An Essay on
© 2008 by Academic Services International, Los Lunas, NM, USA
Magical Instruments are the tools of the magician. They have also been called magical weapons. They are primarily used by the beginner and the moderately advanced Adept. Magicians operating in the higher realms ideally utilize nothing but spiritual-mental energy and may thus be said to have advanced beyond the use of magical toys.
Every magical instrument must be initiated prior to allowing its entry into a magical circle. One simply follows the same procedures as prescribed for the initiation of a human candidate - wrapping in a black cloth, binding the cloth, charging it with an oath, etc. That is, it must be first be purified (banished - all inherent energies must be purged from the instrument - usually with distilled water or salt or salted water), then charged (the desired energy is invoked and/or evoked into the instrument), then consecrated (the instrument is anointed with the sacred oil).
Consecrated instruments should be kept wrapped in wool or silk that is colored according to the correspondence of the inherent energy.
Wool and silk, being of animal origin, insulate the enclosed energy and prevent it from contamination or leakage.
Numerology (the study of numbers) forms a great portion of the basis of the following discussion. The magician should be particularly familiar with the meaning and uses of the numbers from zero (Ø) to ten (10).
See The Symbology of Numbers in the Appendix
The Temple is the structure wherein a magical ceremony takes place. It can actually be an ancient temple, or just a special room, a grand hall, a grass shack, a tent, a garage, a living room, or a chicken coop.
Sometimes there is no walled structure because the use of a small valley or an open meadow has been selected.
Especially suitable for magical purposes is a Power Center (if you can find one). A Power Center is a place that radiates natural energy. A Power Center is said to be ideally configured if it is surrounded by rock (either in a close circle or at a further distance by massive barrier walls) and has only a small or restricted entrance. But on the other hand, the most potent Power Center I ever visited (The Oregon Vortex) had none of these qualities.
There is much more to be said about Power Centers, but lest we wander too far afield, further information can be found in the Appendix.
If the Temple is done up in grand style, there will be many enhancements. Unless you want to repaint and redecorate for each working, the color of the walls and (any) curtains will be selected for general purposes. As an example, shades of beige representing stone or papyrus are particularly suitable for the walls, especially when contrasted with purple or maroon drapes.
Various Statues, Columns, Murals, Symbols, or Thangkas may enhance the environment, but only if suited for general workings. Specific workings require harmoniously attuned enhancements. Beginners often like to paint the walls bright red or solid black, and such efforts may usually be considered as simple, childlike behavior.
The Tibetan word Than means "flat" and the suffix ka denotes a "painting." A Thangka is therefore a flat-surface painting that can be rolled up when not being displayed. It is also referred to as a "scroll-painting."
In terms of magical anatomy and physiology, the Temple corresponds to the physical body of the magician wherein all the other processes take place.
The Circle is painted, inscribed, or laid out upon the floor. The magical circle is round, thus symbolizing completeness. This circle can be applied with paint or chalk. It can also be a round carpet that is rolled out upon the floor of the temple. It might even be a rope that is uncoiled to form the circle, or (in natural settings) one may simply inscribe it in the dirt with a stick.
Care should be taken to ensure that the circle is unbroken. Areas where paint did not adhere, chalk lines that are incomplete, or dirt-inscribed lines that are imperfect offer gaps in this protective device through which demons may enter the circle or through which magical energy may leak out.
Traditional pictures depicting a small circle that is three or four feet in diameter around a magician are quaint, but unrealistic. For a single magician, the circle should be at least nine feet in diameter. For group workings, it should be enlarged accordingly. I have been involved in expansive group rites where the circle was one hundred feet across.
Traditionally, the circle is inscribed with the names of various deities whose designations offer protection. In my experience, this is not necessary - a single, clear line has always proven to be effective.
Sometimes, especially in group workings, a round circle is not used, but rather the perimeter is laid out in a oval or in the shape of the vesica piscis. A round circle presents the vertical format, that is, the orientation of higher levels of consciousness is straight up from the center of the circle. The oval or vesica shape is a horizontal format, that is, the orientation of levels of consciousness leads across the oval from one end to the other. The higher levels are traditionally oriented in the East, although other directions may be appropriate.
It is important that a magician never allows any part of himself or herself to extend beyond the edge of the circle, nor permits any magical instrument to do the same (see the exception under The Triangle, below). This may appear to be a quaint rule, but when a true higher force has been invoked, and spirits are gathered outside the perimeter, the breaking of the circle's integrity can be disastrous.
Now, sometimes, especially in long, drawn-out, group ceremonies, the kind that can go on for hours, a magician may need to perform eliminative, natural functions. A minor rite for departing and re-entering a circle has been developed, but do not be so foolish as to exercise it during actual invocation or evocation procedures:
To leave a stabilized circle, stand just inside the perimeter, facing outward. Then trace a flaming pentagram in the air, project banishing energy through the center of that pentagram (pushing the pentagram further outward), and quickly step over the edge of the circle. This is the same as energetically pushing dogs (or people) away from a doorway so that you might pass through while forbidding them entry.
To re-enter a stabilized circle, stand just outside the perimeter, facing inward. Then reach forward with one hand. As you sweep that hand down and along your side and then backward, say apo pontos kokai daimonos ("and save us from every demon"), or a similar phrase, and quickly step over the edge of the circle. This is the same as energetically pushing dogs (or people) back from a doorway through which you wish to pass while preventing them from following you.
The number of designated points in a circle will vary with the nature of the intended operation (see The Symbology of Numbers in the Appendix). For general purposes, the number 4 can usually be used - that is, four small pentagrams are inscribed upon the circle in the four cardinal directions. Upon these pentagrams stand four small lamps or candles. "Glow-sticks" are particularly suitable for outdoor ceremonies [especially when there is wind] - they are designed to be internally broken in order to release and mix pre-installed chemicals that will then provide a "glow" for eight to twelve hours.
In terms of magical anatomy and physiology, the Circle corresponds to the energy field, or aura, of the magician wherein all energies are radiated.