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My friends in the occult have often told me they don’t have a magickal name, or they’re not really satisfied with the one they chose. I’ve helped many friends and acquaintances choose a magickal name and wanted to write a helpful guide for neophytes or even self-taught journeymen occultists who might not know how to do this.
It is easy to outgrow a name after achieving success in your pathworking, and it’s also natural. One should remember that once you have a name you never really lose its potential or magick. Holding on to a name after it has become boring, repugnant or corny to you without replacing it can signify stagnation. When you find a name that represents your will and your role of participation in the great work, you will feel a sense of confidence and ease with it, and you should feel powerful, calm or elated when you tell others your name. (feelings will differ depending on your focus in life.)
Why Choose a Magickal Name?
It lets you choose who you are. You don’t get to choose your name when you’re born. You can shape your whole future with a name. Try it and you’ll see people treat you differently. In the Kabbalistic numerology, Gematria, each letter has a value which can form correspondences to other words and a number. It’s believed to have an effect on ones day to day affairs in manners which are not insignificant – it can shape and alter destiny.
Name changes are especially common in Hollywood where a person’s name is synonymous with their wares – its the box they frame their image in. This does not normally qualify as a magickal name, since most Hollywood name changes are done on the basis of impressing other people with their uniqueness or affiliation with a certain culture, rather than as a conscious act of Will. A well crafted magickal name is also viable across time and space universally, rather than just being a soundbyte intended towards local popular culture.
Encryption with AIK BQR, the Gematria of the Nine Chambers, or other proven numerology counts which bear significance are best. For example, Aleister Crowley chose the name Perdurabo, Latin for “I will endure until the end” in keeping with the Golden Dawn tradition of choosing a motto as a name and its magickal number in AIQ BQR form of Gematria is 557. In some societies the name is shortened to its initials and preceded by Frater or Soror.
As an example, m1thr0s noticed his chosen magickal name is a loaded name – he started getting into all kinds of irrational conflicts with people after taking it. It’s a very masculine name. The idea of completion is kind of inferred in the name because Tau is the omega point – the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This sort of name is the name of a closer – which is what m1thr0s is – someone who ties up loose ends and destroys old paradigms.
So words are powerful. This is what Abrahadababra itself hints at, being a magickal word used in curing illness. A force lies behind every word you speak or every act you engage in. The energy is happening while you are beginning to create your name.
Conversion to some traditions requires a name change, for example, in Sanatana Dharma, a convert always takes a Sanskrit name to signify the rebirthing process. Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Sikhism all require or at least advise choosing a name before taking their first step into the process of conversion. and commitment
Anyone serious enough about choosing a magickal name that will do them any good has a lot of work ahead of them. It is neither simple nor easy to correctly choose a name for magickal purposes. It is for this reason that the Buddhists of Japan, tantricists, charge upwards of a million Yen for names for deceased family. These names are intended to prevent return by utilizing long complex names in archaic kanji mostly unpronounceable by laymen.
It is not uncommon for an individual, especially in certain shamanic/tantric cultures, to have more than a handful of names, given after certain milestone events, for purposes such as abating illness or curses, and for simply having the will to choose a name given a passing of a certain level of spiritual development.
How to Start
Explore different languages and cultures, and examine how they treat names, words and nicknames
As a Mutational Alchemist, I find syncreticism is perfectly acceptable as per the magician’s will, but bear in mind you might catch flak for taking an Egyptian name when you are Irish or Chinese by descent.
Be prepared to defend your choice if confronted. Not everyone accepts the idea that race is a scientific fallacy, (even though it is) and adopting a culture you are not related to by blood has to be done with style and finesse, or people will probably make fun of you.
Decide if you want to keep your magickal name private, to be shared only with other occultists, your own coven/house or yourself, or if it will be a more public name that you use daily on message boards or have legally changed. You can have more than one magickal name.
You should always check the Gematria value of a name via one or another traditionally reputable systems – Hebrew is fine. Explore different spellings to extract the most auspicious form of the name before you decide to take it.
Decide if you would like a well established name or one that is completely unique to you. There’s no hard rule on this. Aleister Crowley took the name Baphomet as his name in the O.T.O. He became Baphomet 729 towards the end of his reign as Outer Head of the Order.
“I had taken the name Baphomet as my motto in the O.T.O. For six years and more I had tried to discover the proper way to spell this name. I knew that it must have eight letters, and also that the numerical and literal correspondences must be such as to express the meaning of the name in such a ways as to confirm what scholarship had found out about it, and also to clear up those problems which archaeologists had so far failed to solve. “
The magickal name is not a screen name or a nickname that describes some quirk. The name should denote the place you want to get to in some point in the future. It should represent not who you are, but who and what you wish to become. It’s something that you work up to. It’s much better to shoot for the impossible than something you see as attainable.
Otherwise a magickal name can be anything you like. It may represent knowledge you want to attain, or they represent standards of morality that people want to achieve – dedication, loyalty or any number of things. It calls for an honest level of self analysis and self appraisal to try to ascertain your strengths and weaknesses and figure out where you can strengthen yourself to be a better person and of better service to the Work in general.
Finally, a magickal name is taken on for life. You should feel free to add to it but it is not something that is frivolously discarded. Even if you should do so, a strong and powerful magickal name will continue to haunt you until you acknowledge it or death takes you.
First let’s get clear – I don’t think the meaning is outdated, but at the same time I don’t think it’s a very useful term. The occult has just become so meaningless as the hordes assail it with their cheap t-shirts and ripped off art. A few weeks ago m1thr0s and I were going over the term as we always do with any high powered buzzword that triggers strong opinions in people or has become attached to stupid culture in some way.
Our work is completely redefining what the occult means, despite most occultists being unaware of what has been occurring within The Abrahadabra Institute. Hell, to be perfectly honest, most so called occultists wouldn’t understand the paradigm shifts if they were aware of them. I’m currently writing a series meant to address the foundational elements occultists should have had access to as children, but didn’t, in order to fill in the blanks for Da’ath malnourished adults.
A plethora of stupidity out there surrounds the term “occult”, and not only from the “We hate you, let Jesus into your heart” crowd, either. Most of the flak and misunderstanding is coming from the “pagans” or “lightworkers” but it’s not fair to blame all of them, as the herd behavior is also just typical of humanity in general. Humans are self important, immature, sloppy and dangerous animals.
Decades go by where popular culture gets obsessed with one mysterious and exotic authentic practice or people and the magick and power starved hordes help themselves to it like it’s their own personal fucking buffet. I call it cultural rape, and the occult is experiencing this attack in a major way. It does no good for the culture it appropriates – the sacred arts of Japan were being turned into a circus during the “ninja craze” of the 80’s. The damage it deals is practically irreparable, like the cultural equivalent of radioactive waste, the bullshit just never goes away.
Native Americans got the short end of the stick when a plethora of plastic shamans tried to hijack their religion for their own stupid, shallow and self serving purposes. This hasn’t actually stopped – once it begins and no one firmly takes a stand against it, it will continue. (American Indians usually attack back through disinformation.)
I could go on, but it suffices to say that none of these culture addicts will ever apprehend true knowledge and magick themselves – it is not for them. The occult and all of its trappings have become the newest craze, spurred on by the Harry Potter crowd approaching their teen and adult years and all of the free flowing parental allowance that goes along with it.
The diseases of humankind, smug self satisfaction and comfortable ignorance are trying to sink their dull claws into the occult, but it’s a slippery, dangerous slope, in fact far more dangerous than any of the interlopers could ever imagine. I don’t think that it’s attributable to any good intentions on the part of maguses anywhere, or even The Great Work. Distracting from the real problems facing humanity with cheapness and vulgarity is the modality of Choronzon and should not be trusted.
The powers of the Magus in the hands of dullards and dimwits can never be allowed – it’s the sort of thing that causes life itself to crumble. It got to the point where early this year both m1thr0s and I wanted to cut off ties to the occult and just go “hey we have this practice, this is what we do” – in regards to Mutational Alchemy – and leave the occult right out of it. I’m not sure I’m in love with the term occult anymore, not if I have to share space with a bunch of mouthbreathers and pinched dullards.
Kali. The ancient name of India’s most powerful goddess evokes images of death and the bloody dismemberment of demons.
The story of Kali is a parable illustrative of the practice of suppressing the restless mind, that enemy that keeps us from enlightenment and joy. She is called forth by the gods to do battle against a peculiar kind of demon, one which resides within many of us, called Raktabija, (lit. “seed of blood”) Every time the gods slay him, the blood drops fall on the battle field and up springs another wretched demon.
Siva, deep in meditation, cannot be disturbed, as doing so can cause calamity for the one disturbing him. the gods plead with Parvati, his wife, and she becomes Kali, the fierce aspect. Reddened eyes, fangs, a lolling tongue representing the Shakti energy, black skin, wild unbound hair, naked, riding a lion, she attacks Raktabija by spreading her tongue over the battlefield, drinking all of the blood as the clones are slain.
Raktabija whines and pleads that she doesn’t fight fairly, similar to how our own mind whines about how life is unfair, with its inevitable rush towards the shaman’s death of enlightenment. She kills him and drinks the last of his blood, and then, drunk on the demon’s blood, begins a rampage across the cosmos. Siva is awoken by the chaos of the scene and the alarmed demigods urge him to stop her. He hides among the carnage. As she crushes the bodies and tears them apart, she steps on him and annihilates his form, which causes her to immediately transform into an auspicious aspect, as she realizes what she has done to her beloved husband. She brings him back to life, effectively rebooting the universe.
Her worship began in Bharat, (India), as the supreme mother, one to take comfort in, a loving figure who embodies everything, everywhere, including the forces of nature like death, time and passion. In the masculine sects devoted to Siva or Vishnu, she is given a high place of honor as the most powerful weapon of the most high, and as the fierce aspect of Parvati, wife of Siva in India’s most popular sect. To the Tantric adept, she represents supreme ultimate reality, bliss, ascension to godhead and is the one to whom we must ultimately surrender to safely and appropriately meet the cascading onslaught of an ever changing world.
Strong, Fierce, Naked Woman
In the mid 1990′s I worked for a couple of lesbians, one of whom was a pro psychic. I was a visual merchandiser at their metaphysical shop in Seattle. I first encountered a statuary murti of Kali in bronze at the back of the shop, and, besides a picture of baby Krishna in the ritual room, it was the only murti in the shop. Remembering my upbringing at the beautiful ISKCON temple grounds in Vancouver, Canada, I knew the proper action was to decorate the altar out of respect for her power. I went outside and found some marigolds planted by the local city council. This had the curious effect of upsetting one of the two women, who insisted that I shouldn’t be picking flowers, while the psychic defended me, saying I was only trying to show respect. I simply told them if you didn’t pick marigold heads they would stop blooming so profusely anyways. Kali seemed to know this as well, although her collection of demon heads and transmuted blood dharma may perhaps yield a very different crop.
I remember my teacher Yashoda when I was five years old telling me the fearsome story of Kali to us girls. The naked and violent woman who killed the demons and saved the world seemed like a difficult bargain, and I didn’t feel too confident in the demigods abilities anymore. When I was much older as an adult, a Buddhist told me only the fierce aspects of deity would be useful in the Kali Yuga – the age of the demon Kali, not the goddess Kali (The demon’s name is pronounced KAY-LEE instead of KAH-LEE). We were all enthralled by the story – Hindu tales are filled with incredibly wrought imagery and distinctive archetypal riches. At the time I was only familiar with one other strong and fierce woman in stories – the demon Putana who killed infants she babysat in Vrindavan, and who tried to kill Krishna. This image had left an indelible impression on my mind, after all, who could wish to harm the adorable and radiant baby Krishna? This was the Lord of Creation we awoke to worship among splendor, singing and harmony each sunrise at the Ashram.
Krishna defeats the demon’s plans, and sucks the life right out of her poisoned breast. The beautiful woman turns into her hideous demon form, and it was pictured as above in the book. It was really horrible to look at then as it is now. I wondered if this powerful goddess Kali that the great gods had called forth was also ugly – the difference between demon and goddess seemed fuzzy at best. So I asked about this new terror, Kali, “Was she ugly?” Yashoda seemed taken aback and answered, “No! She was very beautiful. She was the most beautiful goddess and the most powerful. She defeated the demon Mahishasura and saved the universe.” This caused me to be quite pensive, because I had to consider the nature of beauty, and why you could both save and endanger the universe in the same story. I had not yet given a proper accounting to the factor of Siva.
Kali is the model of the very best mother, the terror of demons, the warm and wet embrace of life. She conquers all in her mastery of time. She is death, yet the joyful death of eternal life and rebirth in her ecstasy. The poet Ramprasad Sen, considered a Hindu saint, was very devoted to Kali, whose blackness he likened to the color of the sky or ocean, which appears dark from afar, but when you take in your hands, is clear. His entire life was devoted to the worship of Kali, through song, sacrifice and poetry. His poetry is beautiful.
Why is Mother Kali so radiantly black?
Because she is so powerful, that even mentioning her name destroys delusion.
Because she is so beautiful,
Lord Shiva, Conqueror of death, lies blissfully vanquished, beneath the red soled feet.
There are subtle hues of blackness,
But her bright complexion is the mystery that is utterly black, overwhelmingly black, wonderfully black.
When she awakens in the lotus shrine within the heart’s secret cave, her blackness becomes the mystic illumination that causes the twelve petal blossom there to glow more intensely than golden embers.
Her lovely form is the incomparable Kali- black blacker than the King of Death.
Whoever gazes upon this radiant blackness falls eternally in love and feels no attraction to any other, discovering everywhere only her.
This poet sighs deeply, “Where is this brilliant lady, this black light beyond luminosity?
Though I have never seen her, simply hearing her name, the mind becomes absorbed completely in her astonishing reality.
Om Kali! Om Kali! Om Kali!
Achieving the perfection of the body of light is part and parcel of achieving union and perfect harmony with Kali. This is exactly what her yantra is telling us. Kali and Siva comes from a very ancient class of archetype, probably prehistoric.
In recorded history in the Vedas she is called upon to win wars and defeat enemies of the worshiper, not unlike Inanna’s role in ancient Sumer, the Graeco-Roman Cybele, Egypt’s Sekhmet, or Persia’s Anahita. While Inanna, Sekhmet, Cybele, Anahita and Durga both share certain characteristics of the archetypal mother goddess humans have identified – association with lions, might and stunning beauty, the goddess Kali differs slightly, she is both more alien and more personal at the same time.
Kali’s lover characteristics are understated, we don’t see her in the act of creation that we know. She is depicted tearing demons apart, having a heyday with tearing even their already lifeless corpses apart so that the gods begin to panic. This is when she kills her husband, Siva who has thrown himself into her path in an attempt to stop her rampage and stabilize the world.
In this act we are shown an aspect of Kali named Dhumavati in the Mahavidyas doctrine of the 10 aspects of Devi, meaning literally “She who widows herself”. After crushing his chest she brings him back to life, and at this instant becomes one of her ten aspects – Tara, an auspicious creatrix. Kali is defined by care that takes extreme measures, not by her delicacy. Indians have tried to convey her vision, which encompasses all of femininity in one terrible, powerful image.
In another version, Siva hides among the piles of demon corpses and shape shifts into an infant. Upon hearing his cries, Kali stops to breastfeed the child, showing her role as the mother, unable to resist the maternal instinct.
Known as the great mother, Kali is said to nurture universe before birth and after death. The same goes for the tiny microcosm of a human soul. She is the one who takes care of us when we die and before we are born. Of what relevance is she to us in our day to day life then?
The spirit, our spirit, which is unborn, is always in Kali’s direct realm and within her powers to mend and rejuvenate. Experiences which try the heart and bring us towards her, tipping the balance of karma in our favor in return for earthly injustices committed against us.
Kali and Siva predate the Vedas and the presence of Brahma and Vishnu in India, a remnant of an older time period where Tantra was popular under the ruler-ship of the Vratyas – the native India’s female counterpart to the male Hierophants of the Rites of Eleusis. It’s not clear when the marriage of Kali and Siva occurred, or whether the religion was always as it is today – with worship of the yoni and lingam central to the theology. This is certainly a response to the importance of the sexual act in spirituality.
Kali is intrinsically linked to the 64 current, as she is the supreme goddess from which the 64 dakinis emanate and surround Siva. Temples dedicated to the Tantric worship of Siva and his consort have him at the center, surrounded by the dakinis, sometimes in a courtyard as at Hirapur, pictured below. Dakinis were linked with the sky and flying, and so the temple had no roof.
One example of matrimonial revisionism occurring in history was the story of Nergal and Ereskigal in Northern and Southern Mesopotamia. Nergal was an Northern war god, identified with pestilence, and as the sun, and especially the noonday sun, a terrible thing in the arid and hot Iraqi plain. Ereskigal was a Sumerian chthonic deity, the ruler of the underworld and a powerful force in her own right, who could bring the dead back to life en masse, (think zombie apocalypse) a trick which she threatened the sky gods with from time to time. Both Ereskigal and Nergal were much too powerful to ignore or diminish, and so a marriage was arranged through storytelling and repetition. The tale remains as one of the great tales of the ancient world. Such marriages help us to identify the character of particular nations.
Similarly, we can identify Kali by her marriage to Siva – whether or not it was a revisionist accounting of prehistoric beliefs. Siva is the destroyer, who can annihilate whole universe. Kali is brought in only for special cases where absolute unbridled ferocity is necessary, in the case of the major demon that the triumvirate cannot stop.
In Saivism, Siva and Sakti are said to be joined like two cotyledons in a seed. When Kali steps on Siva, the masculine force of heaven, and kills him, they are united and the powers of creation and destruction are at their peak. The reason for this is because Kali is the one who waits after death. Siva interrupts and closes the infinite cycle of destruction by entering her realm completely with his death. It only lasts for a moment, but that moment is golden. Kali reveals Siva’s unlimited power in a way like no other image.
Kali translates as “The Black One”, while Siva is called Mallikarjuna ” The Lord White as Jasmine”. In Western Hermeticism, Kali with Siva would represent the union of the fifth element’s two parts, Black Akasha and White Akasha. Kali is represented by the Red Hibiscus flower. This is used in offerings to her throughout India and outside in her many foreign temples and shrines. The medicinal properties include lowering blood pressure and they contain a high content of vitamin C.
Sri Krsna as Kali
It is not without coincidence that Krsna’s name means “black” as there are two reasons for equating Krsna with Kali. The first is that Krsna is repeatedly named as the supreme god, as Kali is in Shakti belief. Kalya is given as Krsna’s name when he is represented as the popular Jagganath (literally “Lord of the Universe”) form, a small limbless idol with large white eyes and a red painted smile accompanied by his brother Balarama and his sister Subhadra. This form of worship is very old. Originally the idols were comprised of Jagganath and his consort, until the white skinned Balarama was added to appease Saivite sects. In Tantra, Krsna is said to be a Lila expression of the goddess Lalita Tripurasundari, the red goddess, underscoring her importance. (lit. “She Who Plays” – another of the ten devi forms called the Mahavidyas) She is considered as a red flower in all forms.
Kali is famously said to be the goddess who does not give us what we expect. Instead she gives us what we need. This goes for all life, everywhere, which it is her task to sustain indefinitely. So what we get is an archetype that transcends earth into outer space and exists outside the boundaries of time. She cares about us only inasmuch as it balances whole universe. If she did not care about entire universe in respect to individual wants, she would not be known as the Great Mother.
We find that the TwinStar behaves in much the same way, given the limited amount of time with which we have had a chance to observe its effects on viewers. It goes straight for your weakest link, and pushes you through the dharma, sometimes violently – especially if you do not have right thinking or right actions. We have observed that sometimes it does not want a viewer examining it, other times it does. People say remarkable things about it, then seem to completely forget what they have done or why Abrahadabra is important. It happens so frequently – and never to long time participants – that it has become a comedy routine we all sort of laugh about when a newbie jumps on board and begins waxing poetic about the TwinStar. Like the devotees of Kali, they are in for far more than they bargained for, as it sets to work absorbing their dharma.
To those of us who have seen the sparkling effulgence of the TwinStar in action, the power is on par with Siva’s tandav, and it would seem a good match with Kali’s ancient sigil. A few weeks ago m1thr0s decided to revisit Kali’s yantra, as a gift for his young daughter. What he found was an extremely important marriage between the Tetractys and the Kali Yantra, which pushes the Body of Light topic into the spotlight.
Her yantra parallels the doctrine of the five koshas, which is of immense importance to students of the Body of Light, so she is more than a simple adjutant of the most high consciousness, although this is half of god. She is an important teacher pertaining to the map towards star consciousness, which as of yet we don’t know very much about. Below is the image of the TwinStar and the Kali Yantra. Note the five rings which I will talk about in later curriculum from The Abrahadabra Institute – these are the koshas, the layers of the Body of Light.
Warning…the image you are about to view will accelerate your dharma!
In the Vedas, most importantly to be understood for this image we are viewing, Kali is named as the black tongue of Agni, the fire god. Agni’s importance cannot be overstated. He is the first god mentioned in the oldest Indian text, the Rig Veda. The Hermeticists refer to Fire as the first element. (At least in the tetragrammal system where fire=spirit). I’m proposing that the TwinStar can be primarily identified with Agni and with the secret alchemical formula for fire in this image, Kali reveals the true nature of the TwinStar.