I rarely write my rituals in advance; I'm not of the recipe magic type. Magic is something I DO, something that grows out of me when the times demand it. Below is an example of something I built out of necessity, with a friend.
As this was an actual event, in order to respect the privacy of the rite, some details of this magical operation have been kept silent. However, care has been taken to make sure that anyone reading this could reproduce the ritual.
So the other day, a close friend with rather intimidating problems at her workplace came to me for a bit of magical help. After a while of talking with her I realized her problems are rather tenuous. I mean, those biatches are out to get her.
Albeit reluctantly, I agreed to help. The situation is quite complex and I wasn't sure exactly what to do to help her. There are so many avenues and possibilities ... I went to my bookshelves and started casually looking for something - anything - I wasn't sure what I was looking for. My attention quickly turned to Peterson's edition of "The Clavis or Key to the Magic of Solomon" by Ebenezer Sibley and Frederick Hockley.
It turns out my friend is quite a gifted astrologer and this version of the Clavis appreciates quite adequately the astrological influences in its magic. Smiling, I looked at her and proposed that we make (and charge) a Solomonic Talisman.
A long discussion ensued; magical counselling is no easy task, and the client (or my friend, in this case) needs to be comfortable with what is going on. I compared many techniques with her, opened up a lot of books, analyzing and explaining. Turns out she decided on using the Peterson edition I had pulled out earlier. She looked at talismans that spoke out to her and - after a lengthy astrological analysis and divination - the day was ripe and we were able to choose the correct hours to perform the rite. I aided her in selecting two "talismans" appropriate to her cause.
Excellent. Now I had a perfect way to include her participation in the rite. Next thing I did was pull out pencils, pens, a blank sheet of paper and invited her to draw. I lit some candles, turned off the lights, put on appropriate ambient music. Since she had selected two talismans, I therefore suggested - chaos mage that I am - that she combine the two in a single drawing. I recommended that she add her personal touch. She decided to include her name within the Latin inscriptions.
While she was drawing and inking, I prepared the temple. Pulled the curtains so no one would see inside. To the West, my thurible on a pillar. I lit the charcoal. For banishing incense, while I was still setting up, I used Storax, and the sweet smelling smoke filled the room. I brought Olibanum for when the talisman would be charged. To the North, I put the Clavis on my music stand, to be used as a lectern for the evocations later on in the operation. To the East, I set up an altar. A huge iron nail and a huge iron screw to represent Jakin and Bohaz, my ritual dagger, a crystal whose energies I found appropriate to the rite. In the center of the altar was my own Seal of Solomon, hand-crafted and given to me by a friend and magical colleague, based on a version from the Lemegetton. To the South, she had prepared her own altar: on red cloth, four white candles and a smaller tealight candle.
Her drawing finished, she was surprised to see that I had donned my ritual robe: plain black with white rope as a belt, with an old-fashioned key around my neck(the same key that had been consecrated on Chelseanacht 2014). I asked her to get dressed also. She had chosen a beautiful gown with patterns of red and a luxurious scarf embroidered in gold; colours appropriate to the work that was about to be done.
Her talisman was quite a piece of art. She had put her heart and soul in her drawing and the result was a classy, elegantly drawn talisman that felt strong. (Cue Doge.) She then took the time to set it up on the southern altar, the fire energies appropriate to the rite at hand.
The music was turned off as I began unfolding the details of the imminent ritual. I had recently fractured the radial head in my elbow and wasn't able to fully concentrate on a magical rite due to the pain and awkward movement. I further explained to my friend that we would both be participating in the charging of the talisman.
I would start by doing a classical Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (this was one of those times when the good old judeo-christian LBRP was actually the most appropriate rite to start with!) For the rite proper, the Clavis gave an oration, an invocation and a conjuration for each talisman. Considering she had blended two talismans, I would use all six vocations.
We stood back to back, I at the lectern in the North and her at the talismanic altar in the South. My instructions to her were as follows: during the oration, she was to imagine energy coming down from the planets, encompassing the whole circle; during the invocation, she should concentrate to bring all of those energies inside herself; at the conjuration, she should channel all of that energy into the talisman. The operation would be repeated twice, interspersed with generous amounts of Olibanum. I closed the ritual with a last LBRP.
We were both suprised on how short the actual ritual was compared to its preperation. Moreso we were surprised at how exhausted we both were. This was interpreted as a sign of proper magical investment. She then rolled up and wrapped the newly charged talisman in red satin cloth and I opened the windows to let out the cloud of smoke that had accumulated in my appartment. Lights back on, music brought back, cleaning up the temple ... a return to the mundane world.
In retrospect, she has given me positive feedback about the talisman's influence, though unfortunately there are factors that can't be controled. While she did feel positively affected in some ways, some people's attitudes at her work remained as crappy as ever. Can't win 'em all, eh?
Would I perform a similar rite again, I'd add in a few elements to make it longer. My first thoughts would be consecrating a bowl of salt water to sprinkle the participants and perhaps the talisman with the water. Also perhaps a small rite to "activate" my Seal of Solomon, finding a solemn way retrieve it from the box and install it on the altar. I would also repeat the vocations thrice rather than twice; it would feel more organic (though having done them twice seemed appropriate at the time since there were two of us). The idea behind adding these steps is twofold, first to increase the placebo effect and second to increase the magical effect. Sometimes in magic, particularly in ceremonial magic, the more you put into your rite, the more you get out of it.
And besides, what good is magic if you don't improve and expand your technique from one time to the next! As Oswald Wirth wrote, "depth is what lacks the least." There is never enough of always more.
Montreal, August MMXIV