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from the light-lunch dept.
One of the oldest techniques of magick, common throughout the ancient world and probably beyond, is that of the sacrament. It has at its core the basis of magick itself, i.e., the unification of the microcosm and the macrocosm. As It is Within, So It is Without -- As It is Without, So It is Within. The evocation of an ideal one wants to achieve, followed by its invocation and, hopefully, its achievement. There are many different ways this has been expressed in varying cultures, from incenses and perfumes to taking intoxicants; from ingesting foods to the consumption of blood sacrifices. All, though, have this common theme: of first making something sacred, and then absorbing it into the body (bridging the gap of inner and outer) in order to make that sacred, too. There are other sacraments like incense, absorbed by smell, and the ritual taking of drugs. They differ from the ingested Eucharist in the sense that they are not food for the body. The Eucharist also feeds the mind and soul like the others, but by feeding the body it adds a dimension of physical permanence to the operation. The body is the hardest to change magically, being in its nature Tamas (fixed).
The whole discipline of Yoga starts with the body and progresses to the mind and later the soul. Alchemy, or its hidden meaning, also works in this order, purifying the body or apparatus first. If you succeed in this vital preparation, enlightenment, or whatever you want to call it, is a natural progression from there. Else the body will always be interfering in the process, e.g. Christianity and Islam. The best approach to achieving this is twofold; a comprehensive exercise system designed to breakdown the body armour, such as Yoga or Tai Chi, and a Eucharist to strengthen the underlying true self or "True Will" as it is called in Thelema. The strongest and most practical Eucharist I have encountered is the Thelemic one included in The Book Of The Law, dictated by Aiwass to Aleister Crowley in 1904. This is what is known as the Cake Of Light.
Liber AL, Chapter III
Meal: I prefer a mixture of 50/50 corn flour and wholemeal flour. This is only my choice, as corn is associated with the sun and wheat with the moon in Mayan thought, but any flour will do as long as it's good quality -- except self-raising flour, as you don't want it to rise.
Honey: From experience, only clear "runny" honey works to bind the flour together. Set honey could work if you stand the jar in a bowl of hot water first to make it runny, otherwise you will be there all day trying to mix in the flour. Locally produced honeys are supposed to be good for people who suffer from hay fever. I like special flower honeys, as they produce good aromas when burning the incense cake and taste better.
Red Wine: A good bottle is essential. You are making a declaration to your deity, so cheap plonk won't do. Also, that week old bottle now reserved only for cooking will be too vinegary for the sweet taste you're trying to achieve. Buy a bottle of your favourite and let it stand for a good while before using it. As only a small amount is used in the cooking, save the rest for the rite. It is good culinary practice to cook with the wine drunk during the meal, as the flavours blend together.
Olive oil and Abra-Melin oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the best to use as it's lighter and they don't use chemicals to extract it like ordinary olive oil. As for the Abra-Melin oil, this has to be made some time beforehand. So if you can't get hold of any, here's a quick recipe.
You shall prepare the Sacred Oil in this manner: Take of myrrh in tears one part; of fine cinnamon, two parts; of galangal half a part; and the half of the total weight of these drugs of the best olive oil. The which aromatics you shall mix together according unto the Art of the Apothecary and shall make thereof a Balsam.
If you try to make it in like this you find you are missing one very important thing, which all self-respecting apothecaries would have had: a perfume press. To get over this, I calculated the mass of the original raw material that my purchased essential oils came from, added those figures together and divided by two, to get the mass of the olive oil to dissolve them in. Essential oils are 1-2% of the raw material, depending on freshness and quality of the raw material itself. So you want to add at least 25-50 times as much olive oil to the mixture and allow it to dissolve for at least a few weeks, months preferably, or years for the good stuff. The oil will gradually turn from green to golden in colour and will not sting or burn as some inferior Abra-Melin oils do.
Mix the olive oil and the oil of Abra-Melin together in equal parts, ready to add to the cake mixture. Make a bit more of this oil mix than you need, as you'll want something to grease the baking tray with.
Blood: This has to be fresh! Remember, this is a sacrifice. It is no good preparing this ingredient before making the cake of light. Every type of blood, no matter what type you choose to use, has to come directly from its source. The other ingredients should be prepared before making the sacrifice.
The blood types in descending order of strength are:
If using menstrual blood, it is best to use one gush than to try to collect the whole lot over the few days. As with semen, one ejaculation is better than waiting to come again. These are both used in Tantric or Tankhem (Egyptian Tantra) rites, and are best done solitary or with Sex Magick partners.
Most hospitals these days allow you to take the placenta home with you after the birth. If not, have the birth at home and get the partner to collect the placenta. With these cakes it could be good to keep one until the child grows up and use it for their initiation. Also importantly, have them for the mother to use them in her own personal working to restrengthen her after the birth and to act as an antidote to post-natal depression.
With enemies: this may be done to strengthen soldiers in times of war, but at the moment you are unlikely to get away with it. Still, if you get the chance I recommend "cowards; professional soldiers who dare not fight, but play," "all chaste women," and "all fools" (AL, 3:57), or the Army of the Patriarchal Authoritarian Imperial Fascist Dictatorship, as Willhelm Riech called them, meaning the people who fight against Natural change within the human psyche.
The only point to drawing blood from oneself or other Thelemites, as I see it, is as a sort of "Blood Brother" rite, whereby a ritual group might get together each with their own razor (burin) or ritual dagger and in turn shed a small amount of their own blood into a communal mixing bowl. This could be useful in cementing "family" relationships, important in ritual groups or covens.
With animal blood: do not use butcher's blood. Either sacrifice the animal yourself, giving it a respectful death, or draw the blood from a large animal so it is not killed. Alternatively, use animal menstrum or semen, a good example being a nice free-range organic egg, like a goose egg sacred to the Saxon goddess Eostra. Whatever you use, these cakes are suitable to give to Thelemites you don't know well as there is less "come back" with cakes from animal blood. They are ideal for inter-group meetings and party sacraments, as even vegetarians might not turn their noses up at the egg version.
Once you have decided what blood to use, first prepare the other ingredients. To make enough for a twelve-indent cup cake tray here is an approximate guideline for amounts of ingredients:
Mix the flour and honey together into a sticky ball. Add the wine in small amounts, stirring it in, until it forms a soupy liquid, not too thick, or it will burn when cooked. You may want to add as much as 60 ml of wine to get the right consistency. Now add the oil mixture and mix it in well as it will tend to separate at first. It is now ready for the blood and can be refrigerated if necessary until the required moment.
When ready, take the mixture to the altar and do your preferred invocation. Make the sacrifice and add the blood. It is important to include Ra Hoor Khuit in these proceedings, as you will need something as powerful as him to protect a blood rite such as this. Even if the cakes are not to be used exclusively to him, include him in the litany. Your own deity may be very powerful, but you need a force that is most definitely Thelemic, and as Ra Hoor Khuit is the chief of the gods of Thelema, he rules over this rite. (It may be possible to use another pantheon's chief deity instead but I am not guaranteeing anyone's safety in attempting this.)
Prior to this, preheat an oven to 170° C (160° C, for fan assisted ovens) and grease a cupcake baking tray with some of the oil mixture. When the sacrifice has been made, and the blood has been mixed in well, spoon the mixture into each cupcake indent, straight away so to not lose any of the Ojas (Life, Orgone Energy, whatever you call it). Then cook immediately for about 15 minutes or until golden reddish brown. When just done they should be still flexible; they then harden to a biscuit-like consistency. Don't be tempted to over cook them if intending to keep them for a long time as the sugar in the honey and the Abra-Melin oil combine to form a very strong preservative. I have kept some for years with no deterioration, but it does help to "smoke" them a little in thick incense smoke from time to time.
It's best to use the Abra-Melin incense for this, so here it is.
The Perfume shall be made thus: Take of Incense in tears (Frankincense in sold in drops) one part; of Stacte (Srorax) half a part; of Lignum Aloes a quarter of part; and not being able to get this wood you shall take that of cedar, or of rose or of citron or any other odoriferous wood. You shall reduce all these ingredients into a very fine powder, mix them well together and keep the same in a box or other convenient vessel.
Store the cakes in an airtight container upon your altar until they are required. It is important to keep them dry and cool, but if they are, they will last ages.
How They Are To Be Used
This method requires a "visible object of worship," and cannot be used with any supernal deity. Even the Christian Eucharist uses Christ, not God. It has to be a deity that you can relate to on a personal level and that is below the abyss. Hadit and Nuit cannot be used, as the energy built up will dissipate to whoever nearby is having the best time at that moment, regardless of their beliefs. This goes for all such deities such as Shiva-Shakti, Yin-Yang, Tao-Te, etc. These are absolutes and not deities as such, so they don't perform the same task. They are the macrocosm and the microcosm, not the device by which they are united.
The best one to use is your own personal Holy Guardian Angel Deity. If you don't have one yet, then start with a Solar, Lunar or planetary deity that you particularly like, within the system you are most familiar with. As long as it doesn't clash with the basic tenets of Thelema, the Eucharist will increase your intimacy with it. I had successful workings in this way with Ra Hoor Khuit, Hathoor, Ganesh, Tara, Kali, Maat and Set, until I found my own HGA deity Set Ha Ka, the protector of Heru Ra Ha against Apep, the destroyer of the world (not the Greek Apophis, Apep was never worshipped in pre-Hellenic Egypt).
They can also be used in the place of blood sacrifices in such systems as Voodoo or Santeria. It could get a bit messy bludgeoning a chicken to death in your front room, but if you prepare the blood from the chicken in this way, the deity will be just as happy with you and so might the neighbours. They can also be used as a sort of payment to a deity for manifesting a desired outcome, for example, paying the Wanga (an altar tool in Voodoo used for cursing) when making an attack or an icon of Erzulie (Hathor or Venus) when you want someone to fall in love with you. They have many uses, but the best one to start out with is the HGA deity. It's best to have some reference point first, else you could fall foul as in the old saying, "be careful what you wish for, it might come true."
Set up an image of the god or goddess that you choose above your altar and lay the cakes out in front of it. Then do your Abra-Melin devotional prayer or orison as it's called. This consists of burning Abra-Melin incense while evoking the deity with a heartfelt prayer, honouring it, written by you. Then anoint your Ajna Chakra (Third Eye), or all the chakras, with Abra-Melin oil, followed by an invocation and meditation upon the deity. At special times, i.e., the deity's holy day, or when you think you need a boost: after doing the orison, dip one of the cakes in some red wine and burn it as incense, feeding the god, then eat one yourself, drinking some of the wine. As the incense cake burns, sending its smoke towards the image of the beloved, so does the ingested one take effect throughout the body.
The important point to laying them out during your orison is to banish any weakening influences in your life from them. Do a banishing over the cakes after your orison, mentioning these influences, people, etc., and when you come to do the Eucharist, these things will have no power over you while the effects of the cake last, and for some time after the negative influences will be greatly reduced. In your daily practice you can just do the orison and the banishing, consuming a cake on the day you choose as your Sabbath. Over time the cakes left will gain in strength, absorbing each successive ritual. Eventually the whole body will be cleared of all obstacles and body locks, allowing the mind to become more precise in its perception, freeing the fetters of the soul. The stronger the blood the more lasting the effects, but it's best to start off low.
Aleister Crowley called this Eucharist "the Medicine of Metals, Stone of the Wise, the Potable Gold, the Elixir of Life" (Magick, Chapter XX). Although it is a very simple system, it has in it all that is needed to progress magically. It enhances within, a natural improvising alchemy, doing away with the need for tons of magical theory and overbearing strict discipline. I believe it is an extremely important method that everybody could benefit from in his or her own practice. I have used it to regain strength after illness, help with reasserting determination in completing projects and speeding up my own Abra-Melin operation (otherwise, with my resolve, it would have easily taken 40 years). It has also helped me get jobs, find places to live, and get laid. There may be more uses, as yet not tried. I wish everyone attempting it the best of success in establishing their true will. I also hope that people will take the basic recipe and improve upon it. There are lots of different flours, honeys and red wines to choose from varying the taste and perhaps the effects. Good Luck!
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