Rite of Bacchus

August 6, 2010

Warning: Drinking, especially in excess, can be harmful to your health and potentially fatal. The information given here is theological in nature and meant to be informative. It is not meant as a suggestion or actual ritual, especially since it is potentially fatal. The reader is urged only to drink responsibly.

Bacchus is also known as Dionysus and Iacchus. All of these names are Greek in origin and refer to the same god. Some misinformed people have spread the fact that Bacchus was the Roman god of wine who was eventually associated with the Greek god Dionysus. That’s untrue. The Roman god of wine was Liber. Bacchus is just another name that was eventually given to Dionysus.

Many people associated Bacchus as the Greek god of wine. Greek mythology does say that Bacchus both gave people the grape vine and the instructions to turn it into wine. But Bacchus was also worshipped long before the invention of wine. Many people don’t realize this, but Bacchus was a god of creation and a major deity, comparable in both perceived power and renown to Zeus.

Bacchus was not initially a Greek god, he came from the east, but he was so revered that he was eventually worshiped as one of the olympians. Initially he would have been considered at the top of a pantheon, much like Zeus was in Greek mythology, and he was often spoken of as the most powerful god. In many ways he’s in opposition with Zeus. Where as Zeus’s throne is on high on mount Olympus, Bacchus’s thrown is down low in the valleys.

Bacchus is also a god who started as a man and later ascended into godhood. Many of Bacchus’s myths speak of him as first being a man, and later becoming a god, and even having made his mortal mother into a goddess.

In addition to being a God of wine and creation, Bacchus is also a god of spring, a chthonic deity, am god of forgetfulness, a god of lost inhibitions, and a god of resurrection. In addition to his standing in Greek religion, he was also the primary deity in both the Bacchian and Orphic mysteries, Greek mystical cults which were primarily concerned with immortality.

You may have noticed that there seem to be a lot of common features between Bacchus and Jesus Christ. This has caused some to speculate that Christ may have actually been a priest of Bacchus or may have studied the Bacchian mysteries at some point.

The myth of Bacchus being a god of spring is very similar to the much better known Demeter-Persephone myth. Bacchus is the god of creation and the god of spring. He makes everything grow. Once a year he dies and everything that he made grow begins to die too. Later he is resurrected, and then the plants and flowers all bloom again.

At least in the earlier myths, Bacchus would rule the world for half the year. Then he would die and rule the underworld for half the year. Some myths have Bacchus initially dying in order to retrieve his mother so he could bring her to the heavens and make her into a goddess. His ability to resurrect himself, and others, is how he became so central to the Bacchian and Orphic mysteries.

Bacchus was also a god of forgetting, and it’s drinking from his cup which causes us to forget our past lives when we reincarnate.

Lastly Bacchus is a god of losing our inhibitions. He has always associated himself with uninhibited creatures, from the sexual nymphs and sayters to the almost feral maenads to the beast of the forests and even drunken men.

So it’s no surprise that Bacchus is the god of wine, something that brings about both forgetfulness and a loss of inhibitions. But it also does one other thing, it lets us experience resurrection. And that would be the rite of Bacchus that I’m about to explain.

The Rite of Bacchus

Properly done the rite would have some symbolic ritual added, especially praise towards Bacchus at the beginning and end. However I’m not writing an actual ritual because, as I said, actually doing this can be harmful to your health and potentially fatal. However the ritual basically consists of drinking to the point of being completely smashed, something I’m sure most of us have done at least once, and it’s best not to let it get too bogged down in silly ritual. Especially since you’re going to be too drunk to do much planned ritual work anyways.

Stage 1: Death – The first stage, death, happens when you first start to drink the wine. This is the poison you’re taking into your body, and you’re killing yourself.

Stage 2: Entering the Underworld – This stage begins when you first start to feel the alcohol working, and even a little afterwards. For most of us this is usually a slightly euphoric and happy feeling. These are the happy, tranquil, and carefree parts of the underworld. Most people drink to find this happy state. If you’re really upset or angry though, you may not get he euphoria. In fact this may even be unpleasant for you. The same is true for where you end up when you die.

Stage 3: Catharsis – This is the stage where we get drunk enough that our inhibitions start to go. This is when a guy who is normally shy around women obscenely hits on the hottest woman in the bar, and this is the point we’re that’s enough for her to sleep with him. This is when a thirty year old man will start screaming at his parents because they never loved him, and then finally come out of the closet to them. It’s the point where we lose some of our inhibitions.

I would hope that most of us are mature enough and handle our liqueur well enough that we don’t have any major incidents, even if our inhibitions do become a little loose. It’s called self-control and you can do it when drunk. Bacchus however would like us to just give into it and completely loose our inhibitions. Look at the Maenads. They ripped apart living creatures and ate the raw flesh, sometimes even unknowingly committing cannibalism. I also know of similar rituals like this where the entire group ends up stripping naked and engaging in a bisexual animalistic orgy.

Of course most of us have moral and ethical reasons, not to mention the legal ramifications, for not completely loosing all of our inhibitions. Often times a ritual like this may be done in a group where all members are participating and aware of what might happen so that no one is intentionally hurt and everyone is willing to accept whatever might happen.

Still losing ones inhibitions isn’t just about primal orgies and cannibalism. If that’s what happens whenever you lose your inhibitions, you probably have some serious issues and should see a mental health care professional about those.

Losing your inhibitions can be something as simple and sweet as telling someone that you’ve had a crush on for the last year how you really feel about them. It can be breaking down and crying because of something horrible that once happened to you. It can be getting angry and yelling and screaming. It can be calling your parents on the phone and, in a drunken stupor, telling them the reason why you aren’t married yet is because you’re gay. It can be sleeping with a random stranger just because you’re lonely and you want someone to touch you right now.

The point of this stage is to get beyond whatever has been holding back your growth and hurting you. It can be these negative emotions bottled up inside of you. It can be telling someone how you really feel about them. It can be doing something you’ve always really wanted to do, or being the person you’ve always really wanted to be, but never had the courage to.

If you were truly dead, you wouldn’t want to be dead forever. And if you were going to reincarnate, you would eventually have to get over all those things that plagued you in life that you never managed to get over in life. This is essentially you getting rid of your baggage so that you can reincarnate with a fresh slate. Granted this is a rite of resurrection, but we’re still going through the entire death process. We’re essentially cheating, getting all of the benefits of death without having to die.

And if you’ll notice those who have resurrected, like Bacchus, Christ, Orpheus, and Herakles, all went on to become gods at some point afterwards. They were able to do this at least partly because the death and resurrection spiritually cleaned them. It took the poison that had built up over a lifetime out of their souls and let them come back clean and pure.

Is that to say that you’ll be a few steps from divinity after a bender? No. For one it’s a symbolic resurrection and you didn’t actually come back from the dead. Even if you did though, you still might not be a few steps from divinity. A lot of people even reincarnate only partially cleansed. A lot of people are still dealing with psychological issues and unfinished business from past lives.

So what’s the point of this ritual then? If you were actually resurrected, and you did it right, you would be completely cleaned of all those things you would hang on to, whether it’s something that’s hurting your soul or an obstacle that is preventing your personal growth. This ritual is not powerful enough to do all of that. But it can do some of it. It can most definitely do one thing. It might even do several things. And I’m not even saying you’ll be able to pick what those things are. But it’s something that makes you a little bit better and a little bit stronger. And you get to feel what a resurrection feels like.

Stage 4: The Journey Back To Life –
This is the point where you get really drunk. When your memory gets foggy and you start to have some black outs. When you’re barely able to walk and move and control yourself. This is usually the point where you have to stop drinking, if for no other reason than you lack the motor skills to get the wine in your mouth.

There’s really not too much to say about this stage. It’s symbolic of getting to the stream of life, the place where reincarnation happens, which also tends to make a person get forgetful about things.

Stage 5: The Resurrection –
When you wake up sick, with your head pounding, your throat completely dry, your stomach turned every which way, all your muscles sore, your body covered in mysterious cuts and bruises, and maybe even lying in a pile of vomit, congratulations you’ve been resurrected.

It may not feel exactly like this, but this is a good representation of what a resurrection feels like. Most people think you come back to life in some perfect state. No. You’re brought back to an inch of your life, right before you died. Not only that, but your body’s been decaying for some length of time too, which can’t be all that good.

Bacchus doesn’t come back to life in the middle of spring when everything is alive and growing. He comes back to life during the Winter Solstice, when everything is still in a state of death and decay, and he has to rejuvenate himself. Even Christ came back to life with all of his wounds from the crucifixion (which is how he proved to Thomas that he was truly resurrected).

During this stage you’re also going to start to rejuvenate yourself. Slowly you will get better bit by bit and the hang-over will go away. I don’t have anything else to say about this stage, except that resurrections are painful.

Stage 6: Rejuvenation and Realization – This is the stage when the hang-over is finally gone and you feel 100% again. You are now back to your normal, regular self having died and come back to life.

Except you aren’t your normal regular self, at least the normal regular you that you were. Back in stage 3, you hard a catharsis. You got something out of your system and did something you’ve always wanted to do. You’ve changed. You’re different, you’re better, you’re purer. You’ve gotten beyond some obstacle that held you back. And that’s really the main point of the ritual.

If you’re really lucky though, you may have an Epiphany too. After everything you experienced last night, you may come to some realization about things or some better understanding. It’s great if it happens, but it won’t always happen.

Profaning the Gods for Entertainment: Who Put the “Glad” in Gladiator?

April 24, 2010

This is a subject which has come up among people I know a few times. People get upset about depictions of the gods for entertainment purposes, or they think we, meaning the community, should be upset. Deities are often depicted in ways contrary to their mythology. Even worse, many are depicted in a light hearted manner and made fun of, or even in a completely negative way. Some culprits include Disney’s Hercules movie and cartoon with its depictions of many Greek gods, the Grimm Adventures of Billy and Mandy and their depiction of Eris, Erik the Viking and its depiction of the Norse pantheon, and the Herc’s adventure game on the PSX (okay, no one really knows about that last one but me, cool game though). Right now the subject is being brought up again due to the releases of Clash of the Titans and Percy Jackson’s Lightning Thief, both movies that depict various gods. The question is, is this wrong? Are the gods being profaned? Is it something that we, possibly being very spiritually tied to and close to these gods, should be offended by?

Society says we should be. Most of the other religions are after all. Its recently become a bit of a fad to make fun of Jesus, but in the past any depiction that wasn’t following the general Christian belief on Jesus’s life and times was controversial (such as The Last Temptation of Christ and Jesus Christ Superstar). Native Americans get upset when their rituals, gods, and spirituality are inaccurately portrayed. There are Muslims that threaten to kill people because of depictions of Muhammad. This isn’t to say every person in these religions feels this way, or that this is true of every single religion. But a lot of religions don’t like their gods and sacred figures depicted in disparaging or inaccurate ways, especially by outsiders. So should we too?

Most people who are polytheists or pagans or whatever they’re calling themselves were once part of one of these mainstream religions. And they left their original religion most likely because they didn’t like the religion, they didn’t like the beliefs, they didn’t like the behavior of the people in the religion, and for the most part they were unhappy with the religion. Ironically they take these same habits that they learned from this ‘unacceptable’ religion and carry them right over into their new religion. But that doesn’t answer the question.

There are a series of good arguments that are not only against being offended, but are actually in favor of the depiction of the gods in modern entertainment.

First and foremost, this isn’t something new. Going all the way back to ancient Greece, we see the gods routinely depicted in poetry, plays, paintings, and sculptures. This continues on through out the Roman empire, through out the Middle Ages in Europe, through the Renaissance, right up into the modern day. So this is actually something that has been going on for quite some time.

Now you might think there’s a big difference between the epic poetry of the Greeks and a Disney cartoon. And although they aren’t the same thing, and maybe one is better than the other (Hercules was far from Disney’s best film after all), the core issue is the same. The artist is depicting the gods in an inaccurate way to serve their needs of telling the story they want to tell.

The Iliad is one of the most influential literary works in the entire history of the world. It is one of only two pieces of the epic cycle that have survived in their entirety. It is also one of the major sources we have concerning Greek mythology and beliefs. Nobody who spiritually follows the Greek pantheon is going to call the Iliad profane. And yet Homer routinely depicts gods in inaccurate and even negative ways in order to serve his own idealistic agendas and personal politics within the poem.

Ares is a good example. He’s a god that Homer routinely trashes throughout the Iliad. Ares is often seen as an evil or negative or lesser god today due almost entirely to Homer’s depiction and the depiction of Ares by contemporaries of Homer. And yet in ancient Greece Ares was a highly revered and respected god. He was one of the Olympians who are largely considered the most important and respected of the Greek gods. He was also one of the patron gods of Sparta, one of the strongest and influential cities within Greece. Prior to Homer he is not only depicted as a god of war, but also as a god of justice, vengeance, love, and righteousness.

And Homer wasn’t just mistaken in his depiction of Ares.  Ares was specifically chosen for three reasons. First he wasn’t originally a Greek god, he was imported into Greece from the outside. The Greeks had a very strong sense of ethnic pride, and although Ares’ high standing in Greece despite coming from the outside is a testament to his reverence, being a non-Greek god gave Homer a lot of leeway in depicting him negatively. Secondly Homer was decidedly anti-war, and the Iliad has a strong anti-war message behind it. Ares, being a god of war, was a perfect target for Homer to take out his personal ideologies on. And lastly Homer was from Athens, a city whose patron god is Athena, a god that is often believed to be in conflict with Ares. Ares is also the patron god of Sparta, a city that was constantly in conflict with Athens. So trashing Ares was a way of saying “Yeah Athens – Sparta Sucks.”

And yet we don’t view the Iliad as profane.

Secondly we live in a time where the gods, for the most part, are not well recognized, taught about, or worshiped like they used to be. Without entertainment, most of us would only know the various myths from what we learned in school. I know where I live we only really learn about the Greek pantheon. The Roman pantheon we’re taught is the same as the Greek pantheon with different names, the Norse and Egyptian pantheons aren’t touched on, and I don’t think most people even know there is a Celtic pantheon. With the rise of Neopagan religions and the strong movements to remove religion from public schools, it may not be too long until these myths are not taught at all.

These movies and TV shows and cartoons may not depict the gods correctly, but at least they make people aware that they exist. With certain people, just hearing the name of a god can be enough to spark an interest, and a lot of people may be pushed to research these gods more in depth because of one of these depictions. I know my blog hits have gone up by about 10% since The Lightning Thief and Clash of the Titans came out due to people searching for Medusa. For a few people this may be enough to completely change their spirituality and lead them to a stronger and closer relationship with the gods. But even if it doesn’t, it still makes them aware of a god and gives them some connection to that god. It also makes them more receptive to that god in the future. And the cartoons, which seem to upset people the most, are probably the best at doing this because they target children and make children more comfortable with and receptive to the gods.

And this isn’t any different than what was going on in Ancient Greece. Plays and poems were written about the gods so people would become aware of them and learn about them. The plays and poems that have survived to the modern day constitute a lot of what we know about Greek mythology. This is true of a lot of other pantheons too.

My last argument is one I’ve used before concerning the gods. By their nature, a deity should be able to handle their own affairs. If there is something wrong or profane with the way they are being depicted, they should be able to take care of it themselves. At the very least, if human intervention is required, I would expect the offended deity to personally give instructions about what needs to be done. So unless a god has told you to be offended by something or take some sort of action, I’d say leave it alone. And by told you I don’t mean you saw some obscure sign only you could understand. I mean the god appeared before you and said something like, “Hey [insert your name here], you need to go on the Disney message board and tell everyone how poorly I was depicted in their cartoon and how this offends everyone of your particular religion. Also threaten to boycott their products and whine about them to everyone you meet.”

Contacting the Divine

October 24, 2009

This is basically a rehash of the information I supplied in my earlier post, summoning Baal quick and dirty like. The reason for this is to eliminate some confusion. This is not an evocation method. It doesn’t really evoke. It’s meant for communion. In fact, it’s generally used for divine communion, and that’s how I was originally taught it, although you could do it with anything. Anyways here’s the method, as taught to me, with some paraphrasing and minor tweaking.

1. Figure out which deity you would like to contact. Remember not everything that’s ever been listed as a god or deity or whatever really is one. When first starting, it’s better to pick a big name that is tried and true. It’s also best to pick a god or goddess you feel a personal connection to or compelled to contact. I’d recommend against using this method with the Judeo-Christian god (yes he exists, however there’s a reason why I recommend this and it deals with the nature of what he is, and I’m not opening that can of worms here). I’d also recommend against trying to contact a supposedly all encompassing deity (I’m talking about the Wiccan Goddess). Also remember that sometimes deities are incorrectly associated as the same deity, and other times they have multiple names. Figuring out exactly who you want to talk to may require some research. For instance, Venus is not Aphrodite and Jupiter is not Zues, Pluto is the same as Hades and Dionysus, Bacchus, and Iacchus are all the same deity.

2. Do some additional research on the deity to get an idea of who you’re trying to contact. Read the mythologies concerning them. Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Mythica are good places to start. The information may not be the best there, but at the same time remember that a lot of the myths out there are long bastardized and misunderstood, to the point that you usually can’t decide anything for certain about a deity until you’ve met them.

3. Next you need an altar. You can build a very nice permanent altar, but for now we’ll just use a makeshift altar. I have a whole FAQ on altars. Basically it’s just a space we set aside for an entity, in this case a deity. All we need for an altar is a representation. We can easily go online and find a picture and turn our computer monitor and surrounding area into a temporary altar. The altar is not essential, this can be done entirely mentally, but it’s easier with an altar early on.

4. Next we want to prepare ourselves for divine communion. What different gods will find acceptable and offensive varies. In emergencies, this step can be skipped, and most deities will understand. It’s best to take a shower or bath beforehand, especially if it’s needed, and a short cleansing ritual while you’re in there won’t hurt. Clothing will vary considerably based on personal taste and deity. At the very least you’ll want to have descent, clean clothes. Formal is more respectable, but black tie is usually going way too far. Naked is actually sacred and as formal as you can get (plus it will help with the later steps). When in doubt, wear nothing. Also make sure the area around the makeshift altar is clean and dusted and free of garbage or crap to show proper respect.

5. To begin the communion meditate in front of the altar, hopefully reaching a state of trance (although this isn’t mandatory). I’ve also written an FAQ on this. Once you’re relaxed, you need to direct energy towards the representation. This is simple energy manipulation. If you can’t do this, you can try directing thoughts or focusing on the representation, although this won’t be as successful. Direct the energy at the representation with the intent of it reaching the deity (this is important. Ultimately the representation doesn’t really matter, it’s the intent of where the energy is sent).  Also try to keep your shields, filters, wards, and barriers as low as possible and be open to receiving foreign energy.

6. After a time you should hopefully feel divine energy sent back at you. If you’ve never felt divine energy before, don’t worry, you’ll know it when you feel it. The first time it is thousands of times stronger than what you’re used to and literally rips right through you. Once you get used to dealing with divine energy this will ease up a bit. You shouldn’t do this around bedtime, at least at first, because you’ll be wired for a long time.

7. Once you feel the energy coming back at you, you’ve successfully achieved communion. You can now direct the energy coming into you back to the deity, creating a cycle. You can also bury thoughts into the energy to communicate, and stuff will come back in the energy sent to you. Sometimes this might be a direct worded answer. Other times it may be more detailed and beyond words, and it may be buried in the energy and not fully manifest for hours. Divine energy also tends to try to create a purity, although the definition of what constitutes a purity varies between gods. Jupiter, for instance, defines purity as being larger and stronger, and Jupiterian energy tends to make people stronger and helps them to build muscle.

8. After ending the communion it’s important to keep the divine energy and not cleanse or ground until it’s worked its way out of you, unless it’s a dire emergency. Divine energy is a divine gift, and intentionally expelling it is disrespectful. Also information may be buried in the energy to answer your questions and offer guidance.

9. Not everything that can be contacted with this method, and not everything listed as a god, is a god. From my experiences no real god will get upset if they are asked to prove that they are in fact a god (at least by their own methods, in other words don’t try asking gods to prove themselves by winning you the lottery. That actually can get you in trouble if you ask the wrong one). Anything that says its a god and wants to treated as such will see nothing wrong with proving this unless it isn’t a god. I’ve also found that deities don’t mind being questioned about their advice or about their nature. There usually isn’t anything wrong with asking why.

10. Objects can also be blessed by a deity while doing this through various methods. If you have something you want blessed, have it ready and ask the deity if they’ll do it during the communion. Usually, if they’re willing, they’ll give instructions of what needs to be done.

11. One of the worst things you can do is utilize a deity’s energy for a purpose that you don’t have permission to utilize it for (especially if it’s something the deity wouldn’t give you permission to do). It’s always best to ask first and to respect their wishes.

12. The gods understand that we are only human. They also understand our nature and all our emotions. They do forgive honest mistakes and know that we’re all far from perfect. They also are there to guide us and help us with our lives and our spiritual paths.

Magick 101: Altars – An FAQ

July 28, 2008

What is an Altar?

An altar is a space that we dedicate to a specific entity or entities.

What is the purpose of an altar?

By putting up an altar we’re inviting the entity or entities into the structure (be it a home or otherwise) or general area and putting forth a sort of beacon to summon them into that spot. At the same time we’re giving the entity or entities a place within the structure or area that is their own to inhabit.

What can an altar be made to?

In western magick altars are most often made to specific deities. In Eastern cultures altars to dead spirits are also common, a practice which is also still practiced in Mexico on the day of the dead as a hold-over from pre-Christian Mexican beliefs. Additionally though altars can be made to just about anything. Sometimes altars are made to a general type of entity, such as fae or dragons, rather than something specific in order to summon them forth. Other times altars are made to specific angels, daemons/demons, or primal entities.

What do I need to make an altar?

To create an altar you only need two things, a space to dedicate and a representation.

Sometimes a specific piece of furniture is purchased for the altar, either a small table, a pillar, or a ledge that attaches to the wall (good for areas with limited space). However just about any flat surface will do, including counter-tops, end tables, cabinets, and the tops of bookshelves, entertainment centers, and computer desks. Generally you don’t want altars on the floor because of the tendency for them to be disturbed by people and animals tripping over them, and also for safety reasons when candles are lit on them, but this isn’t an issue with very large statuary (although these tend to be out of the price range most can afford).

As for a representation, statuary is the most common. Plaster statues are very affordable with statues selling for less than $10 a foot, although there’s a somewhat limited selection with plaster. Higher quality statues made of bronze or with a marble finish are also available, many of which are over a foot in height and can be purchased for under $100, and there is a much wider selection available, especially in regards to the Greek and Roman traditions. Wooden statues are also available and a bit cheaper and offer an even wider variety in the Nordic and Eastern pantheons. For things like fae and dragons there are a wide variety of statuesque options available. Custom statues can also be made, although this can get pricey.

Vases and urns also make good, though less common, representations. There are a wide variety of recreations available for the Greek pantheon. Urns with ashes (of the specific dead person) in them are also good for altars devoted to a dead spirit. Vases tend to be a bit more expensive though so aren’t used as much.

Sometimes a representative item may also be used on an altar. For instance Saturn is associated with the scythe, and so an altar to Saturn may include a scythe on it as Saturn’s representation.

Pictures may also be used as representation, and can provide a low cost method to making an altar when money is tight. All you need to do is find a picture of a statue or a drawing of what you want to represent, print it out, and put it in a picture frame (which can be bought for a few dollars if you look around). If you have some artistic ability, you may even draw the picture yourself, and this could have a much greater connection and significance to anything you could buy in a store.

Also, if space is getting tight, you could use wall reliefs or paintings as altars.

What is an active altar and how do I activate my altar?

An active altar is an altar in which whatever it is dedicated to is currently present. Many altars, when properly dedicated, will immediately become active. Often times lighting a candle on an altar as an offering is enough to activate the altar and make whatever it is dedicated to aware that you wish its presence, but if the candle doesn’t finish burning before being put out care should be taken to make sure the candle is only ever used as an offering to that specific altar and not used for other spellwork or on another altar. Incense, particluarly a type that is associated with what your altar is dedicated to, can work in much the same way. You can also try communicating with what the altar is dedicated to in order to activate it. At times altars will activate on their own, sometimes when the practitioner is in desperate need of it. It should be noted that as long as an altar remains up, whatever it is dedicated to rightfully owns the altar space, not the practitioner, and the altar may become active at any time.

How do I charge an item at an altar?

There is a general practice of charging an item on an active altar. Magical tools (such as knives and swords) and candles are the most common items. Typically the item is put upon the altar and left there for a period of time to soak up the energy. Care should be taken to make sure whatever the altar is dedicated to is okay with charging the item. The practitioner may wish to light candles, communicate, and perform rituals in order to activate the altar during the charging process.

What about putting other things on the altar?

Besides your representation and your surface you don’t need anything else for your altar. As discussed above you may wish to light candles or incense on your altar, and you may wish to charge objects on it. It’s fairly common to add specific candle holders or incense burners to an altar to be used only on that altar, although this isn’t necessary. You may also wish to add items that are either owned by or made as an offering to what the altar is dedicated to. You may also add magickal items that are associated with the altar and what it’s dedicated to. Other items may also be added to the altar to dress it up or for storage, but do see the next item.

What shouldn’t I put on my altar?

Care should be taken to make sure that anything added to an altar is approved by what the altar is dedicated to and isn’t offensive. Sometimes other deities can be added to one deity’s altar, other times this is strictly prohibited. Other times things just don’t mesh very well in ways that are hard to perceive without direct knowledge of the situation. For example, dragon imagery (unless it’s very silly or mocking) would be offensive and render a fae altar useless since dragons and fae don’t get along very well and don’t care too much for each other.

Also you need to remember that an altar is both a beacon and invitation for things to enter your house. Putting a representation on an altar, even if the altar is not dedicated to that representation, may draw it into your home. True story, a friend of mine acquired a stuffed animal of the Mothman and put it on an altar in his living room. Various negative Mothman-esque entities ended up being drawn to his home until the stuffed animal was removed from the altar.

What about dual purpose altars?

It’s typically easiest to have altars dedicated to one specific entity. Sometimes you can get away with a dual altar, the most common being an altar dedicated to two deities that are known as consorts of each other. Some deities will allow this, and even allow altars dedicated specifically to them to be used to commune with a consort. Other deities are very particular about this, and even though they may allow statuary that features another deity on their altar, won’t allow it to be used to commune with that deity.

What about a temporary altar?

Temporary makeshift altars are common and are useful when you want an altar set-up for just a specific spell or to aid in communion with a particular deity or entity, but don’t want to invest in something more permenant because of space or money concerns, or because the energy is unbecoming of the practitioner.

There are two easy ways to make such an altar. The first is using a computer monitor. Go online and find a picture to act as a representation, then download the pic and maximize it on the screen. On many desks there’s even enough space to light some candles in front of the monitor if you wish. This method is good if you just want to commune with something, although it may provide some distance and spatial issues if you need the altar for spellwork.

The second way is to print out a picture to act as a representation, put it in a frame, and place on a flat surface, any flat surface, and dedicate the space normally.

My Altars, for example:

Here are my altars to Ares (left) and Saturn (right) positioned on top of my entertainment center. The mirror in the middle is a sentient magickal item that needs a good central point and isn’t associated with either altar. Note that in addition to movies I store working tools beneath the altars, including my sword, candles, candle-holders, ect.

This is a close-up of the Aresian altar. I have two statues of Ares put up, one of Ares with Aphrodite which correctly associates him as a god of love, and one of Ares alone (when I have more space I’m going to split this into two altars). The candle I used as an offering to Ares is still at his altar so it isn’t used elsewhere by mistake.

Here’s a close-up of the Saturian altar. Since Saturn depictions are so very hard to find I’ve blown up a picture of Saturn to use as his representation and put it in a frame. It isn’t the best drawing, but it is a correct interpretation. Behind the picture is a clock, one of Saturn’s symbols.

Here’s my altar to Persephone, atop the bookshelf. The small statue is a reproduction of a Grecian tomb piece and probably the only good interpretation I’ve seen of Persephone for sale, although I have some issues with the company that makes it. The larger statue is the rape of Persephone, and an okay interpretation, but far from my favorite (though easily obtainable). The candlestick is a sentient piece given to me by a friend who acquired it at a thrift store. As far as we can tell, she initially came from a Persephonic altar, and she seems happy to be on one again. She also likes to have taper candles in her.

This is Fortuna’s altar on the left side of the computer desk. The candles are not Fortuna’s, they just ended up there after some recent ritual work. The luck frog and his coin have both been personally enchanted by me and Fortuna agreed to let them be put upon her altar when I needed a safe place for them. I actually had a vision of a similar looking prosperity Buddha in that spot so I went out and bought the closest thing I could find to put there. At times during spellwork Buddha gets removed to make room for candleholders or whatever else I may need up there.

Here’s my Venitian altar on the right side of the computer desk. The larger statue is a plaster statue purchased at the flea market for $15 and was my very first altar piece. I picked up the smaller marble statue when I had more money. My dragon incense burner is also there. The smoke comes out of his nostrils. It’s very cool and fae like. There are also two pieces of emerald on the altar that have been blessed by Venus.

Aresian Unbinding Spells

March 16, 2008


Listed below are two spells meant to aid the practitioner in releasing themselves from any outside interference which may be hindering their true path. In general terms a binding spell refers to a spell that seals away all or some of a practitioner’s powers, and an unbinding spell is one which undoes this. These spells are not specifically meant to deal with a binding, although they may be effective in that regard, instead they are meant to eliminate anything which may be hindering or otherwise holding back the practitioner from pursuing their passions.

These spells work through the power of the Greek god Ares, and it’s important to understand what Ares is in order to use them. Unfortunately Ares was badly slandered by Homer for a variety of reasons, and Homer’s popularity and influence among the Greeks resulted in Ares being badly slandered for ever after.

Ares is a god of the righteous in battle, of justice, of love, of vengeance, and yes there is some violence in him. It would be easiest to say that Ares’ true dominion is in being a slave to ones passions, but it would be profane to say that a god is a slave to their passions. Rather Ares has dominion over following ones passions without regard for the consequences. In that regard he is both a god of justice and vengeance, as when he murdered Halirrhotius, he is a god of passionate love, as when he pursued an affair with his brother’s wife Aphrodite, and he is a god of the warrior in battle.

Aresian Short Unbinding

The short unbinding is a simple spell meant to release the practitioner from any minor outside force which has taken to changing the true course of the practitioner and moving him away from his desires. The spell is meant to target those forces which are manipulating the practitioner against his will, albeit in minor ways, and as such is generally safe to perform whenever the practitioner believes he may have been bound to a path other than his own.

I. To begin with, construct an alter to Ares if one is not readily available.

II. Undertake all necessary preparations to spellwork and presenting yourself before a diety, including any ritualistic cleansing or bathing.

III. The ritual is best performed both alone and skyclad.

IV. If absolutely necessary, any of the first three steps may be omitted, with a mental alter to Ares being built instead of a physical one, if the situation is dire and the practitioner needs the spell cast immediately.

V. To begin, light a new candle on Ares’ alter as an offering to him.

VI. Initiate a communion with Ares. This can be done by sitting in a comfortable position, meditating, and then directing energy towards Ares’ alter while allowing energy to be directed back. Allow the energy of Ares to flow through yourself and ask permission for what is about to be performed.

VII. When ready, and while feeling the energy of Ares flowing through yourself, you may begin the actual spell work, which consists of two parts performed simultaneously, a visualization and an incantation.

VIII. Visualize your body covered in straps and chains, and the energy of Ares bursting forth from every bit of your body, breaking the chains and straps. To the best of your ability, direct the energy of Ares towards this visualization.

IX. While visualizing, recite from memory the following incantation:

Lord Ares
Lend your strength
Let each strap be unbroken
Each twine unwound
Let the true heart walk its path
Unswayed, unbound

X. Afterwards thank Ares for his aid. If possible, allow the candle to burn itself out. Otherwise it may be put out and saved for later, but the candle should only ever be burned as an offering to Ares. The alter should be left up for at least a day, if not longer, and when it is deconstructed proper care should be taken as the objects its made of are sacred to Ares.

Aresian Long Unbinding

The long unbinding is a much more drastic spell meant to release the practitioner from any force, internal or external, preventing them from following the true desire of their heart. This spell, being as it is, can have serious repercussions, and should only be used when absolutely necessary, and only after lesser methods have been tried and failed. As noted below, the fourth candle should be lit, if it is lit at all, with extreme caution. It should also be mentioned that fire exists without form, and as such is considered a link between the physical world and the spiritual or metaphysical world. The act of lighting a flame can be considered a connection between the physical and spiritual worlds.

I. Construct a proper alter to Ares if one is not readily available. Make sure that there is enough room for several candle holders.

II. Undertake all necessary preparations to spellwork and presenting yourself before a diety, including any ritualistic cleansing or bathing.

III. The ritual is to be performed skyclad and alone, or if not alone then with an object of one’s desire only and also skyclad.

IV. Initiate a communion with Ares and allow his energy to flow through you and ask for permission for what is about to be done. If with a partner, both should perform this communion. If needed, candles may be burnt in offering to Ares in order to aid in communion.

V. Place three or four candles on the alter as shown:


(ed. note: I’m having trouble properly formatting this diagram. I’ll look into getting something better set up soon. If anyone needs this diagram to do the spell in the meantime, email me and I’ll try to help you figure it out.)
VI. When ready, and with the power of Ares flowing through you, recite the following incantation from memory (with two, both partners may recite the incantation, or one may do so as the ritual leader):

Lord Ares
Lend your strength
May all that confines the heart be destroyed

VII. It must be understood that the first candle is meant to release the practitioner from any internal restraints they may have placed on themselves which prevent them from realizing their passions fully. These restraints may have been enacted out of fear, modesty, etiquette, safety, or many other reasons. This candle is meant to make their passions swell within themselves and overcome all else.

VIII. As the first candle is lit, visualize your body being engulfed by a white flame of passion that grows from within you and overswells eventually consuming the all of your being. Recite the following incantation from memory (with two both should perform the visualization, and one or both may recite the incantation):

Let my passions be alight
A burning flame, pure and white,
And let my heart be aright

(Or for two):

Let our passions be alight,
A burning flame, pure and white,
And let our hearts be aright

IX. It must be understood that the second candle is meant to release the practitioner from any external factors that are preventing them from realizing their passions fully. These can be thought of as the forces of society. These are parts of the mundane world which are not just obstacles to achieving ones passions, but are actively working to push the practitioner away from their passions.

X. As the second candle is lit, visualize the flame that has engulfed your body bursting forth from you and consuming everything it comes in contact with. Recite the following incantation from memory (with two both should perform the visualization, and one or both may recite the incantation):

Let my body release its flame,
Let it burn through man’s domain,
And my passions, not man, shall reign

(Or for two):

Let our bodies release our flame,
Let it burn through man’s domain,
And our passions, not man, shall reign

XI. It must be understood that the third candle is meant to release the practitioner from any spiritual forces and bindings that may be preventing them from realizing their passions fully. This would include any spells, hexes, or curses cast, any magickal bindings, any spells which have effected the practitioner’s path and destiny, any pacts or deals made with any entities, and any debts owed so long as these things are contrary to or otherwise prevent the true will of the practitioner’s heart.

XII. As the third candle is lit, visualize yourself bound by ethereal straps (or hands or chains) and the energy flowing through you moving from your body into these straps and completely destroying them, leaving you naked and free of all bonds. Recite the following incantation from memory (with two both should perform the visualization, and one or both may recite the incantation):

Let all binds break
Remove all ties save fate
And return me to my natural state

(Or For Two):

Let all binds break
Remove all ties save fate
And return us to our natural state

The spell may be completed after lighting any of the four candles, and the fourth candle should be lit with extreme caution. It must be understood that the fourth candle is meant to release the practitioner from their destiny, for use in instances when the practitioner feels as if their destined path runs contrary to their desires. If this portion of the spell is successfully performed, at the point directly proceeding the spell the practitioner will no longer have a future or a destiny, only their desires, and their destiny will then be rewrit from that point. A practitioner will be unhinged from destiny for a moment prior to a new destiny being made for them. The repercussions of lighting the fourth candle are serious and most likely irreversible.

XIV: As the fourth candle is lit, visualize your body being thrown from its current place and put into a void, visualize the energy in you white and pulsing out, destroying any remaining ties you may have to anything, and destroying anything that comes near you. Recite the following incantation from memory (with two both should perform the visualization, and one or both may recite the incantation):

Remove myself from my destiny
Rewrite what is meant to be
And untie even fate from me

(Or For Two):

Remove us from our destiny
Rewrite what is meant to be
And untie even fate from we

XV: Presumably a fifth candle could be lit, supposing the proper visualization and incantations could be figured out, and this candle would allow the practitioner to transcend the laws of the universe if it were within the will of his heart, allowing for such impossibilities like immortality and gain without loss. Perhaps the past could also be rewritten via this candle, or perhaps that would require yet a sixth candle.

XVI: After the ritual the candles should be allowed to burn themselves out. If possible, the practitioner should stay and meditate until all the candles are burnt out. Alternatively the practitioner could sleep in front of the alter until all the candles are burnt out. If the ritual was performed with a partner, the two may have sex following the ritual if they both desire to, although the act would be sacred. After all is finished proper gratitude and respect should be given to Ares, and the alter should be left up for at least a day if not longer.

XVII: A final caution, make sure you know what it is you want before casting this spell.

How to Summon Baal, or Anything Else, Quick and Dirty Like.

November 4, 2007

I posted this on another forum to a fellow who was asking for a method to summon Baal. My reply isn’t specific to Baal and I thought this might be useful to some so I’m reposting it here.

1. Research what it is you want to summon. In the case of Baal, the name can refer to numerous things, including several deities, so you need to figure out exactly what Baal you want to summon, and then you need to get an idea of how Baal is seen, what people generally think about him, and what he’s probably like. So long as it’s something that is popular or common internet searches will probably turn up enough information for the summoning. Be sure to check out encyclopedia mythica and wikipedia, although not always accurate they can still have a lot of information to help you out.

2. Find a statue or image of what you want to summon, and if you can’t find that then try for a symbol associated with it. Spiritual depictions are usually better than artistic depictions, but in any case go with the depiction that you feel most closely resembles what you’re trying to summon. If you have no other alternative you can make your own depiction.

3. Remove any barriers, wards, ect. that you may have around the general area that you’ll be doing the summoning (most likely your home). This includes personal wards and barriers, ones that are anchored to objects (be aware of certain things that may be decoration but are used for protection because they may have become active and can effect the summoning. This includes gargoyle statues and depictions of pentagrams), and ones that may have been put up by others.

4. Take down your shields and natural defenses. Any type of defense can hinder the summoning.

5. Make sure you aren’t in any kind of circle. Make sure there are no seals or sigils in the area since these may have an unknown effect. Refrain from doing any pre-ritual type ritual including asking for protection from anything. We don’t want to be putting up new barriers.

6. Now take your depiction of what you want to summon (in this case Baal), and place it somewhere (such as on a table or a night stand). You can just leave a picture on your computer screen if you want, that works too. Or you can print out a picture and put it in a frame and then place it on a table (the later method will generally bring better results). Now you need to activate this as an alter, in this case to Baal. Unless you want to develop a very strong relationship with Baal, this will probably just be a makeshift alter that we will take down after the summoning.

7. Now that the alter is ready non-aggressively direct energy towards the depiction of Baal with the intent that this energy is to be received directly by Baal. Make sure your defenses and your shields are down and, if he chooses to, Baal will also be able to direct his energy towards you. With a little practice you should be able to figure out how to bury thoughts into the energy in order to communicate, and you’ll be able to receive thoughts in the same manner.

8. Whether or not Baal responds you should also make it clear that he has an invitation to appear in your house and that you wish for him to come.

9. Have fun with your summoning adventures.

Account 2: The Chaos Ball

July 9, 2007

A while back I wrote a series of accounts for a friend’s e-group which detailed magickal experiences, particularly those that dealt with otherworldly entities. The group is now pretty much dead, and these accounts don’t have a real home. I don’t see much value in these accounts, except maybe as cautionary tales, but I already wrote them and I’m in need of good blog filler. Maybe someone will get some use out of these or see something similar to what they’re dealing with.

Things have been a bit messy for me lately. It’s not like things were great before, but things got really bad when I started amassing large amounts of chaos energy in my bedroom. I thought this was a good thing. I don’t know why I did this, or what good I thought would come of it. But it seems to have made a mess of everything lately. I’ve also noticed that my magickal abilities have been very limited or erradic lately, which I think was caused by all of that chaos energy.

Then a few days ago I decided it would be a good idea to rip a hole in space and time in my bedroom, and that project has been my biggest focus lately. I’ve attracted a lot of things here since doing that. There are some dead people around, what T says is a boogie man, and some other stuff. Someone also attacked me magickally last night. Not sure where they were, but the attack was weak and they got something painful back.

Anyways I decided last night that I’d talk with Saturn and try to get some help with my portal. I’ve never talked to Saturn before, which is why this is really strange. When Saturn’s energy went through me, it was very solid, very earthy in nature. It made me feel less flexable, and I could feel my astral body solidify from it. That doesn’t describe it well, but immedietly I thought about the 21st tarot trump, and I could see the assosiation of Saturn with the twenty-first trump and the element of Earth.

And it was deja-vu. I remembered thinking this before, the last time I felt Saturn’s energy. But this was my first time talking to Saturn. And I’ve been going through my brain trying to think of what time I’m thinking about, but there are no memories of this happening before, and nothing similiar to this. But I remember all of this happening exactly like this before.

Anyways I opened up the portal some more and slipped into the astral with the intent on jumping through it. When I got into the astral though, I got jumped by five dark fae. Creepy little things. They were trying to rip me into pieces. I was putting up a good fight, but something else came into my room and the fae immedietly scattered and took off. This is the strange part as I’ve never felt or experienced anything like this before.

When I looked at what had come there, it was indescribable and incomprehensible. It was not human, or humaniod, or like anything of this world. It was not like anything of any plane I’ve ever been to or seen in a vision. I’m pretty sure it had more than four dimensions. Although it was like a dark blue, and it seemed to have a blue-like aura to it, there were other colors too. I can’t really get what it looked like in my head, but I think some of the colors don’t exist. I think what I saw was Saturn. Not an aspect of Saturn, or a personification of Saturn, or Saturn as he is in this realm, but all of Saturn.

When I looked at Saturn, the energy drew me into it, and it was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. When I talk with a deity, the energy I recieve is very strong. If you were to compare that to a light drizzle on an umbrella though, this would be standing naked on a skyscraper during a hurricane that can lift trucks off the ground. Immedietly the energy surronded and consumed me completely. There was just so much of it, and it was so much more than what I was. And I became a part of it, and I could feel myself as no longer being, but being just a small part of something that was much larger. And it was quite pleasent.

I know there’s more, and I know things happened after that, but I have no memory of it. All I know is that I did come out of the projection, and when I did I obviously was my independent self again. I didn’t pop back where my memory ends though, I just have no memory of what happened after that point. I went to sleep right after getting back into body.

Some other things have changed too. The chaos energy is gone. The portal seems to be sealed up now. At least somewhat. I’m wondering if I should open it back up. And I seem to be fixed. In fact, I seem to have improved a bit. I can channel again, and I can see the metaphor shapes, and it’s easy to talk to things again. I also got to fight some last night, and that always makes me feel better and relieves some tension. I just have a lot more clearity now and I’m a lot more focused.

Addendum: At the time I posted this I was looking to see if anyone had an explanation for what had happened. I honestly don’t remember what I was going through or why I had trouble channeling at that point in time. I also have no clue what I meant by seeing metaphor shapes, and that might be a typo. Also, several weeks after posting this I had realized that T was responsible for tricking me into summoning the chaos energy, and I think I’ve now figured out how he did it too. As a final note, there were other side-effects that didn’t really appear until later, although I’m not getting into that.