Ritual Magic Workshops
About Ritual Magic
Ritual magic, like Hermeticism, Qabalah, Tarot, and Gnosticism, is one of the central repositories of esoteric spirituality in the West. Due to bigotry and religious persecution, the Western Mystery Tradition was nearly lost altogether. Magic, or magick, as it is sometimes rendered, is a spiritual discipline combining so many aspects of occult spirituality, it has been called the "Yoga of the West." Magical ritual can best be thought of as a form of meditation which overcomes the natural tendency of the mind to turn outward by employing sights, sounds, scents, and emotion. Thus robes, wands, cups, incense, drama, etc., are used to stimulate and focus the mind and will toward the object of the meditation (the ritual).
Every magical ritual has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning consists of consecration of the sacred space and an invocation of beings such as Gods or angels. The middle includes the statement of the intention of the working, and the direction of any forces invoked in the beginning. The end includes the thanking and dismissal of any beings present and deconsecration of the sacred space. The participants in the ritual choose symbolism that is in harmony with the intention of the working. Often a mythological theme is employed since this resonates deeply in the psyche of the ritualists. All the magical implements and accessories such as robes, banners, wands, incense, etc., are carefully coordinated to fit consistently into the symbolism. In many cases correspondences from the Qabalistic Tree of Life are used to organize the symbolism in a coherent way.
Because magic and ritual have been the subject of much fear and misunderstanding, it is important to clearly set forth some principles, especially for those new to the discipline. The ceremonies of the Polaris Fellowship and Lodge Phoenix never involve any violation of Law. None of our rituals involve drugs, sex, or human or animal sacrifice in any form. Children are not present at our rituals. We also take a strong stand against illicit drug use. We believe, as we were taught, that drugs and magic do not mix.
Although Magical Teaching is readily available in books, the observant student has always realized that everything is not given in many written works. Some things are best learned by doing, under supervision from a qualified teacher. The practical side of Ritual Magic falls into this category. These workshops were developed for students of the Servants of the Light by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki who has now authorized the teaching of this series by others. Completion of the full Ritual Magic series (all three classes) satisfies that portion of the curriculum requirement for Lodge Phoenix and also enables one to attend certain advanced S.O.L. workshops, which may be offered from time to time.
Each of these workshops is designed to be explored over two and half days, starting with an opening lecture on Friday evening, a full day on Saturday, an evening ritual on Saturday and full day on Sunday. If you plan on attending these classes, you must have a black robe with a hood, and a white cord or belt to go with it. These three workshops will not be given out of sequence.
WORKSHOP ONE : FIRST STEPS IN RITUAL
A BEGINNING COURSE IN RITUAL MAGIC
This workshop looks at ritual from the Malkuth level, that is the basics. Contents for this workshop include the theory of magic, symbolism of the temple, magical tools, movement and intent in the temple, and how to construct a ritual and perform it safely. A group ritual will be held Saturday night.
Detailed list of topics to be covered: Place of Magic in the modern world, requirements for the practice of magic, the Western Mystery Tradition, and others. Qabalah, the foundation of Western Magic. Preparation of the self, training, and practice in theory, study, and actualization. Building the physical temple and its symbology. The inner temple, the cornerstones of true magic. The Building of a Temple. Preparation of Self. The Magical Tools. The Magical Ring. The quarters, their symbols/colors/meanings and God-forms. The Officers and their duties. Priest and Priestess. The Magical Personality and the Body of Light. Group Souls and Group Minds. The Three Aspects of Ritual. Building a Ritual and Sources of Material. Visualization exercises, pathworkings and projection of consciousness.
The ritual for this workshop is "Ascending Silences."
WORKSHOP TWO: MAGICAL HORIZONS
AN INTERMEDIATE COURSE IN RITUAL MAGIC
This workshop, the second in the series, looks at ritual from the Yesod level. The basic focus will be raising of power in rituals and the role of the astral levels. The Egyptian tradition will emphasized. A group ritual will be held on Saturday night.
Detailed list of topics to be covered: The astral plane, ritual drama, and mime. Enacting the Great Myths. The Egyptian creation myth. Nine gods of Ennead, Children of Nuit, Death of Osiris, The Assessors and the Goddess of Truth. Empowering the Altar, and the bringing of Power through the High Priestess. Assumption of the God-Forms. Opening the Higher Levels of the Mind and Spirit. The place of the Old Religion in Modern Magic. The Horned God. Psychic self-defense. The Use of Masks in Ritual. Practical exercises in Vocalization, Choral Speaking in Ritual. Movement and gesture in the Temple.
The ritual for this Intermediate workshop is the "Judgment of Osiris," using masks and plain black robes.
WORKSHOP THREE: BEYOND THE PILLARS OF WISDOM
AN ADVANCED COURSE IN RITUAL MAGIC
This workshop, the third in the series, looks at ritual from the Tiphareth level. Contents will include the spiritual purposes of ritual, personal alchemy, and the Great Work. Angelics will be emphasized.
Detailed list of topics to be covered: Four Meditations on the Inner Elements. The Higher Levels of Pathworking. Higher levels of assumption of godforms. Walking in the Two Worlds. The Setting Up of Magical Groups. Consecration and Initiation. Ongoing Programs of Magical Work for Small Groups. Outdoor Rituals. The Temple Sleep. Choosing the Right Tradition. Seasonal Ritual Work. Birth, Marriage, and Death Rites in a Magical Lodge.
The Ritual for this Advanced Workshop will be "The Mass of the Archangels."