One Star

One Star

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

I Got 99 Problems and Mercury Ain't One

So, my favorite time a year is when Mercury is retrograde, and by favorite, I mean, I hate watching all the posts about people dealing with Mercury being retrograde.

The influences of the planets are based on movements, proximity, and relationships. So while Mercury may appear to go backwards it doesn't really travel backwards, so nothing really changes in its movement. Position is the main thing that comes up in how the planets and stars relate, there are some key movement based elements, but retrograde motion has never struck me as a particularly important one.

But, whether I believe in the impact of retrograde motion or not doesn't necessarily impact whether you do or not. So maybe it's a problem you need to resolve. Or maybe you just need to create a beneficial Mercurial presence in your life.

Currently, Mercury, Jupiter, and the Sun are all in the sign of Virgo. Virgo has a lot of influence right now with such a stellar cast of characters hanging out in her neighborhood. So we can use this to our advantage.

Mercury is exalted in Virgo, meaning that in Virgo Mercury is in its optimum position, it is able to impart its effects without being hampered by contrary astrological effects. Not only is Mercury exalted in Virgo, but double whammy of awesome, Mercury rules Virgo. So even without the exaltation Virgo would be a positive position for Mercury adding to its ability to impart a harmonized Mercurial force. So with Mercury currently in Virgo we have a pretty good position to work from.

But...we're concerned with Mercury having issues because of the retrograde motion.

The Sun is also in Virgo. The sign the Sun is in reflects the outer appearance of things which occur during that time. So the Sun in Virgo will impart the essential elements of Virgo in a balanced visible fashion. Sun in Virgo indicates exacting attention to detail, a grounded nature, and dutiful execution of specific tasks. When taken into the realm of communication this ties back to clear precise communication.

The Sun in general represents aligning, and balancing things, and ordering them to their true purpose. It is the central force which organizes the planets along their rotations. It positions them and therefore is directive of the ordered exposition of their luminescence. So the Sun acting in relation to Mercury works to correct the manifestation of Mercurial force.

Now, we noted Jupiter is also hanging out there in Virgo. We don't need too much focus on the Jupiterian presence here. Jupiter in Virgo, as we discussed recently, diminishes Jupiter's ability to create prosperity. But, when we discussed the Homeric Hymn of Mercury, Mercury was kind of running around like crazy trying to get himself situated (retrograde), he stole Apollo's (Sun) bulls (an animal associated at times with Jupiter) and so Jupiter interceded, and gave position and power to Mercury and set Apollo on instructing and directing Mercury. So the story here, while it reflects Jupiter's detriment in Virgo, it also reflects the situation we're dealing with. Mercury isn't behaving how we want, but a relationship with Jupiter and Sol fixes Mercury's motion. So the current positioning gives us the tools we need.

In classical and medieval magic a common way of dealing with astrological elements was to apply a talisman made under and reflecting favorable astrological conditions. Today we call this “Scholastic Image Magic” in the renaissance and middle ages it was called telesmatics, Persian Image Magic, Arabic Image Magic, or signs were referred to as Hermetic Images and other similar names. Often this is treated as a form of non-addressative magic, meaning it did not involve rituals or spirits. You simply made the talisman under the right astrological influences and the celestial rays present at the time of construction were sealed within the talisman so that it could be applied in situations where people needed those influences, or so that it could draw in or ward off things based upon the image and the celestial rulership.

We do have several examples which show addressative forms of image magic in renaissance, late medieval, and even in some middle eastern texts. In these addressative forms talismans were made under correct conditions and rituals or prayers were included. Our example today can be done either way depending upon your preferred way of working.

The talisman should be made with dual rings encircling it. In the outer ring should be the names associated with the sign of Virgo since that is where everything is occurring. In the inner ring should be the names and seal of the Sun since we want the influence of the Sun to align the planetary force of Mercury. The name for the Mercurial archangel can appear within the talismanic image since that is the focus of the image. We will not include a Jupiterian name because it's not primarily the force we want to be working with, we just kind of want a nod to the Jupiterian presence and it's ability to add beneficence to the direction of Mercury.

The image in the center should be of Mercury as the Messenger; he should hold a bull by the neck, similar to in a Mithraic tauroctony image. Above should be the Sun, below should be the name of the Mercurial archangel.

Virgo names: Hamaliel (Archangel), Ceres (Greek Divinity), Vav Yod, Heh, Heh, (astrological banner)

Solar Names: Raphael (Archangel), Och (Olympic Spirit), Apollo (Greek Divinity), ELVH (Divine Name)

Mercurial Angel: Michael

The seals for Raphael, Michael, and Och can be found in the Magical Calendar.

If we are making the seal without addressing any spiritual powers we simply construct the seal while these planets are still in the sign of Virgo. Sunrise or Noon being the best times of day.

You can add ritual components by consecrating your space and materials through whatever openings, invocations, and purifications you feel are appropriate. Psalms from the Greater Key of Solomon might make sense. Openings from the Chaldean Oracles. A prayer to your Holy Guardian Angel or to the Architect of Creation. Any of these could be used.

If we want to move closer to addressative magic add the appropriate Orphic Hymns. While writing the names for Virgo use a Hymn to Persephone. While doing the Solar ring a Hymn to Apollo or Helios. While doing the inner image a Hymn to Hermes while drawing him and a Hymn to Zeus while drawing the bull.

You could further consecrate the talisman by using a conjuration of the Archangel Michael or the Olympic Spirit Ophiel and explaining the powers you would like imparted into the talisman.

You have a lot of options.

My intention here was more to give a framework than a set ritual to use. If you try making a talisman let me know how it goes in the comments!

If you enjoyed this please like us on Facebook, and if you think others could use some help with Mercury please share this post!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Conjuring Prosperity in a Less Prosperous Time

Conjuration of Bariel Contra VirgoFr. RS

The table of practice should be set with a scrying crystal, four candles for the directions, and one for the divine presence. There should be a chalice of wine, a wand, a dagger, and a blank tile of wax or wood. The Seal of Solomon is present, along with a seal for Michael, and for Hameliel. There are also seals for Adnachiel, and Bariel and any seal or talisman for the work intended. There should be water, an incense burner, temple incense, and saffron incense. The magician should have his robe and lamen, and anointing oil.

Prior to entering the ritual space strip naked and bathe.

Anoint your head, lips, and heart in holy oil and say:

There is water in water, there is fire in chrism.”

Put on your robe and pray:

Ancor, Amacor, Amides, Theodonias, Anitor, by the merits of your Angel, Oh Lord, I will put on the Garments of Salvation, that this which I desire I may bring to effect: through You the most holy Adonai, whose kingdom endures for ever and ever. Amen.”

Light the candles on the altar and pray:

Holy art thou Lord of the Universe,
Holy art thou whom Nature Hath not Formed
Holy art thou Vast and Mighty One
Lord of Light and of Darkness”

Then sprinkle the water and trace the downward pointed triangle in each quarter and over yourself while saying: First then the priest of fire must sprinkle the lustral water of the loud resounding sea.

Take up the candle and make the upward triangle followed by a cross in each quarter and over yourself while saying: Then when all the phantoms have vanished you will see that holy and formless fire that darts and flashes in the hidden depths of the universe.

Place the temple incense on the burner.

Raise the chalice of wine

Oh great and blessed N. my Holy Guardian Angel, vouchsafe to descend from your holy mansion which is Celestial, with your holy Influence and Presence, into this cup of ecstasy, that I may behold your glory; and enjoy your society, aid and assistance, both now and for ever hereafter. O you who are higher than the fourth heaven, and who knows the secrets of Elanel. You who rides upon the wings of the winds and is mighty and potent in your Celestial and superlunary motion, descend and be present I pray; and I humbly desire and call upon you. That if ever I have merited your society or if any of my actions and intentions be real and pure & sanctified before you bring your external presence hither, and converse with me your pupil, by and in the name of the great god YHVH, where unto the whole choir of heaven sings continually: O Mappa la man Hallelujah. Amen.

Drink the wine.

Hold up the Seal of Solomon in the left hand, take the dagger and hold it to the seal of Michael.

In the name of Adonai Tzvot, Lord of Hosts, Throne of Thrones, by the seal of God given to Solomon, I call upon the archangel Michael to hear my command. Withhold from this rite, from my work, and from my intentions on this day the forces of Mercury and its influence.

Place the dagger upon the seal of Hameliel.

In the name of Adonai Tzvot, Lord of Hosts, Throne of Thrones, by the seal of God given to Solomon, I call upon the archangel Hameliel to hear my command. Withhold from this rite, from my work, and from my intentions on this day the forces of Virgo and its influence.

Take the dagger and make a cross above both seals.

By the sign of the cross I seal my work this day against the the powers of Mercury and Virgo that they may not diminish or bring detriment to the forces which I shall here and now call upon.

Turn over the seals of Hameliel and Michael.

With the dagger etch the geomantic sign of Acquisitio on the tile.

By Adonai Tzvot, Lord of Hosts, send the Holy Angel Adnachiel that the light of the Archer strengthen and fortify the power of Jupiter.

Uncover the Seal of Bariel and any seals particular to the work being done. Replace the dagger and take up the wand. Place the saffron incense on the burner. Touch the seal of Bariel with the wand and pray:

O Jove much-honored, Jove supremely great,
To you our holy rites we consecrate,
Our prayers and expiations, king divine,
For all things round thy head exalted shine.
The earth is thine, and mountains swelling high,
The sea profound, and all within the sky.
Saturnian king, descending from above,
Magnanimous, commanding, sceptered Jove;
All-parent, principle and end of all,
Whose power almighty, shakes this earthly ball;
Even Nature trembles at thy mighty nod,
Loud-sounding, armed with lightning, thundering God.
Source of abundance, purifying king,
O various-formed from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my prayer, give blameless health,
With peace divine, and necessary wealth.

I conjure and confirm upon you, you strong and holy angels, by the names Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh, Eschercie, Escherei, Eschercie, Hatim, Ya, strong founder of the worlds; Cantine, Jaym, Janic, Anic, Calbot, Sabbac, Berisay, Alnaym; and by the name Adonai, who created fishes and creeping things in the waters, and birds upon the face of the earth, flying towards heaven, in the fifth day; and by the names of the angels serving in the sixth host before Pastor, a holy angel, and a great and powerful prince and by the name of his star, which is Jupiter, and by the name of his seal, and by the name of Adonai, the great God, Creator of all things, and by the name of all the stars, and by their power and virtue, and by all the names aforesaid, I conjure you, Sachiel, a great Angel, who is chief ruler of Thursday, and Bethor, Holy Spirit of the Firmament given to rule the regions of Jupiter, and Adnachiel angel of the Constellation Sagittarius that you will bring forth the manifestation of Bariel, spirit of Jupiter that he might appear in this crystal and serve and labor in all my requests!

Make your requests of Bariel, and ask any questions you have. When you have finished give the license to depart.

Bariel, spirit of Jupiter, under the authority of Sachiel, aided by Adnachiel, who all serve the same Lord I serve, united in this bond, go forth and fulfill our work together and then return to your abode, peacefully, and return to me in friendship when we are called by the Lord to work together again.

Extinguish the candles, let the incense burn out and quit the temple. 

If you try this out I would love comments with your results. Also  if you liked this post, please share and like us on Facebook

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rocket to Jupiter: Improving your work with the Powers of Prosperity

Over the last several years Jupiter has become an exceedingly popular force, either divine or planetary, for modern magicians. Jupiter was always a good go to as an exemplar for magical groups showing a ritual template or talking about work to do because most Jupiterian qualities are pretty positive. But it's really been of late that people are immersed in and excited about Jupiter as a primary force to drive them to working more magic and focusing that magic around a structure.

This is great, it adds a realism and a drive towards hands on magic. It's something that wasn't there as much before. This has been one of the big improvements in modern magic which seems to come from the work of folks like Jason Miller, and Rufus Opus and the Gentlemen of Jupiter. People have joked that they are the preachers of the prosperity gospel of magic. They focus on magic as a way to improve lives so that once people's lives are in order they can focus on the bigger stuff. It's a great approach and it gets people actually doing the work instead of sitting on the side lines.

I don't know a ton about what the Gentlemen of Jupiter did, Rufus tried to get me to join, but it was during my period of being semi-retired. All I can say though is the work they've done has epically changed the culture of modern magic.

That said, the focus on prosperity work only works when said prosperity work works. Or, even better, when it works better.

Recently I was thinking about some astrological components of prosperity magic. I haven't done a lot of it lately, but I know for a lot of people things have not been as prosperous as they would like. Business is slow for me and a lot of my coworkers, a lot of people I know have had a lot of financial fires to put out. Some have turned to magic.

One friend mentioned having done some work for a friend having financial troubles and acquiring the money needed to cover some stuff. Another friend had some more interesting results. She did a big Jupiter rite with some people, and only got a nominal raise at work. But then, online, dudes on dating sites started offering her money for her company. She was not going to take them up on it. It was a result, but not the result she wanted.

For a lot of people stuff like this is what they've been getting. Weird, patchy results.

See, the thing with Jupiter, is Jupiter isn't for that. Jupiter is for the new job, the lucrative marriage, the raise, the steady stream of clients, or the small handful of very good very productive client relationships, the big raise with the new office...prosperity, fecundity, stability. A flowing stream to make your soil fertile, not a quick bucket to hold back a roaming fire.

That said, results are good, I'm proud of my friends who did magic and got some result. But there is a reason their results and those of others don't look like Jupiter. The answer, is Mercury.

August 2015 Jupiter entered Virgo. It will leave Virgo September 2016. In Virgo Jupiter is in detriment which reduces or reverses its power. Think back, from August 2015 through now, how has your prosperity work with Jupiter looked, or in general, are there things which would have provided prosperity that didn't, or which did, but could have provided more? The specifics of how it will have affected your life will depend upon elements of your birth, but how it impacts magic will have a little more consistency.
In both examples given above the people working were able to get small amounts of money, one was able to help someone resolve some specific problems, the other one was able to get a raise so in name they got what they asked for but in essence they got nothing. They then got offers for more spurts and bursts of money, from guys wanting to spurt and burst.

When I was a kid, Mercury was my go to for money. Partially because of my personality at the time, and partially because I didn't want prosperity, I wanted money so I could keep my pocket just full enough to get what I wanted without having anything to hold me down or to care about. Mercury, is great for that, but not so great for sustained prosperity. Mercury also likes underground type of stuff, communication and connections, and moving from spot to spot, so, guys offering money for one night liaisons definitely could fall under mercurial ways to make money, particularly since the Mercurial exposure in this case is shaped by Virgo, or the Maiden.

Virgo involves being analytical, modest, shy, and grounded. So nothing big, nothing expansive.

Mercury, mythologically, is Jupiter's son who he left tucked away with his mother in a cave away from the gods. He wasn't like Zagreus, born to inherit his father's throne. He felt the need to scrape and steal for his father's attention and power. He proclaimed to his mother Maia that he would use whatever plan he could to get them what they need instead of leaving them alone and unfed in their cave without the wealth and prosperity of the gods. He had to be clever and scrappy, he even threatened to steal what they need if his plan didn't work. He talked about wanting the things Apollo had, and it was Apollo that he stole from to get their father Jupiter's attention.

In the end Jupiter, amused by his son's antics, granted him his place amongst the gods, but rather than taking him in and teaching and empowering him, he gave him lesser reflections of the powers and domains of Apollo.

The impact of Mercury's rulership of Virgo has a similarly diminishing effect on the powers of Jupiter while it transits Virgo. So while Jupiter and Mercury can both bring about money, and the Earthy nature of Virgo can relate to money, that Earthy nature also relates to grounding, and so the flowing prosperity implied by Jupiter's watery nature is grounded by the context of Virgo. The effusive expansive steady prosperity of Jupiter as providence is is stymied by the quick, changeable, catch as catch can nature of Mercury.

So if we want to do Jupiter magic while Jupiter is in Virgo. This ends soon, September 9th. But it provides a good opportunity to talk about off setting astrological considerations in magic.

If we want to unbound Jupiter's effects from being diminished by Mercury and Virgo we need to address those elements. We could banish Mercury, or Virgo or both. We could invoke a zodiacal force more positive for our ends such as Sagittarius. You could potentially also invoke Sol, as Apollo was the intermediary between Jupiter and Mercury and solar force galvanizes natures. Directly banishing and invoking appropriate zodiacal forces makes more sense to me. Adding components to strengthen the Jupiterian force can help, such as using the planetary hour, or working when Jupiter is at its Zenith or Rising could work help, or working while Mercury is setting or while Mercury is at its nadir. Similarly you could select a time where Virgo is setting or at it's low point, or while Sagittarius is rising or at its zenith. Any option or combination of options that places the celestial powers in a position advantageous to your goal will benefit your result.

An alternative option would be if you had talismans, particularly astrologically charged talismans, formed under any of these conditions. For instance a mercurial talisman made with Mercury in detriment placed upside down upon the altar. Or a Jupiter talisman made while Jupiter is in a position of strength placed in a position of prominence on the altar.

Tomorrow I'll post a ritual that provides an example of this kind of astrological work, so make sure to like us on Facebook so you can follow along!

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Polyamorous Relationship with Jesus

Something that has come to mind frequently is the place of Christ in my identity as a Gnostic. I'm a hard polytheist, I believe in various gods and spirits as actual beings. In the minds of most people, believing in Jesus and believing in Dionysos, or Othin, or Lugh don't go together.

I know some Gnostics who are pretty ecumenical in their inclusion of various divinities in their work because they don't believe in them as actual personal divine beings.

I know some Gnostics that don't believe that Gnosticism has a Christian component, and that particular symbol set doesn't need to be part of their Gnosticism, or if it is, they don't need to acknowledge it as more than a symbol even if they believe in other gods.

That can work for them, and that's great.

But I definitely confuse my friends, because I think most of them know I'm a hardline polytheist. On the flip side, I'm pretty borderline Catholic.  I had an OTO friend admit that he initially thought I was a secret Catholic priest sent to spy on the OTO. When I celebrated the marriage of my best friend and his wife several Roman Catholics came up to tell me how Catholic my celebration of the ceremony felt. I have a major hard on for the Jesuits, and kind of style some of my thinking after theirs, and I frequently read works by Jesuits to develop myself as a priest. I've had Catholics tell me that I'm so Catholic they don't understand why I don't just convert.

My friends and I occasionally take pause when my answers to things that come up sound more like a Catholic priest than an EGC priest or a sorcerer.

Which kind of gets to why I don't convert. I hold Gnostic views on religion. I practice magic. I believe in other gods. I'm ok with people having whatever flexibility or direction they need in their sexuality. So I probably wouldn't make it as a standard Catholic. Because I'm not one.

I had a dream once where I had to perform an exorcism, and the spirits taunted me that I couldn't do it because I wasn't a Christian and was trying to exorcise them as a Catholic priest would.

When I woke up, it definitely left me with questions about what I believe and how it all fits.

Similarly when I ask my Johannite friends about their church and coming to check out what they've got going on, I ask myself about how their priests seem to navigate being part of a Christian Gnostic tradition and then also working with Pagan Gods and non-Christian sorcery, and I ask myself about how I think and feel about such creative theology.

Because I'm cool with the idea of running around like a Valentinian and bringing the Living Gnosis to mainstream Christians and Gnostics alike, but at the same time I'm a Thelemite, I organize some of the best Dionysian spiritual revelries, and I like to hang in the woods with Druids and chat up Odin from time to time.

At the same time, I do believe in Christ as a divine being equally with the other gods. Recognizing and accepting that was pretty easy and kind of nullified the need to question stuff. But I've run into a lot of people who do question how that works, and whether or not it's something that works for them, or if it was going to how it would work.

Recently there was some joking online about being married to Christ, but it being difficult for people who want to commit to other gods too. Which is where the title of this post came from.

The thing is, from a Gnostic perspective it's really not that weird. The Living Jesus of Gnosticism isn't the singular son of a singular divine being, sharing the same divine presence in three persons. Christ is part of an overall collective of divine beings. These divine beings all stem from a non-personal divinity not far off from what we see as the One and the Good in Neoplatonism. Depending upon the nature of the divine being they might exist within different levels of emanation from the source, they might have different natures or functions or powers as well. Christ is just one of many whose purpose was to come deliver a message to enlighten the world, but he's not necessarily the principle deity or the one that people will necessarily need to work with most of the time. In fact, the whole message of the Gnostic Christ is that his message makes you the same as him. Once you're the same as him, the real work involves the other gods and spirits with whom you would interact as you enlighten yourself and enlighten the world.

From my perspective, as I thought about it more, my polyamorous relationship with Jesus is one in which he's not my primary. I dig the places he hangs out, and I like some of his lifestyle choices, but not all of them. There are other gods with whom I am closer, and with whom I've spent more time and built deeper connections. Still, as a kid I had a really deep relationship with Christ, even as I began learning magic. As a teenager when I got deeper into magic and paganism I stayed further from Christianity until I was an adult and realized that religious experience can draw from a lot of sources to inform each other and those sources don't have to disrupt each other.

I've always believed that vocation is a calling towards a universal service to the spirituality of mankind. I've always believed that religion isn't necessarily about a particular religious expression so much as the overarching divine harmony expressed through the prism of man's thoughts and actions. With that being the case, human religion is in my mind a swirling interlocking series of expressions that can speak to us in different ways for different purposes, each answering different questions of life and experience.

So yeah, Jesus and I can be bros swept up in a tenuous homosocial love affair, which bolsters my ability to call upon the divine names associated with him as I engage in Jewish and Christian sorcery, or to find meaning in the mystical explorations of God through NeoPlatonic, Gnostic, and Hermetic models which influenced the development of Christian thought. At the same time, I can help hold off the twilight of the Gods through living as a good traveling partner and following the virtues and behaviors the Gods want for man, and enjoy community within the traditional folk cultures which call to me. I can be equally swept up with the gods of my ancestors, or whatever other gods I encounter and groove with.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dion Fortune, and the Wizard of Oz or, Don't be the man behind the Curtain

You, my friend, are a bad ass wizard.

You, do magic, and that's really cool, so you're cool.

You are a bright shining star of awesome.

Stuff like that is cool to hear, and empowering to believe. People like that empowered feeling. People like to know they are cool. You can get really fr recognizing what matters to someone and complimenting it because the desire for these good feelings is so powerful. This desire to feel cool is something which affects most people in some way. So for magicians and non-magicians it can be a means for us to be deceived or manipulated, either by others or by ourselves, We might not characterize it as a desire to be cool, but all of us have a way we want to be, and a way we want to be perceived. Having a firm understanding of that desire and it's juxtaposition to or alignment with our reality is paramount in avoiding being manipulated by or misled by people, or by ourselves, based upon how those desires make us feel.

If we know solidly who we are its harder to shake that up with a passing comment, and it's harder to distract us with flattery. It's also easier to succeed at what we want  when we understand fully what we want, what it means to have it, and where we are in relation to it.

Unfortunately, in magic, there is a lot of accepting empowering ideas even if they aren't real. I see frequently people who are open about their inexperience, or lack of practice, lack of success talk about themselves as magicians, mages, and witches. People who don't seem to do a lot of magic, or seem to only do magical exercises prop themselves up as magicians. I recently saw a blog post, which while the overall point was correct and was very important, a line several people quoted involved recognizing a whole group of people as powerful magicians, without asking, are the people in this group doing powerful magic, or are they just doing important work in magical communities.

You are a shining bright star of awesome, just by virtue of your creation, even if you're still working off the muck so that you can see the shine. But are you a bad ass magician who does cool magic? You have to ask and answer that question. Do you do magic? Have you created unquestionable, powerful, observable changes in the world using occult methods? I hope the answer is yes because magic is awesome. But if the answer is no, I hope answering no helps you find what you need to eventually turn the answer to yes, because you deserve that awesomeness in your life.

Don't get so busy being the wizard that you become the man behind the curtain.  The wizard of Oz couldn't beat his enemy, he couldn't get home, he couldn't connect with others because his life was about an image, not about reality. He sent essentially a band is misfits to stop his enemy, and this wasn't a Gandalf cleverly positioning people kind of move, he figured they'd fail and be out of his hair. He's not the wizard you want to be.

Magic is empowering because it gives you access to very real power. If the empowerment is based on a case of the feels you're just furthering your disembowelment. A lot of people go for the feels though, we've talked about reasons why before. The magical community tends to promote catching a feel though because it's easy, and it has been part of our formative literature since the late revival.

Dion Fortune took the reality shaping force of magic away by redefining it as a change in consciousness. Changes in consciousness are powerful and useful for magic, but they themselves are more the provenance of mysticism, yoga, and systems of meditation. They inform and become tools for magic but are not magic itself. Defining magic as changes in consciousness makes it easy for us to credit ourselves and others as being powerful magicians. It makes empowerment, catching a case of the feels, adjusting our worldview or self worth, or even just deepening our breathing or closing our eyes into powerful acts of magic because they all adjust our consciousness.

I would ask though, do you want to be the powerful magician who is empowered by his counterculture vibe? Or do you want to be the magician who is empowered by his ability to find treasure, heal the sick, and destroy enemy forces?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Ritual for the Holy Guardian Angel: The Lamp Upon the Throne

A lot of people look at work with the Holy Guardian Angel as something specifically connected to seeking Knowledge and Conversation. Knowledge and Conversation is a particular sort of relationship one can enter into with the Holy Guardian Angel, but it is not the only interaction which exists. Work with the Holy Guardian Angel can be as simple as an acknowledgement, or reference at the beginning of a ritual to connect with it, or a prayer for its assistance, or presence, or guidance. Or it can be a full on conjuration for the purpose of asking it questions, communing, or asking for assistance. It's useful to make the angel a part of your magic early on whatever approach to connecting with it you're using.

The ritual presented here is one I've been working with for about 9 or 10 years. It utilizes elements of the Golden Dawn tradition, Roman Catholicism, and of course, the Merkavah. In my view the Sar HaAnpin, or the Prince of the Face/Prince of the Presence, and the related SarHaTorah, the Prince of the Torah, serve in roles similar to the HGA, and there are ritual elements which overlap between the Abramelin and the Merkavah work with these angels...although these elements show up in lots of spirit magic, the Abramelin claims to be a separate tradition of Jewish magic outside of the Kabbalah, so Merkavah derived grimoire work could relate to the origins of the Abramelin. This would also fit well with the probable time, location, and author of the Abramelin.

In any case, this ritual can be done individually, or its parts can be divided for a group. It is used to conjure the Holy Guardian Angel by use of a Conjuration of the Metatron. I hope you enjoy it, I'd love to hear about any response folks have to working with it.

If you enjoy this please follow us on facebook and share!

The Lamp Upon the Throne

Participants enter.

The Doorkeeper anoints them with water and oil individually as they enter. In response to being anointed each participant says

"Sprinkle me with hyssop, Oh Lord, and I shall be clean, wash me and 1 shall be whiter than snow."

The participants continue to the center of the temple and are seated around the central altar.

One of the participants takes the sword goes to the east and proceeds through the quarters tracing and vibrating the appropriate god names.

East: AL
South: YH
West: AGLA
North: ADNI

He returns to the center and says:

"By the holy names AL, YH, AGLA, and ADNI, by which the prophets wrought miracles and by which the world is bound together and then is set to trembling and shaking, which form the foundations of the Heavens, I banish this temple."

He proceeds to the East and then through the quarters tracing the rose cross in each, he returns to the center when he is finished and says:

"By the light of the cross I seal this temple against the unholy and the profane."

He returns to the center and returns the sword to the Karcist.

The Karcist kneels before the altar bearing the bread and wine and raises his arms

"My beloved is white and ruddy, pre-eminent above ten thousand.
His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are curled, and black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves beside the water-brooks; washed with milk, and fitly set.
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as banks of sweet herbs; his lips are as lilies,
dropping with flowing myrrh.
His hands are as rods of gold set with beryl; his body is as polished ivory overlaid with
His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold; his aspect is like
Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend"

The Karcist rises, and makes crosses over the bread and wine:

"Beloved, bless + and consecrate + this vessel of bread and wine by the power of your right hand and the mercy of your left; and grant, through the merits of St. John, the Gnostic, that all who drink of it may find wisdom and understanding through splendor. As the blessed John drank the poisoned potion without any ill effects, so may all who today drink the blessed wine in honor of the Beloved be delivered from the poison of corruption.

By the name YHVH ELOAH VA-DAAT+, bless this creature of grain and vine, so that it may be a life-giving medicine to all who use it; and grant by your grace that all who taste of it may enjoy bodily and spiritual health in calling on your holy name; in their search for their own highest light."

The Karcist steps away. A participant rises, makes a Yod over the bread and wine.

"The spark of life and motion "

He then intones the names YHVH TZVOT, HANIEL, HANIEL, HAGIEL, KEDEMEL,
charging the bread and wine as he does so

He sits, another participant rises and traces a Heh over the bread and wine.

"The shape of light and joy"

He then intones the names ELHM TZVOT, MICHAEL, RAPHAEL, TIRIEL,
TAPHARTHARATH charging the bread and wine as he does so

He sits, another participant rises and traces a Vav over the bread and wine

"The form of purpose and direction"

charging the bread and wine as he does so

He sits, another participant rises and traces a Heh over the bread and wine

"The body of man upon earth"

PHORLAKH charging the bread and wine as he does so

He sits, the Karcist returns to the alter, he traces Shin above the bread and wine, he raises it saying

"May this spark the lamp which is the light of the world, by the names, YHVH ELOAH VA-DAAT, RAPHAEL, MICHAEL, NAKHIEL, SORATH"

He replaces the bread and wine, breaks a piece of the bread and eats it, drinks the wine, and passes the bread on. Each participant breaks a piece of the bread and eats it and takes a goblet of wine and drinks it.

A participant goes to the South and traces Yod and intones the name MICHAEL, he proceeds to the West traces Heh and intones the name GAVRIEL, he crosses to the East traces Vav and intones the name RAPHAEL, and then ends in the North traces a Heh and intones the name URIEL. He returns to his seat.

The Karcist rises, faces the East, all sit in meditation, the Karcist says the invocation:

"I conjure you, angels of dread, fear, and shaking,
who are appointed to hurt those who are not pure
and clean and desire the services of my heavenly
servants — I conjure you in the name of YHVH
ELOAH VA-DAAT, who is mighty over all, and
rules over all, and everything is in His hands, that
you do not hurt us, nor terrify us, nor frighten us;
verily, in the name of the powerful one."

"Eternal, Mighty, Holy El, God only-supreme
You who are the Self-originated, the
Beginningless One Incorruptible,
Spotless, Uncreated, Immaculate, Immortal, Self-
complete, Self-illuminating,
Without father, without mother, unbegotten,
Exalted, Fiery One! Lover of men, Benevolent
One, Bountiful One,
Jealous over me, and very compassionate, Eli, My
Eternal, Jehovah Zebaioth, Very Glorious El, El,
El, El, Jah El!
You are the One whom my soul has loved!
Eternal Protector, Shining like Fire, Whose voice
is like the thunder, Whose look is like the
You are the All-seeing One, Who receives the
prayers of all such as honour You,
And turn away the requests of those who
embarrass You with their provocations
Who dissolves the confusions of the world
which arise from the ungodly and the righteous
mixed up in the confusion of the corruptible age,
And renewing the age of the righteous,
Shine O Lord, shine as a light, even as that light
with which you clothed Yourself on the first day of
Shine as the Light of the Morning on Your
And let it be Day upon Earth,
For in these heavenly dwelling places there is no
need of any other light
Than the unspeakable splendour from the light of
Your Countenance,
O answer my prayer, O be well-pleased with it,
O accept my sacrifice which You have prepared
for me to offer,
Accept me favourably, and show me, teach me, all
that You have promised!"

All meditate in the light of the beloved until they feel that they are finished at which point they leave the temple silently.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ouija Boards, Creepypasta, and the Nothing

Last week was a period of silence for my blog, because I was busy watching the Olympics. Not really, the Olympics were exciting, my two favorite sabre fencers in the world went head to head in the Gold Medal Round for men's individual sabre, and I got to watch it with a former Olympian. But that didn't take up all my writing time. I was busy running a pair of fencing summer camps, so after 14 or 15 hour days, and then going out shopping for supplies for hours around midnight, well, I didn't have the energy or time to blog, and I didn't want to phone in some crappy posts. But now we're back.

Normally I don't have a lot of reason to cross my fencing life into the stuff I write about in the blog. But the round the clock immersion did lead to a moment of cross over. One of the last days of camp two girls, about thirteen, came up and asked if they could use some wall space, I could see on one of their phones that she had up a page that said “How to Summon Creepypastas.” She made a bit of a comment about trying what the web page said, and I cut in with “hey, I don't think you girls should be messing with that.” She and her friend tried to persist, a third girl turned and ran calling back to them that she wanted nothing to do with it. It was a little amusing. It was also a little odd realizing that I was telling them “hey, don't go do magic” and leaving it at that. It wouldn't have been right to have a more in depth conversation about it. On the other hand, these are internet fantasies. I turned to my assistant coach, who knows I'm a magician, and said “What is with all this creepypasta stuff? We have monsters and spirits which have been around for thousands of years why do people need to invent new things, why can't kids conjure real spirits?” He pointed out that a lot of them overlap with traditional folklore. I hadn't looked at any of them in depth. In my mind “creepy pasta” is when I forget to throw away left over spaghetti and it gets moldy and grows legs in the fridge. Looking over some of the summoning instructions some of them do remind me of existing folklore, which could be an interesting thing to look at. But the word “creepypasta” is too cute and makes me imagine cartoon yokai.
So why would kids who don't do magic want to summon these creepypasta creatures? In Bruce Coville's Book of Monsters he talked about people telling scary stories because we need to inoculate ourselves against the fear of danger and death. We can't put ourselves in actually dangerous situations, so we have to expose ourselves to things which can frighten us without exposing ourselves to harm. This seems to be a basic human need. Coville mentions roller coasters as another example of this. There are lots of things in life like this, and the telling of scary stories is a pretty ubiquitous amongst humans. Sometimes they help inform us about things in life to be careful about, sometimes they convey knowledge about esoteric powers, sometimes, maybe they are just stories. So, if there is a human need to be afraid, in a safe context, maybe it's good that we've got these new stories and kids are into them and they're getting to be safely afraid.

But what about when kids decide to murder other kids to conjure Slenderman? The idea of creating new stories is great. The idea of stepping up to the edge of terror and coming close to conjuring something dangerous and deadly and mysterious but not quite doing it...I think that should probably be part of every kid's childhood at some point. When I was a kid, you always stopped short of saying Bloody Mary or of saying Candyman, you didn't even quite know which cemetery to go sleep at to conjure Black Aggie, you just knew you slept at the cemetery with her statue. Kids today seem more intense with this, even the ones not looking to stab their friends to death, there is a fear, but also a certain glee about these creatures. Maybe it's the friendly categorization of Creepypasta. It kind of reminds me of another thing that's been popping up lately. That silly meme about the appropriate age for Ouija boards. “The recommended age for a Ouija board is 8, so you have to be 21 to drink but 8 is old enough to conjure demons?”

Kids don't step up to a line with a Ouija board. They gleefully giggle about talking to unknown spirits, the dead, and whatever happens to answer. This isn't a new thing with kids today. It's treated as a kid appropriate game. So it feels safe and fun. But, if you go with the idea of reaching out and calling to whatever, and letting it get channeled through you, then Ouija is kind of the occult equivalent of having unprotected sex in a cheap whore house. As a tool, used correctly, it can be fine. Probably not a kid's toy, but otherwise a valid tool of magic.

So with Ouija and Slenderman being the options, should we maybe keep kids away from magic? Or only give them white lighter Wicca? Convince them to forget the world beneath the glass and focus on the day to day as if there is nothing else until they're older. That always works out for the best, after all, just remember the words of G'Mork:

G'mork: Fantasia has no boundaries.
Atreyu: That's not true! You're lying.
G'mork: Foolish boy. Don't you know anything about Fantasia? It's the world of human fantasy. Every part, every creature of it, is a piece of the dreams and hopes of mankind. Therefore, it has no boundaries.
Atreyu: But why is Fantasia dying, then?
G'mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger.
Atreyu: What is the Nothing?
G'mork: It's the emptiness that's left. It's like a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.
Atreyu: But why?
G'mork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control; and whoever has the control... has the power!
Atreyu: Who are you, really?
G'mork: I am the servant of the power behind the Nothing.

I think Richard Dawkins might be the power behind the Nothing, since he thinks fairy tales are dangerous.

There is value in children being aware of the power and mystery of the Other. Children raised to avoid the hidden things in the world teach themselves to rationalize away things they see and experience. They condition themselves not to dream that their dreams could be real, not to empower themselves through the ephemeral currents of reality. Maybe children don't need to reach deep into the darkness, but they should know it's there, they should know what kind of power it holds, and they should know places they can reach for power. They should feel comfortable knowing that other people understand the things they see and that sometimes there is a reality to them, and how to see what is real and what isn't.

So these particular tales of creatures and monsters might not be what kids need, but maybe there is still something we should look at with them. Jason Miller recently wrote a post which talked about Black Aggie myths and how they pop up a variety of placed. A friend and I were looking at tales related to different states and noted that Cry Baby Bridge shows up all over the country. Even though in both of these tales there is a physical location tied to it and a history of phenomena tied to that physical location. Maybe these stories show up in different places not because of the history of the places, but because there are spirits which are drawn to particular types of places and do particular sorts of things. Maybe these spirits inspire stories to remind people to engage them so they still have agency and power to operate in the world. A lot of these stories come down to similar patterns, themes, and instructions for working with the spirits. So maybe folk tales and urban legends don't have similarities because they diverge and get retold and morph as people move around from community to community, maybe there are spirits who pop up from time to time and place to place and get people riled up, make people tell stories, make people remember them.

Clive Barker's Candyman actually deals with this idea pretty well. The importance of memory and awareness for spirits, the importance of spirits acting in the world to make sure people tell their stories. All of this is reflected in the reformation of these sorts of tales every few generations. This is pretty evident when we look at similarities of urban legends, folk stories, and mysterious fortean tales, and even some unexplained phenomena. This explains the glee and fervor with which people are drawn to believing a new generation of tales, and playing with the possibility of their reality, trying to draw fear and danger into their lives by saying a few names or drawing a few symbols. These sorts of spirits don't seem to be like the spirits we see in the spirit catalogues but more like the spirits of places, local spirits, ghosts and shades, that we see in old stories.

There could be power in identifying such spirits and how to work with them in more complete ways than creating chills and thrills around a campfire. Or maybe not, who knows. I'd be curious to hear about experiments.

We will be ramping up for a lot of cool posts next week so please like our page on FB Glory of the Stars on Facebook

Friday, August 5, 2016

Conjuring Wisdom Pt. 2: Ritual for Conjuring the Prince of the Torah

Last summer I posted about the Prince of the Torah, and the conceptual ideas regarding his conjuration. That post can be viewed here:

The Prince of the Torah is basically the Prince of the divine truth. He is similar to the Sar HaAnpin, or the Prince of the Presence, an angel which is similar to the Holy Guardian Angel. The Prince of the Torah texts seem to take their origin from the diaspora period during which the Talmud was written. This makes sense with the preoccupations of the time and the lack of access to the temple.

Here are the instructions for conjuring the Prince of the Torah as they were recorded by the early Rabbis. This could be useful for modern magicians in exploring ways to call upon their Holy Guardian Angels.

“He who would bind himself to the Prince of the Torah must wash his clothes and his garments and immerse in a strict immersion in case of a nocturnal emission. And he must enter and dwell for twelve days in a room or in an upper chamber. He may not go out and he may not come in and he must not eat or drink. But from evening to evening see that he eats his bread, clean bread of his own hands, and he drinks clear water and he may not taste any kind of vegetable.

And he must insert this midrash of the Prince of the Torah into the prayer three times in every single day; it is after the prayer that he should pray it from its beginning to its end. And afterward he must sit and study it for twelve days, the days of his fasting, from morning until evening, and he must not be silent. And in every hour that he finishes it he must stand on his feet and adjure the servants by their King and he must call for every single prince twelve times. Afterward he must adjure him by the seal – every single one of them.

These are their names. He must say SQDHWZY'Y YHVH the prince; NHBRDYW'LW YHVH the prince; BYR GHWRYRY'L YHVH the prince; and there are some who say (GHWRYDYHW'L YHVH the prince) SRWYL'YL YHVH the prince; (ZBWDY'L YHVH the prince) ZGKWHR'Y UHVH the prince; TWTRUSY'Y YHVH the prince; PLYTRYH YHVH the prince; WHWB'RY YHVH the prince; MRGYWY'L YHVH the prince; RHDBYWRWN YHVH the prince; W'DYRYWDWN YHVH the prince. Thirteen.

He must adjure them for the twelve days in the name of YWPY'L who is the adornment of the height of his King and in the name of SRBY'L who is one of the princes of the chariot; and in the name of SHRRY'L who s a beloved prince; and in the name of HSDY'L who is called to might six hours in each day. And he must go back and adjure them, the latter four princes, with a great seal, and in the name of SWRTQ a holy name and a fearsome crown.

When he completes the twelve he will go forth to all the the principles of Torah that he seeks, whether to Bible or to Mishnah or to the vision of the chariot, for he goes forth in a pure condition and away from grief and away from great pain. For the learning is in our hands, the reform of the set down for generations (to come), for the humble to make use of it. And whoever is fit is answered by them.”

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Dead Were Once the Living

A quote that pops up all over the place in relation to interactions with the dead is “The dead were once the living.” Often it is a reminder that what motivates the dead and what things they want can be understood by remembering that they used to be alive. This idea has some other useful elements though for a magician working with their ancestors or with other spirits of the dead.

For one, people fear death and things related to death, partially because it's the greatest most looming unknown. It's a power that overtakes us all and we can't escape it. It causes us to check out at some point, and we have to wonder, is there anything else afterward, and if so, is it good? The dead are a great trope for horror because they represent all of the fears we have related to death, as if contact with the dead will infect us with death and expose us to all that uncertainty and powerlessness.

If we keep in mind that the dead were once living, some of these fears can fall away. They're not some kind of spooky sort of monster, they're people just like us. They're people who live in the great unknown and can come back and give us insight into it.

Another item that comes up...the dead aren't super paranormally wise and knowledgeable. They know what they knew in life. They may strip away some of the elements that held them back in life and be a more authentic version of themselves, but they are still spirits that were people, and they think like people, specifically like the people they were in life. That said, they have access to other spirits, and to information they can find in the underworld, and that they might observe from watching the world of the living. So their knowledge base may be increased, but they aren't necessarily wiser, and they aren't all knowing.

It reminds us that working with ancestors, or other dead, is not some super mystical wigged out experience, but it's still important and useful. One of the Social Magic Reactions shows Harry Potter fighting Voldemort with the spirits of his dead allies with the caption “what working with ancestrals is like.” My response... “dude, you wish you were that cool.” Again, the dead were once the living, they're not magical super heroes.

Still...again...the dead were once the living, so unlike some magical super being, the dead understand what you're going through. If they're you're ancestors they're bound to you by blood, maybe by magic, maybe by love they felt for you in life. They want to help you, they want to be connected to you. So they can be pretty powerful allies within the range of their powers. They are powerful not necessarily because their powers are ranging but because they actively look to intercede for you from a perspective of insight and sympathy, since they know you and what it's like to be you.

Aside from wanting to help you, they can be a source of power and authority. Their blood connects to your blood, and therefore the power that connected to them naturally connects to you. In many traditional systems of magic a link to the dead is a link to power and authority for the magician. In this way, families that have magic share a connection back through their lineage by way of their blood to the power of the past. Initiatory houses share a link by ritually connecting to the spirits. In both cases you draw on the power of those who once were living, working through the same magic you work through now. But now they work a new magic, one in which they can sit in congress with spirits within the world of the spirits, and so in addition to sharing in their power, they add to your authority, leveraging their position in the world of the dead, because of the link inherent in the fact that they, like you, once were living.

In this simple quote, there is a lot we can unpack. What else do you see hidden in there?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Real Secrets of Magic

A couple months ago a message board had a question about magical secrets, and whether or not real secrets still existed. They do, but not in the way they were intending the question. They exist in an experiential and contextual fashion rather than things that can be written down and read in books.

There is one important element of experiential secrets that tends not to get talked about. Even people who discuss the nature of initiatics or of the power of experiential mysteries don't talk about a particular sort of secret experience.

In life we all do countless things, and have countless experiences, each with their own consequences both small and profound. People at times talk about the secret life of magicians and initiates, in the sense of exploring deeper planes of reality and hidden things other people don't consider or don't see. With this secret life we experience knowledge, responsibilities and consequences outside of the range of experience of the average person. The propensity to experience wonders, and things of immense consequence both good and bad easily leads to experiences we can't tell anyone about. Things which might be immense, which might really affect us, but which we must deal with alone.

The true secrets of magic are in the the immense power magic holds, and the things it allows magicians to do, that we don't ever tell anyone, and the ways in which these experiences and these secrets shape us.

When I was in college, I took a class called Philosophy of Parapsychology. In it, one of the frequent topics addressed was “fear of psy” it was the idea that people with psychic or paranormal abilities may not be able to repeat them because once they exhibit a power or manifestation that is clear and potent enough to assure them of the reality of the ability the question of responsibility and consequence arises. Once you know you can move something small with your thoughts, or can hear what someone else thinks, you have to ask could you hurt someone with that power? Or if you know something you shouldn't be able to know, and you don't act on that knowledge, are you responsible if someone gets hurt? The idea in Parapsychology seems to be that this concern over responsibility for consequences is crippling to the average person. Most people don't want that level of power.

The same thing comes up in magic. You'd think people seeking out the power of magic instead of just stumbling on it would have addressed that concern prior to beginning. But there is a big difference between the idea of power, that in your heart you probably don't yet believe in, and being faced with the realization that you can really do some amazing stuff. Faced with it, not through some intellectual ascent, but because you experiment, you try things, you plumb the depths and bring back some proof of power. Something you can't un-see, something you can't unknow. It's there. Power is real. It's in your hands. Can you handle it?

A lot of people can't. So a lot of people get involved with magic for reasons related to image, or to a feeling it gives them, or for psychological or emotional empowerment, or to have a community. Many of them believe they are magicians wholeheartedly, but they give lip service to the reality of magic, or they redefine magic into something more comfortable, more convenient, more whitewashed, more powerless. Some of them don't even give lip service to the reality of magic, some of them downplay it, or avoid the topic, comfortable with the use of ritual drama simply used to fulfill emotional or psychological needs.

The truth remains, that magic is real, and has the ability to exert real world power. There is a difference between accepting that from people telling you, and from knowing it because you've seen its power to destroy or create on massive levels. A small spell to help ease financial problems, or to get over the flu faster might not be deeply convincing or might be easy to write off. You tell yourself you did it, you feel good, but in your mind you think even though it makes sense that the magic worked, how can you really know? You know by moving forward, experimenting, pushing deeper, until you have unquestionable results which change your view of yourself, your capabilities, of magic and of the world.

But when this happens...

What if it's something awful? What if it's something you can't tell anyone about because of what it is?

A lot of the time, those things which most easily shake our reality, and which shape our view are the things which we wouldn't want others to know. Those deeply personal secrets of how we fucked up, and something went wrong. Or of how we made a choice, a choice which maybe we regret, or which maybe we're a hundred percent ok with, but other people wouldn't be. We hold onto those secrets, and they build how we see the world and how we understand magic. More so, they reshape ourselves. We hold with us all the great things we've done, all the ways we've helped people, and we hold with us the ways we've hurt people, intentionally, unintentionally, as collateral, sometimes on the road to doing great and wonderful things.

We question who we are, what we did, and what it means for our lives and the lives of others. We question who we can tell, who we can't, who would believe us. This part of the inner experience of the magician, this is part of what's important, but we don't get books, or clubs to hold our hands through it. We have our inner guidance, maybe our close friends, but that's about it.

Some of us run into something bad, and it shakes us and we have to turn from it. Some of us try to turn from it but the reality of magic is so a part of our consciousness that we never really make the turn. Some of us come to a point where we are able to accept whatever happens, process it, and move forward, because, not being magic isn't an option.

So in the end, some of the secrets of magic, the real secrets, are those moments, those experiences, which teach us individually as magicians that magic is in fact real, powerful, and undoubtedly present within our lives. As long as real magicians are doing real magic, there will always be secrets left in the world of magic.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

When did you work for the Secret Chiefs?

Facebook has my previous employer as the Secret Chiefs. Currently it has down that I work at the Gnostic Catholic Church. But it asks frequently "When did you work at the Secret Chiefs." It wants to complete my profile info by knowing when I did the job, that wasn't a job.

The question is weird in a couple ways. One, it's Facebook being invasive so it can figure out how to better connect me to stuff. But for two, the question just looks funny when asked, like if it were a conventional job what would your job be? Are you like their liaison, or agent who goes on missions for them? The page who takes memos from one ascended master to another? What would a job working for them look like? Would they have a big top floor group of offices in a skyscraper? Would it be the 11th floor of a building with an elevator with no button numbered 11?

The real odd part of the question though is the word “when.” Working for the Secret Chiefs is the sort of thing that doesn't have a start and stop, it just is. You might think of it along the lines of the point where you join an organization committed the the Great Work, or to initiation or spiritual development, but that presumes that the Secret Chiefs operate purely through clean cut lines of temporal agency.

They don't.

Cutting away the mythology of ascended masters, or of a secret continental fraternity of masonic occult initiates, we can approach the idea of secret chiefs in a way that is useful and makes more sense. There are two ways I like to look at the idea of the Secret Chiefs.

The first of these is more temporal in nature. Initiates who reach the third order of initiation, or the Order of the SS would be counted amongst the Secret Chiefs. Now this does not refer to a specific order's curriculum or way of doing things, but rather the specific initiatic experience of unifying the ego of the manifest self with the fullness of the unmanifest divine. Any organization led by people in this state of initiation would be a Fully Contacted order in communion with the Secret Chiefs.

That said, this does not mean that everyone who has achieved this level of initiation is in communication with each other. It does not mean that there is a secret group of initiates playing poker in a hidden temple in the Himalayas and deciding the spiritual affairs of mankind.

It means that anyone operating from this perspective is operating in communion with the Harmony which underlies the universe. Their own individual expression of that Harmony will be unique to them, but it will still be an expression of the same source. So their guidance of their students, or of their particular spiritual order or school will still stem from that Invisible College of Masters even if these Masters don't get together and discuss plans and curricula. There is a unity beyond temporal ideas of unity expressed through corporeal agency.

The other half of the coin is the divine fullness, or the pleroma. In traditional Gnosticism the pleroma is an understanding of god which is unified and transcendent but also manifest and individuated. The ultimate God of Gnosticism is like that of Hermeticism or NeoPlatonism, a non-anthropomorphized non-characterized God who is undivided and complete. The pleroma is the movement of this divinity towards manifestation. This is the collective of the divine forces within the whole. The forces within the pleroma are individual divine beings, but the pleroma itself is a singular transcendent nature.

The unity a master has with divinity is a unity with this element of divinity, the full Harmony of the forces of creation united into a singular coalescent whole. Like the metals and planets of alchemy, iron is the manifestation of a particular force within the world, and Mars is the manifestation of the same force within the Heavens, so the planets and the metals form a bridge expressing the communication of the forces embodied in the stars into the elemental sphere of the world. Masters and the forces of the pleroma share a similar relationship.

So then anyone who is in a system being led by one of these Masters works for the Secret Chiefs right? Maybe, maybe not.

Sometimes people join orders, or become students without fully engaging the Work because it just isn't where they are going, or this particular expression might not be the way they're getting there. So working under that Master might not be a situation where an individual is doing the Great Work.

On the flip side, someone called to the Work, is working for the Secret Chiefs as soon as they begin movement towards answering that calling. That same Harmony which represents a component of the concept of the Secret Chiefs and works in tune with Masters might inspire, and draw, and guide people who might eventually become Masters even if they haven't realized they are that at this point in life. So anyone earnestly engaged in the Work, operating under inspiration from Truth, is in the employ of the Secret Chiefs, even if they don't yet realize they're doing the Work. So long as they continue on that path they still work with the Secret Chiefs.

So in the end, there really is no “when.”