The Talismans of the Inescapable Prison

THE TALISMANS OF THE INESCAPABLE PRISON: Fast Moon culminating in the 25th Mansion perfecting a trine with the Greater Benefic, with a dignified and unafflicted Ascendant Ruler.


The 25th Mansion generally is for the protection of orchards and crops as per the Plinian Mansion section of Picatrix, but the “Foundational Mansions” early section in the same gives a number of other options for people with brown thumbs like myself.

In this Mansion make images to besiege cities and villages, to take enemies captive and do as much evil to them as you please, to make messengers convey their messages and quickly return, to separate wives from their husbands, to destroy harvests, to bind a man and wife or a woman and her husband so that they cannot copulate, to bind whichever part of the human body you wish so that it is not able to function, to strengthen the prison of captives; and it is good to secure buildings.

Of course, the majority of these options are for curse talismans and would require a completely different sort of election.

But this raises a different question: clearly the hastening of messengers and the securing of buildings are benevolent and require benefic electional configurations, but what about the strengthening the prison of captives? And what is it with so many of the listings in this section either for the securing of captives or the liberation of prisoners? It’s really conspicuous when you look at them as a whole.

The most obvious possibility is that magicians were often in danger of imprisonment in antiquity and having a memorized list of potential talismans for escape was a priority. Another is that magicians were often in the employ of nobles who had a strong interest in securing enemies and rivals in their personal dungeons to fortify their positions. However, I don’t think this explains it all.

Usually SIM texts are painfully literal at times regarding the function of talismanic recipes, but I suspect this may be an exception; I think it is also for strengthening the binding of spirits. The reason I believe this is that Picatrix does make references to spirit binding throughout the text suggesting that the method is quite important but is curiously evasive about specifics. To me that suggests the methods appear in coded language elsewhere in the text, and this is one of my favorite speculations– that the references to prisons and prisoners are applicable equally to human beings, spirits, and even perhaps animals.

In any case, that’s all speculation for now.

The next quandary is whether strengthening a prison is benevolent or malevolent?

My take is that it is benevolent, considering that the alternative is a jailbreak. Breaking out of a prison is a form of destruction, albeit a desirable one from the subjective viewpoint of the prisoner. This is especially clear in this case when Jupiter is prominent in the electional configuration, whose attributes prioritize the augmentation and strengthening of things. Strengthening a prison is similar to the securing of buildings which is another electional option, which is unambiguously benevolent.

This election was specifically for the strengthening the prison of captives, which is especially suitable considering that the 25th Mansion’s name translates (according to some) as “the star of the dungeons.”

I should note that this election does not bind or imprison; it only fortifies bindings and imprisonments which already are in place.

The Moon was quite fast, applying a perfected trine to Jupiter. However, it was also applying a sextile to Mercury which is the dignified and unafflicted Ascendant Ruler, therefore reinforcing the significators. The Moon is also applying a somewhat loose sextile to Saturn which is the ruler of the Moon’s Sign and a very strong consideration for success according to Picatrix electional rules — even though it is a Malefic.

There are possible negatives. The Ascendant Ruler is applying a trine to Saturn, which by Picatrix rules would weaken it. However, Mercury and Saturn have a natural amity and the trine should soften any weakening. Saturn is in a malefic Face and is in the 7th House but not on the Descendant, so I think that’s acceptable. The malevolence of Saturn might make the imprisonment particularly harsh, or it may not factor in in any way. A counterindication is the role of Jupiter, which may make the imprisonment pleasant. And while Jupiter is retrograde, I do not believe this has any pertinence to the election since the planet is in a supportive role rather than being a principal player.

Six quartz crystal cabochons were made into talismans. The suffumigation was gum mastic.

The top of the cabochon was inscribed with a crescent Moon, and below it a chain with five or seven links depending upon the size of the gem. Below it were three words: STRENGTHEN, CAPTIVES, PRISONS; each below the last. On the back was inscribed an X for ease of the Mansion spirit’s entry.

Normally I would have inscribed the name of the Mansion Ruler, but tarot advised against it. Perhaps the Ruler uses a different name for orchards and imprisonments.

The Age of Black Magic: Step Eight

The Doorway To Hell Sigil



This is an important sigil to memorize and use for curses, and virtually any other attempt to access the netherworld of the dead and uncanny spirits.

It, and variations of it, appear on an extremely large number of katadesmoi and defixios. I’ve concluded that contextually it is the symbol of the “Terrestrial” Hermes of the Orphic Hymns, and more pertinently helps open a gateway into the realms of the dead.

It may also permit access to celestial realms as well, as variations of it appear on a sizable quantity of pentacles from the Greater Key of Solomon and other ritual objects in the Solomonic tradition. Many people believe the number 8 is associated with planetary Mercury, though this is debatable and not necessarily compatible with the pentacles. I speculate that it is a more general symbol for Divine Hermes, and assists in other forms of Divine communication. This is less well established, however.

In our context, it can be used to gain the attention of netherworld entities and a channel through which communication or miasma can flow. It is a wound you open into the darkest realms below.

So, let’s call it the Doorway To Hell Sigil.

It should be inscribed on all applicable objects used when attempting to constrain, harm and destroy the Trump Administration.

Black Magic And Dark Paganism @ ConVocation 2009

A lecture and reading covering the ethos and practices of black magic, a survey of curse methods, and dark paganism– a term which he coined in the early 1990s. (It is a fusion of elements from the PantheaCon lecture of the same name from 2008, the Secret Sequel lecture from 2009, and some unique material.)

Like several lectures during this period, the audio is imperfect. Please accept my apologies.

Black Magic Part Two (Partial) @ ConVocation 2010 


Part of Clifford Hartleigh Low’s lecture about the deeper ethics, strategy, and practice of curses, black magic and dark paganism. The omitted portion of the lecture was recorded without audio due to technical issues.


On Scholastic Image Magic


Scholastic Image Magic or SIM was one of two main branches of magical practice in the Medieval Era and the Renaissance. It was heavily influenced by the science of the Arabic world, and incorporated astrology, optics, mathematics, and the philosophy of antiquity. The European version was an outgrowth of Medieval Scholasticism; a movement which attempted to reconcile Christianity with the works of Plato, Aristotle and the mystical Neoplatonists.

Scholastic Image Magic focuses primarily upon the creation of talismans; objects created or modified to become repositories of celestial light which alter the attributes and destinies and basic nature of anything in their proximity, including human beings.

It also includes celestial petitions, which are akin to highly ritualized prayers which facilitate the granting of expressed wishes. This is where Scholastic Image Magic and theurgy, the other main branch, cross over.

(The other branch is also sometimes called necromancy, depending on emphasis. It largely focuses on angel magic and spirit evocation, and use of Biblical charms and sometimes variants of Kabbalah. There is significant overlap, but the rationales for these traditions are different at heart.)

Both the creation of talismans and the making of petitions are endowed power largely through astrological timing. Some have asserted that Scholastic Image Magic is a subcategory of Electional Astrology, the choosing of fortunate times. It certainly is dependent upon it; but I and others believe in the importance of the materials used as well. There is no way to become minimally competent in this tradition of magic without being very skilled in Medieval or Renaissance Era Astrology.

Scholastic Image Magic may also include the creation of confections, suffumigations (incenses), and potions; though these are often considered to be alchemy.

Many of us who have experimented with Scholastic Image Magic believe it to be the most powerful (and sometimes dangerous) form of magic in Western history. The demands usually exceed those of other magical traditions in numerous ways, and the results are proportional. It is not for the dilettante. Many of us have studied under Christopher Warnock, whose is a great place to learn a major flavor of this from tabula rasa. Without having some background in the generalities of Traditional Astrology you’ll probably be very confused. John Michael Greer often describes this stuff as the rocket science of the Middle Ages. (And he should know, because he translated Picatrix with Christopher Warnock a few years back.)

Scholastic Image Magic has a body of literature which we refer to frequently. The most central text is the Picatrix, which has two popular editions at present. Another, harder to find text is the Treasure of Alexander. Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books on Occult Philosophy (especially the upcoming complete Eric Purdue translation) is an excellent source for Scholastic Image Magic and much else besides, and large portions of the somewhat derivative The Magus from Francis Barrett are appropriate. Though the available version of De Imaginibus is purged of suffumigation recipes and incantations, it is still of great value. I find the Liber Lunae to be very fascinating, and has had an influence on Kabbalah. The Mysterium Sigillorum and the Kyranides have content of interest. Many shorter texts such as the Quindecim Stellis and De Mineralibus, Seals & Stones of Solomon, Seals & Sigils of Chael, Talismans of Hermes, and the Seals of Thetel are also very important, and sections of the works of Giordano Bruno and even parts of the so-called Greater Key of Solomon merit study. But all of this is built upon a foundation of antique astrology and metaphysics, such as the essential writers Guido Bonatti, Johannes Sacrobosco, and Abu Yusuf Al-Kindi, which the authors expected the readers to have expertise in.

I have studied and practiced Scholastic Image Magic in a very focused way for over a decade, I have witnessed it cure incurable diseases, draw hundreds of thousands of dollars from nowhere, conjure storms, raise and banish spirits, repel dangerous animals, hypnotize and compel obedience, and make a subject fall hopelessly in love. In my own experience it is vastly closer to the kind of magic which appears in myths and Fantasy literature than anything else I’ve seen. (And I have expertise in many other traditions of magic, which have their own distinctive advantages.)

If this tickles your fancy and you’re considering putting in the effort, welcome aboard. SIM is one of my very favorite flavors of magic. If it isn’t your cup of tea, there’s a lot of additional material on my blog to inform and tantalize.


Jewish Numerological Meanings of Ten

Jewish numerology is different from those developed in other ethno-religious cultures, and it does have some key magical connotations which should be paid attention to.

  1. Keter: Crown. The Sphere of the Primum Mobile. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.” The Plague of the Slaying of the Firstborn.
  2. Khokmah: WisdomThe Sphere of the Fixed Stars. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image– any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…” The Plague of Locusts.
  3. Binah: UnderstandingThe Sphere of Saturn. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” The Plague of Fiery Hail. Seder Tohorot (Purities.)
  4. Khesed: KindnessThe Sphere of Jupiter. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…” The Plague of Boils. Seder Kodashim (Holy Things.)
  5. Gevurah: Severity.The Sphere of Mars. “You shall not murder.” The Plague of Pestilence. Seder Nezikin (Damages.)
  6. Tifaret: BeautyThe Sphere of Sun. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (The 5th and 6th Commandments are flipped for some reason.) The Plague of Wild Beasts.
  7. Netzakh: EternityThe Sphere of Venus. “You shall not commit adultery.” The Plague of Lice. Seder Nashim (Women.)
  8. Hod: SplendorThe Sphere of Mercury. “You shall not steal.” The Plague of Frogs. Seder Moed (Festival.)
  9. Yesod: Foundation. The Sphere of the Moon. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” The Plague of Blood. Seder Zeraim (Seeds.)
  10. Malkut: Kingdom. The Sublunar Sphere. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” The Plague of Darkness (oddly out of order here.)

The Age of Black Magic: Step Seven

The Magic Bullet (Variant)

Take (at a minimum) four rifle cartridges and anoint them away from you from base to tip with a destructive Hoodoo oil, such as Destruction Oil, Devil Oil, Damnation Oil etc.

Take a similar number of powerful neodymium magnets and anoint them with Inflammatory Confusion Oil. Baptize the magnets and give them names– but names in a set, like Larry, Curly, Moe and Shemp.

Take your framed relic image (assuming that is what you have available) and place the four bullets at the top, bottom, right and left extremes. Orient them so that they appear to be shooting in a counterclockwise direction– a circular firing squad is the metaphor we are going for here.

Then take the magnets and place them on the back/bottom of the frame, pinning the bullets in place with the cardboard, picture, and glass in between bullet and magnet.

Call upon your divinities or spirits to grant you your requests, or write a petition paper and place it below or within the picture frame.

Feed the magnets by sprinkling iron filings mixed with gunpowder onto the bullets, and similarly make offerings of raw pork mixed with red pepper or goofer dust on the eyes and face of your target.

Store this in a remote location, because the pork will spoil.

If one has space, ring the project with sprinkled gunpowder or goofer dust.

The goal with the Magic Bullet variant is not to kill but to cause the subject to become paranoid and disturbed in mind, overwhelmed by fear, and to sow chaos and infighting among that person’s inner circle.

Of course this can be modified to do far worse things, but our aim here is to neutralize rather than kill.

This method can be modified for different types of relics on altar spaces, or increased in power using talismans and elections and many other options. The limit is only your imagination.

Have fun with this one.