to the center, the present moment, and pure awareness in the self.

The reason why no one ever talks about it is probably because it has no qualities.  In Encyclopedia of Practical Magic, you won’t find any plant or mineral rulerships and correspondences for that reason.  However, we can’t ignore it just because we haven’t found any practical way to interact with it.  When I do find a way, I will let you know.

In peace,

N.

Psychic Warfare


This is the hardest and most contentious form of magic, and there are some that would insist it isn’t magic at all.  It is probably also magic in its darkest form.  Dark magic also affects the sender, which is why I don’t advocate practicing it, even though it’s, at this point, as close as we will get to fantasy magic in this world.  But all ethical considerations aside, a lot of it isn’t practical, such as the evil eye.  In games like Skyrim, when your NPC opponent casts a damage luck spell on you, it doesn’t affect you much in the battle; you’re spells won’t work as well, and more of your strikes won’t land, but that’s it.  For us, the evil eye is a petty attack to make someone’s life difficult, or more difficult than usual.

Energy leaching, or psychic vanpirism, is mostly an unconscious attack, often by souls of the departed who haven’t left the physical plane and are desperately trying to stay here by feeding off the etheric energy of the living.  Greer explains this rather well in his book, Monsters:  An Investigators Guide to Magical Beings, but since I no longer have it, I can’t give you particulars. 

In peace,

N.

 

A Few Authors of Note


First thing first, fellow Mage-wannabes;  whom to read and whom to avoid.

John Michael Greer tops my list in the To Read category.  Why?  Simple.  In the case of Encyclopedia of Natural MagicGreer has gone back to the old herbals and works by the master herbalists of the past, such as Nicholas Cullpepper.  So get everything you can of his.

The only other author I’ll recommend at this point is Edred Thorsson.  He seemed a bit fanatical in the introduction to Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magicbut, he too knows his stuff.

The two authors I avoid are the late Scot Cunningham and Ralph Blum.  Unlike Greer, it seems that Cunningham didn’t go back to the old herbals and alchemical texts and Blum freely admits that his take on rune lore comes not from a traditional system like that of Thorsson but is his own making.

One final note about authors.  Many of the esoteric and occult books I’ve read over the past 20+ years have had testimonials of  ‘how the system worked for me’ crap in them.  If you find that in a book you’re reading, something’s wrong.  This could be for one of two reasons.  One, the author clearly feels that his or her work wouldn’t hold up to scrutiny, and includes the stories to give credence to what he or she is trying to sell you on, or the manuscript isn’t long enough and the stories were included to pad the text.

In Peace,

N.

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