Magical Diagrams, Instruments, & Accessories
These were geometrical designs, representing the mysteries of deity and creation, therefore supposed to be of special virtue in rites of evocation and conjuration.
The chief of these were the Triangle, the Double Triangle, forming a six-pointed star and known as the Sign or Seal of Solomon; the Tetragram a four-pointed star formed by the interlacement of two pillais; and the Pentagram, a five-pointed star.
These signs were traced on paper or parchment, or engraved on metals and glass and consecrated to their various uses by special rites.
The Triangle was based on the idea of trinity as found in all things, in deity, time and creation. The triangle was generally traced on the ground with the magic sword or rod, as in circles of evocation where the triangle was drawn within it and according to the position of the magician at its point or base so the spirits were conjured from heaven or hell.
The Double Triangle, the Sign of Solomon, symbolic of the Macrocosm, was formed by the interlacement of two triangles, thus its points constituted the perfect number six. The magicians wore it, bound on their brows and breasts during the ceremonies and it was engraved on the silver reservoir of the magic lamp.
The Tetragram was symbolic of the four elements and used in the conjuration of the elementary spirits—sylphs of the air, undines of the water, the fire salamanders and gnomes of the earth. In alchemy it represented the magical elements, salt, sulphur, mercury and a&oth; in mystic philosophy the ideas Spirit, Matter, Motion and Rest; in hieroglyphs the man, eagle, lion and bull.
The Pentagram, the sign of the Microcosm, was held to be the most powerful means of conjuration in any rite. It may represent evil as well as good, for while with one point in the ascendant it was the sign of Christ, with two points in the ascendant it was the sign of Satan. By the use of the pentagram in these positions the powers of light or darkness were evoked. The pentagram was said to be the star which led the Magi to the manger where the infant Christ was laid.
The preparation and consecration of this sign for use in magical rites is prescribed with great detail- It might be composed of seven metals, the ideal form for its expression; or traced in pure gold upon white marble, never before used for any purpose. It might also be drawn with vermilion upon lambskin without a blemish prepared under the auspices of the Sun. The sign was next consecrated with the four elements; breathed on five times ; dried by the smoke of five perfumes, incense, myrrh, aioes, sulphur and camphor. The names of five genii were breathed above it, and then the sign was placed successively at the north, south, east and west and centre of the astronomical cross pronouncing the letters of the sacred tetragram and various Kabalistic names.
It was believed to be of great efficacy in terrifying phantoms it engraved upon glass, and the magicians traced it on their doorsteps to prevent evil spirits from entering and the good from departing. This symbol has been used by all secret and occult societies, by the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati, down to the Freemasons of today.
Modern Occultists translate the meaning of the pentagram as symbolic of the human soul and its relation to God. The symbol is placed with one point in the ascendant. That point represents tbe Great Spirit, God. A line drawn from there to the left-hand angle at base is the descent of spirit into matter in its lowest form, whence it ascends to right-hand angle typifying matter in its highest form, the braia of mm. From here a line is drawn across the figure to left angle representing man's development in intellect, and progress in material civilization, the point of danger, from which all nations have fallen into moral corruption, signified by the descent of the line to right angle at base. But the soul of man being derived from God cannot remain at this point, but must struggle upward, as is symbolised by the line reaching again to the apex, God, whence it issued.
Magical Instruments & Accessories
In magical rites these were considered of the utmost importance. Indispensable to the efficacy of the ceremonies were the altar, the chalice, the tripod, the censer; the lamp, rod, sword, and magic fork or trident; the sacred fire and consecrated oils; the incense and the candles.
The altar might be of wood or stone, but if of the latter, then of stone that has never been worked or hewn or even touched by the hammer.
The chalice might be of different metals, symbolic of the object of the rites. Where the purpose was evil, a black chalice was used as in the profane misses of sorcerers and witches. In some talismans the chalice is engraved as a symbol of the moon.
The tripod and its triangular stand was also made in symbolic metals. The censer might be of bronze, but preferably of silver.
In the construction of the lamp, gold, silver, brass and iron must be used, iion for the pedestal, brass for the mirror, silver for the reservoir and at the apex a golden triangle. Various symbols were traced upon it, including an androgynous figure about the pedestal, a serpent devouring its owa tail, and the Sign of Solomon.
The rod must be specially fashioned of certain woods and then consecrated to its magical uses. A perfectly straight branch of almond or hazel was to be chosen. This was cut before the tree blossomed, and cut with a golden sickle in the early dawn.
Throughout its length must be run a long needle of magnetized iron; at one end there should be affixed a triangular, prism, to the other, one of black resin, and rings of copper and zinc bound about it. At the new moon it must be consecrated by a magician who already possesses a consecrated rod.
The secret of the construction and consecration of magical rods was jealously guarded by all magicians and the rod itself was displayed as little as possible, being usually concealed in the flowing sleeve of the magician's robe.
The sword must be wrought of unalloyed steel, with copper handle in the form of a crucifix. Mystical signs were engraved on guard and blade and its consecration took place on a Sunday in full rays of the sun, when the sword was thrust into a sacred fire of cypress and laurel, then moistened with the blood of a snake, polished, and next, together with branches of vervain, swathed in silk. The sword was generally used in the service of Black Magic.
The magic fork or trident used in necromancy was also fashioned of hazel or almond, cut from the tree at one blow with an unused knife, from whose blade must^be fashioned the three prongs. Witches and sorceresses are usually depicted using the trident in their infernal rites.
The fire was lit with charcoal on-which were cast branches of trees, symbolic of the end desired. In Black Magic these generally consisted of cypress, alderwood, broken crucifixes and desecrated hosts.
The oil for anointing was compounded of myrrh, cinnamon, galingale and purest oil of Olive. Unguents were used by sorcerers and witches, who smeared their brows, breasts and wrists with a mixture composed of human fat and blood of corpses, combined with aconite, belladonna and poisonous fungi, thinking thereby to make themselves invisible.
Incense might be of any odoriferous woods and herbs, such as cedar, rose, citron, aloes, cinnamon, sandal, reduced to a fine powder, together with incense and storax. In Black Magic, aium, sulphur and assafcetida were used as incense.
The candles, belonging solely to practices of Black Magic were moulded from human fat and set in candlesticks of ebony carved in the form of a crescent.
Bowls also were used in these ceremonies, fashioned of different metals, their shape symbolic of the heavens. In necromantic rites skulls of criminals were used, generally to hold the blood of some victim or sacrifice.
Did You Enjoy This Article? Share It With Your Friends
Shop at the
New Age Store