Saturday, 20 October 2012

Pentacles of Solomon

Hey Folks,
As some of you may be aware, I recently had a small book published with the wonderful people at Hadean Press, which I hope you will all enjoy. I thought I'd take the time to just say a little something about it here so you can all get an idea about the content and intended use of the book.
The book, simply called The Pentacles of Solomon, is a small volume aimed at magicians who wish to experiment and practice with what are - in my humble opinion - one of the most interesting parts of the Clavicular Salomonis, namely the Pentacles. These planetary talismans set the magician up with endless possibilities, and with a little imagination, these images can provide any magical practitioner with a wealth of potential projects and magical missions.

I have deliberately not made this book an academic or subjective view of the Pentacles. I am not in the position to write at length on the subject of the Grimoire tradition or give long explanations of the gematria of divine names - instead i opted to keep the text in this book the same (or virtually the same) as Mathers gave it in his edition, this way the reader can infer their own uses for the pentacles.
Ok, so what's actually in this thing? In a nutshell, I took the time to redraw each and every pentacle using digital programs to render them in a clear and concise manner. Each image is about half an A5 sheet in size, big enough to be clearly seen clearly, and the Hebrew text has been typed in clear font, so even if you can't read the Hebrew yourself, you can accurately reproduce it without fear of ending up with a mess of scribbles rather than holy names (this was one of my main reasons for doing this project actually) Where possible I've given a run down of angelic and divine names that appear in each pentacle, along with the vesicle given in Hebrew, Latin, and English. 
My hope is that people will use my book to actively work with the pentacles in whichever way they are happiest, and *fingers crossed* will find greater success using these newly rendered images. 
Anyway, for those of you who were wondering, there is a little run down of my latest effort, which can be purchased here
Many thanks for reading,
S. Aldarnay

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Generous Bandit

Jesus Malverde is a folk Saint from Sinaloa in Mexico. Senor Malverde is considered to be a kind of Robin Hood style character aiding the poor and needy. Malverde is counted among the “Narco ” Saints, these are the Saints who help drug dealers to sell, move and distribute their products.

It is said that he lived in the 1900’s and was eventually killed by the authorities after a number of highly successful robberies and raids. The Governor of Sinaloa at the time made the suggestion that his security force was so good not even Malverde could break in to his home. Malverde’s response to such an accusation was to not only break in to the Governors home and graffiti a message on the wall but also to kidnap his teenage daughter from her bed!

On his eventual capture he was hanged from a tree to die.  It was forbidden for his body to be cut down as it was to remain a warning for those who dare to cross the Governor. So great was Malverde’s help to the poor that people began to deposit stones at the tree eventually creating a giant burial cairn.  Stories tell that when the cairn was to be demolished by the government the stones flew at the demolition crew and damaged their vehicles.

The major shrine to Jesus Malverde is situated across the way from the Government building in Sinaloa and is frequented by thousands of visitors every year. The Shrine provides health care, food aid and funerals for the poor which it makes available from the thousands of dollars it receives in donations from its visitors.

Malverde is the helper of those in need; he is talented in fixing court cases, protecting from the law and gaining money. Malverde’s legendary last words were “remember my people” by which he meant those less fortunate. When asking him for anything be sure to offer a decent potion of what you make to those less fortunate. When we perform work with Malverde we will always take a few large bags of shopping to the food bank.   

Always offer two candles, his favoured drinks are beers and Spirits and a big fat cigar. His favoured colour is green, Malverde translates to bad green, another link to ill gotten gains and his power in the drugs world. Malverde’s shrines can be found all over Mexican roadsides but are usually quickly destroyed by the authorities as drug dealers tend to hide things at them.

Personal shrines are started in the home by setting out a green cloth, two candles before an image and a pile of small round stones, traditionally it is said to be 21 stones. Be sure when making request to keep up your side of the deal and always make sure to do a good deed for his people.


Monday, 14 May 2012

Saint Dymphna

Tomorrow marks the feast of the glorious Saint Dymphna. Dymphna is the patron St of mental illness and is petitioned for her intercession in cases of this nature. Dymphna was an Irish princess born in the 7th century. Her mother was devoutly Christian and placed her in the spiritual care of a nun who taught her to read the bible.

After the death of her mother her father, a pagan king of Orie, suffered a great depression and deterioration of his mental health. He sent out servants to find a woman who looked like his wife and when none could be found began to covert his daughter. Dymphna was deeply Christian and on discovering her father’s plan to marry her she fled the kingdom with Father Gerebernus and two Christian servants. They took a boat and sailed to the continent ending up in the small town of Gheel. Furious, her father and his men tracked her down and killed the Priest the servants and finally, in a fit of rage at her refusal to return with him, he killed Dymphna too!

Dymphna and Father Gerebernus were buried in a cave in Gheel by the local residents and it is said when they decided to move the bodies to a more suitable location they were both found interred in stone coffins, both marked with a red tile baring their names.

Miracles and cures began to take place and Dymphna’s fame spread rapidly from country to country. Relics were applied to patients who became healed and novenas were created in her the 13th century a radical institute was set up in Gheel where the mentally ill were placed in the care of families in the village.

Dymphna has a huge power of intercession when it comes to depression, mental health issues and nervous disorders.  This Virgin child truly is a wonderworker. 

For mental clarity, to lift a depression and to ease the mind

Take a large glass bowl and fill it with a cup of rain water, a cup of holy water and half a cup of lavender cologne and half a cup of eau de cologne or Florida water. Next boil 2 cups of water on the stove to this water add a handful of lemon peel and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, remove it from the heat, cool and strain and add to the bowl.

When all the liquids are combined take an image or medal of Dymphna and add it to the waters. Before it light a pale blue candle and pray

“You are celebrated St. Dymphna, for your goodness to others. Both in your lifetime, and even more in the ages past, you have again and again demonstrated your concern for those who are mentally disturbed or emotionally troubled. Kindly secure for me, then, some measure of your own serene love, and ask our Lord to lend me his help. Amen.”    

Allow the candle to burn down and take the water to the bath room, hold your head over the bath and pour the liquid over your head in three parts saying “By God, By Mary, By St Dymphna”  wrap your head in a white towel and relax somewhere  

We will be holding a Vigil for St Dymphna at the St Martha Botianca tomorrow. If you would like lights set for you or someone else please email us with your prayer request and we will be happy to oblige.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Book Reviews

We’ve never done a book review before but we simply couldn’t resist talking about these two treasures! 

The first is the Book of Gold by David Rankine and Paul Harry Barron ( )
This book contains a wealth of practical information so useful to the Hoodoo Community. The book comes from a 17th century French manuscript and is literally a Psalm spell book, containing numerous easily employable charms, amulets and tricks.

The power of the psalms is well documented in Hoodoo and we found it fascinating that the mass produced “Hoodoo pamphlets” from the 1920’s onwards have drawn heavily from this little known Grimoire. There are charms throughout the book that are still in use by Root Workers today and some that they will want to try!      

Rankine and Barron run a commentary throughout packed with information and references, along with incredibly handy appendices making the book simple to reference. The Book of Gold truly is lives up to its name, a 17th Century manual that is still beneficial and more importantly usable in modern times, brilliantly researched and wonderfully put together. The Book of Gold is truly worth its weight!

The second book we can’t speak highly enough of is the Encyclopedia of Mystics, Saints and Sages by the wonderful Judika Illes (Harper Collins, )

Illes has painstakingly compiled this huge compendium giving descriptions of what makes a Saint and a handy guide for working through the book. Illes’ research is flawless, giving descriptions the lives of the Saints when they walked on earth and speaks in depth about their powers of intercession from the otherworld.

Illes has not just included recognised Catholic Saints in this book but also the unofficial folk Saints, Narco saints, Sufi Saints, Jewish Saints and a whole host of others! Where applicable Illes includes tricks and charms that the Saints can help with, she has included epithets, Folk magic and a whole host of useful tid-bits that will keep you fascinated.

I have met Judika Illes at the Occult conference this year and had numerous in depth discussions with her about this book and Saints in general, meeting her and experiencing her amazing passion for her work I can honestly say people interested in Hoodoo, Folk magic or working with Saints need this book. Judika’s effort, intelligence and above all her passion are visible on every page.                  

Monday, 2 January 2012

Chief Black Hawk

Many months ago in the early hours of the morning we began a séance with some friends in the Saint Martha Botanica. We had some friends staying and we wanted to speak to previous occupants and some of the spirits of the building. The séance was a complete success as at the end of our session Marie Leveau took full possession. What was interesting was that before she did we noticed the spirit of a man pacing the room with his back to the wall. During her possession another member of the group was possessed by a spirit who went about the room performing a cleansing and making gestures in the style of a Native American.
When asked who this spirit was Marie responded “his name is Black Hawk, that is what you would calling him”. The spirit of Chief Black Hawk is found heavily employed in the Churches of New Orleans spiritualism.

Black Hawk or “Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak” to use his native was born in 1767 in Saukenuk in Illinois. There is very little known about his youth, his Father was the medicine man of the tribe who died when Black Hawk was about 19 from fatal injuries gained from a battle with the Osages. During the war in 1812 Black Hawk fought on the side of the British. He is most famous for the “Black Hawk war” which was in effect a war against the territory laws drawn up in 1804 and went on for 4 months during the year of 1832. Black Hawk lead masses of troops into skirmishes and massacres. During what is traditionally known as the Tour of the East Black Hawk was captured and held in prison for a number of weeks before his release. He recounted his life to many people and died in his 70’s on October 3rd.

During the rise of spiritualism in the early 1920’s Mother Leafy Anderson opened her spiritual church and Black Hawk became one of her guides. As a spirit guide he served the congregation well. He was a hard working powerful spirit who was later aadopted by Anderson successor Mother Catherine Seals. When Seals died Black Hawk became elevated to a powerful spirit who could aid those in need of his help.

I have only very recently installed Black Hawk in the store. Traditionally the tools to work with Black Hawk are placed in a bucket of sand or dirt. Some workers say that there are special blends of dirt that must be adhered to whilst others say that it should just be filled with sand. I have gone for a combination of both. One thing remains true regardless of what base you chose to use, where that dirt goes Black Hawk will follow. The dirt or sand can be employed in the same way as graveyard dirt, sending the spirit to where it is scattered.

On top of this is placed an image of him, I am not a fan of the Cherokee style statues as Black Hawk fought against them and as a result my partner very kindly made me the statue you see in the picture. Black Hawk is given tools to empower him, A knife, a pipe, an axe, shells, stones and other items to give him strength. The bucket is somewhat like a Nganga in Palo, work is done in it, tools go in to it and it becomes a spirit house for him.

Offering for him include fruit, red beans and rice, tobacco, beads and water. He is called upon for many different matters but specialises in protection, cleansings, legal matters as well as controlling and guarding your perimeters.

We will be adding Black Hawk to the shrine pages on our website and people are welcome to make offerings to him in store.