Thursday, July 21, 2016

Stone and Metal in the Surgat Talisman

In the True Grimoire spell ‘To Open Anything Shut or Locked’ the principal item is a lodestone covered in lead filings. This is an interesting combination in the context of this working. In preparation for making this talisman I have spent some time researching and contemplating their significance. Here are some of my thoughts.

The lodestone is a powerfully magical stone for its natural magnetism and its affinity with iron. But in this context it is not with the attractive qualities of the stone that we are concerned. "Lode" is from Old English meaning 'way' or 'course'. The lodestone is the Stone of the Way. It was used historically as a directional compass. Magically speaking its use in our talisman is to point out an open way, which happens to be wherever the magician points it.

In goetic terms, as a talisman of the Underworld, it opens all the gates and orients the traveler on the path they have chosen. On a journey through the Underworld, passage and orientation are essential tools to get in, find one's way, and get back out. This is one of the things the charged and consecrated lodestone provides. On the other side of the same coin, passage and orientation can be extended to summoning a spirit to the magician. The stone then acts as a sort of beacon at an open gate beckoning spirits. We would be foolish to wholly discount the attractive qualities of the lodestone.

Lead is also very powerfully magical and has been used for thousands of years to represent the heaviest and most earthy of spirits. Its use is hardly surprising in a talisman charged by an Underworld spirit. Most often it is used in works that restrict, constrain, and encumber. In our talisman it acts to constrain the attractive properties of the lodestone, thereby heightening its directional qualities and restricting its power to the intentions of the magician.

And, of course, we cannot dismiss the planetary attributions of these materials. Lead is the quintessential metal of Saturn and lodestone, according to Agrippa (book 1, chapter 44), is of both Mars and Saturn. Thus the chthonic connotations are heightened.

This spell makes for a most powerful Underworld talisman.  

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