I am currently member of a magical group based in France called the Aloha Temple; in Montreal our branch is called the Azoth Lodge. Our gatherings are rare, yet precious. On the New Moon, September the Twelvth, was an explorative invocation of Nyarlathotep, from the Cthulhu mythos of H. P. Lovecraft.
Aloha Temple is a mixture of Chaos Magick, Cultus Sabati inspired witchcraft and Thelema inspired ceremonial magic. This particular ritual was described as 'initiatic witchcraft' by my friend DB (a.k.a. 'The LodgeMaster') who put it together. The structure was as thus:
- 1 -
Facing North, I was the one who performed the Latin Stellar Ritual of the Pentagram (LSRP) where I added a single phrase at the beginning, which introduced it quite nicely, giving me a sense of power prior to beginning it proper: "Procul, O Procul Este Profani" (which translates as: "away, o away, you who are profane").
The LSRP is a ritual that I have done many times and practiced a lot, however I believe this is the time where I did it the best, ever, with adequate concentration and intonated appropriately to what I was doing or attempting to do. The 'LodgeMaster' even congratulated me and told me he wants to learn it now. (Context: he's the one that wrote the original French version.)
- 2 -
It was at this point that my friend DB was pseudo-officially (and a little jokingly of course) dubbed 'LodgeMaster' and was asked to do the official opening of the Azoth Lodge, an adaptation of the Aloha Temple's official opening.
Which he did, and he did well; what couldn't be read from the sheet was improvised on the spot. The pieces of the puzzle all fit in perfectly.
And now henceforth, the tone was set. On the one hand was bequeathed a strong sense of anticipation and a serious willingness to visit terrible vistas of reality. On the other hand, a lightheartedness and nonchalance that gave us the leeway to not really care about not having theatrical perfection. This was quite a lesson to me: the focus was much more on the spiritual aspect than on the 'performance art' aspect of the magical ceremony. It gave us a good complicity as a group.
- 3 -
The Altar was set up facing West. Appropriately so, I believe, West being the domain of Water in the modern anglo-saxon tradition...
The Invocation to Yog-Sothoth was allegedly 'patched up' by the 'LodgeMaster', rather than straight-up written from scratch. Personalized nonetheless, it combined intelligible invocations, orations, and vibrations of barbaric names and recitations of mantras. (The door was opened, the path was drawn...)
The addition of a 2min silence in between invocations was quite useful, as it helped us all combine interiority with the group experience. In retrospect, we felt that some of the vibrations of barbaric names and recitations of mantras would have been better done as a group, all the same we agreed that we as participants were concentrated well enough so as to feel included despite remaining silent.
It felt real and sincere, and that was all we really needed anyhow...
- 4 -
Next was a ritual reading of the essay called, "Nyarlathotep", written by H. P. Lovecraft. Naturally, as the whole ritual was conducted in French, we read a translation. However, the translation was excellent, and none of the eerie gloominess and tenebrous atmosphere of Lovecraft's distinct style was lost.
As a group, we spontaneously decided that the two members who had not been assigned a part of the ritual would each in turn read a paragraph. The fact that it was a male voice and a female voice gave the reading a balance and a pace that kept me concentrated on the emerging feeling at hand. More importantly so, both were skilled readers, who knew how to put appropriate rythym and intonnation in their reading that would keep us going further and further down the chasm of the Lovecraftian mythos.
All of us recalled getting the proverbial chills down our spines.
- 5 -
So there we were, in a dimly-lit room, cloud of smoke from incense burning all evening, all of us hyped, the woozyness of cthonic powers getting to our brains ... and it was my turn ... time to do the main invocation to Nyarlathotep. I was indeed entering a magical trance by then, reading almost by reflex, concentrating on the main sigil of the altar. My voice was more guttural than usual. Was it the incense that the 'LodgeMaster' had been putting non-stop on the charcoal since the evening had begun? Or was it the tenebrous hand of fate gropeing into my chest?
Unrealistically, I read the Invocation to Nyarlathotep as was referenced on the Aloha Temple website.
Game on, biatches. There was no turning back from here. Each of us took some time to let that sink in prior to the next step.
- 6 -
For the scrying, I used my favorite clear quartz crystal ball. My technique, as usual, was to peer into the crystal while having a pen and paper on the side to write down the results.
The three other people decided that they would scry into smoke. So, the incense burner was pulled up and brought to the center of the circle, a new charcoal was placed ... and then a good measure of invocatory resin. Under it, a flashlight facing up to make the misty swirls of smoke stand out.
While I wrote, the three other members in the group gazed into the fumes and drew images of their abstract smokey visions.
- 7 -
I unfortunately do not have access to scans of their images, but in comparison, despite myself having written my scryings rather than drawing them, the symbolism was quite similar between the four of us. My own results are as follows:
|Original notes in French||English elaboration|
|Tête de chèvre cyclope||My first vision was a goat head who, instead of having two eyes, had a single large eye in the center of its forehead. Like a cyclops.|
|2 Os, Crâne au centre||Next I saw two bones, crossed in an X shape, with a cranium at the junction in the center.|
|Green Man / Vent qui souffle (flashlight qui tombe)||Next was an image of the sterotypical "green man" which also kind of looked like a "cloud man" blowing wind. (It as at this exact moment that the flashlight, which was used to light up the smoke for scrying, fell over.)|
|Tête de Cthulhu||Next I saw a stereotypical "Cthulhu" head, which kind of sank back into the background.|
|Cthulhu tentacules en colones vertébrales||The head was still there, beady eyes in the background, but all of the tentacles were as spinal cords. And it wasn't like a "beard" of tentacles as seen in the popular depictions, but a whole mess of tentacles all over the place, twising and turning and moving about like a million worm-like spinal cords.|
|Trou de serrure -> Bouche Béante -> Abîme||The next image was a stereotypical "old time" keyhole (circle over cone), it then transformed into a huge giant mouth, with pointy sideways teeth, that swallowed me whole into a deep, endless abyss.|
|Série de monstres, Êtres vivants d'autre-monde...||I then saw a series of monsters. I don't know how to describe them, deformities made of all sorts of parts of humans and animals in combinations I had never even knew possible, they were the absolute most otherworldliness of living creatures I ever saw.|
|Même visage ... "I am coming"||Then I see the same face as before ... I hear a strange type of "I am coming" voice-type-feeling inside my head.|
|Répétition des mêmes images...||Then a repetition of the images of all of the monsters previously seen, in a different order, without stopping, melting into each other.|
From all of this intensity I realize it's time to stop and put the crystal ball down. I then wait in relative peace and attempted meditation for everyone to finish.
The sharing was quite interesting, as everyone was making connections and by sheer conversation we expanded each others' minds' into the symbolism of strange alienesque realms...
- 8 -
I almost never dream. I like what is called, "the sleep of the righteous" where I just zonk out, sleep deep without dream and little movement. I was in for one heck of a disappointment.
For three nights straight I was assauged with night tremors and crazy dreams of which I could only recall vague memories of. One dream in particular, on the third night, I was able to remember. The French version first, and then the English translation:
Une situation de guerre, deux soldats se métamorphosent en méduses, le clan ennemi vient pour les tirer mais ils se transforment tous en pierre, sauf quelques uns - des civils - qui sont assez wise pour ne pas regarder leurs visages. Ces derniers se font capturer. Une fille décide finalement de prendre un mirroir pour aller les confronter et à sa grande surprise, il est redevenu humain. Il explique qu'il est redevenu humain parce qu'il a trouvé la lumière à l'intérieur de lui.
It's a war zone, two soldiers (perhaps snipers) are waiting in ambush. They metamorphose themselves into two dark green Medusa type creatures with glowing red eyes. An enemy faction comes to attack them by the dozens, yet are all turned to stone. Only a few survivre - civillians - who are wise enough to know that they should not look at their faces. They are, however, captured. A girl who is there finally decides to take a mirror in order to confront them and, to her surprise, the first soldier has become human again. He then explains to her that he regained his humanity because he had been able to find his source of light inside of him.
I took that as a lesson to remember, and after a profound meditation, I did not have any trouble sleeping again.
The other participants also reported having strange dreams and nightmares. The 'LodgeMaster' stressed that dreams were indeed an important part of the ritual (which is why we didn't banish at the end) and a sign that the ritual, indeed, worked.
- Sources -
Montreal, September MMXV