An Essay on
© 2008 by Academic Services International, Los Lunas, NM, USA
The Instruments - Continued
Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer
The Drum is, of course, a Drum, but may include any instrument or device that furnishes a rhythmic auditory background for a ceremony. This sound effect is optional and is often omitted.
The Changeover of Global Affairs (COGA) ritual of 1986, also known as the Flashdance II ceremony, utilized an audio tape of the theme from the motion picture Flashdance.
The Timeshift rite of 1992, also known as the Flashdance III ceremony, played an audio tape of Tibetan horns, drums and bells, plus the famous song of Bob Dylan, The Times they are A-changin' .
In terms of magical anatomy and physiology, the Drum represents the Heartbeat of the magician.
Fire in the Hole
The Censer is also known as a thurible or a caldron. It is made of brass, iron, or some similar metal. It should stand on three legs for, if it is flat on the bottom, excessive heat may be conducted through to the altar cloth or the altar itself.
A fire is built within the Censer, either with sticks (for short rituals) or with charcoal (for longer ceremonies). Sometimes the fire is difficult to ignite and a flammable liquid can be used to help it along. Charcoal lighter-fluid and kerosene are both foul-smelling, gasoline is explosive, but methanol (wood alcohol) or pure ethanol (grain or cane alcohol) are ideal. Rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl) does not burn well.
Powdered incense or gum/resin incense can be placed directly on the glowing coals. Sometimes (timid) magicians fill the bottom of the Censer with sand and merely place incense sticks in the granular medium.
However, serious rites require a healthy furnace as papers are often burned and sometimes talismans and links are incinerated (in order to set them in motion). If burned, these items must be ignited and reduced completely to the status of a fine ash.
In terms of magical anatomy and physiology, the Censer represents the Life Force of the magician, and can be equated with the Oriental medicine concept of Kidney Yang.
The Fire refers to the source of the Fire and is used to ignite the Fuel in the Censer, any Candles, sticks of Incense, and the magical Lamp.
This source may be matches (a century ago, these were nicknamed "Lucifers"), or that modern convenience, the propane lighter. A special, golden (or metal-clad) lighter may be consecrated and used only for magical purposes.
In terms of magical anatomy and physiology, the Fire represents the Source of the Life Force of the magician and can be equated with the Oriental medicine term Yuan ("source") Qi. It actually comes from the core of the Earth and also corresponds with the source of the fiery Kundalini.
Where there's Fire - There's Smoke!
The Incense may be wood chips, sticks, powders, or resins. Incense produces a background scent that should correspond with the deity who will be evoked.
The incense is the sacrifice, the fee that is paid in order to produce magical results. Do not hedge on the quality or the cost. Inexpensive incense is suitable only for bathroom purposes.
Ideally, drops of solid resin are placed upon the glowing embers that are contained within the Censer.
A particularly pleasant background incense, burned in stick form prior to a ceremony, is a combination of sandalwood and rose.
In terms of magical anatomy and physiology, the Incense represents the function of Metabolism of the magician. In terms of awareness, it corresponds with Aspiration and Sacrifice.
Oil and Water don't Mix
The Oil, also known as the Holy Oil, is blended and kept in a stoppered or capped vial. Cork is not suitable as a stopper or cap, for it is porous and will allow the volatile essences of the oil to evaporate. The Oil is used to anoint or consecrate all of the other instruments (and even the magician).
The root hol- means whole or complete. It is the root of words such as holy, holistic, wholistic, holiday and hologram.
This is another item that a true magician will avoid purchasing from the Choronzon and the Seven Dwarves occult book and supply shop. The individual oils to be included must be obtained separately and singularly purified before blending into the final mixture.
Beware of "watered-down" oils that are merely an inexpensive base oil to which only a few drops of pure oil have been added. Other "counterfeit" versions are called "synthetic" oils, although they may be the best that you can find that fit your budget. The pure products are called essential oils. Some essential oils are very expensive, but you usually need only the smallest amount of each. The components of virtually any incense can also be obtained in an oil format.
The exact number, derivation, and ratios of individual oils may vary according to the magician's reference to the Table of Correspondences and his or her preferences that result therefrom. Three or four separate constituents are normally sufficient. A full-spectrum blend (all ten spheres) might include:
Ten parts (drops) Dittany of Crete, nine parts Jasmine, eight parts Storax, seven parts Rose, six parts Frankincense, five parts Dragon's Blood, four parts Cedar, three parts Myrrh, two parts Musk, one part Sandalwood.
Each oil, in it's own vial, must be magically purified, charged, and consecrated. Then the "parts" (drops) are ceremonially added, in turn, to the single vial that will contain the final blend.
Use sparingly. A tiny drop is sufficient for consecration.
In terms of magical anatomy and physiology, the Oil represents the Endocrine System of the magician, specifically growth hormone. In terms of awareness, it corresponds with Inspiration.
The Belt may be made of leather, fabric webbing, heavy cord, or light metallic chain. Many magicians prefer to forego the Belt, allowing a free flow of energy throughout the Robe.
The Belt attaches various instruments to the waist of the magician, especially the dagger and the bell with its striker.
In terms of magical anatomy and physiology, the Belt represents the connective tissue of the magician.