Review: Balkan Folk Magic: Zmaj by Katarina Pejovic

My interest in the traditional witchcraft and folklore of the Balkans began a few years ago, when I was blessed to stumble upon Balkan Traditional Witchcraft by Radomir Ristic. In the book, Radomir describes what is very much a living tradition, one that had evolved and adapted over time yet nevertheless maintained very ancient roots. While I cannot claim to practice the traditional witchcraft of the Balkans, the concepts and lore I discovered from reading what little is available (mainly the works of Radomir Ristic, and Thracian Magic by Georgi Mishev) has inspired my own practice greatly, particularly the concept that another person doesn’t make you a witch, rather the spirits themselves do. One such being found within Balkan folklore is the zmaj, a kind of dragon spirit entirely unlike the beasts slain by St. George and St Michael. Very little is said of the zmaj in the works of Radomir Ristic, the newest release in the Guides to the Underworld series from Hadean Press aims to address that.

The zmaj are dragons descended from the stars in the form of meteors and lightning bolts, transforming the animals, spirits, and landscapes they embrace. The zmaj is not only a powerful protector of the people but a mythic ancestor. They are known for their legendary lust, they marry young virgins, teach them witchcraft, and sire offspring known as the zmajevit: humans with zmaj souls. Syncretized with the Nephilim and protected by the Prophet Elijah, many of Serbia’s most distinguished tsars, princes, and knights are counted among their ranks, with songs of their zmaj heritage still sung to this day. Author Katarina Pejovic brings this lore to English speaking audiences for the first time. While short, she weaves together a fascinating overview of the folklore, granting a rare insight into a culture where witchcraft and belief in the spirits never died.

It is said much of the genesis of the Dragon Book of Essex was inspired by Andrew Chumbley’s friendship and magical work with Radomir Ristic, that the work is to an extent built upon zmaj lore. While I cannot confirm this, I can say that this booklet will give lore to consider. There are no workings, no rituals, and no spells in this work. A relationship with the zmaj is a highly personal one as the lore shows.

Of course, we are outsiders to this culture, we cannot simply barge in and demand access to their magic. However there is much lore to consider involving the zmaj and certain saints. The Balkan peninsula is a heavily Orthodox Christian region, here Christanity sits side by side with a belief in spirits and witchcraft. Perhaps through certain Saints, one may gain a glimpse of these magnificent spirits. To that end, Katarina has graciously shared a traditional Balklan prayer and spell to St. Marina.

A Prayer to St Marina

Oh, holy great martyr Marina, you were a living fire of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and because of this faith you joyfully and fearlessly died and stood up to receive the wreath of martyrdom from the Lord Himself. With your holy actions, you have shown for all time that the greatest enemy of our salvation can be overcome – the body and the devil. Therefore, the Lord has rewarded you with a great power to help us in our many troubles, especially in the battle against the evil demonic forces. For this reason, we who are full of sin and helpless approach you, Holy Marina, and we ask your gracious help. Help us to overcome our body, which inflicts us in countless ways and which, at every turn, is making us to err and sin. Through our prayers, the Lord makes us stand up from the muddy clay in which we roam and purify ourselves from all physical impurities through deep and sincere repentance, so that we can walk enflamed along the path of salvation.
But we even beg you to help us in this difficult and bloody, invisible struggle, which we fight against the demons of evil and who deceive us and lead us into sin, even though we are often not aware of it. Therefore, with all the holy prayers from the heavenly heights, drive away all the demons who engulf the pitfalls around us and take us out of the path towards salvation. With their malice and cunning they sowed in us the pride, selfishness, hatred, envy, evil, power, pity, and all other passions that have come to us in our midst.
Therefore, with your fiery prayer, Martyr Marina, chase out all those passions that have stumbled upon us and help us rise against them reborn through the Church of Christ, through repentance, through virtuous and pious life. Help the unbreakable fire of the love of God to burst into you, with which you so burned so intensely, to tremble over every part of your mind and to encircle your soul with constant prayer and divine ecstasy. Then the demons will flee from us with fear and will not be able to do much harm to us. May your holy prayers so revive until the end of earthly life stretching to the Upper World.
And once as souls we move through the realm of spirits, let us pass through the evil Satanic armies and enter into the light of the Empire of Heaven, where all the armies of the angels and all the saints, among whom you illuminate with your flame, the holy Marina, The Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever in the ages of the ages. Amen.

A Spell

One balkan spell involves drawing a black dragon (not a zmaj but the usual european dragon with the lizard body and wings) and writing on it all the things you wish banished that are constricting you, usually in the belly. Then you pray the above prayer and as you pray the portion about her inflamed with fire while she was inside the dragon, you anoint yourself and the image with the sign of the cross in holy oil and burn the paper.

Prayer translated and spell provided by Katarina Pejovic
Purchase Balkan Folk Magic: Zmaj here.

A Heretic’s Daily Consecration to the Holy Mother

(image credit – Our Lady of Fallen Stars by AzK // Shandi)

O Immaculate Holy Mother!
Live in me, act in me, speak in me and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind.
Love through my heart.
Give me your disposition and feelings.
Teach me, lead me and guide me to the Morning Star.
Correct, enlighten, and expand my thoughts and behavior.
Posses my soul, take over my personality, and replace it with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration.
Pray for me and through me.
Let me live in you and keep me in this union always.
Amen.

Hail Mary, Empress of Hell

Ave Maria mater Domini nostri Iesus Christi regina cœli domina mundi imperatrix inferni misere mei & totius populi Christiani Amen.

Antiphon from the Saltair Mhuire, attributed to Domhnall Albannach Ó Troighthigh, in manuscript dated 1477.

Hail Mary, mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, Queen of Heaven, Lady of the World, Empress of Hell, have mercy on me and the whole of Christian people.

To speak of Mary as Empress of Hell may sound surprising and even confusing. But St. Alphonsus explains.

“Not only is the most Blessed Virgin the queen of heaven and of all saints. She is also queen of hell and of all evil spirits. For she overcame them valiantly by her virtues. From the very beginning God foretold the victory and empire that our queen would one day gain over the serpent, when he announced to him that a woman would come into the world to conquer him: “I will put enmity between you and the woman. . . . She will crush your head” (Gn 3:15). And who could this woman, his enemy, be but Mary, who by her fair humility and holy life always conquered him and beat down his strength?”

The most famous and enduring example of this, and possibly the source of the Queen of Heaven/Empress of Hell dichotomous terminology, is variations on the Theophilus legend. This is especially interesting because Theophilus is the forerunner to one Herr Doktor Faustus. In this legend/miracle story, Theophilus makes a transaction with the devil for the rights to his soul. Near death, he comes to regret his decision, and begs Mary to help him. As Mary is infinitely merciful, she does. She girds her loins for battle, descends into hell, and steals back the charter conveying Theophilus’ soul to the devil!
Possibly the most interesting part of this miracle story is Mary’s mission to hell is portrayed as warfare. The tales evoke the devil’s anger, and use language of violence and theft to describe Mary’s actions. In her guise as empress of hell–that is, more powerful even than Satan–she is not the mother of mercy, she is the “queen of vengeance.”

An Evening with Anima Sola

“On ghosts which appear at the crossroads, or souls from the spirtual world, who on a mission from God come to this corporeal world in search of orisons to be purified from the mistakes they committed in this world against the Lord our God” – On Ghosts from the Book of St. Cyprian, translated by Humberto Maggi.

I began with Psalms 68 verse 1-5 and 134 for the Exorcism & Blessing of the Working Area, fumigating with frankincense, and asperging with holy water. For “the Opening of the Rites & Workings of the Wise” I prayed Psalms 141 verses 1-2 & 104 verses 1-9 (as per the Charmer’s Psalter by Gemma Gary) followed with the fifty-first Psalm as confession (as per the Grimorium Verum). Lighting the candles upon Saint Cyprian’s altar, I prayed the Lord’s Prayer, then knocked 9 times on the altar, each time calling out “Saint Cyprian”. I then proceeded with the Sorcerer’s prayer to Saint Cyprian, with my San Cipriano amparo between my hands, asking him to guide me and protect for the work ahead. I took my amparo, as well as my Exterminator Talisman from the Book of St Cyprian: the Sorcerer’s Treasure, and placed them in a red flannel bag attached to a cord so it could be worn in the style of a lamen. I constructed a ward with St Michael the Archangel, asking him to only allow the named spirits through.

I began the chaplet for la Anima Sola at midnight (it being the hour of Saturn no less, an appropriate for contacting spirits as per la Vèritable Magie Noire) and I had Mattie’s box open on the shrine for it. (Mattie’s box being a box of grave dirt from a young lady who was killed by a drunk driver on prom night. A precious gift from my dear friend Jack Grayle, author of the Hekatæon). I began the prayers, devoutly kissing my Pardon Crucifix before each Lord’s Prayer, as to earn an extra indulgence for the dead. As I prayed, the atmosphere began to change very quickly. There were tons of chills and thumps in the room, while getting a very hot feeling inside myself, along with bursts of severe hunger pangs. As the chaplet progressed I felt her cool, and by the end she no longer felt upset about having her sleep interrupted.

As I prayed and scryed the candle flames, I had a few vivid visions of a young woman in fire, alternating with visions of Maria. The flames were the most persistent image in the ‘visions’, these visions being in the mind’s eye more so than appearing ‘externally’.

After completing the chaplet and prayers, I sat and meditated, the atmosphere haunted yet not menacing. I thanked Mattie and gave her a dismismal from the Book of Cyprian for human spirits, then closed the ritual with prayers to Maria, then Psalm 150 as thanks for blessings and answers recieved, ending with three Lord’s Prayers.

I then cleansed with a previously prepared bath of rue, basil, rosemary, hyssop, sea salt, holy water, flordia water, and cascarilla; reciting Psalm 101 “Against Evil Spirits & People” (again, the Charmer’s Psalter by Gemma Gary). I did the Holy Rosary before bed, my sleep still rather restless although dreamless.

The Book of St. Cyprian: the Sorcerer’s Treasure

“Maybe there never was a a book so coveted and searched for, neither one which arose more passions and desires to be possessed…we are talking about the Book of Saint Cyprian, popularly known as Ciprianillo.” – El Libro der San Cipriano by Felix Castro Vicente.

The Black Books of Cyprian, many of which arose from Spain and Portugal, were popularized and spread throughout the New World. Their influence ranged from North America to as far south as Brazil and would come to influence a variety of practices from traditions found there.

However the Libre de San Cipriano: Tesoro del Hechicero is considered to be a talisman in of itself, in folklore merely by possessing it one can become a sorcerer. Indeed, a brujo friend of mine has commented often on the strange synchronicites that happen more often than not from happening to own the book or from begining a devotional relationship with the sorcerous saint. I shall offer an example from my own life.

I recently ordered Humberto Maggi’s translation of the Book of St. Cyprian (which among others, contains an English translation of Tesoro del Hechicero) and recieved it on a Wednesday, along with a package of Santisima Muerte supplies from a brujo friend. I went to show it off to my friends at the Botanica Macumba. They were unfortunately closed so I went up the street a bit to a different botanica to stock up on some needed supplies. I was close by a spot were black nightshade grows so I decided to go over there and see if I might harvest some to replant. This was a spur of the moment decision, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing nor actually equipped for it. Still felt like it was ‘the right time’ to do this so I went along with it.
I get to the spot, an abandoned lot. I find they have been doing construction to the lot, there’s a large dirt mound that catches my eye. I proceed to the nightshade, noticing an empty bottle of Miracle-Gro Liquid Plant Food I can put a cutting in to take home and do so. That dirt mound kept catching my eye however and when I wonder why aloud… crow cawed thrice. I go over and find sticking out of the mound an elder tree… well what is left one the leaves still green, the tree stubbornly clinging to life. Its Wednesday, the day of Mercury. The Grimorium Vernum calls for an elder wand cut in the day and hour of Mercury. I check my planetary hours phone app. It is not the correct hour, and I find myself lacking any offering for the tree spirit. A thought occurs and I speak it aloud “I could cut it to size in the day and hour of Mercury”, crow cawed thrice again. “This piece is the perfect size, it has two small branches growing out… I could offer to transplant those as a pact to harvest it now…” again crow cawed thrice. I went to work without hesitation, pulling dirt chunks out of the way, I get to the branch I wish to harvest and in the name of the Trinity by the power and intercession of San Cipriano I broke it off stating my promise to transplant the two small branches and transfer them to the wild one day if they made it to be strong trees.

A Chaplet for Anima Sola, the Lonely Soul

The Anima Sola, Italian for “Lonely Soul”, is an image used in Italian style folk Catholic worship of the dead in Southern Italy, that has become popular in many cultures and spiritual traditions, especially Hispanic and South American ones. The image represents all the lone souls who have died in venial sin and therefore after death atone for said sins in the flames of purgatory. These poor souls are too good for Hell and are destined for Heaven, however they must suffer in fire so they can be purified before entering Paradise, as there can be no bad things in Heaven.

This chaplet is based upon the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows, also known as the Chaplet of Seven Sorrows or the Servite Rosary, a Rosary based prayer that originated with the Servite Order. This rosary was granted indulgences by Bendeict XIII in1724 and Clement XIL in 1734. These indulgences were confirmed by a decree of January 17th, 1747 and rendered applicable to souls in Purgatory. This chaplet for the Anima Sola follows this rosary closely, with the main addition being a prayer containing the Requiem Aeternam (which carries an indulgence for the dead) after each Lord’s Prayer.

This chaplet can be used as a focus for pretty much any petition to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Suffering the intense flames of purgatory The Poor Souls welcome all prayers and in return bestow large favours and graces in gratitude for those willing to trouble themselves with prayers to cease their suffering and get them into Heaven faster.

A Suggested Basic Set Up
Print out a nice picture of the Anima Sola and frame it, or get an Anima Sola statue. Lay out a white cloth and place a crucifix at the back and place the image in front of it. You may also put images of St Michael, Madonna del Carmine,San Nicola da Tolentino, Santa Rosalia, San Padre Pio, and Santa Caterina da Genova on the space (all associated with assisting the Poor Souls). Place a white candle on the shrine along with a cool glass of water to soothe the spirits sufferings and give them a medium to travel through.

The Chaplet for Anima Sola

One begins and ends this chaplet with the De profundis (Psalm 129)

Then pray 1 Lord’s Prayer, 3 Hail Marys, a Glory Be, and a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Following this, you pray the Prayer for the Anima Sola and the Orison of Anima Sola.

You are now ready to begin the chaplet proper.

Holding the medal: Sign of the Cross, then Introductory Prayer

3 beads: Hail Mary

On the connector: Announce the first Sorrow, then say the Lord’s Prayer followed by the Prayer for the Anima Sola

On the 7 beads: Hail Mary

On the remaining medals: Announce the next Sorrow, then say the Lord’s Prayer followed by the Prayer for the Anima Sola. Continue with Hail Mary on each set of 7 beads

On returning to the connector: the Lord’s prayer, followed by the Prayer for the Anima Sola.

On the 3 beads returning to the medal: one Hail Mary each, in remembrance of Her tears.

Close with Orison of Anima Sola, the Memorare, Sign of the Cross, De Profundis.

The Prayers

De profundis
(Psalm 129 Out of The Depths)

Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication:
If you, O Lord, mark iniquities,
Lord, who can stand?
But with You is forgiveness,
that You may be revered.
I trust in the Lord;
my soul trusts in His word.
My soul waits for the Lord,
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the Lord;
For with the Lord is kindness
and with Him is plenteous redemption;
And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be

Glorybe to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

St Michael the Archangel

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Prayer for the Anima Sola

O Lord, I offer my prayers for the salvation of the Lonely Soul. With your Divine Majesty and Love direct your Merciful Eyes to the Loney Soul, Amen

Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord
May they rest in peace.
Amen

Orison of the Anima Sola

Hear mortal men, the cries of the imprisoned soul, alone and abandoned in a dark prison.O Anima Sola, soul of peace and war, soul of sea and of land. I desire that all that I have lost be returned.

O Anima Sola, you who are alone and abandoned, I accompany you in your grief. I take pity upon you. For I know of the grief and suffering you must endure within your harsh and long imprisonment.

I offer you this prayer and glass of water because I desire to lessen your pain and quench your thirst. Sad Soul, Lonely Soul, no one calls you, But I call you. No one looks for you, but I seek you out. No one loves you, but I adore you.No one remembers you, but I keep you in my heart.

I offer you this lit candle so that you may find your way into the light. In this moment I offer to you my meritorious labour, and all that I have suffered, suffer and will suffer in this life, even though it can never compare to yours. I humbly pray that you finish paying for your mortal sins of the flesh so that you may find the grace of God, and be lifted from your imprisonment, with your grace you shall be my benefactor.

Amen

Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord
May they rest in peace.
Amen

Sign of the Cross
By the sign of the Cross (sign of cross over forehead), from our enemies (sign of cross over lips) deliver us O Lord (sign of cross over heart), through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Introductory Prayer

My God, I offer You this Rosary for Your glory, so I can honor your Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin, so I can share and meditate upon her suffering. I humbly beg you to give me true repentance for all my sins. Give me wisdom and humility, so that I may receive all the indulgences contained in this prayer. O Lord, I offer this rosary for the salvation of the Lonely Soul. With your Divine Majesty and Love direct your Merciful Eyes to the Loney Soul, Amen

Eternal rest, grant unto them O Lord
May they rest in peace.
Amen

The Seven Sorrows

The First Sorrow The Prophecy of Simeon.

When Mary and Joseph present the infant Jesus in the temple, Simeon predicts that a “sword” (of sorrow) will pierce Mary’s soul.

The Second Sorrow The flight into Egypt.

When King Herod orders the death of all male children age two or younger, Mary and Joseph flee to Egypt with the infant Jesus.

The Third Sorrow The Child Jesus Lost in the Temple.

Mary and Joseph search for the child Jesus for three days, finding Him at last — after agonizing sorrow — in the temple.

The Fourth Sorrow Mary meets Jesus carrying the cross.

As Jesus makes His way to Calvary, condemned to crucifixion, He meets His mother, Mary. He is bruised, derided, cursed and defiled and her sorrow is absolute as Jesus drags His own cross up the hill of His crucifixion.

The Fifth Sorrow Mary at the foot of the cross.

Mary stands near her dying Son unable to minister to him as He cries “I thirst.” She hears Him promise heaven to a thief and forgive His enemies. His last words, “Behold your mother,” charge us to look on Mary as our mother.

The Sixth Sorrow Mary receives the body of Jesus.

Jesus is taken down from the cross and His body is placed in Mary’s arms. The passion and death are over, but for His mother, grief continues. She holds His body in her arms.

The Seventh Sorrow Mary witnesses the burial of Jesus.

The body of Jesus is laid in the tomb. Mary is alone in sorrow, awaiting the Resurrection.

the Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen

A Protective Ward with St Michael the Archangel

Here is a simple protective spell, with layers of protection and plenty of tools to feed the spirits to work their roles.

St Michael’s candle is surrounded by a base of a trio of cleansing/banishing herbs as well as the materia for fiery wall of protection. The candle is anointed with Abramelin Holy Oil and dressed with fiery wall of protection. Pslam 92 verses 12-15 and the Prayer to St Michael the Archangel are prayed over the candle to bless it and charge it Michael’s protection.

The idea behind this is as you light the candle and say your prayer to Michael, you are essentially asking Michael to “guard the gates”, with the spell staying active so long as the candle is lit. I typically use this an extra protective measure when doing work with Santisima Muerte or the Dead.

Recipes

Cleansing/Banishing: Rue, basil, rosemary

Fiery Wall of Protection: sea salt, frankincense, myrrh, dragon’s blood, ginger, cinnamon

A Call to Hekate, Child of Destruction and the Starry Sky

I offer you this spice, O Prodigy of Nyx,
Child of Destruction and the Starry Sky
Come to me, Beloved Mistress,
Triple Headed, Triple Voiced Hekate
Hear my enchanted call
Carried to you by spirits of Air
Crossroads Queen, lover of solitude
Having your meal among the tombs
Come to me Black Bitch, Witch Mother
Brimo, Furious One, Formless Fire
Thea Deinos, Dread Goddess, Bender of Proud Necks
I call to you, O Ghost-Faced Moon
Fearful One, Deathly One, Grave-Goddess
Come now, with the Cry of the Beast
Blessed Bitch, Leader of the Pack
Agriope Lykania, loving the mournful wailing of hounds
Unbound, Ungrit, Unconstrained
Dread Goddess, Clad in Serpent Tresses
Primal Serpent, Eternal Witch
I call to you, kindly hear my sacred chants
Come and make the earth tremble with your bull like roar
Grave-Breaker, World-Ender,
Goddess of Dark, Quiet & Frightful One
You who drinks blood and feasts on hearts
Eater of Filth, you who devours the Untimely Dead,
You who brings Death and Destruction,
Who makes Grief resound and spreads Madness
Come to my sacrifices

[Image above – Supreme Goddess by MrNat]

An Incense blend for Deiphon

(Warning contains Baneful ie TOXIC plants, do not burn inside and only in well ventilated areas!)
Yew
Henbane
Datura
Wolfsbane
Dittany of Crete
Myrrh
Wormwood
Mugwort
Cypress

Some notes on preparation.
This is a 9 ingredient incense, made in three parts.
The base for this incense is the trio of myrrh, wormwood, and mugwort; all in equal parts. This constitutes about half of the final mixture, and makes for a wonderful Hekate incense on it’s own, and is safe to burn indoors.
The poisons (datura, henbane, wolfsbane) make up about 1/8th of the final mix. It’s equal parts datura leaves and henbane seeds with a small pinch of wolfsbane.
The rest is made of equal parts dittany of Crete, yew needles, and cypress bark.

the Call of the Hekatæon

***Night 1***
I began the ritual by slowly chanting Io Hekate Io Ho 108x on a set of mala beads I anointed in henbane oil and then buried at a graveyard trivia for the space of the dark moon. The repetition of the mantra helped to center myself, filling my mind and heart with love for Hekate and served to build up the rite and really get the energy flowing. It’s a simple enough ritual, a devotional poem you silently read after washing your hands thrice and dusting them with cinnamon, a sigil to draw and contemplate, as well as a guided meditation followed by reading the poem out loud three times. Regardless of its simplicity, I felt Her, not strongly, a distant prescence yet there.
***Night 2***
The 2nd night is certainly titanic! I began as the night before 3x washing of hands, dusting of them with cinnamon, and 108 recitations of IO HEKATE IO HO to prepare. The guided meditation shows that my senses have improved somewhat, I couldn’t clearly see but I did clearly sense it, with the visualization of the glowing trident sigil being the most clear. And then the hymn! By the third recitation of the hymn Her presence was undeniable, I could sense Her before me, behind me, to my left to my right, above me below me, indeed within me; Her energy completely saturated my temple room. This was an enormous presence, quite heavy in all honesty and a bit more than I was expecting! I received communion in the form of inspiration and began to use the witchbreath, breathing Her in and out, mingling Her energy with mine, silently chanting IO HEKATE IO HO with each full breath cycle, again using my mala beads for a count of 108. This helped immensely and lessened the initial discomfort.
***Night 3***
This might began as the others. The results will not be reported as they are highly personal.
***Night 4***
Tonight was…. delightful to say the least. In the devotional hymn there is one chant you’re only supposed to say if you’re sure you want to call Her…. well She certainly responds, Her prescence grew with each repetition. While last night was very emotional, tonight was simply full of awe at Her mystery. Last night She was within, tonight I sensed Her above me. Towering above me, the very vortex I ‘saw’ durning the pathworking portion of the ritual but felt much more vividly. A storm even blew in to coincide with my chanting….
***Night 5****
It was another beautiful, intense and aweful (as in full of awe) experience! The most startling was getting an electric tingle feeling as I said “and what the Titans smell is blood”.
And then after the hymn! I felt Her in all 8 directions of the compass around me and towering above me. They coalesced into one and I felt the double helix from the pathworking caressing my aura, subtly changing me. I caught a few sights sounds and feels (my nose was unforuntaely blocked up due to pollen) although I simply registered those and let them pass by.

[the notes for Nights 6,7,&8 appear to be lost]

The 9th Night of the Call of the Hekatæon
I fasted for the 3 days leading up, rather than the prescribed one. (I typically gradually fast, slowly cutting out things, yesterday was green tea with honey and nothing else.)
At midnight, after preparing in the usual way, I began pathwalking to meet Her. There She stood at the crossroads towering above me, 3 faced, six armed; the face of a maiden, the face of a hound, the face of a serpent . She held torches of oak, and with a dagger beckoned me closer. I opened my eyes then and began the prayer, singing BRIMO, BRIMO, BRIM! Again the feeling of being encompassed by Her, feeling Her flow into me, as the Dead danced at the circles edge. The energy increased with each stanza, it built to a fever point… BRIMO BRIMO HEKATE I sang; and with my heart full of love, awe and mystery, shoving a thorn deep into my flesh. I offered Her my blood so that no part of me was kept from Her and plunged my bloody finger once twice thrice into the circle sealing my devotion, thus activating the Hekatæon. I closed the book, held it to my heart as I kissed the sigil and gave the sigil to the flames, its ashes collected to later consecrate the strapalos. I sat and basked in the energy until I became very tired. I went to bed and dreamt of a cosmic crossroads, a toad awaiting me….

Io Io Ekati!
Photo by Jack Grayle

Addendum – the first night of the Waxing Moon

I went down to the ‘end of the world’, a spot on the Missisippi river, a liminal spot marked not just by its name but also as it is a spot were land sky and water all meet. I offered incense to the spirits of place, the river spirits and such then lighting myrrh I began to sing the consecration song. The sun was setting, and inspired by being in a liminal space at a liminal time I began calling Brimo for the first night of the lunar month of 27 epithets.
PHORBA PHORBA BRIMO AZZIEBYA I sang 9 times, calling to Her to me, then began a heartfelt prayer to Her, She who is the Furious One , the Burner, the one who illuminates, incinerates, and transforms what was into what will be. This turned into a spontaneous chant of:
BRIMO BRIMO BRIM
BRIMO BRIMO BRIM
BRIMO BRIMO BRIM
Burn, burn, burn away
Burn, burn, burn away
Burn, burn, burn away
O blessed Brimo, O Furious One, O Burner,
Burn, burn, burn away all that separates me from my Queen,
Transform what was into what shall be.

I felt a gradual building up of warmth within me, so much so that the previously warm breeze felt quite chill in comparison. My meditation and chanting was interrupted by sensing two others approaching. I look back and a moment later two other people, a couple on a sunset stroll, approach into view. I reflect upon this, and reach a personal realization. I ask for sign if such is the case, immediately I am answered by a crash of the river against the rocks near were I sit. I ground and center, then thanking the spirits, leave without looking back.

The Bible as Grimorie

It is often overlooked in our modern times, that ALL magickal traditions in Europe (and countless other traditions worldwide) have been impacted by Christianity. Regardless of your personal beliefs or feelings about the Bible, Christianity, or its adherents; it is absolutely impossible to deny that the Bible has been one of the most influential books in human history. The tenets, beliefs, and symbols of the Bible are inextricably interwoven into the fabric of our society, whether we like it or not.

Over the last thousand years, the vast majority of European magick workers, sorcerers, conjurers, and cunning folk were Christians. The same holds true in America.

Practitioners of folk magick, alchemy, rootwork, hoodoo, conjure, powwow, hexcraft, Appalachian granny magick, Ozark Mountain magick, spiritualism and mysticism have been overwhelmingly Christian since the days of the Puritans. Even the renowned and beloved Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau, was a devout Catholic who attended Mass daily.

While every one of these traditions has also preserved remnants of pre-Christian beliefs and practices from their respective countries of origin, over the last 1000 years, elements of Christianity have also been uniquely preserved and incorporated into the various practices as a whole.

As practitioners of magick, many of us are eager to connect with our pre-Christian roots, often completely overlooking a wealth of information that our most recent predecessors considered essential.

The Bible has been used as talisman, divination tool, and spell sourcebook for generations. The book of Psalms has served as an ancient magic formulary in countless magick traditions. The power of the words, psalms, and prayers in the Bible, as well as its sacred holiness as an object, made it the most widely used magickal resource across the social and cultural spectrum for the past 1000 years.

Some observations on the Psalms:

1.There is something about how they’re written, the word choice and tone that makes them
A.) Powerful and charged with the right emotions
B.) Evocative of the correct neurolinguistic concepts, thus tapping into the desired archetypal energies, thus very precise and deliberate in their effect, and acting as any good spell should as a direct code of language, energy and intention
2. The bible is written in a language that not only meets the above criteria but is distinct enough from contemporary speech to render it unique, and thus has written into it a psychological separation acting as a neurolinguistic anchor to the state desired
3. The bible and it’s concepts and thought forms have the energy of the bulk of the population feeding them energy, which is largely untapped , ripe to be hijacked via syncretic integration into more holistic and driven beleif systems
4. The bible is one of the most common books on the face of the planet, making it easily the most accessible book of spells on earth.