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November/December 2016 / Gift Guide Issue

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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: first matter


First Matter: The original, unpurified material that is transformed in an alchemical operation. In physical alchemy, the first matter is lead; in spiritual alchemy, the unenlightened human.
source: The Thoth Companion, by Michael Osiris Snuffin

First Matter: A mixture of the Serpent and the Menstrum. Used in alchemy and sex magick.
source: Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig

First Matter:

Together, the effluvia of the Lion and the Eagle, is the "First Matter," the original Creation. This First Matter is to be transmuted by the magickal imagination, by aspiration and inspiration and by the "Fire" which is the ecstasy. Ecstasy is, as it were, the magickal fire for transforming all into inspiration and aspiration.


Carl Llewellyn Weschcke


What is the Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is an initiatory magical group that was founded in London in 1888. It is a society that is dedicated to philosophical, spiritual, and psychic evolution. The history lecture of the Order states that, "The Order ...
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Celtic Religion
Druidism can be used synonymously with the phrases Celtic religion and Celtic magic. In order to enter into this magico-religious system, a familiarity with mythology is necessary. Celtic mythology is best represented in the Irish Book of Invasions ...
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Where Did Runes Come From?
Over the last century or so, several theories have arisen on the origin of the runes, each having a strong body of supporters at different times. The nineteenth-century Danish rune scholar L. F. A. WimmerM, struck by the obvious similarity between ...
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Why Remember Past Lives?
Every spiritual philosophy and every psychological discipline, in one way or another, conveys the directive of "Know thyself." To begin and end the knowing of ourselves with this present lifetime is equivalent to looking at the surface of the ocean ...
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The System of Chakras
A chakra is a spinning vortex of energy created within ourselves by the interpenetration of consciousness and the physical body. Through this combination, chakras become centers of activity for the reception, assimilation and transmission of life ...
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The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot Review
Summary: Although the book that comes with the deck clearly illustrates how to do divinations, this deck is clearly pretty distant from most Tarot decks. However, it will be of extreme interest to ceremonial magicians, especial aficionados of the ...
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Eucharistic Rite of the Elixir
A sex magick rite involving  the oral exchange of the partners’ shared and transmuted sexual fluids. It can be accomplished by sensuously licking and sucking "the First Matter" from the "Retort" and then holding it in the "Mother Eagle" ...
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Review of the Celtic Oracle
Summary: The twenty-two oversized cards of the Celtic Oracle provide both an excellent divination tool as well as an introduction to Celtic studies. It elegantly combines Celtic astrology with the Ogham (or Celtic alphabet) and tree symbolism ...
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Techniques for Astral Projection
There are two techniques which are frequently called Astral Projection. The first one is frequently mistaken for Astral Projection but is nothing of the kind. It is actually Mental Projection. In Mental Projection you send your mind and senses away ...
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Review of the Shapeshifter Tarot
Summary: A stunning and transformative artistic deck that is good as an additional deck with a focus on major life changes and magickal work including meditation, shapeshifting, and spellwork. However there are some flaws and the differences between ...
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Domino Divination
Divination with Dominoes according to certain rules and values assigned to individual dominos. Each domino I either blank bears one to six dots. As a result, meanings are attached to each domino as follows: Blank: the Querent, or person asking ...
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The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
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