THE ROBE, THE WEAPONS, THE ALTAR, THE DIARY, AND THE HOLY OIL. +quot;All ceremonies are, i
THE ROBE, THE WEAPONS, THE ALTAR, THE DIARY, AND THE HOLY OIL.
"All ceremonies are, in themselves, very silly things; but yet a
man of the world should know them. They are the outworks of
manners and decency, which would be too often broken in upon, if
it were not for that defense, which keeps the enemy at a proper
distance. It is for this reason that I always treat fools and
coxcombs with great ceremony: true good breeding not being a
sufficient barrier against them".
Much nonsense has been written about how and where to acquire the
materials for magical implements. One could become very
discouraged if they were to follow the instructions of some of
the medieval literature. The rationality behind making this task
so difficult is based on the premise that the more work one puts
into these tools, the more detail the subconscious mind will
absorb about the object. These objects are animated by virtue of
focus and contemplation to a level that they become an extension
of the Magician; a living thing. To match the level of this
integration those who purchase their implements will have to
spend several months, maybe even years, meditating on their
This process need not be a tedious one, it is enough that one
refrain from purchasing a ready made tool. Don't worry if you do
not feel capable of undertaking this seemingly tedious task,
given enough time Magick will stimulate and free the creative
Remember that these implements are physical representations of
your Spiritual life. One should treat them with respect. Once
they have been consecrated to The Great Work, they should not be
handled by any other person. They are not toys, treat them with
reverence and they will be of great service. If you feel
inclined to show these off to your friends, read the chapter
The elemental weapons embody four parts of the psyche depicted by
the four elements: Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, or if you
prefer, Yod-Heh-Vav-He: Tetragrammaton. They also allude to the
four planes of existence: Atziluth (the archetypal plane), Briah
(the creative plane), Yetzirah (the formative plane), Assiah (the
The wand is the material depiction of the creative principles of
the Magician. In short, it is a symbol, or token of his or her
Will; thus, to illustrate the certitude and unshakable
determination it should be straight as an arrow. It governs the
element of Fire, and expresses the abstract process inherent in
the plane of Atziluth.
There are as many styles and variations for the wand, especially
in Golden Dawn groups where every officer has a wand or scepter
to illustrate a specific idea or principle; but we will only
concern ourselves with the personal weapons of the solo Magician.
Since in many ways the wand can be compared to the Phallus, many
Magicians go to great lengths to make their wand in the same
proportions as the physical organ it represents. The Wand is
Yod, The Father; or Chokmah (Knowledge). Since copper is the
metal attributed to Venus, or Netzach (Victory) on the Tree of
Life, most fashion the wand from this alloy in order to allude to
the prolific aspects of The Work; "Love is the law, love under
For the implement to be useful it must be comfortable, it should
not demand attention which would otherwise be focused on the
ritual. For a wooden Wand, I have found eight inches to be a
comfortable length, with a width between 3/4 and 1 inch. For a
solid copper Wand a diameter of 1/2 inch is sufficient. After it
is consecrated keep it in a red silk bag.
The Cup is the physical object which portrays the element of
Water. As the Wand represented the Magician's Will, the Cup is a
personification of his Understanding. It illustrates the
methodology of the plane of Briah.
The cup is a symbol representing a female idea; hence it is
associated to the Yoni. It is Heh, The Mother. Since it
represents Understanding, or Binah on the Tree of Life, it is
only appropriate that the diameter be three inches; Silver is the
rightful alloy for this instrument, which signals to the Moon, or
Yesod (Foundation) on the Tree of Life. It should be deep enough
to hold wine without easily spilling it when one moves about.
The message behind the Cup being illustrated by Yesod and Binah
is that the Understanding of the Magician is as deep as the
waters we call our subconscious; it is a deeper significance than
day to day understanding. After it is consecrated store it in a
blue silk bag.
The Dagger is an animation of the element of Air. It is
symbolized on the Tree of Life by Tiphareth (Beauty), the planet
is the Sun. The Dagger is Vav; the Son. It explains the process
of Yetzirah (the formative plane), and is symbolic of the
Intellectual capacity of the Magician: his reason.
Most practitioners of the Art treat the Dagger as a Martian
implement which dictates judicial authority over Demons. This is
a job best fulfilled by the Sword, a more advanced implement, and
will not be discussed in this treatise. The Dagger is uniquely
Air; unlike the Sword it threatens malignant Spirits with
intelligence instead of force.
The blade should be double-edge, with the length of about eight
inches in order to embody the intellectual properties of the
Mercurial Sephiroth; Hod, Science.
Since humans have a tendency of only accepting principles which
endorse what they believe to be "reason", it then becomes
necessary to balance the illusion of intellectual superiority by
making the hilt from the Venusian alloy copper; who's
correspondences are best embodied by the Sephiroth Netzach, Art.
It is a gentle reminder that Magick is both the Science AND Art
of causing change to occur in conformity with Will. After it is
dedicated to the Work keep it in a yellow silk bag.
The Pentacle corresponds to the final Heh. It is symbolic of
Earth; and it represents the body of the Magician; the house of
God. It is the Magician's sustenance. It exhibits the traits of
the plane of Assiah. It is the Daughter.
The Pentacle should be made of beeswax at a diameter of 8 inches
and a thickness of 1/2 inch. Upon the surface the Magician
should carve an image that describes the WHOLE of the Universe.
Nothing should be left out. The whole idea here is to reduce all
of those things which the Magician perceives as the Universe to a
minuscule dot. The design need not be as elaborate as Dr. John
Dee's, symbols which allude to similar ideas can be combined
in order to reduce the amount of detail: But it is important
that it be complete. When you are there, you will know.
This, of course, may take much meditation, so one should take
their time with this implement to avoid having to do this twice.
The pentacle will reflect the Magician's subconscious perception
of the Universe. Once it has been blessed safeguard it in green
The robe is the armor of the Magician. It should be loose
fitting and comfortable. The material of which it is composed
should be light, soft, and capable of breathing. Cotton is a
good material, so is a poly\cotton blend. However, wool is the
best due to its ability to direct astral energy.
The color is really a matter of personal choice. One should try
to match the color as closely as possible to the Sephiroth they
are working with, this would however, require that the Magician
keep 10 different robes; one for each Sephiroth. For this reason
most Magicians use black robes.
Black is the accumulation of all colors, therefore appropriate
for any working; and is so neutral that it is not likely to
distract you in the middle of your Work. Furthermore, black is
color absorbing, it attracts light by behaving like a solar panel
and should be used for any ritual designed to fortify the Aura;
such as the Pentagram Ritual, Middle pillar, etc.
White, on the other hand is the absence of all color, it repels
light, which makes a great shield, and should be used when
working with hostile forces. I have one of each.
Whether or not to have a hood is also a personal preference. I
favor a hooded robe because it allows one to feel completely
shielded, but some would argue that a hood is distracting because
it shifts about on your head.
Whether you make yours hooded or not, or whatever color you
decide is best for you, remember that it should be loose and
comfortable; you should never wear any underclothes while wearing
your robe. Wide sleeves look great, but you are in danger of
catching fire should you lean over your Altar candles. A zipper
may be practical, but you will feel it rub against your skin.
The less distractions, the better the robe.
The Altar is composed of a double cube. The bottom cube
represents the underlying force of The Great Work; Love. The top
cube is the Will of the Magician. "Love is the law, love under
will", or "As above, so below", and further: "Kether is in
Malkuth, and Malkuth in Kether, after another manner".
There need not be a division between both cubes. In fact if it
is made as a single, unseparated rectangular unit it can become
the place where one keeps their implements.
The height should be 36 inches, with a width and depth of 18
inches. It should be black on the outside to illustrate the
ACCUMULATION of all colors, and white on the inside to depict the
ABSENCE of all color. Plywood or particle board are perfect.
The thickness of the wood should be taken into consideration; a
heavy altar will need hidden wheels under it to make it easier to
move around. A lighter altar will not support much weight.
Once it is finished it can be painted. I have seen one that was
covered in veneer; black on the outside and white on the inside.
This move proved to be worth the extra effort, as the surface is
virtually stain proof, tolerant from the heat generated by the
incense burner, and wax from candles peel right off.
One side of the Altar should be a door with hidden hinges and
a lock. The inside should have a shelf for the Book of The Law,
incense, charcoal, burner, pentacle, cup, candles, and holders.
There should be a place to hang the wand and dagger.
THE HOLY OIL
The anointing oil of the Magician should metaphorically represent
the desire of the Holy Guardian Angel to join with its lower
counterpart: the Magician. All of his or her being, Temple,
and weapons should be consecrated and anointed with this oil.
With this in mind, one should take care to only use the highest
quality oils available.
During the Aeon of the Sacrificial Gods, the oil used to accent
on the current of the times was "Jerusalem Oil". This was simply
composed of equal portions of Frankincense and Myrrh; both
traditionally used in burial ceremonies.
The fragrance mentioned above is dated, and the New Aeon Magician
should resort to an essence which best depicts the joy and
strength of the Age of The Child. The following is a formula for
such an oil. It is named after its creator, the 17th century
In a glass vessel mix: 4 parts cinnamon oil, 2 parts Myrrh oil,
1 part Galangal oil, and 7 parts olive oil.
If fine oils are used in the proper proportions the mixture
should have a clear, golden appearance to it. It should tingle
slightly. If it stings, it can be diluted with olive oil, but
one should only resort to this if it causes serious discomfort.
Now, for a word of warning: CINNAMON OIL IS VERY CAUSTIC. If you
keep the oil in a plastic bottle it may melt and ruin your altar
or some other thing you have devoted a great deal of time to.
Use only glass receptacles.
The Magical Diary should only contain data pertinent to Magick,
that is; everything. Every entry should start with the date,
time, year, Solar and Lunar positioning. All of your feelings,
what you ate that day, the weather, etc. A lot of these
things may not sound important now, but believe me; if you are
trying to duplicate an experiment it will be necessary to
recreate all of the elements which may have played a roll
in the original operation.
For this reason, care should be taken to chose words which convey
your message as clearly as possible. Writing in code may add to
the romance and mystery associated with Magick, but if your diary
does not convey enough information to reproduce experiments, then
all is lost.
Since the days of the week are representations of the seven
ancient planets, it is handy to write the planetary symbol
associated with the day of the week instead. For example:
The following is an example of a thoroughly composed diary entry:
January 1st, 1992, Sun in Cap. , Moon in Sag. 11:00 PM
6:00 AM. Awoke feeling refreshed. Performed Lesser Banishing
Ritual of The Pentagram, followed with Liber Resh. Breakfast:
Grapefruit, bowl of cereal, and a cup of strong coffee. Went to
12:00 PM. Lunch: Veggie dish and a coke. Snuck into bathroom
to do Liber Resh. Had argument with boss; say's there is not
enough money in the budget for a raise. First I felt bad that he
thought my work was not worth the extra pay; now I am angered
because I KNOW it is worth it.
11:00 PM. Dinner: Soup, salad, turkey sandwhich, and coke. Did
Resh at 6:15. Re-read Crolwey's "Magick in Theory and Practice".
Watched a little TV. News story about the Reagan
administration's involvement in the Iran/Contra scandal was
upsetting. Reagan should go to jail. Performed final Liber
Resh, and Lesser Banishing Ritual of The Pentagram.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank