evocation table

evocation table

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Black Handled Knife: Bane of Evil Spirits



The Black handled knife: Bane of Evil Spirits





Traditional Greek/Cretan style black goat horn knife



   The reproduction, creation, and proper use of magical weapons have all been passions of mine for many years now. In the study of the grimoires I have enjoyed uncovering the similarities of various magical instruments such as the hazel wand, Magical/Solomonic Seal, magical vestments, and the magical sword. Within the genre of the classical traditions, I have poured hours into research, experimentation, and divination to find out which of these magical tools will best serve me in the operations I undertake.

 Usually, I follow the exact recipes mentioned for constructing and consecrating magical tools if I’m working from a specific grimoire.  A few of the magician’s tools, (such as the ones I mentioned above) however are described in countless grimoires with quite a bit of variation between them. Many other scholarly and practical magicians have written on the subject and shared their own creations and points of view on the matter. Their efforts along with notable girmoric authors and scholars have really paved the way for others to find what they are looking for with ease and clarity.


Illustrations of Solomonic magical weapons and implements



It probably doesn’t need to be mentioned that much of my research goes beyond simple academic interest and theorizing. I believe the ritual implements serve a necessary purpose and fulfill a specific function. In some instances they provide the necessary protection and defense against some very (possible) harmful situations and beings. In such cases it would be a rare occasion should one ever need to wield or use such a weapon beyond a cautionary symbol of authority. I try to err on the side of caution though, when spiritual interaction is concerned. It’s better to be more prepared than not in these circumstances.


As with the magical sword, the magical black hilted knife should be apprehended as a potent symbol of sever authority and obedience,- and possibly punishment for hostel spirits. It is most certainly connected to the harsher aspects of Saturn and Mars.The “modern” grimoires say to construct it is on the day and hour of Saturn. However, you’ll find that older Greek sources say the knife should be made on the day and hour of Mars. After going back and forth between my sources I propose one could try creating the dagger on one day and recon-consecrating it on another. Another idea would be to possibly forge the dagger on the day and hour of Mars and consecrating and adding and symbols or sigils on the day and hour of Saturn. 

The Hemlock juice mentioned as part of the forging quenching process is a poisonous plant associated with Saturn. As a leathal form of consumption, it  was known since ancient Greece and other lands to send man into the otherworld. The black cat which is found in later versions of the Key of Solomon, was to have its blood added to the temper of the metal as well.
 I’ve encountered mention of Greek and Roman ritualistic uses of knives of which I will expound on further below. I recalled earlier reading that priests would use a 'black handled knife' to cut turf and possibly the wood that was used for an altar (or sacrifice fire), and the ivory or white handled knife was used in the animal sacrifice.
There was also some mention that the black handled knife may have been more of a hatchet and would have had to be rather large and heavy.
Stylized "athame" black handle dagger with sigils done by Gary of OMEGA ARTWORKS

 Much of the black handled knife has already been written and blogged about so I’ll do my best to (hopefully) add some new information and ideas to the interested magician/grimorist.



First let’s take a look at the parts of the knife and how they are made: 

1.       Material(s):  

A finely made damascus steel knife with black horn handle. 
Steel/iron …forged….steel and/or iron will have many obvious connotations to power, weapons foremost, and war. Metal/Iron is sacred to Aries or Mars. It seems the handle that was most commonly used was bone/ ivory or a goat or sheep’s (black) horn. The horns of animals have been used since ancient times for tools and ritual implements. Horns are typically associated with power, strength, and a productive nature. The very forging of a blade is an interesting process; a work of alchemy and artistry. The violence and force needed to temper a blade by hand is enough to put the intent of the tool into action.

 I’m actually a rather snobbish sword collector and practice my martial art’s style of Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu (swordsmanship) in the Japanese tradition. I pay particular attention to not only how a sword is made but what types of steel(s) are used, and how the forging process is conducted. The melding, shaping, and combining of raw elements together is a sight to behold.

You'll find lore that the Fae, or Celtic spirits/gods/faery are known to dread steel and treat it as a bane to their existence. In fact all spirits, especially ones closest to the earth are weary of tempered steel and bladed weapons in general.

 In the excellent work, “The Magical Treatise of Solomon, or Hygromanteia (Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic Series)”
 Ioannis Marathakis quotes Nikolaos Politis describing a tradtion from Messara in 1904:


“Somebody was going to Khrousa with a friend of his. In some place they stopped for a while and then they separated. The moment they separated fairies surrounded him and they were talking to him. He did not understand what they were saying, but he had heard that if one beds a  black handled knife into the ground, they leave. Luckily, he had such a knife, he bedded it into the ground and they left.”


2.      Design and symbols/Sigils:

Wiccan perspective meaning of the sigils
There are some correlations between the grimoires of sigils and words to be engraved on the blade and/or handle. Many are difficult to decipher and understand in any direct sense. There have been theories and attempts made by various scholars and working magicians. Many of the symbols or sigils look like corrupted Hebrew letters as well as numbers which may have been measurement notes in some cases. However, the few which look to be direct and intended magical sigils seem to speak of “separating”, “dividing, “scattering”, and “dispatching” whatever they happen to come in contact with in the spiritual and possibly the physical as well. The other sigils have references to Saturn and Mars. After inscribing various sigils and using the black knife, The sigils seem to denote the severance of energies which would work well for “cutting the line in the earth” for the circle to make an unbreakable, spiritual, barricade as well as divide any assembled spiritual energies back into the void.

3.      Mixtures, herbs, liquids, and prayers added:   

Now with occurring the blood of a black cat, (and no I don’t think it was “code” for something else.) Black cats are symbols of the controlled division between the worlds: Life and death, intelligent attentiveness and balance between the physical world and the world of spirit.  There is a humane way to obtain such an ingredient without killing or even really harming the said feline. Taking blood from people and animals is a common practice in the healthcare field but may take some practice and knowledge for any lay person. If available, I would suggest having a friendly vet or doctor do it for you and only take a reasonable amount so as not to cause the animal much discomfort. You can also purchase hyperdermic needles and go on YouTube and study online to learn how to extract the blood yourself if you wish. Obviously there is some risk to injuring the furry animal and I would suggest you obtain it from a cat you plan on having in your family or houshodl for a while. Magicians tend to likeor have cats, at least many do. Well I myself have a black cat. Seriously, not much “juice of Hemlock” and “Blood of black cat” is needed to absorb a sufficient amount within the chemical structure of the steel blade under extreme heat. You’ll get the needed mixture of molecules to have a very sufficiently “spiritually lethal” blade. Hemlock,is referring to one or two species of highly poisonous perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the family Apiaceae, native to Europe and the Mediterranean region as Conium maculatum, and to southern Africa as Conium.

Poisonous Hemlock was formerly used as a method of execution. In Greece, Hemlock juice was the substance the famous philosopher, Socrates ingested when he was sentenced to death. I caution the magus to be EXTREAMLY cautious if and when deciding to use this ingredient for your magical knife. There are no specific antidotes available for the toxin which is produced by this plant so you handle it at your own risk!
Overdoses can produce paralysis and loss of speech, followed by depression of the respiratory function, and then death. However, if you are still wishing to obtain this plant to extract the juices from, you can find them at the below websites:

http://www.herbalfire.com/poison_hemlock.htm



The creation or consecration process doesn't end there. Usually, the knife is  then blessed with holy water and/or run through sacred incense which has also been consecrated to magical workings. The item is kept safe in a wrapping of black silk.
Most ancient magical Greek texts that mention the black handled knife say it should be made from the horn of a he-goat. It is used to assist with making the pen, parchment AND the circle. David Rankine also mentions it was used in cases of divination, as found in in a Talmudic passage by Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki)

The strongest argument and tradition supporting the make, appearance and use of the magical black handle knife comes from Greece and mainly the island of Crete. During my research I found that knife making is still a very proud tradition and the quality of knives that are made there are highly prized heirlooms and works of exquisite craftsmanship. The handles are still primarily made from goat horns and white bone.



Blades of CRETE:

On an Island south of Greece (practically between Greece and Egypt) is located a place of immense occult lore and foundation for some occult tradtions that are scattered through the grimoires, especially in its use of weapons against spirits.  The Island name of Crete can be found surfacing in a few occult references, Dittany of Crete” is an oregano type plant that was said to be beneficial for manifesting goetic spirits. The knifes which were manufactured in this tiny region were often of high sentimental value and personal worth. The blades would have poems and songs inscribed on them. They were used for defense and customary wear by betrothed or married Cretan women.


The Cretan Dagger in Manners. Customs and Popular Beliefs of Crete  (all information found on related website)

“The importance of the Cretan dagger's symbolic value in the social life of Crete survived even until recently.
 

From a semiological point of view, the dagger indicated to other men that the girl was betrothed or married and that she belonged to one and only man.

As a symbolism, it reminded the girl herself that she ought to be devoted to her husband and that the price she would pay for any infidelity would be her own life. However, in addition to its symbolic significance, the dagger also had practical value, because the young Cretan woman would be able to defend herself and her dignity when in danger.

For the success of the wedding ritual and the stable foundation of the new family, Cretan customs prescribed earlier that a small black - hilted dagger be placed on the bride's shoe before and during the wedding ceremony, so that the "spells" of those envying her fortune would not work.

Earlier, they used to believe in Crete that if the couple held a black - hilted dagger during the wedding ceremony, it would be able to counteract any "spells" that might have been cast on them aiming at the solution of the marriage.

Finally, after the wedding ceremony the newly - wed couple had to etch a cross on the threshold of their house with a black - hilted dagger, so that evil spirits would be prevented from entering and haunting it.

The symbolic significance of the dagger and its great metaphysical value in protecting humans against the fiendish powers of the invisible world and "ill - fated moments" was deeply rooted in Crete .

Tiny black - hilted daggers were used in manufacturing talismans for young children and talismans for protecting epileptics from the bad influence of the moon and the possessed from the pernicious influence of demons.

Furthermore, when a woman lost one of her children, she used to hang small black - hilted daggers with crosses etched on their hilts around her other children's necks as talismans, so that the Grim Reaper would not take them too. 


Engraved Cretan black horn knife


The Cretan Dagger and Magical Ceremonies

Daggers, always black - hilted, since black - hilted daggers were feared by the demons, played a leading part in the practice of magic in the sublunar world of sorcerers.

The sorcerer, master of love and hatred, in proceeding with his work of magic according to his wishes or those of the man or woman who had requested his assistance, used a black - hilted dagger in his spells and rituals of any nature.

In their effort to dominate over the powers of nature, to transgress against its known laws and to control the lives of humans with the help of demons, sorcerers used black - hilted daggers, with which they traced a circle on the ground and then poked it in its centre. Then they entered the circle and uttered some cryptic words and secret names. In this way they summoned the demons and ordered them, according to their wishes, protected from their malicious power inside the circle they had traced with their dagger. The dagger should not have been used in any other work before this procedure.

The tracing of the circle and the invocation of demons that followed constituted, according to tradition, the consummation of the sorcerer's magic skills.

The tracing of the magic circle with black - hilted daggers was exercised by the island's sorcerers mainly during their meetings with demons, called "davetia".

The most typical description of the tracing of a magic circle with a black -hilted dagger in Crete for obtaining a magic purpose is provided by Nikos Politis in his description of the instruction of the lyra - player by the Fairies, so that he would be able to play the lyra with great virtuosity:

‘Whoever wants to become a good lyra - player should go to an isolated crossroads at midnight. First he should trace a circle on the ground with a black - hilted dagger, then enter it, stay there and start playing the lyra. A little later the Fairies will come and start hanging around him. Their purpose is not good, they want to do him harm, but since they cannot enter the circle, which has been traced with a black - hilted dagger, they try to lure him out in every possible way. They use blarney, they sing him nice songs, they wheedle him in a thousand and one different ways, but if he is wise, he must remain calm and continue to play the lyra without leaving the circle. If they fail, they invite him out of the circle in order to teach him how to play the lyra better. He must refuse. Then they will ask him to give them the lyra. The lyra - player should give it, cautious to let his arm or other part of his body out of the circle, because it will be amputated or he will go insane.’

Then a Fairy starts playing the lyra with great virtuosity and afterwards they return the lyra to him, hoping that he will be persuaded to leave the circle and they will be able to harm him".

According to the description of Nikos Politis, the continuous interchange of the instrument between the Fairies and the lyra - player, without anyone of them passing the limits of the circle traced with the black - hilted dagger, continues all night long until the first cock crows. Then they ask him to give them something of his own and they promise to teach him how to play the lyra like them in return. The lyra - player usually gives them one of his nails and they in turn teach him how to play the lyra with great virtuosity and then disappear at daybreak.

For this reason, in earlier times, if a lyra player played his instrument with outstanding virtuosity, he used to say: "What do you think? I learnt to play the lyra at the crossroads".  "

Videos on The Style Greek blades




More Info on the history of the black hilted knife:





Finley made modern White and Black handle Cretan knives











Cretan dagger with engraved poem/song



Cretan daggers are steel bladed, one-edged, straight knifes with very sharp, thin points. Ancient Cretan daggers were double-edged and very ornate. Modern blades are more practical. The handle of the dagger is called the "manika." Daggers are made with three common types of manikas, the bird's beak, the V-shape, and the classic style of ancient Cretan daggers. Manikas are only made from animal horn (black goat horn), white bone or ivory. Cretan daggers are sheathed in highly decorated metal sheath of silver or gold. 
A small black hilted dagger is also used in the wedding ceremony during rituals intended to keep bad spirits away.

   Two separate grimoire illustrations shows stylized “split” handle section popular with greek/Cretan knifes and shows 

 






                   A Grimoric List of Variations for construction of the Magical Black Handled knife: 


Illustrations of the "Magical knife" or dagger in The Clavis or Key to the Magic of Solomon: From an Original Talismanic Grimoire in Full Color by Ebenezer Sibley and Frederick Hockley




1.    The Key of Knowledge (Clavicula Salomonis) Transcribed from British Library, Additional manuscript 36674.

A knife is required in this art, therefore make it be made with a handle of iron which is pure, and let it be tempered in goose blood in the day of Mercury [Wednesday], in the increase of the Moon. After it be finished, say ten masses to be said over it, and write upon the handle thereof with the needle aforesaid these signs which follow:
 
 Then perfume it as hereafter is appointed, and note that the circle be made with such a knife, this day lay it up in silken cloths until thou wilt work, and cut nothing with this knife, but only all things belonging to this art.


All other instruments of iron whatsoever they be, let them be made on the day, and hour of Mercury, and write upon them these signs following:


 


Also, see to the swords wherewithal you will work, that they be clean, and write upon them as followeth: lamec, Theah, Aniles, Theophilos, Def, Beth ladomay, El, Ja, Jah, Emanuel, Saday, Emnanal, sum qui sum, Agla, ALPHA & OMEGA. Write this with the ink aforesaid, and smoke them with the odours, and say this conjuration:

I conjure thee by the names, Abraham, Abraho, Tetragrammaton, which is to say, Aglane, that thou hurt me not in work. I conjure thee by pure, Stimulaton, and by these unspeakable names of Almighty God, which are: Egyrion, Osystron, Enona, Aula, by Asyn and by Manalo, Emanuel, Sabaoth, Adonay, primus, nouissimus, vnigenitus, Via, Vita, Manus, hono, primogenitus, finis, Sapientia, virtus, a. Caput, verbum, gloria, splendor, lux, Sol, Imago, Mors, Janua, Petra, Lapis, Angulus, Sponsus, pastor, propheta, Sacerdos, Athanatos, Ysyon, Pantacraton, Jesus, Halleluia; by these names, and all other names; I conjure you, that you have no power to hurt me.

Which done, let him keep it as before is said.
Besides this there must be made another knife in the day and hour of Mercury, tempered with the juice of pimpernel, and the bloode of a goose, upon the which you shall cause three masses to be said. Also, you must perfume it and sprinkle it with water as is aforesaid, with which knife, all thinges necessary must be cut. Note also that before any of these things be consecrated, that they be virgins, that is, such as were never used in work or labour.



THE KEY OF SOLOMON BOOK II
edited by S. Liddell MacGregor Mathers

Traditional Black handle knife reproduced from the image found in Mather's illustration made by my friend Gary of http://www.omegaartworks.com/

But as for the knife with the black hilt for making the circle, wherewith to strike terror and fear into the spirits, it should be made in the same manner, except that it should be done in the day and hour of Saturn, and dipped in the blood of a black cat and in the juice of hemlock, the characters and names a shown below being written thereon, from the point towards the hilt. Which being completed, thou shalt wrap it in a black silk cloth.
  

variation of sigils 1

Variation of sigils 2

Let him make a knife, of the form following, of Iron andamco. With a white haft of Ivory yt is tempered in the bloud of a goose and the Joyce [juice] of pimpernell, and let it be made one day & his howre in the augment of ye and fullfill from the first howre to ye 13th howre, and when he is made, cause to be songe over him x. masses. And write over (?) cinabrig conjured upon his hast, eyther with a needle or a poyntell of Iron, of such as followeth, of a needle, with this figure

Notice the suggested size and shape for the black knife here. Worthy of what is described in the Grimorium Verum.
Black and White handled knives from the "Veritable Key of Solomon"


Sloane 3847. The Clavicle of Solomon, revealed by Ptolomy the Grecian.

It is necessary in operations of artes or experiments to have swordes and knifes and other Instruments of the which circles may be made, and other necessary operations,
[48v] Let him make a knife, of the forme following, of Iron andamco. With a white haft of Ivory yt is tempered in the bloud of a goose and the Joyce [juice] of pimpernell, and let it be made one http://www.esotericarchives.com/gifs/mer3.gifday & his howre in the augment of ye http://www.esotericarchives.com/gifs/lun3.gifand fullfill from the first howre to ye 13th howre, and when he is made, cause to be songe over him x. masses. And write over (?) cinabrig conjured upon his hast, eyther with a needle or a poyntell of Iron, of such as followeth, of a needle, with this figure 






and fumigate him with fumigations as followeth, with such a knife as the circles should be made with, if it be greevous for you to make such a knife, finde some knife of the foresaid fashion, with a haft all white or all blacke, and write upon manicu~ or haft the foresaid wordes, after the mañer aforesaid of that knife, and upon the plate begiñinge from the poynt, write with encausto conjured, Alpha et omega, agla, Ja, el, ou, premeumaton, syrnel, afrnel, and cause to be sayd over this knife [49r] 3 masses, one of the holy ghost and 2 of our Lady and fumigate him, with the fumigations followinge, and blesse him with water as followeth, conjuring sayinge, in nomine patris filii et S. Sancti Amen, and put him in a silke cloth, of such as followeth, until ye will worke, and of that knife let the circles of artes be made, and with that knife, let things necessary to the artes or experiments be cut, likewise let Artanus be made, but they neede not to be put in any operation, Let other Instruments of Iron, or staves, or rodds excersised in artes or experiments be consecrated, on that mañer, if they be Instrumts Let them be made one Mercurydayes and his howre as it is said of ye knife, and Arthano, and let these that followeth be written upon them, 
( Here we have some obvious references to the word that would later be called "The athame")

  

if they be staues or rodds, they ought for to be virginall, of whatsoeuer wood they be, & cutt of at one cut, with the knife aforesayd, in the howre of Mercury, and let the foresayd carecters be written upon that rodde, with such Inke as followeth then say ouer that rodd these wordes,
Adonay sanctissime et potens, tetragrammaton, fortissime, Saday, potentissime, adestote, et consecrate virgulam istam quemadmodum [49v] convenit per te sanctissime Adonay cuius regni noterit finis per omnia secula seculorum Amen.
Then let him be put in cleane place untill ye worke, swordes be necessarry in artes or experriments, take the swordes that ye worke withall after the manner followinge let them be scoured, and cleane from the first howre of http://www.esotericarchives.com/gifs/mer.gifunto the xii howre, and let these wordes be written upon his syde,
Lamec, Sidac, Cethag, Cheah, anilos, theodomos, theophilos, persidonos dif, chech, hech, ladomay ely elyol, ysyh, elya, Iach, emanuel, Saday, emuanas, nazarel, sum qui sum, alpha et omega
with cinobrio coniured, then let him be fumigate with fumigations followinge,
Arthanos is made one Mercuryday in the augment of the moone, and let him be tempered in the Joyce of pimpernell, and the bloud of a goose, and 3 masses songe ouer him, and be fumigate with such fumigation as followeth, and let them bathe them with such water as followeth, of water and Isope, of the which arthano ought to be cutt all necessary thinges to artes or [50v] experiments, and of him must the circles be made, about testas of the fumigations, and that is the dewty of this artanus, likewise let the swordes and spheares be consecated [sic], that they be new and virgin Iron, and never occupied in any worke, for if it were made otherwise, it would not profit.
 

The Black hilted knife for cutting hazel making circle and pinning down demons . “That with the black handle, destined to describe the circle and intimidate the spirits, and for performing other similar things, must be made in every respect like the first, except as regards the day and hour, which should be those of Saturn. The steel should be extinguished in the blood of a cat 3 times and the juice of hemlock, while the handle should be of sheep's horn.”





Grimoirium

Verum

or

The True Grimoire

The Most Approved Keys
of
Solomon, The Hebrew Rabbi


Of the Magical Knife.
It is necessary to have a knife or lancet, of new steel, made on the day and hour of Jupiter with
the Moon crescent.
 ( This is curiously unique to the grimoire indicating the knife be an implement for authority and success. Most likely the “crescent moon” in question is when the moon is waxing but not quite half.)
 If it cannot be made, it may be bought, but this must be done at the time, as above. Having achieved this, you will say the Orison or Conjuration following, which will serve for the knife and lancet.

Conjuration of the Instrument.
I conjure thee, O form of the Instrument, by the authority of our Father God Almighty, by the
virtues of Heaven and by the Stars, by the virtue of the Angels, and by the virtue of the
Elements, by the virtues of the stones and herbs, and of snow-storms, winds and thunder: that
thou now obtain all the necessary power into thyself for the pefectioning of the achievement of
those things in which we are at present concerned! And this without deception, untruth, or
anything of that nature whatsoever, by God the Creator of the Sun of Angels! Amen.

Then we recite the Seven Psalms, and afterwards the following words:

Dalmaley lamekh cadat pancia velous merroe lamideck caldurech anereton mitraton : Most
Pure Angels, be the guardians of these instruments, they are needed for many things.

The Sacrificial Knife.

 ( Again, the Verum is ubnique as this is most likely the “black hilted” knife but is NOT the one listed above which is used to make the circle with. In most other SOlominc texts, the black handled knife is the one that enscribes the circles)

On the day of Mars [Tuesday] at the New Moon, make a knife of new steel which is strong
enough to cut the neck of a kid with one blow,
 ( Here a large knife or machete or clever type blade is suggested and would be practical in “cutting the hazel rod with one strike”. A small knife would not be able to serve this function properly and also a large knife would be easier to inscribe a circle on the ground with.)
 and make a handle of wood on the same day ( The type of handle suggested here is most likely hazel nut as well) and in the same hour, and with an engraver you engrave on the handle these characters:





And the sigil Bechaud:

 


Engrave or write on the blade AGLA. Then asperge and fumigate it, and you have prepared an instrument for service when and whereyou wish.

Large Greek/Cretan style Black Horn "knife" apropriate for the Verum Sacrificial knife.
The Sacrificial knife is meant to slay the goat for the spirit that is to be summoned, as well as to make the parchment for the art by skinning it after. This may seem barbaric to some at first but echoes strongly the earlier Greek and Hebrew practices of animal sacrifices. Interestingly though, as I mentioned, the sacrificial knife is the same one used for cutting the wood of the hazel rod, but NOT marking out the circle with. The suggested size and ability to kill and cut “in one stroke” makes it a formidable and more effective weapon however.
 


 








My KNIFE  

My favorite Black horn handle knife to date before its engraving and consecration


 So what do I use? Well the above was my knife before I fancied it up. I decided to refrain from displaying a current image of it at this time for personal reasons. I will say this. I opted for using a collaborating source of sigils stemming from The Key of Solomon Aub24 and using the preperations dictated by the text. I also experimented reconsecrating it if you will on auspicious Saturnine times as well as during Martian days/hours. Forming circles with this weapon out of doors is a very powerful gesture. I admit I do not typically use it in dealing with spirits for the severity and harshness it represents. However I am never worried about a spirit daring to stand against it. 

The way in which I wil use this knife in abroad, begins with unwrapping it from its black silk, saying a prayer over it that I used during its consecration and I chat vigeriously the prayers found in the KoS while marking out my circle. If I also have my hazel wand or magical sword, I will almost always stab it in the ground within my circle before I begin my conjurations. This has felt "right" and a powerful sealer to my circle. (examine the "conjurer picture illustrations in esoteric archives) 

My disposition toward spiritual entities of all sorts has evolved and changed over the years and I find I am less and less likely to threaten and demand in a harsh manner as I wish to learn and form respectable relationships between myself and the denizens of the spiritual world. Regardless, I am a warrior as much as a magician and I take nothing for granted and realize my best intentions are not always considered by supernatural beings. The black handled knife is a reminder of my capabilities...






OTHER EXAMPLES OF the magical knife and its uses:

African style ritual dagger

There are a few cultures I’ve studied who utilize a dagger or knife in a ritualistic way concerning spirits. You will find many similarities between Cretan and Indonesian knives in their composition, make, and use. The Indonesians make many blades with black horn handles in similar styles that you find in the grimoires. The kris is a highly prized knife of reputed magical power. In some circles and weapon’s experts it is seen as the most magical and effect knife in the world. For my tastes, if I cannot make the knife myself, I prefer it be made by a person of a culture and disposition where magic is vibrant and the lineage is inherent with mystical tradition and intention. Forming a relationship with a  knife maker or artisan is a great way to have one made but their disposition toward magical arts might be a deciding factor depending on how much you inform them of your intentions.

 
Richard P. H. Greenfield in his 
"Traditions of belief in late Byzantine Demonology" describes some various uses for the “magical knife” and more specifically the black-handled knife in exorcism. The knife was plunged into the heart of a tree when calling upon that tree's spirit to work with the magician. And again, whilst and exorcism was being carried out on a person laid out on a table, the knife is plunged into the table to fix or hold the spirit once it was brought out of the
person.

Phurba or more properly, kīla (or kīlaka)
 
To work with the spirits and deities of the earth, land and place, indigenous people of India, the Himalayas and the Mongolian Steppe pegged, nailed and/or pinned down the land. The nailing of the kīla is comparable to the idea of breaking the earth (turning the sod) in other traditions and the rite of laying the foundation stone. It is an ancient shamanic idea that has common currency throughout the region; it is prevalent in the Bön tradition and is also evident in the Vajrayana tradition. According to shamanic folklore current throughout the region, "...the mountains were giant pegs that kept the Earth in place and prevented it from moving." (Kerrigan, et al., 1998: p27) Mountains such as Amnye Machen, according to folklore were held to have been brought from other lands just for this purpose. Stupa (compare cairn) are a development of this tradition and akin to kīla.

As a tool of exorcism, the kīla may be employed to hold demons or thoughtforms in place (once they have been expelled from their human hosts, for example) in order that their mindstream may be re-directed and their inherent obscurations transmuted. More esoterically, the kīla may serve to bind and pin down negative energies or obscurations from the mindstream of an entity, person or thoughtform, including the thoughtform generated by a group, project and so on, to administer purification
As Müller-Ebelling, et al. (2002: p. 55) states:
The magic of the Magical Dagger comes from the effect that the material object has on the realm of the spirit. The art of tantric magicians or lamas lies in their visionary ability to comprehend the spiritual energy of the material object and to willfully focus it in a determined direction. . . The tantric use of the phurba encompasses the curing of disease, exorcism, killing demons, meditation, consecrations (puja), and weather-making. The blade of the phurba is used for the destruction of demonic powers. The top end of the phurba is used by the tantrikas for blessings.”


“In the Kathmandu Valley, the kīla is still in usage by shamans, magicians, tantrikas and lamas of different ethnic backgrounds. The kīla is used particularly intensively by the Tamang, Gurung and Newari Tibeto-Burmese tribes. The kīla is also employed by the Tibetans native to Nepal (the Bhotyas), the Sherpas, and the Tibetans living in Dharamasala.”

Black horn knife Indonesian style







Origion of the “Athame”
Finley made double sided, black handled dagger

 
"t\The Key of Solomon show considerable variability in labelling the ritual implement in question, but the oldest and best Latin and Italian manuscripts read "artavus" (penknife.) The English mss. Sl.3847 reads arthanus or arthany. The French manuscripts read artave, arthane, arthame, or athame. Other variations include arctavus. The variability is easy to explain: Artavus is a Medieval Latin term, not found in most dictionaries. It is clearly described by Du Cange
as "a small knife used for sharpening the pens of scribes." –Joseph Peterson 

One of my first Magical Daggers or "Athame" equivalent. The handle is 5000 Irish bog oak.

other magical knives/daggers in my collection




-Available for the interested magician:  I am offering a few of my select prized blades that I’ve collected over the years in honor of the mighty black hilted knife. Each one was handpicked and selected for its materials and uniqueness and also for it’s seemingly predisposition toward magical work. The blades have each been modified and/or worked with in some sense with spiritual entities so they will not be virgin in any case if that is one of your concerns. 


A look of magical knives I've collected over the years

However I can attest that each works for its intended purpose and should do so regardless of my previous handling. I am also offering some custom fashioned IRISH HAZELNUT WANDS which where personally hand made, cut, and sealed with a mixture of consecrated hazelnut oil and hyssop oil.




    For the time being I am not listing these implements up on auction and will not be listing prices here. If anyone is curious in any of the aboce items, contact me adn we will work it out from there. 
 
Sources:

Joseph Peterson's The ESOTERIC ARCHIVES classical works of Solomonic Magic: http://www.esotericarchives.com/

The Clavis or Key to the Magic of Solomon: From an Original Talismanic Grimoire in Full Color by Ebenezer Sibley and Frederick Hockley

The Magical Treatise of Solomon, or Hygromanteia (Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic Series)
by Ioannis Marathakis

http://stigmes.gr/br/brpages/articles/kritiko%20maxairi.htm

Google: "taking blood from cats" - you tube.

Wikipedia 

 The Veritable Key of Solomon -Stephen Skinner and David Rankine

The TRVE Grimoire by Jake Stratton-Kent













































31 comments:

  1. I have to ask you, wherever did you come by that amazing cloth magical circle I see in the images? Did you make it yourself? I practice Traditional Witchcraft and not Ceremonial Magic per se, but there is a lot of overlap and something like that would really come in handy. I've found your blog to be most interesting!

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  2. Also, Gary at Omega Works made my Athame for me as well, and I am absolutely thrilled with it. I live in the Pacific Northwest and have easy access to Hazel trees, so next he's going to be making me a Hazel wand to match my knife.

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  3. Raven, I made the circle myself and attempt to make most of my magical equipment where I’m able. I have background in Celtic practices and historic approaches to Druidism so appreciate much of the serious Pagan paths. The overlap Witchcraft finds with ceremonial magic is much of Gardner’s background in in the ceremonial magic practices of that day where such tools as the “artheme” and the sigils and methods were borrowed from famous grimories of magic, mostly the Key of Solomon. Some methods found in various MS’s of magic undoubtedly have borrowed or integrated folk magic techniques of the day as well. So lots of overlap :)


    Gary does great work and I have a few of his His works that he’s custom made from me since 1999. He designed my Solomonic Sword to my specifications and have really appreciated his skilled craftsmanship.

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  4. The Ceremonial aspect of what we think of as "Witchcraft" actually predate Gardner by a long time; have you read "The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet?" It's a genuine workbook of a 17th century English "Cunning Man" or white witch. His practices drew heavily from the grimoires and to the modern eye of most Pagans would seem hopelessly complicated. An interesting change that he made was that he used a wand more than a knife; this could have been from personal preference, or because of the ease of carrying a wooden implement about. Many of the Cunning Folk drew upon the Key of Solomon, etc though they largely took isolated bits, sigils, etc and put them to a more Earthy use; they did not seem too interested in working with a Guardian Angel, etc. By the 19th century it was possible to order books of magic, and in some cases these seem to have been collected by even the illiterate witches whether for show or as a magical item in and of itself. Gardner merely drew from the same well that a lot of earlier practitioners had done, and added to that his background in Freemasonry and Eastern occultism as well as his love of British folklore.

    Gary does indeed do amazing work. It's always nice to find skilled craftsmen who create quality products. What I can't make myself I have custom made for me, though I confess my craftsperson skills are not up to much. You did a great job with that circle!

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  5. Raven, yes, I purchased the "The Grimoire of Arthur Gauntlet" when it came out and David was promoting it. A Great work! Not one I associate with witchcraft in anyway though. "Cunning man" was just another name for a magician, mage, wizard and so on. I suppose some might mistakenly call him a witch (or the practice, "witchcraft") as well since often such practices were grouped together. (historically the lines were somewhat blurred) However all of the material is that which is found in the various Solomonic magical texts and same Christian/Jewish religious overtones. Although, as I mentioned before, some of the spells and methods may have come from various folk traditions. Most are direct derivatives of one of the SOlomonic cycle texts though which I always group under the Western Ceremonial Magic Tradition.

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  6. This was a great article. Thanks very much.

    I'm wondering what you ended up inscribing on the blade of your knife, if anything?

    No need to show the actual blade, just curious as to what words and script you decided upon...

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  9. Hello Dear. I would love to translate your text to portuguese, could I?

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  10. Hi, Could you please tell me: to engrave a black hilted knife with King Solomon's markings, which figure (photo) would I use. Thank you Shelley

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  11. Most of your knives were made in the Philipines

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  12. On a hunch , i thought Indonesian keris may be from ancient Greek krios "male goat, battering ram" and then found there is a modern Cretan krios dagger with ram-horn handle of kri-kri "wild goat".. Your blog connects these with phurba "healing knife".
    An Aboriginal skull dated late 1200s was found in NSW east Australia with a slicing fracture down the frontal bone . Tests show that hardwood blades can't slice bone that way. So probably an Indonesian keris ( krios?) was used. There are records of ceremonies nearby like Tantraya healing using 9inch twigs as dorje phurba along with Old Java language names for ceremonial details as well as chakra concepts ( fire burning the forehead). A local title is Ngurrumpaa and Ngarampa is a high degree in Tantraya which had teaching temples in Indonesia 1000 years ago.
    So thank you , your info has locked some facts into place.
    John

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