Pennsylvania Dutch Hexen Magick
Hex, on the surface, appears to be a compilation of a localized magickal system and the Hermetic practices of Medieval Europe of a more tradition. This localized tradition then moved wholesale to the Americas, presumably under religious or political factional pressures, but why is probably of little importance to the practice itself. This practice then met the indigenous culture of the Pennsylvania natives and further evolved, taking on motifs of magickal power that were passed on from native sources. This new then became an evolved tradition by generations of practice, Trial & Error being Evolution’s most productive tool, the focus of the isolated society in which it was practiced and the strict oral tradition of its teaching ensured that its technologies developed to their fullest possible potential, probably rather quickly because of the limited range of symbols employed. The strict teaching tradition also meant that, whilst Neophytes were somewhat protected from pursuing unfruitful paths, tradition tended towards dogma, and a general inflexibility of expression became inherent in the overall schema. There is obviously only a limited amount of literature available concerning the spiritual development of the Hexenmeisters, but the existence of symbols that relate to the Great Work in its seminal form as Alchemical expressions, would seem to indicate some deeper meaning to the practice. From the nature of these symbols, and the Hexen connection with Hermes Trismegistus, it might be assumed that some form of initiation into the symbols of Hex may have been involved in the overall practice at some time. If the records of these practices are not extant it is because of the oral transmission and the necessary secrecy of such schools and the possibility that through population dispersal the secret societies of Hexen practice have disappeared, if they ever existed at all. Perhaps they remain hidden and are secret to this day. Who Knows?
Of the schema of Hex a great deal more can be understood, and perhaps even more can be deduced. Speaking strictly of its magickal practice and theory, Hex seems relatively sound. The practice itself appears to have all of the requirements of any Magick Art. Neophytes are apprenticed, though whether to learn the traditional craft of Hex or to be initiated into its secret: is unclear. There. is some small ritual involved With the performance of a Hex, ritual implements are employed, although leaning heavily towards the Weapons of Earth. There is a complete Grimior of spells and charms, the Himmelsbrief and Besprechen (the Germans have a word for everything!). The most striking though, about Hex, and its most precious treasure, are the Hexen Symbols. and its system of talismanic operations. Hexen pantacles are of the most reliable class of Talismans, those permanent images of devotion that acquire generations of focused will and veneration. The actual charge invested in a Hexen symbol is imparted incrementally, by the devotion of its operators over a potentially vast number of years. Only shrines and temples, and great works of art, acquire this much magickal energy in our society. In order for this class of talismans to maintain their veracity they must be expressed in symbols of a radically archetypal nature, thus churches employ their central message in the symbols that they are embellished with. This has been achieved in the Hexen schema by the wholesale adoption of the Platonic-Hermetic system of number, which is in itself consistent with the above stated theory of the genesis of Hex. Because of this adaptation of foreign influences, the symbol base of Hex broadened, and developed into three different directions.
1 The most basic pantacles consist of pure geometric arrangements within the circular limitations of the pantacle.
2. Graphic motif- drawn mostly from natural shapes, symbolic of different natural forces.
3. Strictly Alchemical and Hermetic symbols, often taken directly from Medieval grimiors (and why not!?!)
For the most part Hexen Pantacles are composed of a combination of these elements, but there are many examples extant of simpler arrangements, perhaps for the use of Neophytes to the art of composition.
Finally, and most importantly, how can all of this wealth of Knowledge, tried and tested by generations of Adepts, grown into a strong branch on the Tree of Magick Arts, be employed by modern man to serve his ends. To answer this we must firstly compare Hex to the Magick technology that we already know, and we must inquire of it how we might evolve it to suit our particular purposes in a 21st Century context (a major failing of many Magickal Disciplines- The Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage being a case in point, the motive of the operation is flawless but the possibility of a modern performance is remote),
In comparison to other talismanic, systems, Hex is only moderately equipped with symbols. It is really something of a compendium of the best of the Grimiors, taking much from the Key of Solomon that is useful whilst ignoring totally some of the less palatable aspects, (i.e. conjuration of daemons from the pits of bell, pungent incenses and etc.). At the same time it owes a large debt to the fledgling scientists of Renaissance Europe. As a system of talismans it is not nearly as complete as the Sacred Magick of Abramelin, with its Magick Squares that can be calculated with mathematical accuracy (if one Knows how to!), but it lacks the severity of practice that makes the sacred magick all but inoperable. The schema of John Dee and Edmund Kelly is possibly the most perfect of all conceivable systems, the symbols are entirely all encompassing, the invocations are the most sublime, perfect orisons, the practice is so simple in operation, but the discipline is exclusive of all other systems, perhaps because it supersedes them all in purest Magickal Practice. Devotion to system must be considered as a lifetime pursuit not as a useful foil to a well stocked armory. In this respect Hex is more adaptable as its method is devotion, and require, only momentary consideration over long periods to achieve its ends, slow and steady wins the race.
From a practical standpoint, to achieve a particular objective the Hexenmiester makes a Pantacle symbolic of that attainment. He designs the talisman, and devotedly colors it, perhaps saying a small charm over it, and then he places it appropriately, so that in passing it he gives it his momentary attentions. These accumulate over time until his objective is attained. In comparison, Abramelin’s Adept constructs a ceremony and invokes his Angel to tell him who to conjure. This he does, by the Magick Square that he has been given in the previous rite. Two long and perhaps dangerous operations to possibly achieve an objective (minimum). An Adept of Enochian Magick may look for years to find the correct square to express his objective by systematically skrying the Tablets of the Watchtowers. This done, the operation of any given square is of the most inane method as to be totally unimportant. The traditional method of talismanic magick, as is found amongst Hermetic schools, has a large compendium of images and symbols upon which to draw. The Adept having decided upon his design, would make a Pantacle of the operation which is then ceremonially consecrated, or employed to conjure a particular Spirit who is set to the performance of the objective. In either case, the practice involves a long and perhaps dangerous operation of Magick (usually of the blackest variety).
Based upon this comparison, Hex may be adaptable to the modern domestic lifestyle, the, question remains as to whether it is flexible enough and capable of further evolution enough to be relevant to the modem operator. For instance, the Hermetic practices of Modern Ceremonial Magick are of a technical nature very much akin to man other modern practices, and so capable of a great variety of applications and lines of investigation. At the same time, many books of spells &etc, offer practices that are of a very limited scope and incapable of much development, as in the case of candle magicks. Because of its basis in Platonic numerology and Alchemy, the symbolism of Hex may he adapted to a great variety of objectives, and for this reason, whilst not as accurate as a Hermetic Talisman (which usually names the Spirit involved in an operation), Hexen symbols are probably a very workable schema.
Bearing all of this in mind, is it now possible to build a Qabalah of Hex, to codify its symbolic elements, and to identify the divine names &etc. invoked towards particular ends. To answer this we must investigate its basic symbolic schema, which has much in common with the Platonic theory of numbers. In this schema the decimal integers were assigned particular qualities;
1. Perfection, the desired unity
2. Harmony and Balance of continual change
3. Stability and the fertility of Potential
4. Solidity and General Form
5. Power and Force
6. Beauty and Enlightenment
7. Passion and Devotion
8. Articulation and Intelligence
9. Introspection and Intuition
10. the Material World
11. the Magick Light
Further, the lineal figures and Shapes associated with these values are- held to be consonant with them, so a Pentagon expresses the ideas of Power, and an octagon the concepts of articulation, generally speaking, of course. The ideas of number are similarly expressed in a variety of mediums to expand upon the compendium of available symbols. By further abstraction, the concepts of color and other symbolic motifs can be similarly attributed to a numerical value.
A Scale of Eleven for Hexen Symbol Construction
|No.||Quality||Shapes & Figures||Color||Motifs & Symbols|
|2||harmony||line||sky blue||rooster, eagle|
|4||solidity||square, cross||violet, royal blue||acorn, sperm shape|
|5||power||pentagon, pentagram||red, infra red||oak leaf|
six pointed asterisk
|yellow, gold||six rayed circles,
|7||passion||heptagon, heptagram||green, brown||hearts, pomegranates|
|8||intelligence||octagon, octogram||orange||tulips, thunderbolts|
|9||intuition||nonagon, nonagram||silver, grey||rainbow|
|10||material being||decagon, decagram||black||squared circle|
|11||magick LVX||enneagon, enneagram||ultra violet||zigzag, wavy lines|
The Development of Hexen Symbols by the Modern Operator
From this it can be seen, that a comprehensive scale of correspondences might be developed with relative ease. This would mean that a Hexen Symbol might be devised for almost any purpose. The objectives should best be in the nature of a gradual change, though the indications are that dramatic results are not out of order. The general rules of Hexen construction must also be obeyed, dividing the Pantacle into three zones and employing their structure within the overall expression of the objective. Also, as often as possible, the traditional emblems of Hex should be employed to emphasize the connection to the whole course of one’s Magickal operations (i.e. to the True, Will). It will also be necessary to adhere to the general rules for Talismanic construction, and to avoid the inclusion of antinomian influences in the design,
The natural course to take is obviously to develop one’s own Hexen Symbols, this being achieved by the expansion of the symbol/motif collection. How are we to find new symbols for operations of this Magick? Potentially there are several ways that this may be attempted.
Firstly; by the method of historical research, one may find previously undiscovered configurations of traditional symbols, or more motifs may come to light. The obvious thing to do in this case is to go to Pennsylvania to have a look- somewhat impractical.
Secondly; the development of purely geometric designs has an obvious line of investigation, the different lineal figures may he employed to depict the very most basic expressions and objectives. The simplicity of these designs makes this- fine of development very attractive, the only real drawback to this course being the imprecise attributions of the lineal figures and shapes themselves. A hexagram is a very broad Solar glyph, expressing the difference between 7 and 1 (six circumferential points and the center) and so has been employed by Qaballists for ever as the symbol of Man. The question remains as to what its meaning might be to a Hexenmiester? And so on for the other numerical figures.
Thirdly; new symbols and motifs may be attributed to Hex by associations that are purely localized, or part of the modern common consciousness. The difficulty encountered by this method is again the accurate interpretation of the motifs employed. How can one be sure that a new symbol means what the operator intends it to mean?
Obviously, for any development or adaptation (to modem applications), a means of research must be employed into the evolution of the motifs of Hex. Direct research is probably impractical as a very small amount of literature will exist for a tradition of such an oral history. The symbols themselves may be extant (a trip to Pennsylvania would be for this line of investigation!) but what is the precise meaning of the symbol? Would the current possessor know such a thing about a Hex that was made two centuries ago? And with what degree of accuracy could one guess? Calculation of the probable objectives associated with certain lineal figures is just as imprecise without some method of validation of the symbolic values of these signs. Much may be assumed about these values from consonance with other schema; but with what degree of accuracy? Motifs drawn from nature are too abstract to even try to guess at. What then is a workable means of researching these values?
Obviously then, the only course for the modern operator to pursue is direct experiment. There are two possible paths to investigate. Most directly one may make Hexen Symbols and wait to see what their influence might (or might not) be. Trial and Error is a certain method, but a very slow one (re: The Enochian School of Magick). Otherwise, the course open to Magicians is to directly investigate the Hex itself. Perhaps by contemplation, meditation or, more positively, by astral penetration. This is the line of investigation then that is most likely to bear fruit in the short term (though till a laborious Process), and the obvious experiment to make is to Astrally Project into a Hex and see what it shows us.
As a control one would of course investigate a very traditional Hex, so as to develop a basis for comparison with new glyphs and motifs. This symbol should be as mainstream as possible, an essential and unembellished design of proven veracity. Such a symbol is the Whirling Star (vide supra):
The design consists of three components, the ground, the circumference, and the lineal figure of the scalene, triangle. Such a simple symbol should yield exactly the results that we are looking for, and there is a traditional interpretation upon which a comparison with a result can be made. The given interpretation of this design is: ‘advancement through movement or change. A sign to use when seeking a promotion or moving to new work or a new locality.’ I suspect that the interpretation is somewhat broader than this, but that is the context of its usual application these were relevant points of its efficaciousness.
Next, we must find a mean, of determining the accuracy of this interpretation. Therefore it becomes expedient to project into the symbol to seek out its inherent value. This operation would best be conducted by an experienced Traveler so as to have a reasonable basis for the comparison and interpretation of anything that occurs on the journey. The ceremony would by necessity be very simple, its focus being then actual investigation of the glyph involved. This suggests a ritual as such-.
1. Prepare the Hexen Symbol, and arrange the Temple in a suitable manner for the operation of an Astral Projection.
2. Perform the necessary Banishings prerequisite to the actual operation.
3. Invoke Hadit & ABRAHADABRA
4. State the intention of the rite, to penetrate the glyph and to make it reveal its meaning,
5. Project into the Symbol by the most comfortable method known to the Magus.
6. Record & interpret the Vision that results.
We shall call this Experiment 1.
Once a geometric form has been investigated, it would seem appropriate to investigate one of the ‘organic’ symbols so common to these compositions. Again, a common point of reference would seem an advantage, and so a choice based upon a familiar motif would be the obvious choice. Again, we wish to investigate a Hex that is reasonably certain to be of traditional origin and one that has a clear Hexen interpretation. Such a symbol might be the Pomegranates Hex. A symbol of fertility, prosperity and happiness, the investigation of this symbol shall be called Experiment 2.
Lastly (three experiments is a very good beginning in these affairs); another symbol, at once traditional and still somewhat Alchemical in its derivation could also be looked into. A symbol that immediately leaps forward for such consideration is the Rooster. This symbol is obviously akin to the Alchemical Eagle, symbolic of the synthesis of opposites that takes place in the manufacture of the VITRIOL. We shall henceforth refer to the investigation of this very curious symbol as Experiment 3.
So; as a result, Master AΔ has manufactured these three symbols, The Whirling Star, Pomegranates and the Rooster Hexes. The temple is arranged as for the Neophyte, the Perfumes are Incense of Nuit, The Ceremonial aspect is simply:
1. The Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
2. The Eleven-fold invocation of ABRAHADABRA
3. Invocation to Hadit (as God of Knowledge & Delight & Bright Glory).
4. Statement of Intention to Project into Hex
5. Formulate Astral Body & Project it into Symbol
6. Orison to Adonai
7. Record & Interpret Vision.
Prior to the operation of these experiments, the Master AΔ determined to avoid contemplation of the Symbols, except in so far as ,was required to color them appropriately (this was done according to his scant understanding of the rules of conduct for such an undertaking by the school of Hex, but he persevered and perhaps succeeded?). [cf. the ritual and the attributions of the colors employed are appended to these notes- D. G. M. Jr.]
Experiment 1: The Whirling Star
In the first experiment the symbol that was investigated was “The Whirling Star”. The traditional interpretation of this Hex is that it promotes good fortune in new beginnings (“Advancement through movement or change. A sign to use when seeking a promotion or moving to new work or a new locality”). Certain qualities are implied, firstly in the title of the glyph, and secondly in the meaning that has come to us with it. The quality first movement is indicated by the concept of whirling [from a M.E root meaning to turn around]. The association with newness is underscored in the interpretation. The star is, descriptive of the shape, but symbolically so, as an equally descriptive alternative might have been employed. ‘Star’ implies light focused to a point, as a fixed beacon, or perhaps a point of generation of light. Either way it implies Unity or the quality of Oneness. Thus the motive force is of an originating nature. The application is recommended for bringing about successful new arrangements in life. It is an agent of harmonious Change (vide 2: of Disks of the Book Tarot). The design itself, in as close to a traditional arrangement as I have been able to re-construct, implies certain qualities pertaining to this symbol also. The white ground, for the purity of newness, is circumscribed by a black circle, symbolic of the material limits of the individual universe, to contain the energy of six yellow scalene triangles. These figures, all identical, represent a balanced progress made from a wide and stable basis (the symbolic. implication of this particular class of triangle as opposed to isosceles or equilateral- vide: The Magick Weapons, Ch. 8) The direction of the movement is towards conscious clarity, imaged by the number of shapes being six, the number of Sol, their dynamic shape pointing deosil and their color. (vide: the appended notes to the ceremony). This sums up as a symbol of beneficial material change, through new efforts or directions in life. The colors are of a class that is almost universal in its legibility and the Solar glyph of six triangles is pretty straightforward.
Our own investigations are more difficult to dissect. This Vision seems to be in three distinct parts, and in the first the world of this particular plane is made apparent to the traveler. In this case, the general imagery of rustic cultivation places us on a plane that corresponds most basically to Earth; the corn in the fields is certainly of an Airy or Mercurial leaning, but essentially of Earth. Whilst the Solar influence in the Vision probably stems directly from the color chosen for the motif, the general quality of Air is also imparted, the strong admixture of these two strongly implying the sixth Sephirah, Tiphareth (which also has certain qualities that may be attributed to Spirit). Experience in these journeys made me almost immediately certain of the correspondence upon entering the plane.
This tells us quite a lot about the Aethyr that we have traveled to. I am put in mind of a similar investigation that was made by Frater AOMΔ 7°=4Δ whilst looking into several of the squares from the tables of Enoch several years ago. Two occasions upon which squares from the Airy angle of the Earth Tablet yielded correspondent results are cited from that record: (From the Vision of the Square of ZNRI from the Air angle of the Tablet of Earth- 15/02/98, 1:45 am)- “I am inside a dark cave, more of a deep crack in the Earth, outside the blue sky radiates a bright yellow light.” And again; (From the Vision of the Square of RMNO from the Air Angle of the Watchtower of the Earth 28/02/98, 1:45 am)- “The landscape is very bright, warm and sunny, though Sol is not visible. The sky is bright blue and vet it exudes a bright yellow light, the synthesis of these being the bright green grasses. The air is of a warm spring day, the aroma of new growth and fertility is intense.”
Also, the corn that grows in the field is a certain symbol of Earth, as can be seen from the Visions of the 20th Path of Sepher Yetzirah: (The Sword and the Serpent, Ch 13)- “Initially, the vision appears to me as a picture of rolling pastures, wherein abundant crops of wheat and corn are growing in orderly furrows. I call upon the holy name of the Path, Elohim Tzaboath, and the Gods of Battle open the gate to the Aethyr and I penetrate its portal easily. I have entered the vision to find myself standing upon a rustic dirt road that wends its way between two abundant fields, wherein are growing grains of various sorts, all of their golden tops, heavily laden with the fruit of their season, swaying in the waves of a gentle breeze.”…
This harvest is bound for the Table of the Lord of this realm- The Hermit of the Tarot, Mercury disguised in an Earthly costume, Adonai as the Holy Guardian Angel. And later in the same vision, speaking to a serf that I have met there-
“These fields are the Fields of Life, Master, and I tend these crops for my Lord, the Hermit who dwells upon yon mountain,” and he gesticulates towards the horizon where a jagged peak can just be seen,
“I grow at my Lord’s whim what he will, so that he may choose the ripest and finest fruits of his bounteous harvest for his feast table.” And, as if to confirm the Earthly correspondence of the landscape:-
“All around me the fields stretch off to the distant horizons, presenting me with visions of rolling fields of ripe grains, showing all of the colors of the harvest, ripening grains showing their glorious oranges, reds, yellow, and ochres, evenly carpeting the rolling fields for as far as I can see. Above me, the sky is the purest clear blue, becoming deeper in its hues as I look further into its extremities. The Sun of this cloudless firmament beats down upon the rich fields all around me in a beautiful golden light from the mid heaven, “
All of this tends to lend weight to the idea that the Vision, and therefore the Hex, is correspondent to The Airy part of the Element of Earth. Importantly, the motion made into the Vision of the Whirling Star is with Sol, Deosil as it were, and so the force of the symbol is of a generative nature, going with the force of nature.
Next we meet the fair young maiden, a definite symbol of Earth, as she is the Princess of the Tarot and of Tetragrammaton, not the wife but the maid servant of the Lord of the Astral Plane of the Vision. The fair skin and blonde hair continue the motif of the sunny quality of earthly fertility, the potential of Sol’s energy as it is imparted to Earth. Again the blue and yellow color scheme is emphasized, as if to ensure that this sub-elemental quality is not overlooked. The other quality of the Vision that is being reiterated at this stage is the immaturity of the symbols, they seem to represent the potential for manifest expression, but are as yet too undeveloped to be ready for application. Also, the activity of the girl, making orderly connections between the random expressions of force implied by the scattered yellow flowers, shows the beginning of a process, not the result of its long implementation.
Further, the, maiden states her name Ashera (I checked the spelling with her at the time). This has a value qaballistically attributed to Understanding, but also to fertility in its ideal state. The office of this person is to make the Aethyr open to our comprehension by the symbolic import of her action therein. She brings order to the randomly distributed energy of this plane. The correspondent elemental forces attributed to her name underscore this. She is undoubtedly the Princess of Swords, and her decisions are based partly upon ambition or a picture of order that is in her mind or nature [Capricorn]. She is directed by the need to match her efforts with the Voice of the Future- with an eye that is for evolution [Gemini] and her method is synthesis of subject and object [Sagittarius].
Next we might turn our attention to the flowers themselves. At first sight these appear as “daisies”, but upon closer inspection they reveal their form to be that of the Whirling Star through which we have entered this Plane. This repetition of the motif implies that the force manifests itself identically in myriad forms each of which then takes on its individual form. The fact that these flowers are mature, whilst the field of corn in which they grow is unripe implies that the force reaches it- maximum efficacy as material forms are just beginning to develop. In short, it is a seminal driving force behind material existence. This again puts me in mind of a similar Vision undertaken by Frater AOMΔ: (From the Vision of the Aire of TEX from the Calls of the Keys of Enoch; performed 31/01/98, 12:00 am).
“The Aire, is filled with whorls of energy, spirals resolving themselves into swastikas, spinning furiously, creating sparks in great waves, showing the Aire with their flashes of glory and illuminating it to its very depths.”… and also;
“Your breath has the force of the whirling fylfot, and this is its secret force….”; whereupon a swastika is seen to smash into the obsidian cube [at the center of the Vision] with great force, at once merging with it and smashing it to atoms, which momentarily take on the form of the, spinning swastikas before swirling in an effort to re-coalesce and then dispersing themselves like, dust throughout the Aethyr.”
Note that the central character of this vision wore a ring set with a seal that very much resembled a fylfot cross. Note also that the vision ends with the comprehension that the obsidian cube is that of the black cross of this system that bears the supreme name– of Godhead, and that this cube is formed out of the swastikas after they have discharged themselves into the Aire.
Deeper into the Aethyr, the symbolism of Earth is strengthened by the appearance of a House. Here we meet the Lord of this realm, the Yod of its Tetragrammaton (to the maiden’s He final), identifying the purest nature of the expression. His name is a formula for the operation of his energy, a statement of some natural law. The anagrammatic nature of this word (the association was immediate during the, process) implies. its base meaning as ‘man’ and thus strengthens the connection with Tiphareth. The imagery of this energy’s progress from initiation to fulfillment shows, it to be an energy that infuses itself (by its symbol) to act in ways that are manifested by agencies other than itself. That is to say, it is a seminal driving force behind a number of agencies of change.
By its Gematria, this name adds to 49, a perfect square of the number 7, the most venerated of all of the integers after 1 (by Qaballists). 49 is also the number of the Living God- i.e. of the visible force of god in the manifest world. It is also a number attributed to nativity- as the first manifest extension of the desire symbolized by 7. All of this befits the name of the Governor of the realm of the beginning of the whirling force that drives creation. The correspondences of the names continue as Mercury is a motive-creative force (Ptah named the creation as Tahuti set it in motion), Air and spirit are twin forces of articulation, one inner and one outer. Leo is the fire that drives the whole and synthesis is the method, again evoking a certain resonance with the rest of the vision. The central expression of Banor is the multitude of forms that his symbol is made to assume, all consonant with spiral or spinning energy, again calling to mind the experience of the Enochian Vision cited above.
Next we enter the house of these symbols and we are confronted by an established order, the intention of which is to nourish, this being emphasized by the food that is laid out. Again, the energy of the Aethyr is expressed as a consumable (vide: The Sword and the Serpent, Ch 13 – the produce of the fields is for the table of the Lord of the Aire). Here, the seats are marked perspectives from which the matter on the table might be viewed. We are not invited to take a place here though only to partake of the food and thereby the knowledge of the Plane.
Now, looking at the issue from this seminal symbol of the Lord of the realm, we have his ‘gifts’ to us. The Elemental repast is somewhat instructive; upon this plane the Elements take on these forms is the implication here. The foods are four. Firstly there is the, bread, basic sustenance. Bread is earth, the material issue of this plane is sustenance (a repetition of the grain symbol). This is spread with honey, a symbol of labor’s results. The honey is Fire, that is why Banor pours it upon the bread, to manifest its effect, activity upon this plane is labor. We are instructed to eat the tongue. This is an interesting symbol; it represents flesh, one of the mediums of expression of the Whirling Star, but in its most materially sensual form, combining taste and touch, the engine by which the mature flesh is nourished is used as a symbol of the potential for there to be mature meat in the future. Articulation in nourishment at its most basic and wild level, indicating an energy that is primordial or archetypal, such as the force that drives evolution. All of this is somewhat obscure (and not a little Pagan!). The Wine, that we are forbidden, is Water, which upon this plane is a mature expression, implying that rest has given way to motion. We are denied the matured Vintage, because it is not of the symbol, but has about it the essence of that which the Whirling Star aims at achieving.
After partaking of his repast, we are shown the dominion of this symbol and we for the first time begin to learn directly how we may apply this symbol to other ends. Now we are given to consider the shields (obvious Pantacles) and the clans which they symbolize. The mono-colored designs, eleven in number are arranged in an orderly fashion along one wall, whilst the disorder of the multi-colored shields is a clear indication of their failure. The force expressed by the whirling star is as yet unmixed, perhaps unmixable, as the operation of these impure symbols deletes their effective influence. Further, the successful symbols are strongly associated with conquering armies, the necessity of a singleness of intention is of the nature of this force and its symbol must reflect that if it is to be efficacious. It is notable that we are shown a distinct set of grouping, of colors, which is somewhat instructive as to the possible applications of this Hex if it is made in other colors than yellow. At the same time, the failure of the multicolored designs teaches us to limit our operation of this Hex to monochromatic designs.
At, point we are given some useful instruction about, the integers’ interactions with this plane that definitely connects these symbols to the Platonic Qabalah so popular up to the 17th Century. Firstly it is six to the victorious. When it is successfully manifest it becomes aware. The ground upon which it operates is conquered, and here it is seven, representing its influence as being by way of addition. For those though that have risen above this illusory duality it is eleven, the Magick Light, ABRAHADABRA. It is a particular form of expression of the One energy of the Universe to progress (deosil at that!). Thus the operation of the Whirling Star of six arms is to move to change, with seven arms it is intended to bring change to it and with eleven arms it draws change out of the operator himself.
Next we are given a Magick Word! (this is far more than I had hoped for, as it at once makes a spell for the operation of the symbol calculable but also supplies a formula for its application). This word: WHIRLZ (I checked the spelling- twice!) has a value of 131. This a clear indication of the accuracy of the word, for that is traditionally the number of Samael- The Devil. It represents the Secret Force of Change, and thus evolution (there is nothing more frightening to unenlightened mind as change). This Magick Word is a formula for the operation of this symbol (which should thus be called The Whirlz?) It sums up the types of change that are fundamental to its operation, and it implies the progression of its action. W= Pisces, the plane of dreams and illusions of the sub conscious, H= Gemini, the oracle of the Gods, Enlightenment, I= Fire which transforms everything, identification; R = Sagittarius, Art and the synthesis of opposites that results in a new higher form, (connected with the Alchemical Gold), L= Virgo, inner vision, of clarity and self meaning, and finally Z= Saturn, Death, binding the whole within a temporal, material world. The Whirling Star is shown thereby to be a seminal influence in all of these means of energy transference. The Magick Word is very useful though, as is the description of the values of the Whirling Star’s operation. WHIRLZ represents the formula by which the symbol operates, by the agency of natural states of change. The effect that this has upon the matter of its manifestation is either six, seven or eleven, therefore the Hex can be for outward objectives, inner development or applied directly to the Great Work, a very Magick Sigil indeed. It would seem that this formula is best suited to the Hex if it is operated with eleven arms.
Finally this energy is shown to be of a flowing nature, a gentle trickle into the manifest world rather than a constant force of change by destruction or upheaval. The conquering force is from within not without. The brook represents the flowing nature of the force, as it leaves its place of emanation: steady & incremental. This is a force that must join with other more complex energies to flourish, for it is a brook not a river, and so it has the potential to dry up and to have thus expended its energy fruitlessly.
The bubble effect upon exiting the Plane is symbolic of the unit of energy as it manifests, material existence is the cessation of the whirling action, (and so a deviation from the True & Essential nature?).
All of this is very interesting, but, what does it teach us about the symbol that we are investigating and about Hex in general?
The main points of this Vision are: The Hex corresponds to the Solar part of the Air of Earth (does this mean that a green Whirling Star would correspond to the Venusian aspect of this sub-element?). The energy expressed is of an originating nature, easily dissipated if it is not strengthened by the action of other influences. The expression materially appears as a labor or a gradually cumulative effort. Its field of operation, is at a subliminal level, behind other forms, starting things but not sustaining them, by a gently flowing force that is somewhat tenuous in its effect.
To begin, there immediately appears to be a connection between this symbol and other symbols employed by alternate schema to represent similar concepts. A powerful correspondence with the Fylfot cross, or swastika is indicated. That symbol is representative of the Solar force expressing itself Elementally via the personalities of the Signs of the Zodiac. The indications are that this symbol, the Yellow Whirling Star is correspondent to the Airy part of Earth in the Enochian system, and by its similarity of symbolism, it is similar to the mutable sign of Earth, Virgo. The use of grain as a symbol is subtle; its immature state in the vision is a clever symbol of a nascent force as opposed to a nourishing one. Similarly, the maiden gives a persona to this idea, her distracted manner implies that the force is yet to become particular in its application, whilst the manufacture of the daisy chains shows the beg of a material order. Again the symbols are all of a potential, rather than a manifest nature.
The multiplicity of the imagery of the flowers and the shields implies that the effect of this symbol is broad and nonspecific but that it also requires purity for it to be able to act effectively. The spinning motif is constant, throughout the vision, which gives rise to the thought that the Hexenmeisters may have trodden this path before us, to have the clarity to name the Hex as appropriately as they did.
Finally we begin to see some of the fruits of the operation of the Hex. It is a symbol of the potential for nourishment. It feeds the daily needs in an effort to attain to the state of ripeness in some synthetic form under a different symbol. For this Hex it is enough to begin the operation, setting it in motion to allow the development to evolve according to its own nature. There is no way to taste this fruit as a ripened product as it is of the nature of things that are fresh one minute and stale the next. It represents the energy that is needed to generate action, but without any manifest activity being yet possible.
So it would seem that the two interpretations coincide, but of course the material gained from the Vision is of a deeper, more intricate nature. An entire arcanum of symbols could be constructed around this configuration alone, dealing quite specifically with the, beginnings of a number of types of enterprises. (Perhaps eleven: vide supra, the vision and the eleven shields), Perhaps operating a red Whirling Star will produce a Vision of the Fiery part of Earth? The experiment is beyond the scope of this small investigation so we shall have to leave it there and progress to the second motif that we looked into.
Experiment 2: The Pomegranates
This Hex is called ‘The Pomegranates’ and, with the traditional interpretation of ‘A symbol of fertility, prosperity and happiness, is rich with implications. To begin, Pomegranates [O.Fr. apple of many grains ] (Punica Glanatuzn) being an Oriental species that is grown in warm climates (certainly not Pennsylvania!) are obviously employed entirely as a symbolic motif, as there would be little hope of producing these fruits in such a harsh climate. In fact it is doubtful whether the Hexenmeisters would have ever seen a pomegranate, so what is their intention in using it here. Firstly, the fruit with its many seeds is a very ancient symbol of abundance being the fruit by which Hades retained the essence of Persephone in the underworld and forced her to be his. This is the central symbol of the use of this fruit here, I am certain. The pomegranate represents the abundance that gives rise to the qualities of the intention of this Hex.
The motif itself is composed of three elements, distributed amongst its three zones that must imply something of the nature of this intended abundance, for it is very specifically of fertility, prosperity and happiness. There are also three pomegranate motifs and three stem and leaf arrangements, giving the entire thing a triangular appearance. This threefold nature is indicative of the Elements again, as the field of operation for these things is intended to be very broadly of Earth. The fiery objective is the fertility, the Watery is prosperity and the Airy is contentment (i.e. happiness). The qaballistic quality of three is the beginning of stability of form, thus its employment in the construction of Hexes generally, I would imagine. Its use here is about the creation of conditions favorable to that stability- thus the qualities cited. The general implication is of a stable abundance.
This is colored by the schema chosen to decorate it, probably defining most accurately its arena of efficacy (vide infra: the notes appended to the ceremony- As this is somewhat arbitrary I have outlined the motive for the color choices that I made in this construction). So, the fruits represent abundance, the leaves represent vigor as they grow in greater numbers than the fruits but produce little value in proportion. The groupings of sixes implies that this vigor is to be raised to a conscious level, echoing the star at the center which is obviously a motif of self consciousness (the field of blue was chosen as a symbol of worldly position). The leaves at the circumference indicate that the force of the Hex is to be manifest by a means that is almost organic, and their number twelve indicates that their influence is being invoked into every facet of life (12 Signs, Houses etc.). The blue circle between the outer and middle zones is for the righteousness of the operators place in his world and the black circumference extends the influence of the Hex to the limits of his universe.
The general intention of the design and its traditional interpretation then is: The promotion of a state of stable productivity that is conducive of abundance, by encouraging general fertility, material success and physical contentment. Laudable ambitions for any man! See Marx!
How does this interpretation compare with the details of the Vision? To begin, this Vision is in three distinct portions. The first again shows us the nature of the plane upon which we are travelling. In this instance the general Aire is definitely of the Element Earth (again), and the colors being deep and rich are indicative of a darkened Watery influence, perhaps also of Chesed, whose forms are always illuminated by Sol. So at first glance we have a plane correspondent to the Jupiter of the Water of Earth, (The mythological connection with the pomegranates is that Persephone, Spring, is the daughter of Zeus.) Further, the over ripe quality of all of the fruit, spilling its seed is indicative of the mature feminine quality of the Mother rather than the virginal daughter of Tetragrammaton. The overwhelming fruitfulness implied in the Vision is all indicative of a well established fertility. The whole is very watery, or of the watery part of Earth. Also, the immediate colors of the Aethyr imply a watery influence, but the overwhelming symbolism of the Aire is Earth, the abundant herbage, the smell of decomposition, the ripened fruits, all express this Elemental force at its most manifest. The sky is the color of Chesed implying both Water and Jupiter at the same time, streaked with the colors of Cancer and Pisces, two watery signs, one cardinal and one mutable sign. Sol is setting, another image of full Elemental development, and the golden yellow is Sol as the essential force behind the vigorous growth of the jungle. The boundary of the inaccessible river implies that the driving current of the energy expressed by the Pomegranates Hex is of a wild and secret nature.
The cultivated fields signify order, and that order is later shown to be the order of science. the watermelons, with their black seeds, replicates the imagery of the pomegranates, as do the berries, of over abundant production, the prodigality of nature, but here that prodigality is bent to the calculated ends of order not to the uncertainty of nature. The distant orchards show that this order extends to the limits of earthly dominion, wherever there are no jungles.
The square house is definitely a symbol of Earth (cf. the correct design of the Four of Disks- the Lord of Material Power, is a square castle with four square turrets), the shape of which also implies Chesed the fourth Sephirah. The grey stone house is set in an ordered garden, through which a straight path leads to the entrance to the “House of Cultivation”. This garden represents the fruits of study of the poisonous plants, just as the fields are the issue of the study of the good things. Even so the garden here is over abundant, and reeks of excess fertility.
More essentially, we meet the outer persona of this Hex, the knight, a symbol of knowledge. The that guards the entrance to the manor, and this guard tells us his name is BARSUN. Investigation of the yetzirac influences of this word reveals much. The B is mercurial thus knowledge is one of his possessions, this is articulated [Air] and then synthesized [Sagittarius], with a definite material aim [Capricorn] from the mother [Water] and materializes as a living creation [Leo]. His name equals 78, and so he represents associative learning, this is like that, symbolic expression of material conditions (thus the Tarot). This learning is the knowledge of the turning of the Wheel, the domain of the Lord of Knowledge, and so this name passes the barrier that the knight places before us. The knowledge of the environment, the season &etc. is the key to the entry of the House of Cultivation. He is defended by his shield, checks for the balance of nature, light blue for the righteousness of nature’s means: and the black and yellow diagonal representing the manifest consciousness that cuts across both concepts to re-make nature entirely.
Thus knowledge is symbolized as guarding the accumulations of the cultivation from returning to their wild forms, Cultivation being here defined as the choice of progenitors of a form to arrive at a pre-determined arrangement of that form. The method employed to defend this knowledge is the observance of the balance of nature and the righteousness of its methods whilst still impressing his Will upon it. All a symbol of bending the natural world to one’s own ends.
Entering into the house, the four rooms are for the four Elements, or more accurately the four elemental expressions of this Aethyr. The pumpkins are symbols of new life concealed in the form of its progenitor, the stored potential for the next generation. This is the final objective of the energy symbolized by this Aethyr, the potential of reproducing itself again and again. The grains represent the staple nourishment inherent in this Hex, the continual feeding upon new information that allows cultivation to progress. Flesh is chosen as the fiery symbol of this Aire, being the most concentrated end product of the process of cultivation, to have tamed the beasts that once roamed free, to supply the husbandman with the ultimate material for domestication. Finally wine represents the maturation that accompanies all true cultivation and associates it with the nurturing Element of Water, as if it is a drive from within our environment that we might improve upon it for ourselves. These symbols are very complex and obscure.
This is the innermost portion of the Vision, and here we get to the essence of the intention of this Hex, where its means of Elemental expression are shown to us. Most materially the Hex is represented as being a storehouse of potential fertility and nourishment, capable of many forms of expression- the orange pumpkin indicates an adaptable Mercurial force. Intellectually the influence of this Hex is to store materials that may be processed to become a myriad of other forms. The most straightforward form of this Hex is identified as flesh, it is meant to directly feed the beast, as it were. Finally Wine for the element of Water indicates that it is meant to promote a long lived capability to produce in abundance, to promote long term development. The room above is an extension of that idea, where the work of accumulating the knowledge goes on, but is interpreted from this one sided angle as the lawful conquest of that which is wild so that it can be made to conform to the operators conceptions for it.
Next, the upstairs chamber with its scenes of plenty shows these Elements in various forms of admixture, even the method of conquest employed is but another of their expressions. The ledger implies that progress is determined by the non repetition of a particular experiment. Overseeing all of this, the Lord Arturo, the completely Earthy manifestation of the Hex, (this, name means “stone’) and represents the force of articulate, and inspired, synthesis of forms from their elemental components into existence. The Lord of this realm is attired in scarlet for force and energy, with a trim of cheetah fur to show the domineering nature of that force’s methods. This force of creativity is shown to be unconcerned with good and evil, and the source of its motion comes from the eternal, primordial flow of evolution itself (implying that man’s will to cultivate is itself a part of a greater evolutionary plan).
In total we have gone from the original forms as we have found them and bent them at our pleasure into various shapes and made it possible for them to be stored. The names of the guardian and his lord imply how this is achieved, by science (that is natural observation) and by ambition, and then by conquest. On the surface it would seem that the interpretations are cognizant with each other. We shall move on.
Experiment 3- The Rooster
Finally we will consider the Hex called the Rooster. The implications of this name are of a virile, alert focus of masculine energy. The traditional meaning is ‘strength and courage’ symbolized by a two headed rooster with a heart motif for a body, under a four pointed star joined with a Greek cross, circumscribed b a number of loops (perhaps 32?). Obviously the immediate interpretation of the two headedness is that the two qualities are of one force, but that force is not named, vigilance is implied though, but so might many other qualities of a two headed rooster. The star is a symbol of the Self (again) here expressed as the unity four Elements inside, and outwardly, (vide: The Magick Weapons Ch 8– for the symbolism of squares and octagons) the union of which produces the articulation which is capable of the specialization that is represented by the many small circles. The connection between the motif and the interpretation in this case is somewhat unclear, but the rooster seems to imply dominion and its issue- power and the fortitude to use that power.
The Vision itself does not seem to immediately supply the answer either. Again we are confronted by a confusing amount of imagery and allegorical symbolism. The overall impression of the Aethyr is that it is again a plane of the Element of Earth, the dawn light and the Morning Star are suggestive of Air as is Sol’s traversal of the meridian, in this instance, the dual symbol of the Hex seems to have created very polar ages for its expression, the spinster with the masculine qualities to her identity, the palindrome by which the Rooster is named & etc. This is a long journey with six distinct portions, ‘Me first is the opening of the plane where it is revealed as an Earthly plane, with Saturnine and Virgonian inclinations. The Saturn of Malkuth of the Element of Earth seems to be a concordant plane in another system. In any event the course of operation of the Hex is considered to be natural expression.
Next we meet the rooster, who represents vigilance here, and where does vigilance lead us but to stability and security, symbolized by the spinster and her cottage. Inside this room, she is expressing the force of the Hex as measuring the allotted time of events and then ending them. Her name implies forward motion, progress; facing the future with confidence, underscored by her unconcern with the rooster’s alarm. In fact everything about the rooster seems dualistic, and so it seems right that the Hex has such a title. Perhaps his warning is of the uncertain future, whereas the old lady is the calm of the settled past?
Interestingly, the secrets of this arcanum are expressed as something of a riddle, the cock crows to warn the hens that are already taken by the fox. The effort at preservation expresses a foregone conclusion. The mercurial fox may represent articulation and intellectual development, by which the tenure of the flock- in these fields is measured. Material accumulations of power are destined to wane and be replaced by new configurations, the agency of this change is the development of new techniques for usurping that power.
The colors of the rooster, bizarre as they are, give a hint to the nature of its meaning, the generally golden color shows it to be a Solar/spiritual symbol, the essence of the operation of the Hex. The red comb crowns the bird, implying that its highest expression is of a violent nature. The crimson body hints at an illusory quality to the rooster’s function, and the whole is supported on nervous yellow legs. The dark purple or azure sheen is the glamour of mortality that tints all of the rooster’s operations. The whole then is a symbol of consciousness, a passionate reactive expression easily swayed by the illusion of material peril. On the whole this seems to fit the description of this bird as an alarm.
Moving on we arrive at a fortress, locked to us except by the Word of Power. Knowledge of the contents opens the gate, but only carefully as if what is inside cannot be too careful in its admissions to it sanctuary. The darkness inside with only a single glimmer of light implies a certain singleness. The Hex must be undivided in its field of operation to have any effect. This effect is shown to be destruction, and conquest or the courage to overthrow established arrangements and the strength to create new ones perhaps? The means implied by the king’s name is synthesis directed by ambition.
The elevated house that contains the deep arcanums of this Aethyr, with its heavily locked portal and its impenetrable darkness concealing a glimmer of enlightenment is almost a classical mystical symbol. The need to enter this stronghold by main force, (ABRAHADABRA invokes the entire force of the Magus’ Great Work upon the objective) implies the central importance of the secret hidden herein. The Truth concealed in this Hex extends far beyond its intended field of operation, to expressing an universal property of change. This secret is shown to be very well guarded by the subconscious. This Truth is that there is a rebirth potentially possible from every instance of the destruction of form that takes place. This transcends the basic duality of the Aethyr and so the traveler is made to pass on.
The guardian of this realm, Oris, is a King, strongly identified with the Archangel Michael, implying at once a Solar and a Fiery influence in the Hex. He may represent the force of progressive evolution that is inherent in every change of a power paradigm. He is certainly a driving force on this plane, yet he too is regulated by the alarms of the rooster, that now seems to represent the reaction of evolution to material conditions. Oris is counterpart to Avanti (note that oriz is the Italian word for the ‘horizon’ or linear qualities, and that Avanti meaning forward gives the second axis of movement, the second dimension, the third being supplied by the ascent. into the firmament with the hawk?)
The magick word, WAR, is from an O. F. word meaning quarrel. The inference is that only by first destroying forms can a new form be created to fill the void that is thus created. The kestrel underscores this by its violence, undertaken from a totally commanding vantage point. The ultimate goal of the operation of this Hex is shown to be enlightenment, empowerment, through self knowledge.
Finally, the kestrel is the purest expression of the Hex. The hawk’s predatory power and its strength are the means by which the rooster multiplies its effect. The action of the Hex is shown to be destructive in order to be reconstructive. This is the central message that is given to us by the King of the realm. It is very reminiscent of the Lao Tzu; Ch. 22- “Bowed down and then Preserved, bent then straight, hallow then full, worn then new, a little then benefited, a lot then perplexed.” Even so, the connection between the two interpretations is somewhat tenuous and obscure. The Vision tends to indicate that the meaning of the Hex is that dominion is a two headed force, one of vigilance and one of power that is maintained by that vigilance. Strength and Courage seems a bit of a stretch from this point, but still after four hundred years is not too far off the mark.
Conclusions drawn from these Experiments:
So from all of this it appears that the, traditional interpretations of these Hexen Symbols is relatively accurate, that they appear to be based on a definite schema of correspondences that links their motifs to legible meanings. It follows then that by building this compendium of symbols new and particular Hexes can be constructed. It will be necessary of course to investigate several more motifs to assemble a legible qaballah, but it does appear, at least on the face of it, that much of the symbolism is concordant with the Platonic correspondences already familiar to us. If that is the case, any number of configurations might he constructed for any number of objectives. In short it is very probably possible to codify the entire system and to build a large compendium of motifs to employ in its operations.
These talismans are most likely all Pantacles, that is that they all partake of something of the quality of a Magick Disk (vide: The Magick Weapon, Ch 8) which accounts for their permanent nature, as opposed to a parchment talisman that is meant to be destroyed when its course of operation is finished. For this reason, Hexen Symbols are mostly designed to generate general sorts of energies, even though quite specific results can equally be expected from their operation. The nature of the Visions in all three instances, referred to the Element of Earth, even though the Hexen Symbols chosen for these Experiments were chosen basically at random (in relation to their possible Elemental correspondences anyway). Because the Earth Elemental association is based upon previous experiences of accurately definable Visions that were undertaken by Frater AΔ, they are at once highly subjective, but also extremely comparable, and so this correspondence is 99% certain in my mind. If further experiment with these symbols proves otherwise I shall be greatly surprised.
All in all this system is interesting but its specific nature means that a great deal of raw investigation is necessary for the operator to acquire the skill necessary to manipulate the symbols of Hex with the same degree of accuracy as he might by other better documented schema. That is not to say that the system is without its own merit, but one must submit to this particular discipline in order to benefit more than superficially from these practices. Certainly the spells associated with this school of Magick would require some sort of disciplined practice to accompany them and make them effective, it most certainly follows that there is more to this practice than just painting the motifs and hanging them up. It occurs to me that there may even be some core set of Hexen Symbols that are meant to be employed exactly as I have operated those in the Experiments, and that the objective of this could be some sort of system of initiation, but this is merely speculation. Still and all, the final Vision of the Plane of the Rooster tends to indicate that this may well be so.
In fact, the depth of the Visions indicates that Hexen Symbols that are extant are perhaps a fragment of a system, the corruption of which seems minimal, but the completeness of which is difficult to make certain. The entire number of possible symbols is incalculable but the possibility of developing new symbols is thereby very great. It may even be that the keys to the evolution of this schema exist within these Hexen Symbols themselves rather like the development of Dee and Kelly’s system was buried within their compendium of symbols. Without that structure though, Hexen Magick seems to be an open ended system- or system of systems.
The importance of the Besprechen in the operation of these central symbols remains unclear, but at the same time, it is strongly implied. The current application of this schema appears somewhat disconnected, and it would appear to be certain that the operation of these Pantacles would be facilitated by a rune of some sort. (On the other hand; Silence is the Earthly Power of the Sphinx). The incompleteness of this aspect of the practice may stem from the secrecy that would have originally surrounded the practice, making it unlikely that any publication would give a complete account of its operation. It was a very common practice amongst medieval Grimior compilers to leave out some trivial yet vital detail of their disciplines, which would undoubtedly be transmitted to worthy candidates by another means. Even modern writers on the occult arts continue to do this (some because they don’t know enough to know any better!)
It may be that further traveling upon the Hexen Planes in the Astral Worlds will reveal more of these Besprechen spells. Perhaps the Magick Words revealed even by these simple Visions could be put to skillful use by an Hexenmiester employing some means unknown to us in the present day. It does seem likely that further travels upon these Planes will disclose more practical information- perhaps this is the purpose of the Hexen Symbols with the definite Alchemical connections. It is also useful to note that this Magick Art seems to be based upon the Germanic/ Latin language; that is to say that the Magick Words that have been communicated have old European roots, as opposed to many of the Hermetic schema wherein Magick Words are invariably of Semitic origin. This implies that these practices might be very accessible to modem operators whilst being able to be expressive of a great variety of occult systems that do not rely upon studying foreign and archaic languages. Their application to Wiccan ends is undoubtedly desirable as a codified schema of Talismanic Magick would benefit that school greatly. At the same time the possibility of developing Thelemite Hexes is great because of the open ended nature of the symbol base. Perhaps Wiccan Hexes might employ Lunar shapes and glyphs to express its religious or magickal truths, whilst Thelema may employ hawks heads or stars to express itself similarly.
The final conclusion that can be drawn from all of this is more questions rather than answers.
1. Are all of these Hexen Symbols Pantacles of a sub elemental expression of Earth? Do other Hexes exist which relate to the other Elements, or are the operation of these symbols related only to material affairs?
2. How many different motifs might be applied to this system, and in fact, how many different systems are we dealing with here?
3. What are the methods best employed in operating these Hexen Symbols? Also, what is the best means of acquiring new symbols or motifs? What is the potential of any special words drawn from these Planes?
4. Is there a system of initiation hidden in all of this that may be obscured by time or intention? If so, how can we access its methods, and what possible enlightenment might it offer to a Neophyte? How far could it lead one upon the Path? Are there any other methods of operation that are inferred by this system that remain as yet obscured to us?
Part Five: Thoughts on the development of Hexen Symbols
In order to answer the preceding list of questions, obviously a great deal of research and development is going to have to be, undertaken. It would appear obvious that if the method of investigation is going to be astrally, that an experienced traveler (such as Master AΔ) should undertake at least the initial journeys. In this it would also probably be beneficial to have some idea of structure about these studies, as has been indicated by the results above. It would also seem that the development of one portion of this school at the expense of attention to the others is an issue that might need careful consideration, especially if the Visions of the Hexen Planes tends to produce Magick Words at the rate that they are currently indicating that they might do. The connection between the words and the operation of the Hex is clearly stated in the Visions, so the Besprechen spells might possibly be capable of a similar expansion to that of the Hexen Symbols.
In order to facilitate the aforementioned research then, we must determine upon a course of investigation. Because we have already begun to divide the exercises into three ‘types’ it will probably be most reasonable to continue upon that track, at least until the practices indicate otherwise. Also, it will be useful to be able to split our attentions so as not to be overly influenced by too similar Hexes being investigated too closely together. As we progress in these investigations it would also seem reasonable to begin to operate some of the Magick Words that we acquire along the way, perhaps it will be beneficial to create new Besprechen or Himmelsbrief from them by way of experiment, to determine their arena of efficacy and their potency (it is always useful to know how much force to apply to acquiring an objective, one mustn’t try to crack almonds with a sledgehammer unless one is making marzipan!). Perhaps, if several Hexen Symbols have the same, or similar, words associated with them it will be propitious to employ those words in the investigation of that class of symbols.
So it would seem that to begin our investigations we must go some way to considering the structure of the schema. What do we already know, and what can we perhaps safely deduce or assume about this schema? Firstly, there seems, on the face of it, to be a Platonic correspondence to these symbols. Thus the Besprechen often have a threefold nature, symbols are repeated three times and so on. This can safely be carried over into the prima facie investigations and assumptions when we encounter a new Hex. This being so, we can to some extent already begin to build our structure, and so we can at least begin to form an idea of which sorts of symbols we may wish to investigate.
If it is our intention to build a compendium of symbols then we should first investigate those symbols that may contain the keys or arcanums of this system as a whole. These symbols would seem to be the Alchemical symbols that are often identical with symbols and images that are found in many Medieval Grimiors. Thus, the rooster would be of this class, The other available symbols that may be considered are the ‘Sign of the Horns’, the ‘Prima Materia’ , or the ‘Distelfink’. This last image is so interesting that it is deserving of special consideration, and is perhaps suitable for astral penetration if one is in search of deep Hexen arcanum in particular.
The next most obvious course of investigation would seem to be the traditional Hexen symbols that are devised around the use of natural motifs or designs. Symbols that incorporate motifs such as the acorn or various leaves and perhaps flowers, as well as those motifs that have what appears to be a culturally influenced legibility such as the hearts (though it may be that some of this class of symbols is of the nature of the first category, or perhaps the last). A couple of obvious choices in this might he either the Oak Symbol, or the Earth Star Flower Symbol, both of which are traditional organic motifs with quite specific interpretations.
It might, also be profitable to isolate these motifs, making new Pantacles from them, perhaps incorporation something of their tradition I configuration such as the number of repetitions of the motif in a design or its orientation to the circumference of the Symbols that it most commonly appears in. For example, one might make a Pantacle with four hearts or with four tulips, for the purpose of astrally projecting into it to learn of the specific qualities of that particular motif, and how that information compares to the interpretations given of the Hexen Symbols from which it has been derived. Many of these motifs are of such simple construction that they are often employed in other types of artistic composition, how does this affect our interpretations? By looking into these motifs we may be able to develop new areas of Hexen Magick for 21st Century applications (a Hex to avoid car trouble? Another to avoid bank queues? The potential is unavoidable!)
The final area of investigation is the purely geometric motifs employed in many of these Hexen Symbols. It would be beneficial to investigate many of the traditional images of this nature, as well as geometric arrangements of the organic motifs that also occasionally occur. Images such as the Double Creator’s Star might render interesting details concerning the structure of the symbol base employed in this schema by defining the qualities of six as expressed by the Hexagram designs that taken in comparison with motifs of the other integers may form the basis of extrapolation of new geometric forms with little or no need to deeply investigate their potencies before they be operated, with any degree of accuracy. It may also be interesting to investigate various of the stars that are curious and generic to these Hexen designs. The six leafed star that recurs throughout these Symbols might be an interesting motif to begin with, or else one of the three or four pointed star motifs taken singly, may be useful to investigate as it would make the inclusion of this component in a larger format, more easily calculable in its efficacy.
Another line of investigation might have even been suggested in Experiment 1 (vide supra), where it was suggested that The Whirling Star could be profitably made with seven or eleven arms as well as with the traditional six. It was also implied that there were eleven different possible colors under which it would operate. This implies that a complete set of thirty-three Whirling Stars might conceivably be possible in operation. That would certainly merit some small investigation as to its correctness before being abandoned.
To begin, we have acquired the applications of three values for this Hex (my number is six by the conquerors, and seven by the conquered, but it is eleven by the Magus whilst he wields the fourfold powers of creation). This implies that six-fold stars are for conquering, or dominating something, seven is for being conquered by something and eleven is for works of pure (elemental) Magick. Also, there are eleven colors shown as being operable by this flex, and they definitely indicate a schema, as they are arranged m distinct groupings: Along one long wall are a line of eleven shields, each decorated with the whirling star in different colors. These are grouped into four, three, and four, the first group being, yellow, green, orange and white. The second group is red purple and blue; whilst the last group is silver, black, and light blue). These colors are enough to correspond entirely to our scale of eleven (vide supra): the first group are yellow, green, orange and white- these might correspond to Sol, Venus, Mercury and Unity (white is a symbol of unified purity). The second group are red, purple and blue, which again might correspond to Mars, Jupiter and the Sphere of the fixed Stars (the Zodiac), and finally, the third group is silver, black, grey and light blue, which possibly correspond to Luna, Earth, Saturn and to the Magick Light of Eleven. Thus we might have these qualities implied:
|10||Black||Earth- the Elements|
|11||Light Blue||LVX- ABRAHADABRA|
Assuming that we, are dealing with a symbol that relates to the Air sub-element of Earth, and that we encountered a Vision of the Solar part of the Air of Earth in Experiment 1, we might begin to conclude that time colors used for the Whirling Star might reveal Visions of the other planetary aspects of this symbol. Thus a purple Whirling Star might produce a Vision of the Jupiter of the Air of Earth, an orange Whirling Star might produce the Mercury of the Air of Earth, and so on. Multiplied by the threefold designs suggested, and we may have an inwardly and an outwardly operating Hexen Symbol, as well as one that operates in all four of the Elements or that is specifically designed to render Visions that lead to initiation into the arcanum of this schema.
Perhaps it might also be profitable to attempt to employ the Magick Words that are encountered upon these Hexen Planes, by using them as the basis of a Besprechen, or as a basis for the construction of an Himmelsbrief. It occurs that a spell for the operation of the Whirling Star might begin by calling upon the Elements, or upon Sol, and then it may state its objective and then call upon the Magick Word (as in the Zing spell- vide supra) [I apologize for this rhyme in advance-D.G. M.]:
The Sky and the Earth,
The Sky and the Earth
The Sky and the Earth
Where you meet all things begin,
The Worlds turn to start again;
WHIRLZ, WHIRLZ, WHIRLZ!
Perhaps the letters of the word might be employed as an acronym, supplying the initial letters of a spell, or the initial letter of the lines of a rhyming charm, or rune. It is also very likely that there is some method that may be discovered for the construction of these spells and charms, but upon that we can only speculate. The Besprechen and the Himmelsbrief are both practices of basic sorcery, being the low magick of Hex, and obviously used for those simple objectives that are always the aim of these types of magicks. The efficacy of their operation stems in part from the strangeness of their language, and from the traditional weight behind their proper method of oral transmission from Master to Neophyte. The Himmelsbrief are probably the evolution of earlier Germanic practices involving writing which until the first millennium was often considered magick in its own right. For this reason it may be that their proper time of application is in the past, perhaps the Hexenmeisters even intended this obviously oral tradition as a sort of Ark wherein the essential symbols of Hex would be certain to be safe through the centuries until the atmosphere of enlightenment permitted their most thorough investigation.
Finally, these studies have inspired me to construct my own configuration of Hexen Symbol, to be employed for the acquisition of Wealth. Its component elements are explained: The central eight-pointed star is half orange, standing for articulate awareness, and for intelligent shrewdness, and half green for good fortune. This is circumscribed by a yellow circle for success (this is the inner zone and the whole is indicative of intellectual harmony in material exchanges, and for the awareness to seize upon fortunate opportunity).
Around this zone are four roosters, one for each of the Elements (Red= Fire; Yellow=Air; Blue= Water and Black= Earth), these are alternated by four diamonds half purple for worldly influence, and half black for material expression. These diamonds are thus twin triangles implying a stability behind the material influence that they promote. The second zone is circumscribed by a blue circle representing a calm, stable expression of these forces, the vigilance over our Elements has extended to the sphere of the Signs (its natural development). The outermost rim, the third zone representing the means by which this Hex is to manifest its influence, is regularly divided by eight yellow thunderbolts, the energy of this Hex is to be sudden, passing and successful- enjoyable but transient and moving quickly onto the next, opportunity. The successful expression of intelligence, The multiplicity of the Thunderbolts promotes this repetition whilst extending the original eight fold star at the centre to the limits of the universe, symbolize by the black rim that implies the material limits of the central unified expression.
Note on the Symbols employed in this operation and the colors used to construct them,.
Experiment 1:The Whirling Star
Upon a white ground, for the purity of newness; a black circle, symbolizing the material limits of the individual universe, circumscribes and contains the energy of six yellow scalene triangles. These figures, all identical, represent a balanced progress made from a wide and stable basis, the direction of the movement is towards conscious clarity, imaged by the number of shapes and their color.
Experiment 2: The Pomegranates
Upon a white ground, showing a lack of false intention, three pomegranates are alternated with three sprigs with six long leaves each in a central zone that surrounds a golden yellow six pointed star, upon a circle of royal blue. The third and outermost zone is a blue circle upon it,, inside with a black circle at its extreme circumference, between these two being three groups of three long leaves, arranged and aligned with the pomegranates, alternated by three single long leaves, aligned with the sprigs. The central star represents the movement of the worldly position, the pomegranates, red for force and effort, represent prosperity, and the two-toned green leaves represent fertility, sprouting from black stems showing the material fertility that is sought [note that 18 leaves implies that this materialism is but illusion!] The twelve leaves at the circumference symbolize the orderly sprouting of then various blessings into the world of the operator, symbolized by the extreme black border.
Experiment 3: The Rooster; Strength and Courage
The Rooster is a symbol of watchfulness, a prerequisite of courage is caution (fools run in where angels fear to tread). The body of the rooster is red for energy and force, the tail displays this power mixed with orange for tension generated by the need for maintenance of a position of strength- the powerful must display their power and their willingness to use it. The black dots at the extremity of the tail are the material affairs wherein this strength is exercised. The wings are royal blue, plumed with blue for the noble motive of true force with faith as its foil. The heads are yellow for clarity of consciousness, but plumed with orange for the nervous energy of constant vigilance, the beaks and combs are golden for the successful application of force, and the victory of strength over weakness, but the rooster has black eyes that are fixed upon material ends. Behind the vigilant rooster is the source of its power, a four pointed star of blue, representing righteousness, crossed by four black lines extending the righteousness into the four elemental worlds, which remain uncolored because they are as yet untarnished by the application of power into their arenas, the rooster is yet to give the alarm that sets the awful power in motion, so the elements remain in their spiritual, un-manifest form, and give the appearance of being myriad material matters, symbolized by the 32 tiny circles that circumference the star and cross. The entire symbol is circumscribed by a single black line implying a simple constant expression o f energy.