Freitag, 8. Januar 2010

The right Vibe

Two of the most essential techniques for performing ritual in Magic are Visualization and the proper Vibrating of divine names. At the same time these may be the most confusing elements of ritual work. Everyone who starts with ritual/ceremonial magic will have to face these two concepts and has to master them before he/she can really go on. Since this blog is about the struggles finding your way, and hopefully is helpful to someone who considers taking this path, I wanted to post about this for a while. Funny enough, on another blog I saw that Donald Craig just posted about visualization (and will have a follow up post on it). I like the way how he describes visualization as “mental magic”. Check it out.

Anyways, as for visualisation, the first training recommended is trying to visualize a piece of yellow clay (or something similar) in your hand, forming a ball out of it, move it around in your hands and put it away. Throughout the following days, you create some other colored balls and at the end put them in an order and let them dissolve. I also once read that one could start with looking at a (real) flower for a longer time. In between change position so you see the various perspectives of the flower, the different forms and shapes depending on your view. After that, close your eyes and start to imagine that flower, turn it around, at some point maybe move it upside down, let it grow etc. I actually found that advise helpful since you train your inner eye with something your real eye was used to see before. Although in this exercise you only reproduce a picture of something you actually saw, it is a good start before you continue to create pictures your physical eye did not see before. You also could think about a picture you have no problem imagining – like a scenery or person from reading a book and then start to move items or that person...

More of a problem – or more confusing I would say – is the question of how to properly vibrate the divine names. In his Liber O. Aleister Crowley describes the technique like this:
3. The Vibration of God-names. As a further means of identifying the human consciousness with that pure portion of it which man calls by the name of some God, let him act thus:
4. ("a") Stand with arms outstretched.
("b") Breathe in deeply through the nostrils, imagining the name of the God desired entering with the breath.
("c") Let that name descend slowly from the lungs to the heart, the solar plexus, the navel, the generative organs, and so to the feet. {17}
("d") The moment that it appears to touch the feet, quickly advance the left foot about 12 inches, throw forward the body, and let the hands (drawn back to the side of the eyes) shoot out, so that you are standing in the typical position of the God Horus (Sign of the enterer); and at the same time imagine the Name as rushing up and through the body, while you breathe it out through the nostrils with the air which has been till then retained in the lungs. All this must be done with all the force of which you are capable.
("e") Then withdraw the left foot, and place the right forefinger upon the lips, so that you are in the characteristic position of the God Harpocrates (Sign of Silence)
5. It is a sign that the student is performing this correctly when a single "Vibration" entirely exhausts his physical strength. It should cause him to grow hot all over, or to perspire violently, and it should so weaken him that he will find it difficult to remain standing.
6. It is a sign of success, though only by the student himself is it perceived, when he hears the name of the God vehemently roared forth, as if by the concourse of ten thousand thunders; and it should appear to him as if that Great Voice proceeded from the Universe, and not from himself.
In both the above practices all consciousness of anything but the God-form and name should be absolutely blotted out; and the longer it takes for normal perception to return, the better. {18}
I am not sure how helpful this explanation actually is for anyone who never did this before, never saw anyone doing it and who just starts with ritual work. Although this explanation is used in many books and on many sites, I doubt that this is the answer one is looking for when asking him/herself “I wonder how I vibrate these names in the LBRP”. Also one may rather be distracted by the various elements of that explanation (is the name still descending down, passing the navel or is it already at my feet – how do I actually feel that name in me....).

I have seen people just shouting out the names in a quick, short way. Others are actually chanting them. Some let their voice actually vibrate, some rather silently push or hiss the names out... My experience is, you need to experiment to find out which way really works best with and mainly within you. For me, a loud(er) chanting works pretty well. My body then gets all involved and most of the times I can feel a kind of excitement and an energizing effect that shows me that I can not be that wrong. In a magical online class I attended, we had a discussion about the question whether you can actually silently vibrate the names (in order not to wake up family members or freak out colleagues in an office...). Most of us agreed that volume is not essential if you manage to find the right tone within you. However, I still would think that a “silent” vibration is for someone who has already some practice with a “non silent” vibration – and if it is only to learn how the feeling of the “right” vibration is.

In my case, after I found my way and was satisfied with the result, I went back to the explanation in Liber O. And now it made sense to me.

So, if you are a beginner, this may help. But always remember, in magic the key to success is practice, practice, practice – and patience.

Obviously this was only about the rather technical question HOW to do these things, not about WHY. That may be reserved for another post...




  1. Fra.Arcad.

    Great post! In these days of widespread solitary practice, it's great to have folk discussing these fundamental concepts and adding some clarity.

    In LVX,


  2. Crowley's out of control, isn't he? :)