The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and The Witches' Qabalah (Penczak Temple Series)

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9780738711652: The Temple of High Witchcraft: Ceremonies, Spheres and The Witches' Qabalah (Penczak Temple Series)

"This is foremost an engaging textbook designed for home schooling the advancing witch, and it is encyclopedic in its rituals, charts, and even homework assignments." ―Publishers Weekly
 
Take your spiritual evolution to the next level by mastering the essentials of ceremonial magick. In this much-anticipated fourth volume in Christopher Penczak's award-winning series on witchcraft, he introduces the concepts of the Qabalah and the rituals of high magick, and explores the deeply interwoven relationship between these traditions and the Craft.

The teachings in this book correspond to the element of Air, guiding you into the realm of creative and critical thinking, communication, knowledge, and truth. Four preliminary chapters introduce the basic concepts, history, and skills you will need for your journey. Next, twelve formal lessons, in the witches' traditional year-and-a-day format, provide instruction in the fundamentals of ceremonial magic:

·The Qabalah
·The Tree of Life
·Symbol and sigil magick
·Elemental constructs  
·Qabalistic Cross
·The four worlds and their correspondences
·Middle Pillar
·Pathworking
·The Ritual of the Rosy Cross
·Invoking and banishing rituals
·Fluid condensers
·Barbarous words of power, magickal constructs, and the Goetia

The book's thirteenth lesson culminates in a ritual initiation fusing the traditions of witchcraft and high magick―the creation of your own Reality Map. The cosmology you create will be based on your own spiritual experiences as well as the philosophies and practices of ceremonial magick.

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About the Author:

Christopher Penczak is an award-winning author, teacher, and healing practitioner. He has studied extensively with witches, mystics, shamans, and healers in a variety of traditions from around the world to synthesize his own practice of magick and healing.

Formerly based in the music industry, Christopher was empowered by his spiritual experiences to live a magickal life, and began a full-time practice of teaching, writing, and seeing clients. He is the author of the award-winning Temple of Witchcraft series: The Inner Temple of Witchcraft, The Outer Temple of Witchcraft, The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft, and The Living Temple of Witchcraft Volumes 1 and 2.

His other books include City Magick (Red Wheel/Weiser), Spirit Allies (Red Wheel/Weiser), Gay Witchcraft (Red Wheel/Weiser), Magick of Reiki, Sons of the Goddess, Ascension Magick, Instant Magick, The Mystic Foundation, The Witch's Shield, The Witch's Coin, and the forthcoming The Witch's Heart. Christopher Penczak resides in New Hampshire. Visit him online at http://www.christopherpenczak.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1


The Magician and the Witch

When we look at images of the magician and the witch, we see that they are not so different. One of the first images of the magician that I remember from childhood was the wise old wizard. Wizards and witches have always gone together in the minds of our popular imagination. And there is a reason for this link beyond the alliteration of the letter w. The magician and witch have much in common.

 Both magicians and witches have graying or white long hair, signifying a long life, during which knowledge and wisdom has been accumulated. Coming from a time and place where many die young due to illness, poverty, or war, survival into elderhood denotes a powerful person with a powerful will to live. They often wear a pointed hat that could be seen as a symbol of their place in society or their wisdom. Conical hats have been linked symbolically to the Cone of Power that magickal practitioners raise in a ritual circle and release out into the world to manifest their wishes. Both wear robes of a sort-cloaks, hoods, or capes reminiscent of religious garb, hinting at a religious status of some sort that was lost with the rise of Christianity. Both have a fondness for animals and plants and often will keep a special or unusual animal or grow unusual herbs. Both live on the edge of society. We see the hedge witch in her hut or cottage at the edge of the village, near the forest and the source of her wild herbs and medicines. We see images of the medieval wizard, real or fictitious, living in an isolated tower and surrounded by his books and laboratory. Both are sought after for advice. People visit the village cunning woman for cures, divination, and spells. In the old myths, magicians are the guides and tutors to the heroes and royal courts, pointing them in the right direction but letting them do the work.

Some practitioners think the roots of the words wizard and witch come from the same source, meaning "wise," though modern scholars would disagree. Even if the etymology doesn't support this theory, the image of each denotes the wise old one, with the witch more often depicted as female and the wizard as male. In the modern era, we know that a woman can be a magician and a man can be a witch, but archetypally they denote two similar but different paths. The hedge witch, with the intuitive feminine mysteries, keeps one path, while the magician, as the forerunner of the scientist, seeks to solve the mysteries of the universe through the study of texts and experimentation.

The division between the two might not be as clear in reality as it is in our mythical images. The magician is very much in tune with the forces of nature, the elements, and intuition. It would be impossible for him to have any mastery of magick without understanding the feminine mysteries. In turn, the witch must study and have knowledge to support intuition and instinct. Ritual books, symbolic charms, secret languages, and incantations are as much a part of the art of the witch as freeform, spontaneous workings. Both of these magickal paths balance and harmonize what we think of as masculine and feminine mysteries. One may be emphasized over the other, but both are paths of balance and recognize the need for both sets of skills.

When I began my study of witchcraft, I looked at a lot of disciplines and drew upon many different traditions, even sources that would not be considered traditional witchcraft. I drew upon the theories and terminology of Hermetic magick. The Hermetic principles (ITOW, Chapter 8) influenced me profoundly. They gave me a basis, as a rational, thinking person, to understand how magick could work. My first teachers approached witchcraft as a science, and the Hermetic philosophies were the means of conveying the ideas of the ancient world's scientists-philosophers-sorcerers. As a witch, I saw these ancient researchers into the mysteries as my ancestors. We all practice magick.

The word magic comes from the Middle English magik, and some prefer that spelling, or the spelling of magick, made most popular by Aleister Crowley's work, to differentiate stage show illusionists from spiritual practitioners. We can trace the word to the Old French magique, the Late Latin magica, and the Latin word magice. The Latin use of the word comes from the Greek term magikos, meaning "magical," and magos, meaning "magician." The history of the word goes back to the Old Persian term magus, usually translated as "magician" or "sorcerer" and possibly meaning "to have power." The term magi, the plural of magus, is identified most popularly with the three wise men from the East, who reportedly visited Jesus of Nazareth at his nativity. Many overlook the fact that these men were Eastern sorcerers or magicians who had far more in common with pagan priests and priestesses than modern-day Christians.

The term sorcery comes from the Old French sorcerie and from the Vulgar Latin term sortianius, meaning "one who influences fate and fortune." In modern times, the word sorcerer can mean vastly different things, depending on where you are in the world. Some people use the word sorcerer to refer to shamans and holy practitioners of the spiritual arts of healing. Others use the term for those who practice harmful magick. Interestingly enough, it is believed that the feminine sorceress has an older history than the male sorcerer. Throughout history, the terms witch, sorcerer/sorceress, wizard, and magician have been used somewhat interchangeably. By looking at all the languages and cultures that had terms for spiritual magick, and the practitioners of this art, we can see that the concept of magick, or working one's will through ritual and charm, was a part of the cultural landscape of many lands and time periods.

My teachers believed in a common spiritual ancestry for both the magus and the witch. This encouraged me to incorporate the ideas of the pagan magicians of the Middle East-of ancient Sumer and Babylon, Persia and Egypt-into the lore of the Europeans. I was taught that the two roles were not as different as they were seen before, and in many ages past, there was not much difference between them in the popular culture of the time. Our modern division between the witch and the mage is just that-a modern division. Differences between traditions grew over the last few thousand years. Some traditions remained wild and primal, and others became more intellectual, but magick was not divided neatly into two camps. The lines between witch, shaman, and magician were not clear-cut in the ancient world. During the Burning Times, the Inquisitors didn't see much of a difference between them. All were considered heretics and devil worshipers, even if the magician was working in a Judeo-Christian context. Those on a more intellectual path were able to hide in the upper echelons of society, while those on the primal paths attempted to blend in with the peasantry. Both continued their traditions in secret. Once the magickal practitioner was no longer a vital and open part of the community, the differences between the two became even more pronounced, but they still came from a similar root, and that common root is the force that continues to bring them together.

Through this holistic viewpoint, I was able to integrate the image of the magician into my identity as a witch. I described myself as a shamanic Hermetic witch, giving references to both the tribal ecstatic mysteries that became a part of my Craft as well as the intellectual and theoretical material of the Hermetics that influenced my way of viewing the work. I've found both to be invaluable to my own spirituality. I don't feel a schism between the study of ceremonial magick and the folk ways of the witch. I don't see a distinct line separating the two. When you compare the images of the magician and the witch, you find that they have far more common ground than most people would think.

 The Powers of the Magus

One of the most popular images we have of the magician comes from the tarot deck. The classic image of the magician in the Rider-Waite deck gives us a lot of information about the magician and the magician's powers and teachings. It is also in this imagery that we find a lot of elements common to the witch.

The image on the Magician card, unlike the popular image of the wizard, is usually one of a fairly young man, a man in his prime, not elderhood (figure 1). Before him lies an altar, and on that altar are the four elemental tools of the four suits of the tarot deck. He has a wooden wand, metal blade, chalice, and pentacle, which usually stand for the elemental powers of fire, air, water, and earth, respectively. Here are the elemental "weapons" of ceremonial magick. They are also the ritual tools of the witch.

Skeptics would say that the modern witch's use of these tools is the result of the modern witchcraft founders borrowing from modern ceremonial magicians. I believe the tools to be more universal, showing up in many different forms and cultures associated with both witches and magicians. The witch's magick wand is a popular image from fairy tales, as is the witch's broom, an older version of the wand. The knife can be seen in old images of the witches' goddess Hecate. The cauldron is a popular witchcraft image from many cultures, transformed from the Celtic cauldron of immortality or inspiration into the image of the Holy Grail, the sacred chalice. The pentagram was drawn on the shields of the Celtic warriors devoted to the dark war goddess the Morrighan. The five-pointed star, the endless knot, is a classic symbol of witches and mages. We find similar groupings of ceremonial tools in the mysteries of the Cult of Mithras. They are not just tools, but four universal powers. Each tool not only represents one of these powers, because its form shares similar characteristics with the element's energy, but it also mediates that particular energy in ritual. Both the magician and witch perform ritual, thereby moving energy, with these instruments.

The magician often carries a fifth tool, a secondary wand that helps mediate the powers of the heavens and the Earth. With his right arm raised to the heavens and his left pointed to the land beneath him, the magician's body emphasizes the Hermetic wisdom "as above, so below." To create in one realm, you must create in both. To master one, you must master both. Some say he takes the heavenly power and makes it manifest his will in the world. Others say he takes his earthly life and raises it to the heavens. One of the lessons of the Magician card, when pulled in a divinatory reading, is of power and its appropriate use. Is the application of our power balanced in both worlds? If not, it will unbalance us. The four elements help us balance the powers of above and below.

The flowers decorating the card also emphasize the dual power. The red roses represent passion and vitality. Red is a color of life, of blood, and is associated with the physical and the sexual. Red is the color of will and power in the material world. In the Western tradition, the image of the rose, at its core a five-petaled flower, is a symbol of the energy centers and the unfolding of spirituality, much as the lotus is used in Egyptian and Asian traditions. Five is the number of the material world and the union of the elements. The white lilies, usually six-petaled flowers, are symbolic of the upper worlds, the macrocosm and the seven magickal planets-six bodies surrounding the Sun. The red outer robe and the white inner robe continue this theme of dual powers. The belt is fashioned as a snake devouring its own tail, an ouroboros-an ancient symbol of creation and rebirth, the magick circle between the worlds. The snake is a symbol of knowledge, awareness, and sexuality, strongly associated with witchcraft and the Goddess. Above the magician's head is the infinity loop, similar to the ouroboros but crossed over, showing the cycles between worlds and the infinite potential of magick. The center of the infinity loop is the point of balance between both worlds where anything is possible.

All of these symbols show a similarity between the two archetypal images of mage and witch, drawing them together closer. When we look at the role of the magician, we continue to find similarities to that of the witch.

 The Evolution of the Magi

 Where did the image of the magician originate? Our first image of the magi, and the word itself, comes from the desert lands of the Middle East. The magi were said to be a caste or order of the ancient Persian society that organized society after the fall of Babylon and Assyria. After political setbacks in the Persian Empire, the magi were said to have spread from Persia to the Mediterranean, carrying the image of the sorcerer with them. The Persian magi most likely were involved in the Cult of Mithras, a mystery tradition influenced by Zoroastrianism that grew to power in the Roman Empire. First mentions of the magi refer to the Persians, but eventually the term evolved into a wider image of strange miracle workers, healers, and ritualists.

From where did this caste of magickal practitioners inherit their wisdom? The priests of the first civilizations, those of Sumer, Assyria, and Babylon, were well known for their star lore and knowledge of spirits. The Chaldeans were a part of Babylon and were known as sorcerers. The classical Roman writers used the term Chaldeans for the mathematicians and astrologers of Babylon, showing that they were versed in the sciences. Chaldean also has become a term to describe the mythology of Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria. The Babylonians drew their knowledge from the Sumerians. Many credit the Sumerians with the creation of the first real civilization on Earth. Though civilization can be defined in various ways, the early Sumerians did possess a technical knowledge and sophistication that marked a shift in human culture. In the practices of Sumer, we can find a foundation that profoundly affected all that came after it. Through the surviving accounts of Chaldean practice and mythology, we know of orders of priests and priestesses, versed in ritual and medicine, summoning spirits and making offerings to the gods. We also find a powerful tale involving the descent of the goddess Inanna to the Underworld, and this tale continues to influence modern witches in their initiation rites.

When we look at the inhabitants of many of the ancient cultures-from the Sumerians and Babylonians, to the Egyptian priests and scribes, to the Persian sorcerers and the keepers of the temples in Greece and Rome-we see a similar archetype. Parallel figures to the old priests of Sumer developed in all of these civilizations, along with similar rituals and myths of the descending deity. The Greeks and later Romans became the recipients of the wisdom traditions of not only ancient Iraq and Iran but also of the Egyptian mystery schools, whose ancient knowledge influenced the Greek philosophers who are renowned to this day for their wisdom and insight.

In the ancien...

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Descripción Llewellyn Publications,U.S., United States, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is foremost an engaging textbook designed for home schooling the advancing witch, and it is encyclopedic in its rituals, charts, and even homework assignments. --Publishers Weekly Take your spiritual evolution to the next level by mastering the essentials of ceremonial magick. In this much-anticipated fourth volume in Christopher Penczak s award-winning series on witchcraft, he introduces the concepts of the Qabalah and the rituals of high magick, and explores the deeply interwoven relationship between these traditions and the Craft. The teachings in this book correspond to the element of Air, guiding you into the realm of creative and critical thinking, communication, knowledge, and truth. Four preliminary chapters introduce the basic concepts, history, and skills you will need for your journey. Next, twelve formal lessons, in the witches traditional year-and-a-day format, provide instruction in the fundamentals of ceremonial magic: -The Qabalah -The Tree of Life -Symbol and sigil magick -Elemental constructs -Qabalistic Cross -The four worlds and their correspondences -Middle Pillar -Pathworking -The Ritual of the Rosy Cross -Invoking and banishing rituals -Fluid condensers -Barbarous words of power, magickal constructs, and the Goetia The book s thirteenth lesson culminates in a ritual initiation fusing the traditions of witchcraft and high magick--the creation of your own Reality Map. The cosmology you create will be based on your own spiritual experiences as well as the philosophies and practices of ceremonial magick. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780738711652

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Descripción Llewellyn Publications,U.S., United States, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is foremost an engaging textbook designed for home schooling the advancing witch, and it is encyclopedic in its rituals, charts, and even homework assignments. --Publishers Weekly Take your spiritual evolution to the next level by mastering the essentials of ceremonial magick. In this much-anticipated fourth volume in Christopher Penczak s award-winning series on witchcraft, he introduces the concepts of the Qabalah and the rituals of high magick, and explores the deeply interwoven relationship between these traditions and the Craft. The teachings in this book correspond to the element of Air, guiding you into the realm of creative and critical thinking, communication, knowledge, and truth. Four preliminary chapters introduce the basic concepts, history, and skills you will need for your journey. Next, twelve formal lessons, in the witches traditional year-and-a-day format, provide instruction in the fundamentals of ceremonial magic: -The Qabalah -The Tree of Life -Symbol and sigil magick -Elemental constructs -Qabalistic Cross -The four worlds and their correspondences -Middle Pillar -Pathworking -The Ritual of the Rosy Cross -Invoking and banishing rituals -Fluid condensers -Barbarous words of power, magickal constructs, and the Goetia The book s thirteenth lesson culminates in a ritual initiation fusing the traditions of witchcraft and high magick--the creation of your own Reality Map. The cosmology you create will be based on your own spiritual experiences as well as the philosophies and practices of ceremonial magick. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780738711652

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