alchemy

Book Review – Sigils, Ciphers and Scripts: History and Graphic Function of Magick Symbols by M. B. Jackson

March, 2018

Sigils, Ciphers and Scripts: 

History and Graphic Function of Magick Symbols

by M. B. Jackson

Published by Green Magic, Somerset, 2013

 

Big thanks to Green Magic for sending me a copy of ‘Sigils, Ciphers and Scripts’ by M. B. Jackson to review. First of all, it’s a really beautiful book. Glossy black, A4, coffee table style; it’s certainly a conversation starter. The subtitle is History and Graphic Function of Magick Symbols, and I think it’s important to bear this in mind when reading the book. This volume is not a comprehensive break down and explanation of every single magical alphabet and symbolic system, as this would require a much thicker, denser volume. What this book does is introduce you to each set of symbols, give you a bit of the history, and provide you with some beautiful graphics.

My favourite aspect of this book is that it is not path specific. Symbolism from many different cultures, studies and religions appears here; Judaism, Paganism and alchemy, to name but a few. Each section is spread over two pages. The first page being a two-column history and description of the symbols; the second page being the symbols themselves. The illustrations are really beautiful and highly detailed where necessary.

Now if you are thinking you can pick this book up and learn the inner secrets of Enochian and how to communicate with angels, I’m really sorry but you’re going to be disappointed. But what you will learn is where Enochian was ‘discovered’, who made it famous, and the symbols themselves. What you do with this information is, I guess, up to you! Further reading is definitely required if you want to go more in depth or fully understand how to use the scripts. But again, this is in the title; this book gives the history and describes the symbols; it isn’t a ‘how to’ guide.

This is one of those volumes I’m likely to keep to hand, for those times when you see a symbol but aren’t sure of its origins, or simply for reference information. I particularly enjoyed learning how the ‘flower of life’ leads into the development of platonic solids, a connection I had not previously considered.

One minor criticism: in the further reading section, the first website listed is Wikipedia. I would never, ever cite Wikipedia as either a source or as recommended further reading on a specialist subject, as it is too easy to edit and place misinformation in there. As a first step towards finding other sources, it’s fine, but it was off-putting to see it listed as recommended reading in such a niche volume.

Other than that, I was truly delighted with this volume. The presentation is outstanding, and it really does give a good outline of each set of symbols or ciphers, giving you a good starting point and a great foundation to work from.

For Amazon Information Click Image

 

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft.

Follow Mabh on TwitterFacebook and her blog.

For Amazon Information Click Images

Book Review – The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern-Day Wiccapedia of Magical Ingredients and Spells by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell

September, 2017

The Good Witch’s Guide: A Modern-Day Wiccapedia of Magical Ingredients and Spells”

 

 

by Shawn Robbins and Charity Bedell

Published by Sterling Ethos

Published: 2017

Pages: 305

 

Rituals, History, aromatherapy, crystals, candle magic, spiritual alchemy, potions, tinctures, herbs and recipes are just some of the topics covered in this hardcover book that’s approximately six inches by six and a half inches. It’s an inch thick and just feels good to hold.

 

As a “Wiccapedia,” it covers all the topics you need to know, and then offers lists for additional reading and reference materials.

 

The section on herbal folklore includes information about botanicals for health and healing, and passes along an old but potent charm. The chapter on aromatherapy explains how to use essential oils both for health and in magick, offering dozens of recipes. In presenting crystals, their properties are explained, along with instructions for using them to make waters for balancing chakras, and for relief from everything from asthma to stress.

 

Practical magick covers spells for mind, body and spirit. There’s a housecleaning incense spell, a healing poppet spell, money spells, and spells for protection and for love. Twenty-three pages focus on candle magic while forty-seven pages are dedicated to teas, tinctures and tonics for health and magick. A chapter offers ways to cook up some magick – literally – with recipes for soup, bread, Yule shortbread cookies, Imbolc cake and more.

 

The book introduces readers to a variety of tools and topics, helping them make their own magick, and it makes a reliable reference source as well.

 

Shane Robbins is a psychic and a paranormal researcher whose grandparents immigrated from Russia and Hungary with bottles of botanicals and the knowledge of herbal healing. Her grandmother’s tea cured the polio she contracted from one of Salk’s first vaccines. That changed her life, and set her on a course to teach holistic medicine and healing. Robbins put her research and extensive knowledge into this book.

 

Charity Bedell has been practicing witchcraft for seventeen years – a journey that began when she was given a copy of Silver Ravenwolf’s “Teen Witch” on her thirteenth birthday. Her witchcraft now is wild and free, incorporating shamanic techniques, prayer, meditation, trance work and offerings to connect to the spirits of the land. Bedell is committed to the Temple of Witchcraft traditions. A lifetime of herbalism and alternative healing practices also stretch back to her youth.

 

Each woman has written other books before this. Coming together, their aim was to inspire and empower readers, giving them a vast collection of information. The new as well as the seasoned witch will find knowledge of value. My copy has the corners of several pages turned down.

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

 


Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

 

Origins of the Alchemical Salt

April, 2012

The Salt from my interpretation is the “prana” or “life force” that is in all living things. We are born of

salt and die of salt in the physical, thus the salt is both the fires and the waters or Schamajim, which is

derived from the other Hebrew words of Fire, or Asche, and Water, or Amajim. It is used in the context

in the very beginning “Elohim created the heavens and the earth. Heavens was Schamajim in the

Hebrew Text. So this is an insinuation of the fiery waters and the watery fires; or pure fires. The Fires

of Creation is commonly used in the western Kabbalah. Now this automatically assumes the role of the

salt in the terms of “the beginning” due to the fact we are born of salt. Now when we look at the fire

sign which is a right side up Triangle and Water which is a Upside down Triangle we then find we can

mix the two and get the Schamajim. This is merely the description of the divine “salt” in my own

terminology. When we break it down the fires came first and the waters came second, or was the first

of the secondary elements. This world of pure fire is represented as by 1 in the Kabbalah as the kether.

But manifests the malkuth after the Heavens marking 10 or the physical. In the Pythagorean Method

10 can be broken down into 1. The unification of the two elements make the 13 mercies or the physical

man, or the Star of David; but this is only fully created when “earth” is mentioned after the “heavens”

and the Physical is declared with Wisdom and Understanding of these two elements.

If we look at the earth in essence we will see the further we are from the Equator the less salt the

oceans of the earth makes, this is really from the lack of direct Solar rays. The Emerald tablet states,

“The sun is its father, the mother its moon” marking the unification of the ONE THING,or Divine

enlightenment. So this “Salt” is the beginning and our innocence, but we become diluted with loss of

innocence the further we grow, so spiritually we are straying from the equator to produce the salt. Now

the closer you get to the Equator the more salt there is due to the fact the there are more direct sun

rays, meaning that within ourselves we have to get to that center of ourselves, or the Tiphareth, or the

Sun, or unification of the Fire and Water together to produce the most salt or, Life. There are many of

those in the mundane that forget the goal of the Spiritual Realm and they lack salt. The salt is the

reversion past the EGO into the higher state of consciousness. The more we revert to our true nature

we start to feel the TRUE essence of this SALT, it shows in our daily actions towards ourselves and

others. We must remember there are the external fires and fires and the internal fires and waters. The

real answers come from within the inner fires of our cores and we add the pressure of life to our core;

though the fires manifested the Will and the Trials tested the Will, it is the Intuition that acts from the

fire and all that matters is how much of that Will the intuition grabbed.

When we get a piece of coal that sets under the earth for millions of years it is under extreme heat and

pressure through vents and channels from withing the earth, then we get a diamond from the fire and

Pressure, but it takes the waters for the Coal to cool when it is ready. The diamond is the most precious

of all stones with its hardness test. It is hard due to the fact of perfect lunar and solar parts of creation

in the physical within the earth. The earth alone was created from the Sun and we were a huge ball of

magma that cooled from the outside in, creating layers like an onion. So this marks the “the earth was

without form and void” so the physical was created from the fires, thus cooled and formed the waters

from the heat. When we read the seed was spread by the Mother or the Waters. The most amazing part

is the seed was scattered to make vegetation, this seed was in the storms of the Earth as the Waters and

burning fires created the Carbon-monoxide atmosphere. The atmosphere created the seed to be spread

with the moisture for the plants to strive for the later creations. Even if we read on the spiritual level in

the Genesis it is amazing the vegetation comes before both the night and day luminaries, showing the

Wisdom of future creation. Thus the Earth was born. The Sun Manifested itself in the core of the earth

to formulate a copy of itself.

Now the external forces are used to created the internal forces without the untrained mind, but the

trained mind uses its internal forces to create the external environment, marking the TRUE SALT, fire

on the outside and water on the outside; or pure fire. It was from the Salt the Sulphate of the Earth was

made. It was from the salt even the Gold and Silver were made, and they can be reverted back to salt

depending on what the Chemist chooses to do. There is one verse in the bible that says, “SALT OF

THE EARTH” and this is a key note. The salt gives the GOLD and SILVER life. Salt is both The

Alchemical Gold and the Alchemical Silver. We must take what the solar and lunar rays manifested us

into and use them to find the first stage of the Salt. We need life to find out what the other side of the

door way is, to experience the Will

I learned that we must keep the salt maintained in the numerous amounts of activities in everyday life

to keep balance of the fire and water, so we are not mere table salt, but pure sea salt from the Equator.

The whole purpose of life is the extending of our arms to the Universe, or the Greatest Alchemist of

all. The balance of the Salt in everyday life is not perfect due to human imperfections and flaws. At

times we will refuse to see another persons side of the story in drama because we only wish to see our

perception, so there for we have killed the waters of understanding and turned our fires of Wisdom into

Self righteousness; thus we have salt that is from the Sulpher of the Earth that is deformed from lack of

water. There was very little understanding in the situation you were in, so the “SALT” you were at that

moment is incomplete. The Mechanics of Salt are based around how much of the the internal and

external four elements are impacting the SELF by how you interpret the experience. Thus when we

strive to be the “PURE SALT” we are exalted to the next degree of sulpher.

The Salt in the beginning phases and is ruled by mars and Pluto, which place the violence of Aries and

Scorpio into rule with this self change. Both Signs represent the same thing in a different fashion as

they are both the most dynamic energies of the signs. The Aries is the Head of knowledge and the

Scorpio is the reproductive organ, so you Will it with the head and manifest it with the seed of birth.

This is the very true for the alchemists into astrology for the beginning stages. Ares is a Cardinal sign

of initiation and Scorpio is the fixed sign of completion and is water. So like the Salt Ares is the

thoughts and Scorpio is the actions of the person that gives life. This is merely the first stage of duality

of fire and water that bring change constantly of which we are born from and die from in the beginning

and the end.