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.

The Rings of The Fortunate Mystic

THE RINGS OF THE FORTUNATE MYSTIC: Fortunated Moon applying to conjoin Alcyone culminating with the North Node Ascending in Perfection.


I’d long ago nearly given up on finding a good Pleiades talismanic election, but stumbled across this one so close to the date that I’m glad that I’d ordered a few quartz crystal rings for another project recently or I’d have missed a treasure!

This one was quite worth waiting for.

Alcyone culminates, the Moon is very fast and she applies to a fortunate aspect of a benefic, albeit out-of-Sign. The Ascendant Ruler is fast and likewise applying to a benefic. The aspect is sextile which is closely connected to Venus, the benefic in question. The Moon is separating from a conjunction with Algol, but I think that’s safe.

Finally, and most excellently, the North Node is exactly on the Ascendant. Ka-pow!

The petition was similar to what I posted recently for fortunate travel by air, with only a few lines yanked.

Now, the most extensive instructions on how to create a Pleiades talisman comes from the Quindecim Stellis, but there are similar details in Agrippa and in the Confessio Amantis.

“Fennel seed with frankincense and quicksilver placed under a crystal with the appropriate character [engraved on it], with the Moon conjunct the Pleiades rising or at midheaven, preserves the eyesight, summons demons and the spirits of the dead, calls the winds, and reveals secrets and things that are lost. “

The left sigil is from the Quindecim Stellis text and the right is from Agrippa. I tend to use the more complex Quindecim Stellis versions unless pressed for time. Most people seem to think the Agrippa sigils are degenerate and certainly date more recently.

Above the sigil I engraved the name of the angel of the Pleiades from the Greek Magical Papyri, ZIZAUBIO, and below it I engraved the common sigil of the North Node of the Moon.

Now, the big problem with Pleiades talismans is that quicksilver is a deadly poison. Tarot divination has led me to believe that a passable substitute for this talisman are poppy seeds, perhaps because of the fever dreams opium can produce. It works well enough as far as I can tell.

Four snow quartz cabochon gemstones set in sterling silver wire rings were used.  I mixed the poppy seeds with glue along with fennel seeds and frankincense grains below the gemstones towards the end of the electional window. The suffumigation was predominately frankincense but fennel and poppy were included as well.

No scented oils were used this time.

The Mighty Winds of Zizaubio


The following is a ritual I use a month or so before I travel by air. It requires the use of a Pleiades Ring from the Quindecim Stellis and any other Pleiades talismans you might have handy. It controls winds so that storms are blown out of the path of the airplane or other vehicles I and friends may use to get wherever and back. It’s very powerful and effective.

The text is a modification of material from the Greek Magical Papyri and the Quindecim Stellis and my own labors. Someone had been asking for a ritual which evoked the seven sisters by name, and in fact I’ve been using this for many years by now.

For the election the Moon should be applying to conjoin or making an amicable aspect to Alcyone and the latter should be on the Ascendant. Try to keep the Moon at least eight degrees off the Ascendant if you can.

The Ring of the Pleiades from the Quindecim Stellis should be anointed and worn and the hand held aloft. Additionally any other talismans should be exposed or held in the other hand as appropriate and any lamps of the Pleiades should be lit. Frankincense grains should be burned as a suffumigation with or without fennel.

Zizaubio is the spelling from the Greek Magical Papyri but it’s pronounced Zeezowbeaw, and I include both in the text.

O, mighty and beautiful star cluster of the Pleiades, O Seven Sisters, I call upon thee in your names of Alcyone, Maia, Taygete, Electra, Celoeno, Sterope and Merope, that you swiftly raise great winds so that storms, delays, confusions and troubles are sent far away from N.N. etc in all of our travels–and may our homes likewise be protected while we travel for our safe return.

I ask this here and now in the name of the angel of my nativity N. and my rights and privileges as [initiatory hierarchy stuff] and an initiate of thy court.

I call upon you, Holy Angel Zeezowbeaw (ZIZAUBIO) from the company of the Pleiades to whom you are subordinate and serve for all things, for whatever she may command you: you great indestructible fire-breathing one; who casts the tether of Heaven, through which tether all things turn upon Earth.

And also I call upon you; yourselves, who are angels who have been stationed beneath Zeezowbeaw’s power. Hence I call upon you all–that you come quickly in this hour to protect us and facilitate all of our journeys, along all of our respective paths.

I conjure you O lord who rises above the Earth of the whole cosmic region, by the One ruling the whole inhabited world and the benefactor of all.

Hence I call upon you in this hour and ask that you protect us and speed us safely and happily along to our destinations, O Angel Zeezowbeaw.

May this talisman and ring I wear forever and ever protect and increase the light of the eyes, raise winds, gather dæmones and spirits of the dead to come and speak, and make me know of secret and hidden things; at my will, at my command, and at my desire.

I ask this in the name of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades; Alcyone, Maia, Taygete, Electra, Celoeno, Sterope and Merope, and in the name of the Angel of the Pleiades, Zeezowbeaw; and all of the spirits of the Pleiades.


© 2017 Clifford Hartleigh Low

February 2017 Convention Schedule

I will be lecturing at both PantheaCon in California and ConVocation in Michigan this February, along with many other esteemed colleagues and friends. Please consider attending either or both.

PantheaCon 2017

On Saturday, February 18th at 1:30pm–

Eat Me: Magical Recipes in Medieval Astrological Magic

Though better known for the creation of talismans, medieval and Renaissance astrological magic texts contain further recipes and instructions. Many are intended to be consumed, buried, or burned, with numerous purposes and means of creation. Yet they all point towards a forgotten view of the universe and magic. From counting olive pips to cure illnesses to the creation of wax talismans or incense pills for evocation and influence, such mysteries depend on the philosophies of Al Kindi and his contemporaries. Explore how the outlook of the ancients can enhance our spiritual practices.

ConVocation 2017

On Thursday, February 23rd at 8:30pm–

DIY Talismans

Astrological talismans from the Scholastic Image Magic tradition often seem as challenging to make as they are powerful. After electing the window of time in which a talisman can be created, one must confect incenses, select appropriate sigils, and obtain tools and materials for the talismans. We will discuss how to create a talismanic laboratory, the process of practical considerations including choosing the best combinations, knowing which substitutions do and don’t work, and time and money saving strategies. Take the theory of talismans into real life creations and applications.

On Friday, February 24th at 4:00pm–

About Time: Basic Chart Calculation

Invaluable to numerous systems of magic, the astrological horoscope is a Swiss army knife for divination, classical medicine, and much else. One of the most advanced achievements of the ancient world, the horoscope can often be perplexing for beginners. This class will focus on the basics of erecting a horoscope chart. We will attempt to demystify the process and render the math easy, while also explaining the essentials of its parts, some of history of its development, and the rationale of the chart from the traditional (pre-1750 AD) perspective.

On Saturday February 25th at 4:00pm–

Fearless Magical Protection

It’s a jungle out there. In most magical systems one of the first things you are taught is basic protection against spiritual attacks, and for good reason. A magical life is a perilous one at times. As you become more proficient, the need for protection grows and takes new forms. This class will survey practical methods of protection from a variety of spiritual systems and methodologies. Some of these techniques are unpublished anywhere and likely to be unfamiliar, but have proven very effective. Magical protection will help secure your success.


Hoodoo Spell For Study, Insight And Understanding 

This was originally posted to Facebook on December 15th 2011.

Take a small grit sized lodestone and add it to a white candle dressed with Spirit Guide Oil, and sprinkle the stone with iron filings. Ask the stone to draw to you a powerful benevolent teaching spirit.

Dress a yellow candle with Master Oil or a red candle with Master Key Oil, and add Master of the Woods and/or any other herb signifying what you wish to learn.

Place the former candle on your necromantic altar and the latter near your reading desk or computer, and light them.

When you next sleep, you will have a visitation. Keep a pen and notebook near your bed, so you can quickly transcribe all that you have learned upon awakening before it fades from memory.

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.