Friday, January 28, 2011

Stuff I'm up to...

I've been working on a set of what I'm calling 'Druid Telesmata' - symbolic figures meant to be proper vehicles for the spiritual forces or processes they represent. Here's one:

The Mother of All, wrapped in life and bearing the fruits of the land, with the gate of the Mound behind her. The sigils in the bosses are for strength, abundance and sovereignty. I'm sorry I only saved this in b/w, though several of the elements were b/w already.

Imbolc post next...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Nine Moons study group

First I want to thank everyone who responded to the Very First edition of the Book of Nine Moons. The response was good, and I hope that readers can get a lot from the material, whether or not it is worked systematically. At very least it's a thick book of magic.

The Yahoo group for students of the Nine Moons program is up, and I've invited both the folks who wrote me and the local students to join. As you get your copies, if you decide that you'd like to work the program with support I hope you'll write me and join the group. For these early stages of the program, I will keep personal control of the list and membership, so that it can stay entirely relevant to the work.
I might suggest a possible start date of New Moon in March (approx 3/5 or 6 - I'll use 'New Moon' to refer to the first visible crescent...). That would take students through Full Moon of November for those who work the work straight through. It seems a good idea to be finishing the big rites of the work at Samhain season...

Soon back to material of general interest here on el bloggo...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Working Magic

Any magician will tell ya, it feels great to get back to doing magic! After some months of inaction over the past summer, L and I have been back at it full steam, working our way through the works of the Nine Moons. I mean, I’ve done all the works of that system over the years, some of them many times, and have been working with spirit allies since my days as a witch. Still, working through these new rites, and doing it in an intensive ‘retreat’-type format, is jazzing me up.

My trance-vision skills are sharpening right up. I’ve done a lot of visionary work over the years, some ‘guided’ but lots just free-form. I’ve been busily recording the scripts I’ve written for the system, and have been working them through. Those are almost all ‘launch-and-free-journey’ works, with plenty of time for free-form vision, though since they’re training exercises the free-form time is a little limited. It just points me at what I’d like to be doing once I have re-established myself at the end of the system.

The ritual magic system fits like a glove. No surprise – it’s firmly based on ADF’s Order of Ritual, which I’ve been working with for some 20 years. However, that has been almost exclusively religious work, using the skills to give to the Powers and get a good blessing in turn - all pretty safe, noon-tide sort of stuff, though really very fulfilling. The Nine Moons work, on the other hand, has been old-fashioned night-time magic, with a nicely occult feel to it. Pushes buttons I like having pushed…

The new shrine is working well. Here are pics – on the right of the set-up for the Two Powers healing rite. There are sets of the proper stones for both L and I, but only one blessing fire, which we both used to charge our wands for the Sky Power portion. On the left is the set-up for the Ancestral Ally rite – lotsa offerings! The firelit pic is the Shrine of the Dead with the offerings of apples, pork and ale before it.

The work has me growing much closer to my spirit allies – my Familiar and my Teacher. I’ve met a couple of additional spirits of the lesser, helper sort, who will now begin receiving direct offerings instead of just being part of the crowd at Kindred offerings. When I have finished this sequence, in two to three more months, itwill be spring and time to get some of this work out-of-doors to the backyard nemeton, rather than being limited to the home shrine. Can’t wait!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Book of Nine Moons

Lessons in Celtic Sorcery

I’m pleased to make the first copies of the Book of Nine Moons available to members of ADF and to readers of this blog.

The Book is made up of nine monthly lessons in trance, divination, ritual engagement with the spirits and practical magical work. Each lesson consists of works for the First Crescent, Sixth Night and Full of the Moons, with the waning crescent for rest. These lessons are arranged progressively, to teach practical spiritual arts in a Druidic context; that is, Pagan magic. The publication of the book is accompanied by the first disk of audio support, covering the simple trance and meditation exercises of the first three Moons. Audio support for following Moons will be available soon.

While the work of the Nine Moons will be valuable to any intermediate practitioner, it is written for those working the Pagan Druidic ritual system of triadic symbolism and fire-sacrifice. The system is especially intended to provide a formal structure for those who are working ADF’s Initiate’s Path. The lessons will provide somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 – 80% of the required practicum, while providing a solid and organized basis in magic for further work.

The ethnic focus of the work is Gaelic, drawing on authentic Gaelic folk and literary material, though it could easily be adapted to other ethnicities. The work is focused on direct results for modern students, done within a symbol system that I hope might have been recognizable to the ancients.

If worked at the suggested pace, the Nine Moons are an intensive engagement with spiritual arts, that will combine vision, ritual and worship to allow the student to move forward in the work. Articles on ritual work, trance, spirit work, divination and spellbinding provide the theoretical background for a program focused on practice. Even outside of the formal order of the lessons, the book offers many new ritual scripts for spirit-arte and practical magic, set in the Pagan Druidic tradition.

The goals of the program include:
• The experience of the Sacred Cosmos, as a source of spiritual wisdom and strength.
• The creation and consecration of a Shrine and personal tools, beyond common household worship.
• The development of basic skill with a divinatory symbol system.
• Skill in trance-vision, and the development of an Inner Grove from which journeying and other Inner Work are done.
• A progressive approach to the Dead and the Landspirits, leading to effective personal alliance with the spirits.
• Practical magic experience, with the goal of increasing health wealth and wisdom for the student.

I may decide to offer formal instruction in this system within the coming year. Watch this space for any such announcement. In the meantime I will be creating a Yahoo group for those who have purchased the book and might wish to undertake the program in a mutual-support environment – that should be up this week. Just send me your Lulu order # if you like and I'll invite you to that list. Also possibly forthcoming is a publication of this material in a more topical arrangement, without the nine lessons, for a more general Pagan public. However this edition presents the material as it has been written, and as I hope will be valuable to anyone interested in a serious approach to Pagan spiritual arts.

This weekend has a nice sale on, as well – offering 20% off of any order, with the code ‘treasure’ at the bottom of the very last checkout window.

Woohoo! Here it really is!

Friday, January 7, 2011


After some two years of development and writing, the Book of Nine Moons is complete, at least in a first edition kind of way! I’ve very pleased with how it has come out, and think that it can truly do the job of helping students become competent and empowered Druidic magicians. For those new to el bloggo, I’ve been writing a system that amounts to a nine month long ‘retreat’ in which daily simple work and weekly exercises and ritual intend to empower and illuminate the student. See here for the goals and more

So, I’ve finished! Eyes crossed and tees dotted. Typeset and ready to offer. Now… how to offer it?

I’m still all confused about how to offer this material. My interim answer is simply to offer it in a lump, as a new book, called the Book of Nine Moons. I should be announcing availability as soon as I work over a proof, probably a couple of weeks. I’m very pleased with how it has come out, and a small group of students is working through the material with good results.

There’s every possibility that I’m going to offer access to mentored work in the system as well. I have supplemental files, notes and support, which I am considering administering through a private e-list. I still see some conflict between offering the book publically and creating a workable product as a ‘course’ that students take over nine months.

The other stumbling block is the focus of the system on the Pagan Druidic ritual system, with its fairly unique triadic symbolism. When one moves a system entirely out of Neoplatonism, Renaissance Hermetics and the four-quartered circle one limits the ability of many Pagans to relate. While I have no aversion to seeing where I can make a couple of bucks on this, I wrote it as a system that I actually use, based in the symbolism I have come to understand over the past twenty years of Druidic work. So as it stands it is built within a pre-hermetic, Indo-European cosmology, with a ritual system that looks more like an eastern fire-sacrifice than like renaissance magic. Probably anyone from a reconstructionist Pagan system could make sense of it, but it could be fairly opaque to newer students who come out of more standard ‘western tradition’ training.

It’s also plainly intermediate work. There’s no extra fifty pages up front to explain the cosmology and core ritual work. In many ways the Nine Moons is a sequel to my book Sacred Fire, Holy Well, where that whole system is explained. Of course the very best preparation for this new system is the ADF Dedicant’s Path (that article is a bit old), where the symbolism and practice is taught in some detail. However I’d sure like to offer this stuff outside the realm of the couple of hundred Dedicant Druids…

Ah well, blog readers and ADF members will get the first chance to buy the version I’ve just finished. Will it take me another year to figure out what else to do with it? No, sez I!