-PSALMISTRY AND CANDLE MAGIC-
Psalm Magic is a subject that is difficult for me to approach, given that many lists of Psalm correspondences out there have some seemingly arbitrary associations. Many lists are quite contradictory as well, and many give remedies to antiquated terrors like loss of cattle, volcanoes, and unsafe childbirth. Some of my fellow magician friends saw the need for a fresh approach, as we love the concept of working with scripture during ritual.
Keep in mind, we don’t exactly need Psalms against weak Wifi or Netflix buffering. Although the talented magician could work something out I’m sure.
The answer for us was in using the old lists as a springboard and continuing on to repurpose the Psalms for more clear connections. Entire chapters are usually used for this or that, and while many of them are usually against the attacks of your enemies, there is a way to focus this process for more specific, and practically applicable, necessities. This is done by utilizing verses and not whole chapters, and making sure the text actually has something to do with the goal at hand.
However, this is going to take some work on your part. I believe that reading through the Psalms and doing some research on keywords and concepts will allow you to repurpose verses for your own needs, and also gain familiarity with the scriptures. For instance, finding a Psalm that related to study, wisdom, or knowledge for my Mercury Talisman RItual was difficult for me because those listed didn’t actually link up with the text that much at all. I wanted the scripture to make sense and not just rely on a list that no one can source. So when I did word searches on online Bible resources, https://www.biblegateway.com/ being my favorite, I came across Psalm 111:10 and it fit perfectly. Not only did it specifically relate to growing wisdom and knowledge, but this one verse succinctly describes that such wisdom is rooted in the fear of the Lord and the observing of Holy law. Other sources for Psalms against ignorance or for wisdom didn’t match up like this one, and what was more, I didn’t have to rely on an entire chapter, but a simple verse.
Since I have a big interest in making mini-talismans and incorporating a bit of artwork into my rituals, having a simple Bible verse to decorate with is a great start. Also, while using an entire chapter is fine, a verse gives a better opportunity for memorization and an easier method to chant the Psalm over and over while your incense and/or candle burns.
I also really recommend carving the Psalm verse, or a section of it if space is limited, upon the candle you use. If you’re using a simple tealight, you could easily grab a marker and carefully write upon the metal base around the edges, since these are disposable anyway. However, I like the use of regular households, larger tapers, or mini tapers, usually called “chimes”. The chime candles can be found for cheap prices on Amazon and Etsy, usually in nice sets of multiple colors, since color magic is integral to my own approach, as I will also explain more later.
I prefer to mainly work with Elemental or Planetary powers, and also with the Qabalistic hierarchies, so in my methods I describe here, it would behoove you to be familiar with these in case you are not. These correspondences are pretty simple and can be found in many places on the web. However, this is not necessary that you always couple the Psalms with these forces, they are just fine to use on their own. But I like to layer my rituals with multiple approaches, so I try to think about my goal or my need, and then go from there with finding where it may be classified according to Elemental or Planetary aspects. Here are some examples of how you can layer your ritual.
Say you are looking for a remedy against depression or some sort of mental anguish. Let’s first find a few Psalms that could work for this, for there are many and I will only use a few here for you to choose from. I enjoy the entire chapters of Psalm 69 or 129 for this. A quick Google search of “Psalm against depression”, “Psalm for happiness”, or something similar will always yield a handful of good results for you to start with, then you can search through the scriptures on your own to find one that really resonates with you if you are still looking.
The importance here is to really find one that vibrates with your emotions. If there is no emotional connection, there may be a missing link during your ritual, which is exactly why I prefer to find Psalms this way instead of merely consulting the many lists out there and having no other options if those don’t work out.
Let’s choose Psalm 129:6 for this example;
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
There is a huge element of Hope in the Divine that resonates with me. It says that those that go through trial and tribulation, having a good faith or root in higher things, will eventually prosper. Now that we have this Psalm, what do we actually do with it? Here’s where you can choose a simple route or a more complicated ritual. A simple method would be to grab a candle and, before you start chanting the verse, say a heartfelt prayer describing your plight, your intentions, and your goal or petition. Light your candle, and begin chanting the Psalm. It may be easy to write it down upon a notecard if you haven’t memorized it. On the back of this notecard, you could just as well write your petition or prayer and burn it afterwards by placing it over the fire of the candle. I normally spend about 10 or 15 minutes chanting or praying, and sometimes if I am having a busy day, I will have no qualms with setting a timer on my phone.
Another simple way to do this would be to carve the Notariqon of the verse upon the candle itself. Read up on this Qabalistic method for transforming a sentence into a single word HERE. Using this method you are basically creating a magical acronym of the verse and reducing it to a word of power that could also be chanted if you wish. I usually just carve the name upon the candle and let the candle burn down, or relight it at another time and continue the operation. In this case, the Notariqon would look like this: היונמהביבנא.
I would recommend consulting a Hebrew to English dictionary to find these verses quite easily. Particularly, http://www.mechon-mamre.org/ has side by side chapters that you can also hear an audio clip being read if you like. I find this site a great resource when creating talismans that have full verses on them too. For our purposes, you just write down the first letter of each word in the verse, combine them, and we have our word to be carved upon the candle.
Just as easily you could always use this as your word and chant this instead, however, I find this to be a bit clumsy and I prefer the sound of the English verse being chanted. It gives me a chance to connect with its meaning just a bit easier. You can also decorate one side of your notecard with this Notariqon as well. If you are really artistically inclined, get some white paint and (if whatever Notariqon you end up with in other rituals is short enough to fit), paint the word upon the incense coal before you light it. Boom, there’s another form of your prayer ascending to the heavens. The possibilities are actually quite endless. Qabalistic instructions given for magical bowls call for painting the verse upon the inside of the bowl with food coloring and then drinking the water that is afterwards filled within. Others call for eating a rolled up piece of paper with the scripture having been written in (non-toxic) ink upon it. These are just examples. Get creative!
Recap: so for our simple ritual we really only need a Bible and a candle. Chant away. No real need for modern banishings. To make this a bit more complicated you can start carving the verse or the Notariqon upon your candle, or you can write everything upon a notecard and burn it afterwards. Now let’s look at which ways we can link it up to Elemental or Planetary energies for even more magical integration.
Our goal in the example given was to get rid of depression. This deals with unbalanced emotion, which would be ruled by either Elemental Water(to balance, or another Element like Earth to counteract) or Planetary Venus. If you wanted to choose Elemental energy, you could draw a large Water Triangle (empty triangle with apex pointing downward) in blue or upon blue construction paper, written with the Psalm in Hebrew or English, and place your candle upon this, carved with the Notariqon. Golden Dawn oriented magicians would probably use those Pentagram rituals that balance the Water element before beginning. I prefer a more prayerful approach, and a simple invocation of Water could be quite easily done here too. Others could visualize and/or draw the Water triangle around or above the candle on the ether as you recite the verse.
Want to invoke the Angelic beings of Water for this? http://www.billheidrick.com/works/mcor.htm lists a few Angels of the Elements you can use, or invoke Gabriel the guardian of the West and of Water. Using imagery like the Tarot suit of Cups and using a bowl or chalice of water would also be appropriate if you subscribe to those correspondences.
For linking the Psalm to the Planetary energy of Venus, similar techniques can be used. Start with sacred geometry. Venus is related to the number Seven, so use a heptagon/septagon and a heptagram/septagram to circle your candle. You may include an invocation to Venus or to Haniel, the Archangel of Netzach(the Venusian Sephiroth). If you choose to do the latter, you now have a whole Hierarchy of Qabalistic correspondences to use: YHVH Tzavaoth is the ruling Divine Name, Haniel the Archangel, Elohim the Order of Angels, Hagiel the Intelligence of Venus, and Qedemel the Spirit of Venus. Agrippa prescribes the sigils of the last two, which can be easily drawn upon the sacred geometry paper, and the Golden Dawn Rose Cross sigil creator will help with the Hebrew names of all the previous names. Some prefer to use the Seven Day devotional type candles and to inscribe all of these names and sigils upon the glass with colored marker. In this case the Flashing Color for Venusian Green would be red, so you’d want a Green candle and red writing.
Those looking for Planetary Archangelic prayer might want to try the ones I’ve written, found HERE.
Inscribe the verse on the paper, include any invocations of the Hierarchy, and get to chanting. Be sure not to get lost in all the Elemental or Planetary workings, these can easily take up much time and effort, so for those who do not wish to detract from the simplicity of the Psalm ritual may choose not to do any of the previous things at all, which will be just fine.
Here is a source (found at http://spellhawk.blogspot.com/2010/04/psalm-magic.html) that actually describes the Psalms themselves instead of just listing their uses. This is particularly useful to start looking for more specific verses, and for others you may begin to repurpose for your own goals and petitions. It would be an endless task to look through every Psalm for a huge list of needs, so the magician will have to do their own work. Start here, and eventually it will become an interesting study and possibly a fun endeavor if your heart is it for the right reasons.
Other good sources include Mouni Sadhu’s “Theurgy”, the second half of “the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses”, Godfrey Selig’s “Secrets of the Psalms”, online Hoodoo sources, and those found in Tau Palamas’ Gnostic Voudon work “Syzygy”.