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The Fourth Principle, Part II

September 12, 2020

by Tony Willis     

The Third Exercise
Preparation for the Ritual of Consecration

Our third exercise is the consecration of the Wand. A consecration is a magickal ceremony that charges an item with numinous (OtherWorldly) energy. The version of the consecration ritual I am about to give you is carried out almost entirely “in vision”. On the physical plane you will need a table, to act as your altar, your ritually cleansed Wand, and a chair to sit on. On the astral plane, i.e., “in vision”, you will be working in the courtyard of large stone building, with high towers and gabled roofs, set on top of a hill. In this ritual, as with many rituals of the Western Esoteric Tradition, Divine Power enters the “magick circle” from the East. Consequently, you will commence the ritual facing East.

In preparation for the ritual to consecrate your Wand, close your eyes and imagine (or sense) the following scene building up around you. Imagine that you are facing East, the place of sunrise, the direction from which an energetic blessing will flow into the “magick circle” you will create around yourself when you actually come to perform the ritual. An imposing grey stone building is a short distance away, on your left. You stand in a wide, square, paved area that has a stone rectangular altar at its center. This altar stands upon the north/south axis of this courtyard; that is to say, one of the altar’s longer sides is towards you, its narrower sides pointing north and south.

It is daylight and you can see your surroundings clearly. Ahead, beyond the eastern end of the building, the land dips a little before turning into a spreading plain of grassland. You are aware of the grass waving in the breeze that plays across the plain. A long way off you can make out a low mountain range looming a misty purple in the distance. Two peaks of this range in particular catch your eye. It is as if they form a marker denoting due East, and that at dawn the sun would have risen between them.

Directing your attention to your right, you become aware of the land making a steep descent into a valley. On the far side of this valley rise the almost flat tops of barren ochre mountains. Several of these mountain tops house volcanoes and from the crater of one of these a plume of dark grey smoke issues, rising straight up into the heavens. In your imagination, turn right and keep turning until you are facing away from the grassy plain of the east, the altar now directly behind you. You find yourself looking over a low wall some distance ahead of you at the tops of fruit-bearing trees. You may be able to identify an apple orchard beyond the wall together with a fine display of pear trees and another of cherry trees. It is the end of summer and the tree branches hang heavy with fruit.

Turning right once more, you come to stand directly facing the grey stone building. It is three stories high and the side of the building you are looking at has many windows all with small unevenly shaped panes on all three floors. You can also make out a door with one large step in front of it; a wooden door with metal fittings, all painted black. Finally, you should complete the circuit of the courtyard by turning to your right one last time so that you are standing at the rectangular altar looking ahead toward the expanse of heath away to the east and the two far-off mountain peaks indicating the place of sunrise.

Build this picture up in your imagination several times before attempting the ritual of consecration.

BOTA Mag     Arcane-Arcana-01-bateleur-magician

The Layout of the Astral Temple

The action of this ritual takes place almost entirely on the astral plane. On the physical plane you will need a table to act as your altar; your Wand, cleansed of all astral impurities; a candle in a holder; and a lighter or box of matches. The Wand should be placed in the center of the altar, the candle to one side, preferably to your right, to make it easier for a right-handed person to light and douse the candle when required to do so. Also place upon the Altar the tarot cards of The Magician, The High Priestess and the Empress. Set the Empress down closest to you, that is to say near the western edge of your altar. The High Priestess goes higher up and to your left, in the north-east sector of the altar. The Magician is placed opposite the High Priestess so that the three cards form an equilateral triangle around the centrally sited Wand.

In the ritual you are going to imagine these tarot Trumps on their own altars, set out around the paved courtyard that is to act as your workspace. In the courtyard, the cards will be placed in the same configuration as they have on your physical altar. This will site the High Priestess card to the North-East of the courtyard, the Magician card to the South-East and the Empress card will be behind you in the West. To be clear: those will be the positions of the three cards on their respective altars around the “magick circle” that you are about to create to contain the OtherWorldly energy you are going to call upon to consecrate your Wand.

If you think of the magick circle in terms of time, the East point is the equivalent of the first day of Spring. In esoteric thought, the first day of Spring marks the dawn of the year. The Teutonic goddess of dawn and springtime was Ēostre. From her name comes the English term Easter. South is equivalent to the beginning of Summer, while the West represents the commencement of Autumn. This is the period of the year when the fruitfulness of the Earth is gathered in. It is when corn and other cereal crops are harvested and a little later the grape harvest occurs. The start of Autumn coincides with the celebration known in Christian circles in the UK as Harvest Festival. The North point on the magick circle is the equivalent of the beginning of Winter.

BOTA HPS    2t tdm

In the ritual of consecration I am about to describe, note that The High Priestess occupies the North-East, the mid-point between the onset of Winter and the promise of new life offered by the coming of Spring. In northern latitudes, many animals hibernate during this season. For humans, who do not physically hibernate, it is a time for reflection and the formulating of future plans. These are the months on the cycle of the year when the adepts and magi of the Western Mystery Tradition mentally organize and develop the work they intend to carry out over the course of the coming twelve months.

The Magician card, on his altar in the South-East, symbolizes the adept (of whatever gender) now past the planning stage, and actively striving to turn the plans constructed during the High Priestess stage of the year into a tangible reality. The Empress, at the Western point of the magick circle, represents the fruition of those plans, the harvest of all the effort lavished upon them over the preceding six-month period. Bear all this in mind as you walk around the magick circle at the start of the ritual of consecration.

Although your Wand will be consecrated to only one magickal path, you should bear in mind that the three magickal paths form a triad. They do not function alone. All three qualities – Will, Knowledge and Action – support one another and none ever works entirely alone but is always supported in a dozen subtle ways by the other two.

You may wear a robe when you come to perform the ritual. If, however, you do not possess a robe, no matter. Since the real work of magick is carried out in vision, it is enough that you imagine yourself robed. At this stage of your magickal career, your robe should be plain, and deep brown or buff, the same shade as a manila envelope. You can girdle yourself with either a black or a white cord.

In the course of this ritual, you will be asked to walk, in your imagination, around the courtyard where the activity takes place on the astral plane. If the directions require you to make a circumambulation that means you are to circle the courtyard once. Circumambulations always start in the East. As said, this is the direction from which power arises, and its symbol is the Sun breasting the horizon at dawn. Beginning your circumambulations in the East will also help you to tap into a ritual pattern that has been in use for millennia among adepts of the Western Esoteric Tradition and to draw energy from that ages-old tradition. From the East, a circumambulation proceeds to the South, then to the West, to the North, and finally back to the East. The pattern you create on the astral as you mentally circle the paved courtyard will resonate at the same frequency as the ancient ritual pattern thus forming a connection between the two. By means of that connection your magickal work will be energized, strengthened and enlivened.

BOTA Empress     3t tdm

The Ritual of Consecration

Set out your altar as directed. Then leave the room for a moment and mentally prepare yourself for the ritual you are about to perform.

When you re-enter the room, walk a full circle around the altar, going clockwise. Only after you have made one complete circuit of the room approach the central altar, continuing to travel in a clockwise direction, and stand at it facing East. If you are not physically wearing a robe, visualize yourself as wearing one. When you have done so to the best of your ability, return your attention to the physical plane and light the altar candle to mark the commencement of the ritual. Pause and still your mind.

When you feel ready, close your eyes and imagine yourself in the courtyard of the old, stone-built building, the rectangular stone altar in front of you. On this altar lies your Wand, a lit candle and a taper. (A taper is a long, ultra-slim version of a candle used to carry flame from one place to another.) Ahead of you and to your left, closer to the walls of the house, is another altar. On this, standing upright, is a large version of The High Priestess card. To your right, towards the southward perimeter of the courtyard, is a third altar on which stands a large representation of The Magician card. “In vision”, turn around clockwise so that you are facing West. Over toward to orchards, there is a fourth altar. On this, standing upright, is a large representation of The Empress card. Continue turning clockwise until you are facing the central altar again.

Imagine yourself lighting the taper from the candle on the central altar. Proceed clockwise around the central altar and past the altar in the North-East. Pass by the East and come to the altar in the South-East, on which stands the tarot card The Magician. There is a candle in a holder on this altar, placed in front of the Magician card. Light this candle from your taper. Continue in a clockwise direction until you come to the altar in the West, upon which stands the tarot card The Empress. Light the candle on that altar from your taper also. Continue walking clockwise until you come again to the altar in the North-East, on which stands the tarot card the High Priestess. Light the candle on that altar from your taper before continuing on to the East and around past the altar in the South-East so that you can the approach the central altar from the western portion of the courtyard and finish, facing East, with the altar, with your Wand on it, in front of you. Blow out the flame at the end of your taper and lay the taper back on the stone altar.

In vision, pick up your Wand and carry it to the appropriate altar – to the South-East if you have been directed onto the Path of Power, to the North-East if you have been directed onto the Path of Knowledge, to the West if you have been directed onto the Path of Informed Action. Hold your Wand above the flame of the candle on the altar you stand at and wait.

An inner contact will place a hand over the Wand; or it may take the Wand from you and perform some action with it: the inner contact might, for instance, point with the Wand, or simply grasp it in the middle and hold it upright. If the inner contact places a hand on the Wand, set your hand “in vision” over the inner contact’s hand. When you do so you will feel a flow of energy passing through the inner contact and then through you and also into the Wand. The process of instilling OtherWorldly energy into the Wand may take a long time or it may last only a brief moment. The experience will be different for everyone. Once the inner contact has finished charging the Wand with energy, or has ceased performing an action with it, leave the altar you are at and return, walking clockwise, to the central altar. Place the now charged and consecrated Wand back on the central altar.

Take a moment to compose your emotions, then open your eyes and leave the room, travelling as always in a clockwise direction. The inner contact needs to focus intently upon the physical Wand at this point in order to complete the transfer of numinous power from it to the Wand. This process will proceed more smoothly and with greater efficacy if there is no human present in the room while this transfer is made.

At the end of fifteen minutes, go back in and walk in a clockwise direction to the altar. Once there, close your eyes and, in vision, go around the magick circle, passing by the East until you reach the altar in the South-East. Blow out the candle on that altar. Proceed to the Western altar and blow out the candle in front of the large card depicting the Empress that stands upon the altar there. Then pass on to the North-East, to the altar dedicated to the High Priestess, and blow out that candle. Travelling on to the East and then the South, return to the central altar and blow out the flame on that altar’s candle too. Open your eyes and blow out the flame of the candle standing on your physical altar. This acts as a signal to your unconscious mind that the ritual has concluded. Now you can wrap your consecrated Wand in the material in which you intend to store it, and afterwards you should set the Wand aside somewhere safe until you are ready to use it.

BOTA Emperor      4 II

Although you have performed this ceremony of consecration entirely in vision, handling an imagined Wand, while the actual Wand remained on a table in a room of your home, you will find that your Wand has, nonetheless, been invested with OtherWorldly energy. When you grasp the Wand in your fingers, you should, with a little practice, be able to feel an energetic charge running through it.

Slip the three tarot cards back into the deck and clear away the candle, its holder, and any other paraphernalia you have used in the course of the ritual. Exit the room again and stay out of it for ten to fifteen minutes to allow the atmosphere within to return to normal.

If, previously to carrying out this consecration, you have read up on occult procedures, you may be aware that, at the end of most magickal ceremonies there is performed a reverse circumambulation, or a banishing or dismissal of the energies invoked during the course of the ritual. This is not the case following a consecration. Energy has been called into the magick circle (invoke literally means “to call in”) and then deposited within the consecrated object (in this instance your Wand). A banishing operation would be counter-productive under these conditions as it could have the result of drawing energy back out of the Wand, thus rendering it less potent and consequently making it a less effective magickal tool.

From → occult tarot

  1. christinescott6 permalink

    Thank you, really enjoyed this article.

    • You’re welcome, Christine. I hope you are able to make good use of the information in the article.
      Tony Willis

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