Archive for October, 2021

Wishing All: A Most Bountiful Samhain

Posted in Occultism, Paganism, The Path of Flames, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2021 by Sypheara

It is that time of year again, arguably the most sacred of cross quarter holidays in our witches calendar. It is a very busy one here – just last night, I was supporting the other half who led the local moot here in performing our first, group ritual since January 2020.

That ritual was a very powerful and emotive one. Seeing people I have been unable to meet up with even for a coffee, like I would in more normal times, was magical enough – when paired with a powerful, evocative rite involving the dead, it was something very special.

Reflecting on that ritual, I thought it would be great to put a post up for our dear devotees, to help with clarification on one of our newer, yearly rites, as well as share a funny little tradition that seems to have started here.

Some spoopy skeletons and stuff, photographer unknown

With that intention lain out, I’ll continue saying last nights ritual had a special poignancy.

It felt like the start of the end for a very bad time in my life. Although I mentioned it in passing in last years post – the death of my father just over a year ago today – was something that I didn’t delve deeply into. That said, it did affect me more deeply than I was willing to admit at the time. The Gods had not lied in their warning of that period… At the time I decided that that to speak on it at any length would be generally unnecessary, unwise, and self indulgent. I still feel that to an extent – there is much I would love to say, to give testimony on, that I simply can’t. What I can say is it will colour my experience of this month for the rest of my life – change is the only constant – and Samhain for me will forever now be attached to that loss.

As such it was a very intense time – much altered dramatically for myself, and the temple, and it was a very real loss that I needed to take time to process. Even with Hecate’s help – in both process and healing – it was very hard to drag myself to the altar in Samhain 2020, and do what needed to be done. Just doing the tearing down and rebuilding of the space felt like swimming through treacle – but is a duty that needed to be done. It was also whilst feeling metaphysically ran over by a train, that I decided to put together a devotional rite for the Trident – taking a leaf out of a dear mentor and guide of mine Sorita D’Este.

I had always been inspired by ‘The Rite of Her Sacred Fires’ which is conducted around Beltane (full moon in May). I wanted something similar that devotees of the Trident could also do, yearly, to both deepen their connection with their gods as well as grow a sense of brotherhood/sisterhood between people in shared sacred space. It seemed just good logical sense.

I am so very glad that I did. Many people took part last year – and shared wonderful testimonials in our Facebook group. It went so well I decided to rerun it this year – and I hope to continue it with peoples support into the year ahead.

Since I am unable to provide advice via facebook (Zuckerberg has decided I am decidedly too spicy to be allowed to post in the month of the Pumpkin Spiced Lattes), I advise anyone who has any questions over the rite to directly message me. Either by email, or by messenger if they require any guidance. The main two questions I have seen posted are to do with the following: timing and hand position, especially during the bow after the Sepheranz devotional piece. The other, often asked question by people who are not in the group is: where do I find the Rite to perform it? I will answer all three succinctly now, in a manner I hope is easy to follow.

The Timing of the Samhain Eves Rite of Trident Devotion

The timing of the Rite is that it should ideally, be performed on the night of the 30th. However there is no strict timing for the rite. Anytime between 29th-30th, before commencement of the night of the 31st, is entirely acceptable. This is a rite for the Devotee – to connect them to the Gods and other devotees around the world. Because the Current is so geographically widespread, it would make no sense for a rite such as this to be set at some strict time.

Like many older witchcraft rites, when things were done when ‘the season was correct’ and things ‘felt right’, so should intuition guide the devotee when to do this ritual, as well as in its performance. You will be connecting to the Gods and other Devotees in Mythic Time at the centre of the Circle. As such, exact timings for this particular rite, do not matter.

The event on facebook is usually therefore set at the start of the 30th Day to reflect this flexibility. Choose what works for you, when you have maximum quiet time to enjoy the ritual.

The Positioning of the Hands in the Sepheranz Devotional

The positioning of the hands in the bow to Sepheranz, is similar to a bow as performed in many schools of Iaido / Aikido. I.e. it is very similar to this video (6:40). I tend to interlace the thumbs for more stability and safety than the example here, but this comes from a martial arts background and is somewhat an irrelevant point for devotional purposes. The reason for these hand movements are entirely symbolic – feel free to adapt them to what works for you. I use the ones as lain out because, they are relatively simple once you have the hang of them. I did not want overly complex, yoga like components in the rite, but something simple to reaffirm the spoken words. If anyone has issues, feel free to message me as above and ill explain as best as I can.

Acquiring the Ritual Text

I have shared many documents in the last few years of this blog. So why not this ritual? This is mainly because I want it to be for active devotees of the current, who are interacting on a regular basis. However, those who read the comments on the blog will know I am more than happy to provide the text to anyone who wishes to perform it on an individual basis – the very act of reaching out to me means a lot in this case. If you are reading this, and are a devotee not in the social media group who wants to perform the rite, please email me by midnight tonight and ill make sure you have what you need.

I hope this has helped anyone who might be struggling and needing some clarification. I look forward to your experiences shared in the group and I’ll be able to hopefully reply in full on the Fifth of November!!

When life gives you melons..

Not everything was doom and gloom, and I want to share a small, funny story and the start of a potentially peculiar new tradition over here in very rainy England. I hope this story brings a bit of daft joy to those who read it.

Last year, there was a Pumpkin shortage in Britain. Getting any of the desired, spooky orange fruit was not possible. A week before Samhain 2020 I tried desperately to get one, and was unable to source one. This was, as they say, a bit of a problem.

Someone familiar with folklore would probably now pipe up, ‘what about a Turnip?’ Even finding a humble turnip proved harder than anticipated.. and for anyone who has had the sad, forlorn experience of actually carving one, I’ll admit the thought did not fill me with joy. They are incredibly hard to shape – being in no way hollow, and having a body that is hard and resistant to being shaped even with a good knife. My mind went back to when me and my mother tried to carve one when I was nine, and it took literal hours. A tedious experience to say the least.

Standing there, I saw another fruit. The humble watermelon. And like that it was decided. It was a non traditional choice.. for sure.. but certainly easy to carve, very tasty, and the end result I thought, looked rather good!

A Carved Watermelon, self carved and taken.

It looked fantastic on the altar, and I thought it had worked out! It served its purpose – being a lantern to keep away the malign spirits of the dead, and offer a waylight and warmth to the benefic dead who wanted to hang around the altar space and temple room. It worked far better than I expected. I gave it no further thought..

Of course, until this year. And again, there is even a worse pumpkin shortage. Feeling a bit whimsical, and again being unable to find one never mind two pumpkins, this year I have bought two of the cheery, non traditional green boys. Both of which we will be carving up for the Sabbat!

Witchcraft need not always be super serious – especially on the Sabbats which are in many ways celebrations of existence – of the lockstep of life and death – of the gift of joy and the turning of the wheel. That said as well however, on the surface what was just a bit of fun, does hold deeper meaning. The first time I made this substitution was out of desperation really – due to circumstances shooting any plans to observe the turning of the seasons to ribbons. Something had to be done.

I had to ensure that the cycled would be observed, that it would not be missed, that the dead would have their way lit, and that real healing would be conducted through the observance of the Sabbat was of primary importance. So in that way, the good old watermelon took on more personal significance than just an in joke, or just an ‘easy way out’.

Merging the Joy of the Dance with the Deep Meaning of the Cycle is the best way any of us can truly hope to both celebrate and mark our most important times of the year. And the lives of those we love, and those who we have loved, and lost.

The Lit Watermelon, self carved and taken.

I hope the above silly story also imparts the deeper lesson I had painfully reinforced. And that is where you have the will, never give up. This doesn’t mean the futility of a pointless struggle. Accept, adapt, change, undergo renewal. You will come out far stronger than how you went in – one way, or another – if in a very different form.

This is the promise and power of the Cauldron of our Great Triple Faced Goddess.

I will end this here. Things here will get busier still for me and Temple – with 30th, 31st celebrations and the initiation to be held on the 4th. This will mark a turning point for the Temple and there might be a few announcements to make – of both personal and temple nature. The latter if I can get together the required art assets over the next few months.

‘In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother’s mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
“Carry me.” She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual
gaze.’

-Annie Finch, “Samhain” from Eve, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press.

I wish you all a beautiful and bountiful Samhain and Year to Come,
In the Arms of Our Mother.

~S~

As the darkness now draws near,

See the cycle of the year,

As the light now goes within,

Let the hallows dance begin.’

Unknown

The Dragon of the Sky and Stars: Drawing Down Ziz

Posted in Occultism, Paganism, Stellar Gnosis, The Path of Flames with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2021 by Sypheara

So the last few months have been exceptionally interesting, bringing with them very large amounts of spiritual, mental and physical empowerment. It feels like there has been a completing seal pressed onto various strands of work – the first being that of the Dragon workings, and the second to do with the reopening of Qayinitic lines within my personal practice.

The latter is one that I’d like to quickly detail, as it is something unexpected that happened within the last few weeks. This took the form of two rather interesting dreams; the first was a sabbatic dream, involving a gathering of spirits and a drawing in of Belial. This was performed through a totemic book that was found somewhere within the Mirrorworld; this being a term, as readers may remember, I use for a certain kind of lower astral because I find it the most descriptive term of its nature.

This in turn lead to a full plane possession by Belial, upon which I took charge of a celebration – not so much a ritual, and afterword’s I awoke feeling full of power and rejuvenated. This was much needed given the journey I had just been on. I took a note of it in my personal working journal, and thought nothing more of it. These kinds of journeys are important, but are generally too frequent or non specific in nature to note as having particular theurgic significance other than for enjoyment.

However, the following night, a similar, linked journey also occurred. Not long after falling asleep, I found myself in an old, abandoned brick building deep within the Mirrorworld. There, I had found a dark spirit – one that I was contending with, in some manner. I instinctively knew that I had been sent to find it, that doing so had been some sort of charge given to me at the end of the previous nights celebrations.

After some time, contending with it both energetically and physically, its shadowed form collapsed into the tiny form of a vampire bat. It attempted to escape along the floor, which at this point was covered in slick, thick blood. I was unsure at this point if this blood belonged to me or the spirits. I knew intrinsically that to let it to escape would be wrong – that somehow, its power had to be taken and internalised. I picked up this creature, and, asking Belial to protect me through the merging, allowed it to sink its tiny fangs into my neck.

I awoke, but not to our physical plane. I again was still in the Mirrorworld, again Elsewhere. I found myself in an old, and abandoned, hotel. I got up and wandered towards the bathroom. The door was opened and I looked in, onto a cracked mirror. A dusty ceiling light flickered intermittently. In between the flashes I could see that my left side, the side where the bat had bitten, was riddled with marks and sigils. The lower most sigil was etched just above the elbow. It depicted a crowned skull that seemed to morph from itself, through that of the primary seal of Arkos, through to that of the Qayinitic Eye Seal of Flame and Sulphur. From here, it returned and to its original form and repeated this in slow, drifting sequence.

Above this I could seethe sigil of the winged Ankh bone key, and above this, the sigil of the Trident. Black, snaking lines and marks traced my entire skin, conjoining these parent sigils in a tapestry of black conduits that seemed to flow with power. They extended, covering my entire skin. This wasn’t painful – instead it was an ecstatic pleasurable sensation, as it spread across my entire form, leaving me dripping in venomous energy. I remember getting dressed and leaving the room to ‘check out’, and after that last memory, recall waking up vividly into the physical world as if I had stepped simply from one room to another. I felt empowered, alive, more than I had felt since coming down off the mountain (to be described next). I was convinced I had undergone a fresh, qayinitic initiation.

Why now? It could be a combination of things I have thought. With the year turning dark, combined with my own personal loss a year ago, and the timing of the pandemic and full unfolding of the Qayinitic line within my parent tradition, this work comes at a powerful, liminal time. With the work done by the Gatekeeper of the Four Pillars of Fire, fulfilling a decade of prophecy regarding the Qayinitic line, I believe it was inevitable. The exact nature of this gift itself is less obvious in many regards – so far my aura has felt very armoured, something very much needed due to the immense level of Death energy that is surrounding both me and the Temple here at this current time. Energy not to be wallowed in, but to powerfully transmuted -for I feel great things are to be birthed from this. I can feel this, deeply, and it is this that keeps the work going; albeit with some days it feeling like swimming through treacle at times.

So a gift from Qayin perhaps for work done with him in devotion all those years ago; and also perhaps a recognition of the patient promise I made him to go no further until that prophetic work was delivered. Whether this work is something for me to actively pursue physically, or instead simply explore what I can on the inner worlds with the given key rather than dedicate myself to a new, active practice is something I will have to carefully consider. Qayin is not someone one can pick, and choose with, once a promise is made. That said, I feel it would be impolite to spurn exploring the power at least on some level, especially that which was given as a gift.

Vampire Bat, photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

With this interesting incident covered, I now go to the main meat and potatoes of this article. In the last few postings, I detailed the upcoming rite of the Stellar Dragon. I can now fully confirm that this was a great success, with the Dragon contacted and the energy / gifts received. This coming full moon, they will be fully drawn out, and the final seal entered into the Temple Books. This paves the way for opening Lucifers Stellar Pillar Gate.

The actual journey to the mountain to conduct this rite was a heavily interesting one. I had initially wanted to document the entire trip – from near base camp, up to the actual location that I was guided to and conducted the rite. However, post rite, I have come to personal realisation as to how both powerful and sacred that portal I opened is – and thus, I have decided to only talk about this trip in a more vague manner. Every time I attempted to put this experience into words, I felt like I was failing it – or even worse, exposing it to profanation. Those who wish to retrace my footsteps, and potentially find the working spot, will thus have to read heavily between the lines. As such, I must immediately say that some of the pictures below, do not depict the actual trip nor even the locations I visited. They serve only to give clue and indication of the landscape to those who have never had the pleasure of travelling to the Lake District, UK. As well as to throw in a little bit of misdirection as is tradition. I have included a few original images – where I felt it was justified and where they do the trip justice. Anyone who puts the pieces together, and who truly wants to retrace these steps, are welcome to try – putting the pieces together being the test in itself.

The entire trip, both there and back, took around four days. The first day was pretty arduous – and it was not to get easier i’d find – with a pack weight of around 20-23kg. Being not the fittest of people, I set off relatively early in the morning to reach the first waypoint. This waypoint would be a town some 17 km away – where I would stay overnight, before taking a boat to the foot of the mountain I would be scaling.

I hadn’t slept the night before – both the planning, nor the excitement of finally being able to go off on this pilgrimage, did not aid me in anyway in getting a good rest. I had some breakfast and set off, through the woods that bordered my families cabin, making towards the moors. On the way I came across something that made me pause for thought. A dead amphibian stretched out perfectly across the path out of the woods. This is often a path I had walked, at night, looking for a similar sign to begin the work of the Sacred Waters of the Moon.

Seeing this dead creature seemed almost like a test in itself. To continue my mission, or try to take this offer. I ignored it, but made a mental note in my mind. It would become very relevant later on.

Leaving the woods behind, I made good going, passing the old mausoleum and church and its neighbouring, sleepy little town without issue. But when I began the uphill walk into the moorland proper, I knew I had my work cut out for me. The initially fair, walking weather had turned into full on sunshine. Great for a lay about, not so much for making good time with the least physical exertion. I was VERY happy I had prepared for this potentiality – having a very good hat and sufficient sunscreen but I was still to get significantly burned.

Heather Beetle – Comment From The Moorland Association

Moorland, photographer unknown

On my way over the moors, past the fields of heather in full bloom, I stopped at a quite remote stone circle to have my lunch. This was a planned stop – about halfway between my initial starting point and that days finish point. The stone circle was only small – but absolutely packed with power. I admired a tiny, beautiful spider that had climbed onto my bedroll, as I tucked into some extremely basic provisions with my back against one of the stones – it felt inappropriate to eat within the circle itself. Sadly, despite it being remote, on a summers day it still had too much footfall to do anything but walk the inner perimeter and soak in some of the power there. Unlike many places that are ‘take, take, take’ drained dry by tourists and other visitors, this place did not feel like that at all. But rather a wellspring of power that commanded the landscape.

Spider of the Circle, self taken image

After finishing up, I grabbed my kit and continued on. Passing a cairn, a way marker on my route, I looked down over the large lake below in the distance, and to the mountain range ahead. It was about this time I started to realise what I had actually embarked on to do – and although overshadowed as a feeling later, it did make me pause for thought.

Treated to a lovely display by military aircraft (from what I could see, F-15 fighters), I descended into the town in search of a place to sleep. Whilst the initial plan had to been to wild camp at every leg, I decided getting some good food in, as well as a night of sleep before going up the mountain proper, would be a good idea. I managed to find the last room in a local pub – one that did decent food I would later realise that night. Fed and watered, I turned in early to sleep.

The next morning I had breakfast and gathered my things. In order to get to the town at the start of my route into the mountains, I had two options – I could go by bus which was cheaper, or the more direct route by boat across the lake. I opted for the latter option – more for the experience than convenience, but it would turn out to be quite efficient as well as enjoyable. I didn’t have to wait long on the dock – perhaps half an hour at most, and soon the ship was alongside the pier and taking on passengers. The weather was again lovely, and as I boarded I got a great view of the surrounding landscape, kept cool by the light breeze that drifted across the lake. This would continue for the rest of the journey, as the boat gently rocked from light waves on the lakes surface.

image of the

MV Tern, built 1891, photographer unknown

It took around an hour to get to the opposite dock at the foot of the mountain. This was not to the liking of a fellow passenger, who remarked to her husband that the boat was not going quick enough and was rather ‘dull’. I laughed at this reply, telling her it wasn’t a speedboat, in a very sarcastic manner to say the least.

I disembarked and headed to get some food at another local pub, and consulted my map whilst tucking into a sandwich. I gathered it was around 7 – 9 km to the target site – but that this was likely to take as long as the previous 19 – 20km walked up to this point of the trip. The spacing between the contour lines was telling me a story I didn’t really want to hear. Putting the map away, I thanked my server, and headed to the start of the path up into the mountains. I had to double back here, past a very old and charming church to where I had crossed a little bridge. As is said in the Lake District, half-jokingly – ‘all roads lead to Helvellyn‘, – and sure enough, at the three way crossroads, a somewhat ominous wooden sign pointed forth. I took a wrong turn in the snaking path that it indicated at one point, but a quick check of the compass and cross referencing the map, put me back on the right path. Sure now that I had the right way, I set off uphill.

At this point I realised the physical effort of what I was undertaking fully. I was already very tired from taking the entirety of the wild camping gear, and was having to take quite frequent stops for water / rest. Looking back on it this was probably a good thing – as I slowly, but surely made my way up the valley towards my destination.

The first part of the walk was wooded, but this soon gave way to a mixed terrain of fields, and lightly wooded areas, and I got the first glimpse of the ritual site. At this point, I would be lying to say that I felt very outmatched by what I was about to do. Up to this point in my life, I’d never properly wild camped on my own. Only when I was much, much younger, some twenty odd years before when I was barely even a kid. Never mind wild camped at at least somewhat decent elevation. with exposure to take into account. I felt very much, out of my depth. However I had no choice then, but to carry on. Quitting would have been unthinkable.

I tightened by straps and carried on along the path into the mountains. After coming past two, fenced off areas of mixed woodland (which would have been ideal places to camp, what with a stream running down and through them off the mountains) the path ceased to really be a path – converting into just a load of stones, that I realised also doubled as riverbed in poor conditions. At this point, I was starting to flag and it was reaching around 6pm. Thinking hard, I decided that to push on would not be a great idea – with only two hours of light left, and a bit of a climb to where I needed to go, it would be easy to be caught losing the light. Checking my water provisions, I also realised I had run low. As such, I thought it best to put down for the night rather than push on. I still had days to use if needed – and enough food to extend the trip, if not comfortably.

From one side of the valley, a stream poured down into the river that snaked along not too far from the path itself. I could see that area wasn’t particularly enclosed, nor did it appear to be overly marshy. I chose a slightly elevated position, due to lack of wind, so that I wouldn’t awake to lying in a pool of water.

I fired up the Trangia stove, and after I had fed it enough alcohol, enjoyed my evening meal and a good cup of instant coffee. With the light finally failing me, I lit the storm lantern and enjoyed simply listening to how soundless everything was. Other than the wind, almost nothing stirred in the dark. Eventually, I got tired, turned the light off, and attempted to get some sleep.

The Lamp in the Valley, self taken image

I would not be very successful in this. I may have gotten at most one hour sleep – but woke up for unknown reasons. I wasn’t cold – I had a sufficient sleeping bag and it was incredibly mild for the location at least, and the tent proved itself to be far better than expected and ones I had used in the past. It may have been the sheer power of the full moon – for I was somewhat late in getting to the meeting point for the dragon. I went for a walk to clear my head, leaving the storm lantern to guide my way back to the tent when needed. The air was beautifully fresh – but eventually began to work its way in through my clothes. As such, I eventually went back to the tent and awaited dawn.

This is the only clear picture I will share of the valley itself – because it is simply magical. Waking up to see the fog rolling over the lake and into the valley was something special indeed. The tent can be seen in the background of this image, almost looking like a rock, blending in well with the surrounding environment. The morning was VERY fresh – and after a quick bit of breakfast, I cleaned my things in the stream then packed up to begin the walk towards the tarn itself.

Waking in the Valley, self taken image

I got back onto the path and began the walk deeper into the valley. Climbing up the broken stone path. Even with my walking stick (a consecrated blackthorn stick, empowered with Hecates blessing) it was slow and tedious going. As I rounded the corner, I could see the old climbing lodge far in the distance, further up the valley. This lodge would mark where I had to leave the path and begin the climb up the tarn itself.

I continued on, trying to keep my mental reserves, if not physical ones, topped up by thinking of the benefits of performing the rite. Looking at the climb up, I can’t say at that point I had no doubts that I was capable of doing this – as I got closer I could see just how steep it was. Without any indication of how to climb the somewhat acute slope, with significant load, I knew it would potentially be touch and go for someone with as little experience as myself.

I was about halfway to the lodge when I came across a small bridge, that crossed the river that went across the valley. The weather again was good.. possibly too good for a climb. So I took some time to first collect some more water, before having a refreshing paddle in the stream. It was so clear – almost impossibly so it seemed. I came across a few others hiking here – I had a conversation with a few of them, but almost none seemed to know of my destination, pushing onto another, well travelled tarn further along the path. Despite my destination, for all intents and purposes, being just over the next ridgeline.

River Esk - Picture of Lingcove Bridge, Cumbria - Tripadvisor

Lingcove Bridge, photographer unknown

I reached the hiking lodge probably around midday – the exact time now eludes me. I had take it somewhat slowly in getting to this point, and looking up at the slope that now towered over me, I was very, very thankful I had decided NOT to climb into the cove the previous night. In low light, it is very likely something would have gone very wrong. I stopped at the Climbing Lodge to actually have lunch – a pre-packaged affair of chicken curry. This tasted far better than it had any right to, and it was just enough calories to get me up to my destination. I hadn’t packed copious amounts of food – certainly on the lighter end, and not enough to replace energy used to get up here I realised. My entire plan was to go as light as I could, get the ritual done, then come back.

At this point, it is probably a good idea to review what the aim of all this was. It is to be noted, that I was carrying the six anchor stones from the sea, up to elevation, as part of the formula to open the necessary Dragon gate. These were not particularly light, make up at least a fifth of total pack weight. The sea stones, were absolute required in order to unite with the heights and draw down the dragon – this was part of the formula sent, by Surgat, in close work. As such, not taking them was not an option and other sacrifices needed to be made in regards to gear and provisions.

Once I had prepared myself, I set off back behind the lodge for the climb. It was initially hard, but quickly got worse. The cove was a primary source for the now somewhat small stream – and much of the slope was very boggy. It also possessed holes between the foliage which would easily snap an ankle, even when wearing good boots – channels that they had grown over and hidden. The stave came in great use here, checking to see if ground was firm before I stepped onto it.

Spotting a ridgeline which may be shallower, I decided to make for it. But the slope had now gotten so steep, I felt like to stand with such a heavy pack (which was shifting weight despite my attempts) may cause me to be pulled backwards and cause a nasty, potentially life threatening fall. As such, I decided to do the next leg on my hands and knees. This is how large periods of this climb now went – crawling, at times swearing to myself and cursing my stupidity at how this whole endeavour was a bad idea. One that was probably going to get me injured or worse, killed.

I made the ridgeline, and by Hecate, I could see that there was indeed a path that went up into the cove at the foot of the tarn – at least a way that was far easier in terms of foliage and slope, than the one I was at first forced to utilise.

This ridgeline was still quite precarious, leaving not much room for error. The final part sloped down to meet a waterfall in the distance, where it was evident any fall would result in a good 50 foot drop to my probable immediate misfortune. I pushed past this part, and identified another ridgeline that may take me into the cove itself. The other potential avenues into the cove were all scree slopes – not a great idea to avoid an incident. By this point I decided to just go for it. I put all the remaining power in my legs and went for the final ridge. I got near the lip when they failed me and it had to stop, making sure to fall back up, rather than down the slope.

At this point I looked back and down the valley and realised how high up I was. As someone who does not have a well documented history with heights, I will concede certain parts of my anatomy decided to go on a prompt vacation. The next lip seemed so close and so far. Even as I was getting my heartrate back down to sensible levels, a mountain goat decided to come see what I was up to. It snuffled its way towards me, seemingly completely unbothered by my presence. It got a little bit too curious, and I needed to shoo it away with the stave. I laughed as I collected myself, and realised that for the first time in some twenty four hours I had signal. I needed to share it with someone, as well as my current predicament as my boots pointed down slope and made my call.

Having finished, I told myself I had come this far. Failure was not an option. It was either do – or die. I absolutely refused to give up, stood up, and made the lip of the next ridge.

I emerged into the boggy cove, and broke out into both elation and despair in equal measure. I could see where the tarn was – another 2km across intensely broken, boggy ground and I had used up all my physical and mental resources to even get where I was! I sunk down on my knees and realised that, in some way, I had failed. It would be impossible to make the tarn. With the sun beating down heavily on me, even covered again I was very sunburned and had ran out of water. Part of me wanted to ignore this fact and just push on regardless. But something deep in me cautioned to do so would be to truly screw myself. To cross a boundary beyond pushing my limits into folly. I reached out with my mind toward Hecate and asked her to be present. I initially got no reply. Eventually I got a reply.

‘I have brought you to where you need to be’.

I looked around and laughed. Of course I was. The fresh mountain stream, bursting forth from the spring I could visibly see just a little further up the slope to the peak of mountain, flowed down through the cove and formed a perfect, pool of water. It lazily swirled here, where at one end it cascaded down to tumble over the side of the cove in the very same waterfall I had passed on my way up. This would be a perfect, powerful would-be gate for the ritual. I laughed aloud, and began looking for a place to put down camp. It took awhile to find a space that was remotely acceptable – due to the sheer waterlogged terrain which surrounded me.

Note the above description may come across as overly dramatic, but is an authentic account of my own perceptions. I am sure a more experienced hiker would have still had a hard time, but probably not anywhere near as a hard time as myself. But I had truly felt coming up, that I had to place my life into the hands of my Gods, where one wrong move could have seen a very different outcome to the whole story. With this thought in the back of my head, I set up camp and promptly had a good few hours rest. I got some food in me and awaited the sun to go past the ridgeline that surrounding me on three of four sides.

The Marked Stellar Stones, self taken image

With the hour approaching , I began the setup for the rite itself. I took out the stones, and placed them in a hexagonal formation within the pool itself. Six was a major component in this work – and for these protective stones to do their job it was necessary for them to be placed in such a configuration; that being to both anchor and protect from the Dragons energies.

The light from the storm lantern danced on the pool in the twilight. It was so stunningly beautiful as the sun begin to down, the gold of the sigils reflecting up through the water, bathing me in their light. Using the lantern as anchoring point, I began the ritual creation of circle at twilight, as well as the required evocations of the Trident, in their entirety. Also evoked was another angelic guardian of the highest order – one armed with a lightning-dripping sword. This indicated ward of the rite, being granted in direct work with Lucifer, was to play a centre role in balancing the rite as the Angel of Time linked to Saturn. This was to be specific to this particular performance of this specific rite.

With these ritual actions performed, I summoned the dragon itself. On the opposite cliff face, the dragon answered, relatively rapidly. It appeared as an immense body of light that danced across the entire opposite cliff surface. For a split second it was entirely, physically visible, as a pure body of light until it swept up and over the mountain top. It disappeared then, physically, but etherically assumed a position above the circle itself.

The Dragon by Vera Velichko

With the ritual actions performed, I opened the path in blood. I left the circle of night and descended into the pool itself until, in full possession, I called down the dragon to merge with my own form. This was far more subtle than I expected at first, as it hovered above me. It hung there like a coiled, white mass, its form silvery white in contrast to the being of golden light I had first perceived it as. The sight was regal beyond comprehension, and at that moment as I looked up into the sky, the dragon descended and attempted to swallow my etheric form. Thankfully I was prepared for this – with markings I had drawn onto my flesh, and practiced with Surgat prior to commencing on this adventure.

With one hand I held energetically onto the floor, and with the other, reached inside the dragon itself. With some resistance (surely little from the dragons perspective), I wrapped my hand around something ‘fleshy’ and pulled. The Dragon withdrew, and in my hands I perceived a beating heart or seed. Wordlessly, the Dragon of the Sky told me I had succeeded in a test of strength – not just with it, but in the entire performance of the pilgrimage to this very pool. He had known I would come. There was but one thing left to do. I put my hands to my mouth and consumed the etheric flesh. It felt very real, bloody and rich. As I swallowed I tried not to gag, and it was with conscious effort my body did not immediately reject it into the pool. As soon as I had done so, I felt my form absolutely fill with fire. A series of voces magicae issued forth from my mouth, and the Dragon withdrew a little bit more, to give me more space. We were fully separated now – for what it was worth, due to its energies now surging through my blood.

At this point, the light was getting extremely dim. I spent a few minutes in the presence of the Gods and Dragon in ecstatic victory. I had managed. I had completed my task. I closed down the ritual, gathered my things. As I did so I disturbed something. A frog leapt up, bounded away, and headed down towards the star pool. I remember the dead amphibian, I had seen on my way here two days prior, and laughed at the obvious, on the nose symbolism. Retreating to my tent, it didn’t take too long for me to fall soundly asleep. My dreams were vivid – of flight, of journey. I remember waking up the following morning, wrapped in my sleeping bag, feeling like I had slept for a thousand years – in reality, probably all of nine hours.

The Morning on the Mountain, self taken image

I looked out over the entrance to the valley, and took in the sunrise, as I packed my kit. It was beautiful to see, and I felt at peace. The return journey down the slope, whilst in no way easy, was far easier now I knew a somewhat acceptable route to take up and down the cove entrance. The stones I left in the pool, and the gateway slightly ajar – as a permanent, stellar temple gateway to the Dragon of the Sky. This is what the Dragon had requested, it its own, wordless intuitive way. Only now did I realise that, unlike the others, this Dragon had not at all, uttered communication in what could even inwardly be described as formed words. In time, the stones will undoubtedly be washed down into the stream and by extension the valley below. Anyone wanting to evoke the dragon fully should carry a new set after all, as is fitting sacrifice, and to maintain the space. But the gate now stands open on the inner planes, and will for a long time allow for stellar ingress and egress for those who have the sight to see and the training to fully utilise such a gate. In future, I may again make this journey- to maintain and reconnect with this stellar entity – but it is unlikely to be anytime soon.

The walk back was made far easier by no longer having the weight of the stones, and I treated myself to a hearty dinner when back in civilization before heading back to my starting point. There I relaxed, so thoroughly elated that I had completed my mission, and revealed I had made it back to tell the tale without incident.

I will end this entry there. This full moon, there is more to do, as eluded to in the opening few paragraphs. More to decode, to write, to draw, to experience, before the Samhain season hits in full and work and attention needs turning to the next initiation here. But to all that has read the above, I hope it has served as both entertaining tale, as well as informative piece, on the Rite of the Stellar Dragon, who is named in old tales and myths as Ziz.

To You,
O Stellar Dragon of the Sky,
Coiled Serpent of Prismatic Light
Ye who dances upon the Peaks of Eternity
Given praise by an Echoing Song,
Which travels on an Endless Sea of Shifting Stars
I lift now my voice,
I beseech you now,
In Love,
In Honour,
Reveal to the Race of the Self Cursed,
The Path to the Endless Heavens
O Great Magnificent Scaled One
Ophidian Child of The Great Witch Queen
Show the Way to the Bountiful Fruit of the Gods,
To the Shining Celestial Tree
And Pour Forth Thy Healing Waters,
That which you
righteously command,
In the name of the Firstborn of the Great Goddess,
Send now, O Fanged One
The Power with which to to break our Cycle of Fate.
In the name of the Most Holy,
The Queen of Heaven,
So shall it Be.’

~S~