Saturday, January 25, 2014

"The Book of Seals & Amulets" in print!!

I am delighted to inform you that "The Book of Seals & Amulets" [508 pages] is now in print. This, the third volume of the "Shadow Tree Series," comprises a comprehensive investigation into the meaning and relevance of Celestial Alphabets, Magical Seals, Magic Squares, Divine and Angelic Names, etc., as well as their employment in Hebrew Amulets in order to benefit personal wellbeing in a most significant manner. Continuing the standards I set in "The Book of Self Creation" and "The Book of Sacred Names," I offer detailed instruction on the contents and construction of Hebrew Amulets. I again consulted the enormous array of relevant primary Hebrew literature, large sections of which are now available to an English readership for the first time.

"The Book of Seals & Amulets" comprises:

Chapter 1: Levanah — Sacred Names in Hebrew Amulets [106 pages]
A. Adonai
B. Ehyeh
C. Ineffable Name
D. Shadai
E. Enigmatic Divine Names
1. Agala’a
2. Azbogah
3. Atneik
4. BYT
5. Taftafyah
6. Yohach Kalach
7. Kuzu B’mochsaz Kuzu
8. Matz’patz
9. Ashtzei
10. Tzurtak
11. Tzamarchad
F. The Twenty-two Letter Name
G. The Forty-Two Letter Name
H. The Name of Seventy-two Names
I. Compounded Employment of Divine Names
Chapter 2: Kochav — Letter, Word & Number Squares [59 pages]
A. Letter Squares
B. Word Squares
C. Number Squares
1. Magic Square of the Third Order
2. Magic Square of the Fourth Order
3. Magic Square of the Fifth & Sixth Order
4. Magic Square of the Seventh Order
5. Magic Square of the Eighth & Ninth Order
Chapter 3: Nogah — Sacred Writ & Kameot [77 pages]
A. A River went out of Eden
B. Psalms.....Psalms.....Everywhere!
Psalm 1
Psalm 2
Psalm 67
Psalm 91
Psalm 106
Psalm 121
Chapter 4 : Shemesh — Secret Alphabets & Magical Seals [55 pages]
A. Celestial Alphabets
1. Kolmosin Micha’el
2. Kolmosin Gavri’el
3. Kolmosin Ori’el (Nuri’el)
4. K’tav Avar ha-Nehar
5. K’tav ha-Malachim
6. K’tav Tz’va ha-Shamayim
7. Alfa Beta shel Metatron
B. Chotamot (Magical Seals)
Chapter 5 : Madim — Angels, Demons & Amulets for Protection [45 pages]
A. Angelic Hosts
B. Fiendish Hordes
C. Amulets for Protection
Chapter 6 : TzedekKameot for Health, Wealth & Happiness [33 pages]
A. Health & Healing
B. Wealth & Success
C. Amulets & Elements
Chapter 7 : Shabetai — Patterns, Shapes & Sizes [43 pages]
A. Chabusa: Six-petalled Rosette
B. Menorah: Seven-branched Candelabrum
C. Magen David: Shield of David
D. The Hand
E. Printed Amulets
F. Disposing of Discarded Amulets
References & Bibliography [45 pages]

The “Shadow Tree Series” comprises a unique collection of Western Esoteric studies and practices which I have actuated and taught over a period of forty years. I commenced my Kabbalistic odyssey in the early 1970’s studying the doctrines of Lurianic Kabbalah, and later investigated the fascinating traditions of Practical Kabbalah. I also incorporated the teachings of my late mentor, the celebrated English Kabbalist William G. Gray, in my personal kabbalistic/magical worldview.

Having introduced a “nuts-and-bolts” insight into the inner workings of Ceremonial Magic and Practical Kabbalah in “The Book of Self Creation” and “The Book of Sacred Names,” I present further magical resources in “The Book of Seals & Amulets.”

In conclusion I should mention again that since I addressed in the current tome several hundred Hebrew amulets and related magical objects, i.e. Sigils, Magic Squares, Magical Alphabets, etc., I again elected to include original Hebrew texts with easily accessible accompanying transliterations and translations. As you might expect, "The Book of Seals & Amulets" comprises nearly 300 images of amulets and related illustrations, the largest majority of which were again from primary resources in the domain of "Practical Kabbalah,"

You can access "The Book of Seals & Amulets" and other publications of the Sangreal Sodality Press directly at:

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fiendish Forces in Hebrew Amulets - Part 2

There are many references to all manner of demonic forces in Hebrew amulets, usually in terms of kin type and, except for a very few like the demoness Lilit, are rarely named individually. Even when it comes to referencing a single “malevolent spirit,” it is often in the third person. For example, mention is made of the collective Ruchin b’ishin or to Ruchot ra’ot, all of which have been translated “evil spirits” (some say “ghosts”), and they are considered to be of both the feminine and masculine kind [Montgomery, J.A.: Aramaic Incantation Texts from Nippur, University Museum, Philadelphia 1913.]. We also find references to a singular Ruach ra’ah (“evil spirit”), i.e. one from amongst the “Ruchin” or “Ruchot ra’ot.”

As it is, Hebrew amulets include references to several classes from amongst the demonic legions. Amongst those mentioned in Kameot listed in my "The Book of Seals & Amulets," are the Mazikim or Mazikin, i.e. injurers (harmful spirits), who have been described “imps.” It has been claimed that the mazikim are the offspring of Adam and Eve having had liaisons with demonic entities. It is said they “and their demonic consorts account for the proliferation of demons”[Schwartz, H., Loebel-Fried, Ginsburg, E.K.: Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism, Oxford University Press Inc., New York 2004.]. However, there appears to be some confusion as far as these claims are concerned. Elsewhere it is indicated that the mazikim, “beings who injure (nezek)” [Witton Davies, T.: "Magic" Back and White, Charms and Counter Charms, Divination and Demonology among the Hindus, Hebrews, Arabs and Egyptians, de Laurence, Scott & Co., Chicago 1910], are comprised of a number of demonic classes.

Past research referenced two main factions amongst the mazikim, the first is comprised of “fallen angels who are wholly supernatural,” and the second of beings who are “half supernatural and half human.” Amongst the latter group there are two demonic classes which are of interest to us, since they are often referred to in protection amulets. First there is the Lilin faction of demons, which were “begotten of Adam on the one side, and Lilith and other female spirits on the other,” rather than from Eve, the primordial human mother, and we are told that “Lilith reigns over these as queen” [Witton Davies].

Next there are the Shedim or Shedin, the most cited of the demonic types listed in Hebrew amulets. We find references in the Hebrew Bible to these “demonic fiends,” i.e. in Deuteronomy 32:17 in which we are told regarding those who forsook the good ways of the Almighty One, "they sacrificed unto demons [Shedim]”). This accusation is emphasised and expanded upon in Psalm 106:37 where we read “Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto demons [Shedim]”).

The Shedim are said to be of the mischievous or “hobgoblin type” [Montgomery] and we are informed that their king, Ashmedai, “resembles the merry if also mischief-making hobgoblins of fairy tales” [Witton Davies]. It is said the Shedim were born from the sexual relations of two angels, i.e. Aza and Azael, with Na’amah, the daughter of Lamech who was the great-great grandson of the Biblical Enoch. All of this supposedly happened prior to the biblical “great flood” [Rappoport, A.S.: Myth and Legend of Ancient Israel, Vol. 1, The Gresham Publishing Company Ltd., London 1927]. However, the Shedim may “assume any shape and form they like,” and are “able to see without being seen themselves” [Thompson, R.C.: Semitic Magic: Its Origins and Development, Luzac & Co., London 1909]. If you should find this disconcerting, especially as far as your personal safety against these malevolent forces is concerned, it is worth noting that all demonic forces are said to be subordinate to the four great Archangels of the Divine Throne, i.e. Micha’el, Gavri’el, Rafa’el and Ori’el. In this regard, the 14th century Kabbalist Menachem ben Meir Tziyoni tells us “And know, that each party (of demons) is (subordinated) to certain archons and divine angels, as it is known among men of understanding” [Tziyoni, M. ben M.: unpublished passage in Sefer Tziyoni translated in Huss, B.: Demonology and Magic, Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts 10, 2004].

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Fiendish Forces in Hebrew Amulets - Part 1

Whilst the patronage of higher spiritual forces are enlisted in Hebrew amulets by means of their names, malevolent powers are equally identified in Kameot in order to, as it were, bind them and weaken their impact on the living. Restraining demonic entities is particularly necessary, since it is said that "if the eye had the power to see them, no creature could endure the demons." Furthermore, "they are more numerous than we are and they surround us like the ridge round a field," and it is claimed "Every one among us has a thousand on his left hand and ten thousand on his right hand." [Talmud Bavli, Berachot 6a]

It is said demonic entities are "living souls without bodies," [Thompson, R.C.: Semitic Magic: Its Origins and Development, Luzac & Co., London 1909] and it is believed they resemble humans in three ways, "they eat and drink like human beings; they propagate like human beings; and they die like human beings" [Talmud Bavli Chagigah 16a]. We are informed that "the injury of the human race in every possible way was believed to be the chief delight of evil spirits," [Cassels, W.R.: Supernatural Religion: An Inquiry into the Reality of Divine Revelation Vol. 1, Longmans Green & Co., London 1874] which is another "quality" they share with so many of the human race who "delight" in doing just that to their fellow human kind. The demoness Lilit certainly ranks amongst the most dangerous of those spirit forces who take pleasure in killing humans.

The saga surrounding the person and career of this demonic dame reads like a popular soap opera. She "was a failure as Adam’s intended wife, became the paramour of lascivious spirits, rose to be the bride of Samael the demon King, ruled as the Queen of Zemargad and Sheba, and finally ended up as the consort of God himself." [Patai, R.: The Hebrew Goddess, Third enlarged edition, Wayne State University Press, Detroit 1990] Her incredible career in evil and depravity spanning more than four millennia, rivals that of any other career criminal, whether human or demonic. At least there is some protection against the killer instincts of this lady. We are told she informed the Propher Elijah "whenever I shall see or hear any of my names I shall straightway flee.... And whenever my names shall be mentioned I shall have no power to do evil or to injure." [Hanauer, J.E.: Folk-Lore of the Holy Land: Moslem, Christian and Jewish, Duckworth & Co., London 1907]

It would seem the history of Lilit can be traced back to the Lillu, who "was one of four demons belonging to a vampire or incubi-succubae class" mentioned in a Sumerian King list. [Patai, R.: The Hebrew Goddess] Thus it has been suggested that the traditions regarding "Lilit" were derived by Jews from Sumerian and Gnostic lore, and it is further alleged that much of Sumerian folklore was absorbed into Judaism by the patriarch Abraham, and the fact that he hailed from Chaldean Ur was cited in support of this claim.

There is certainly no evidence that Abraham received the Lilit mythology from the Sumerians, or that it was from thence that it found its way into kabbalistic lore. There is also no reference to Lilit in the Pentateuch, and all evidence points to it having been extracted from Babylonian-Assyrian sources. After all, Jews lived in exile in Babylonia for centuries, and even after the "return" and Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the Temple and the walls of Jerusalem, many preferred to remain in the settled comfort of Babylonia, where the great Jewish academies continued to thrive well into the early centuries of the common era.

We know for certain that Lilit is part of Babylonian demonology, and that there are some Sumerian antecedents. In fact, Lilit was one of a demonic couple, Lilu the male and Lilitu the female, both of which were associated with a whole set of "harmful spirits" called mazikim. Now, whilst Lilit in "Jewish lore" is particularly associated with endangering the life of the newly born infant, the Babylonian equivalents of this spirit fulfilled various nefarious functions. For example, there is an incantation in an Assyrian ritual text against an Ardat-Lili who preys on males. Others would strangle infants and threaten pregnant women.

There is only one reference to Lilit in the Bible (Isaiah 34:14), hence it is understood that most of what we know of the early Jewish traditions regarding Lilit, derives mainly from the Babylonian Talmud. Amongst the early "Jewish" references to Lilit we should include one from the Qumran community (Dead Sea Scrolls), whilst aspects of this tradition were also absorbed into "The Testament of Solomon," a third century Greek work. More details on the Lilit as the first wife of Adam were also included in the "Alphabet of Ben Sira."

Now, just because Lilit is called the "mother of demons," does not mean that she does not have enemies amongst her own kind. In this regard, the demoness Machalat, the "Dancer," and her daughter Agrat bat Machalat, the latter being the consort of Ashmodai and queen of the demons, are said to live "in strife with Lilith." The hostility of these female demons towards Lilit is no simple matter. Agrat bat Machalat is the consort of Ashmodai and she ranks "queen of the demons." Furthermore, she is said to have "a retinue of one hundred and eighty thousand evil spirits." [Rappoport, A.S.: The Folklore of the Jews, The Soncino Press, London 1937]

(More to follow)