PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Syncretic Egyptian / Graeco-Roman magic from the collection of texts known as the Papyri Graecae Magicae.
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Loagaeth
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PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#1 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:07 pm

Hey everyone, I've been reading up on this particular part of the PGM for a couple months now with the intention of doing it myself. Now that things have slowed down at my job since summer is over, I finally have time to start getting things together for this. This isn't going to just be some quick thing, but more like an ordeal which the preparation for will probably last months. There are some things I'm still considering, but I imagine it will take awhile.

Anyway, that's why I've decided to create a thread for my progress. I can share my experiences with the class, and would be glad to hear the opinions and experiences of others with this rite. This initiation, once completed, allows the initiated to use a bowl divination spell to receive answers from whatever God or entity he or she wishes. I've been wanting to step up my divination game, and this really appealed to me.

I'm getting my information from two primary sources: Hans Dieter Betz's PGM and Leonardo Drakon's blog, which has been a life saver when it comes to understanding this rite and guiding me through the process. Here's the link, should anyone want to check it out, I highly encourage it: http://voces-magicae.com

The rite doesn't call for much in the way of equipment, but a couple of the things it does mention are meaningful and important:

1. A white linen cloth, which serves as a figurative burial shroud.
2. A crown of "dark" ivy.
3. A white garment, for after the initiation is complete.
4. The "Black of Isis", a black silk band that is used as a blindfold and around the hand in various rituals in the PGM.

I will do consecrations on the shroud and white garment, but to me, the ivy crown and Black of Isis seem like the most important items.

I could probably just trim some ivy from nearby and twist it into a circle, but I figure maybe I should take some time to interact with it. Since there is a beautiful trail I ride my bike on right by my house, I really have no excuse not to. My thought is that I'll repeatedly visit a certain selection of ivy in the surrounding woods and form a relationship with it by doing prayers on it, etc. Since it's going to take me awhile to make the Black of Isis I will certainly have time. I've been thinking that I could also make it into an actual metal piece: plants can be dried, shellacked, and the encased in copper through electroforming. The copper could then be given a sulphur patina, which would definitely make the ivy "dark". The ritual does call for me to wear it while I lay down though, so it being metal might be extremely uncomfortable. I'm still thinking it over.

The thing I am going to start on relatively soon, though, is creating the Black of Isis. I ordered some black silk for this purpose a couple months ago. The Black of Isis isn't just a piece of black cloth, it's a direct connection to Isis in her mourning aspect, and thus is a connection to the underworld and spirit realm. It's used in several other rituals for obtaining answers in dreams and other things, so I'm going to put some extra effort into making it. Leonardo Drakon has this passage from Plutarch on his blog:

"As the nights grow longer, the darkness increases, and the potency of the light is abated and subdued. Then among the gloomy rites which the priests perform, they shroud the gilded image of a cow with a black linen vestment, and display her as a sign of mourning for the goddess, inasmuch as they regard both the cow and the earth as the image of Isis; and this is kept up for four days consecutively, beginning with the seventeenth of the month…The things mourned for are four in number: first, the departure and recession of the Nile; second, the complete extinction of the north winds, as the south winds gain the upper hand; third, the day’s growing shorter than the night; and, to crown all, the denudation of the earth together with the defoliation of the trees and shrubs at this time."

Leonardo says that this begins after the Autumn Equinox and all the way through the Winter Solstice, since this is when the nights are longer. This is pretty good timing I'd say, so I figure I will begin working with this on October 17th through the 21st and do this for a few months. But I am thinking I will need to find more relevant things to myself, the times, and the area I live in to mourn than the recession of the Nile. I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Also, there is a beautiful overlook of the river on the bike trail I use, and I think this would be a good place to do this "mourning". It isn't the Nile, but it's symbolically appropriate. I recently read a defixio ritual from Gordon White in which he said the river should run North to South, so I'm wondering it that will be important for this too.

Anyway, that's all for now. If anyone has comments or suggestions, feel free to mention them. I'll update again with more thoughts and progress soon.
You and me and the Devil makes three.


LEONINE
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#2 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:36 am

Sounds very interesting. I've got Skinner's techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic, and looking forward to when he releases the Practical Volume. Aside from that, going to do something at some point from the Book of Abrasax.Not in a place in my life where i can spend time reconstructing stuff, so waiting for the info to be put out there.

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Loagaeth
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#3 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:25 am

LEONINE wrote:Sounds very interesting. I've got Skinner's techniques of Graeco-Egyptian Magic, and looking forward to when he releases the Practical Volume. Aside from that, going to do something at some point from the Book of Abrasax.Not in a place in my life where i can spend time reconstructing stuff, so waiting for the info to be put out there.


Nice. I've been wanting to get Skinner's book, but just haven't gotten around to it yet. I do have the Book of Abrasax however, and there are several rituals in there I also want to try. I've already tried the Tablet of Mercury ritual and I think it worked very well.
You and me and the Devil makes three.

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Omnis Validus
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#4 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:40 am

I am really happy that you posted this. I followed your link to Leonardo's blog last night and read through this and a few other posts (he's done some excellent work analyzing this system btw, he is a member here?) I've done some research of the PGM in the past, though I don't think I ever really looked at IV before.. this is the first time I've encountered this ritual, and I am extremely intrigued.

I'll need to do some more homework, and see how it might interact with my current plans & projects.. but I am quite interested in performing this operation as well, as it resonates very strongly with me. Simply reading this ritual & the 100 letter name of Typhon in my head caused what I can only describe as a surge of power that felt like drawing back the string of a bow or cocking a gun, a sort of tension precipitating the release of potential.. like the calm before a storm, or a caged beast waiting silently to be provoked.

I am looking forward to this, and I'm glad I found your thread because I was thinking about making one myself.

X
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Loagaeth
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#5 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:44 am

Omnis Validus wrote:I am really happy that you posted this. I followed your link to Leonardo's blog last night and read through this and a few other posts (he's done some excellent work analyzing this system btw, he is a member here?) I've done some research of the PGM in the past, though I don't think I ever really looked at IV before.. this is the first time I've encountered this ritual, and I am extremely intrigued.

I'll need to do some more homework, and see how it might interact with my current plans & projects.. but I am quite interested in performing this operation as well, as it resonates very strongly with me. Simply reading this ritual & the 100 letter name of Typhon in my head caused what I can only describe as a surge of power that felt like drawing back the string of a bow or cocking a gun, a sort of tension precipitating the release of potential.. like the calm before a storm, or a caged beast waiting silently to be provoked.

I am looking forward to this, and I'm glad I found your thread because I was thinking about making one myself.

X


Hey Omnis! Leonardo is a member here, Leonardo Drakon is his screen name. He has definitely made some great headway on interpreting the PGM (among other things). This rite might be easy to overlook, because as he states in his blog, it's just sort of noted as another random bowl divination ritual. But then if you actually read what it does, it's pretty badass, and stands apart from "random bowl divinations" I would say. Not to mention that an initiation of this sort with an entity like Typhon might have other effects on the practitioners power as well, but I don't know that for sure yet, so I couldn't say.

Graeco-Egyptian magick has been drawing me for awhile now, and Typhon/Seth-Typhon has been an ongoing thing for years and years that began with dreams over the course of more than a decade. So this has a bit of sentimentality to me too. I see what you're saying: there is definitely a power to this rite.

If you do find time to do this working as well, I would certainly welcome the input of someone else, but of course I understand if there are other things you have to do first. I'm not entirely sure when I plan to do the actual initiation rite, but I know that I would like to wrap up making the Black of Isis on the Winter Solstice, so the preparation will take a bit.

Also, speaking of the Black of Isis, I had initially gotten black silk for this, but now I see that it is listed as black linen. I'm not sure where I got the notion of silk from, and not that I think it's going to make or break the ritual, but the silk I bought is much too thin I think, especially for a blindfold. Because of this, I'm thinking I'll get some linen instead.
You and me and the Devil makes three.

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Leonardo_Drakon
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#6 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:00 pm

I'm very excited Loagaeth that you are going to give this rite a shot. Looking forward to seeing how this thread evolves.

Regarding the ivy, I just selected a vine section of hedera helix with darker leaves. As with most plants darker leaves result from less exposure to sun, so look for vine segments growing mostly in shaded areas. Nonetheless, your copper electroform sounds pretty amazing. I think the idea of communing with the spirit of the plant beforehand is spot on. May I suggest small offerings of wine ;)

It is great you have a suitable river next to which you can consecrate the black of Isis. I did not have nightly access to one and had to rely on some mud I had gathered from a nearby riverbank to make the idol and simply performed the consecrations outside under the night sky. With the lack of details regarding the black of Isis and these "gloomy rites" we have to improvise as best we can. I didn't concern myself with the mourning aspects, I mainly focused on creating a bond between the cloth, my landscape, the chthonic energies surrounding these dark nights, and the spirit of Isis.

I’ve been meaning to update my blog with some final thoughts regarding PGM IV. 154-285. For one, I now believe that the rituals described were meant span a period of at least 10 days.

The initiation rite (lines 168-221) begins at noon during a three-day old crescent moon. However, the evocationary bowl scrying of the spirit (lines 222-256) does not occur until a later date. Based on historical sources, it seems that most Greek necromantic and evocation rites occurred during the full moon which would be roughly 10 days later.

Between noon on the crescent (3 day-old moon) to midnight on the full moon(14 day-old moon), the standalone prayer at the end of the spell (lines 261-285) should be used daily during this period to reenforce the connection made during the initiation rite while also reasserting one’s intent to call forth the desired spirit into the bowl on the upcoming full moon. I had far more success when I attempted this rite with such timing as there was a very tangible build up of magical energy leading up to the night of the evocation. Perhaps you will find this timing useful as well.

Best of luck and I look forward to reading about your experience working through this PGM spell.
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Nashimiron
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#7 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:58 am

It sounds like you have it planned out pretty well. An alternative way to consecrate the black band of Isis could be to just wrap the cloth around a statuette of Isis and give it offerings daily, maybe for a lunar month or look for appropriate Egyptian festival dates to work it around.

These initiation rites in the PGM are a great resource and ones like this with the initiation rite followed by a magical system it gives you access to offer a real alternative to the Abramelin procedure for modern magicians who don't want to work in the Judeo-Christian paradigm. I don't doubt that if you put the work in you will have success.

I wouldn't recommend Skinners book, there's stuff in it which is just plain wrong which could lead to you wasting your time with unnecessary Solomonic additions and also give you a misguided view of the PGM if you took some sections of it seriously. There is abundant quality material on the PGM out there, including Leonardo's blog but also in places like academia.edu.

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Loagaeth
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#8 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:45 am

Thank you for the replies guys!

Leonardo, I'm glad you noticed this thread and stopped in, since I'm taking so many ideas from your blog. :lol: There's just not many resources on this particular rite. I think your advice to just focus on the bond between practitioner and the chthonic energies of the land makes a lot of sense, so I'm going to bear that in mind.

And that's very interesting about the continuation of the rite until the full moon. I'm definitely going to work this information into my planning. Does this mean that whenever one decides to do bowl divining, there should be the build up of several days worth of prayer? Or do you just think this would be necessary for the first time?

Nashimiron, good ideas about that alternate way to consecrate the Black of Isis. Like Leonardo said, there's no specific instructions for creating such an object now that temples to Isis aren't just available, so perhaps I'll do a sort of hybrid approach to the consecration. I like all these ideas. Interesting you brought up the Abramelin working too, because I've also been thinking to myself about how much some of these PGM rituals (namely the Headless One) remind me of it. In my thread I made about the Headless One awhile back, I had a revelation about a spirit of mine who clarified that he was an agathodaemon, and so I feel like that and many other reasons may be why I'm interested in the PGM. As of late, so many of my occult interests have pointed towards Greece. I'm interested to see what comes of this, because I feel like something pretty deep and meaningful to me is connecting these things.

I have a small update. I went on my bike ride last week and kept my eye out the entire time for hedera helix ivy. I was very surprised to not find any. It seems that in this area the predominant kind of ivy, of which there is plenty, is some different kind than the very iconic kind I need. I rode along thinking about the ivy that grew in the woods of my childhood home, which was the kind I need, and how it overtook the entire area of the woods. There's no way I could miss it if it was in these woods.

Then I realized something: I think the perfect ivy for an initiation crown IS the ivy from my childhood home. My childhood home, a 100-year-old-or-so house that had been in my family for three generations, is the place I still most frequently visit in my dreams. I loved, and still love, that place deeply, and all of my most spiritual moments as a child happened there.

So I'm seriously thinking about going there to retrieve some of the ivy from the woods. Does it involve driving? Yes, but it's only about 2 hours away. Does it involve trespassing? I mean, yeah, but...I'm harmless, and that woods technically belongs to the farmhouse a mile or so away. We'll call it "light trespassing". :lol:
You and me and the Devil makes three.

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Omnis Validus
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#9 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:05 pm

I just completed celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, I'm not Hindu but do have a strong bond with Ganesha. Just thought it may be notable to mention, as it is a 10 day ceremony conducted from the 3/4 day old moon to the full moon. This is an extremely old tradition, practiced annually for millenia, and being practiced in nearly the same way as today for 300-400 years.

I am only casually familiar with Isis directly, but have an affinity to various Devi, Ishtar, and Aphrodite (though I think she was often associated with Hathor.)

Were I planning to perform this rite, I would consider setting up an altar & performing a 10 day devotion like this to Isis. Meditating on her and her morning aspect, and giving her pleasant offerings at my altar. With the intention being to manifest the black of Isis, as a gift directly from Isis. After doing this, then I would continue to consider my options again and search.

I really like the ideas about the construction of this presented so far, but thought I'd offer an idea myself.

I happen to have access to hedera helix at a close friends home, but was planning to say that the species of ivy will probably not impact the results significantly.

However, continued reading of your post regarding your childhood home has changed that comment. This is an excellent idea, and something like this I believe would absolutely have a positive impact on your results!

Besides, in the unlikely event that you were caught, who is going to care about someone collecting ivy? I'd say plan it out & go for it.. I'd also suggest, we're you to do this, taking some pieces by the root and bringing them home with you to grow.

X
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Nashimiron
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Re: PGM IV 154-285: Initiation with Typhon for Bowl Divination

Post#10 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:45 am

[Pedantry="Nashimiron"]A brief thought, the "black of Isis" appears to be a typo in the manuscript in PGM VII in the evocation of Bes Akephalos. In the more complete version of the rite in PGM VIII it is a "black cloth of Isis". [/Pedantry]

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