The Lord of Hosts

The following is a short meditation on a concept which, like many others, hasn’t been illuminated very well.

In the Jewish tradition of Kabbalah, a common epithet of IHVH, the One God, is “Tzabaoth”, or “IHVH Tzabaoth” in full. Roughly translated, it means “Lord of Hosts”.

Interestingly, we also find a similar concept in Hinduism: Lord Ganesh is the king of all spirits, and thus also called “King of Hosts”.

But what does it mean to rule over hosts, in a spiritual context? Continue reading “The Lord of Hosts”

Making an image in talismanic operations

2c4de8264f90636f9b80bb1ca91408f3In traditional treatises of talismanic magic, the concept of creating an “image” is ubiquitous. Here’s an example from Agrippa.

From the operations of Mars they made an Image in the hour of Mars, Mars being in the second face of Aries, in a Martial stone, especially in a Diamond; The form of which was a man armed, riding upon a Lyon, having in his right hand a naked sword erected, carrying in his left hand the head of a man; they report, that an Image of this kind rendreth a man powerfull in good and evill, so that he shall be feared of all; and whosoever carryeth it they give him the power of enchantment, so that he shall terrifie men by his looks when he is angry, and stupifie them;

–“Of the Images of the Planets”. In: Cornelius Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy

But what does it mean to “make an image“? As most things in occult literature, there are multiple layers of meaning to unravel. Continue reading “Making an image in talismanic operations”

Planetary foods

Presently, I am looking for ways to honor the planetary powers in a balanced fashion by honoring them on their respective days. This can be done through various means like prayer, suitable activities (e.g. physical activity for Mars or learning a language for Mercury) but also through foods. This is especially convenient because we all have to eat every day, so why not make use of it? Plus, eating that way increases the chances of having a balanced diet.
Now that we have established our goal we need to find out which common foods are associated with the planets. Here’s my list, which is by no means exhaustive, so let me know in the comments if you can think of more and I will add them to the list if I agree with your attribution.


  • oranges
  • chicken
  • sunflower seeds
  • dates
  • wheat
  • corn
  • mango
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • honey
  • fruits in general

Dark side: neglecting other planetary foods, monotone diets


  • cheeses in general
  • water, esp. clear spring water
  • rice
  • oats
  • beer
  • mushrooms
  • tofu

Dark side: stale and moldy foods that are bereft of vital energy, or that are outright contrarian to good health


  • millet
  • white wine with carbonated water (spritzer)
  • chicken legs and wings
  • cocktails
  • hors d’oeuvres
  • intricate dishes

Dark side: anything processed in general, eating too fastnull


  • vanilla
  • tonka beans
  • sweets, esp. pralines
  • sweet sherry
  • desserts
  • sweet fruit liquors
  • mead
  • cinnamon
  • rose-colored pepper
  • honey
  • anything with pleasant odors
  • white bread
  • haute cuisine

Dark side: overly sweet (e.g. soft drinks)


  • red meat
  • spirits (high-percentage alcoholic drinks)
  • tripe
  • ginger
  • pepper (esp. black pepper)
  • cayenne peppers
  • onion
  • garlic
  • kidney beans
  • cloves

Dark side: too much red meat, medicated meat, not caring about the origins of one’s food


  • big roasts, esp. turkey
  • puff pastry
  • lentils
  • chicken breast
  • turmeric
  • burgers
  • pasta
  • dumplings
  • pumpkins

Dark side: overindulgence, i.e. eating or drinking too much


  • potatoes and other vegetables with edible roots
  • carrot
  • tomatoes
  • topinambur
  • sour and dry wines, port wine
  • black bread

Dark side: constipating foods; eating too little

What are magical faculties (siddhis)? Do they exist?

Thousand-Handed Guan Yin
Thousand-Handed Guan Yin, a Buddhist and Chinese folk goddess. Multiple pairs of hands symbolize power and wisdom.

In this post I would like to talk about magical, spiritual or mystical faculties, also called Siddhis by practitioners of certain Eastern systems, in modern terms. I hope you will not find the text too dense or hard to grasp. I would be grateful for any suggestions on how to word things better. Questions are also fair game! 🙂 Continue reading “What are magical faculties (siddhis)? Do they exist?”

They’re just people.

Over the years I’ve noticed that a lot of human folks on this planet are easily affected by glamours. I’m not saying I’m not, but I do believe I have been blessed with a certain amount of innate resistance, or protection, against them.

Other human beings will dazzle you with their money, power, looks (whether artificial or natural) or talents. A funny hat or uniform can be enough, or some deftly applied make-up. Continue reading “They’re just people.”

Bardon’s books, my opinion and advice

Initiation Into Hermetics is one of the best books I’ve ever read and worked with, and has helped me greatly in my magical development. In some respects it also hindered me, but I feel it’s definitely a net win. At some point I set it aside and pursued other avenues. But even then I often found myself coming back to Bardon’s books.

There’s a popular website by Rawn Clark called “A Bardon Companion”:

With this, again, I’ve learned much, but in some respects it also slowed me down. I believe that some of the knowledge one acquires while pursuing a magical path (or anything really) is built upon the pitfalls encountered. So what I’m saying is basically that, you *will* have misconceptions (or missing knowledge) which you will encounter and iron out when working with a system. And it is by transcending these limiting beliefs that we learn what beliefs were wrong. Of course there’s also the things you can learn straight from a teacher/book, not just this part.

So here’s some advice.

1. Read all 3 books. Initiation Into Hermetics, Practice of Magical Evocation, Key to the Magical Kabbalah. Cross-read again and again, and work with it. Don’t pick up some limiting beliefs that Franz Bardon put in there, I think on purpose. Only someone sincerely and steadfastly working with his system (and their magical evolution of consciousness) wouldn’t be turned off by these limiting beliefs, and at some point recognize and transcend them. One example of a limiting belief is “this exercise is hard or dangerous” or “it has to be done exactly as Bardon describes”. These books are only an aid. Explore your consciousness by whatever means you’re drawn to at some point in time. It’s a damn good instructional course in magic written by a highly knowledgeable spirit incarnate adept and might provide a solid foundation of your other magical work, but it will be just one among many in your magical library.

2. Be gentle with yourself. It’s a lifelong course. You will have trouble with some exercises and soar at others. You will fail, but only temporarily. You might also get more patient as you recognize that the things you learn are not binary (can/cannot do), but are parts of an infinite continuum. For example, there are degrees of success/adepthood in Clairaudience. Talerman wrote about this very topic in another thread. So know that you are making progress. And sometimes we’re just blind to our progress and think we’re not making any! :lol:

3. Mix and match, if you’re really drawn to it, or the talents evolve naturally. I’ve developed Evocation, Mental Wandering, Telepathy, Transmutation and many other skills over the past 15 years to a significant degree. And there’s much, much more to learn for me in these disciplines and others! There are special people out there that focus on a skill and really have developed it to an astonishing degree. For example Animal Communication, a form of Telepathy. I have a desire in working on that. Then there’s Astral Projection. I have a difficult relationship with it. But at some point one has to make choices about what skills to work on. And I find it is natural then to follow one’s own unique interests and talents. It’s more fun and effective that way. I love animals and communication, so I’m pursuing exercises to talk to them. I’m intrigued in AP and think it would help me in my practice, but it doesn’t come naturally to me, so I have a hard time making progress. Also, it’s not as important as the former one. Sure, I’d like to develop both. But in the end obviously AP is not important enough for me, compared to other things. So it takes a backseat.

Also, at some point I think it is inevitable that one develops a skill that Bardon talks about in other, later places in the book, in a significant fashion. And then it can get confusing. You want to work on that newly found power and learn about it, so you work on a thing that, according to Bardon’s course, comes much later. It would appear that Rawn Clark, who is a good magician indeed, strictly adhered to Bardon’s steps in order. So either he is very different in his personality from me (and maybe many others), or he did skip ahead sometimes.

4. Bardon doesn’t talk much about emotions. What little is there is pretty general. Without emotions we are lost as far as power and perception are concerned, so any student of Bardon *will* get in touch with their emotions as they work the course. Which is actually true for all powerful magical paths I think.

5. Be sincere and humble. Seek the friendship of all beings you encounter. Let rejection take a back seat in significance. But honor “bad” emotions and experiences as much as you would the “good” ones. By honoring I mean giving them love and attention, your offer of friendship and welcome. Develop introspection. Develop empathy and intuition. Get out into nature, or put nature into your house. Seek peace. Peace of mind, peace of emotion, peace of body, and, ultimately and most supreme, peace of spirit.

Spiritual practice

In this post I’m answering questions about beginning spiritual practice that have been asked on the Studio Arcanis forums. I’m posting it here on the blog since I feel this could be helpful to a lot of people.

I feel as though if I don’t pick the most suitable way to practice and study, it’ll be a waste of effort – which is ironic, since I’m not even delving into anything much anyway.

I guess I just want effective A > B > C > 1 > 2 > 3 instruction and not feel like I’m being mislead, doing things wrong and not optimally.

Continue reading “Spiritual practice”