This is a description of a magical device I invented based on Renaissance magic and psionic technology, how it came about and the research it is based on.
v.1.3 - updated on June 21st
Today the strange experiences on Tenerife surrounding my initiation into the sphere of Saturn this January almost seem like some eerie precognitions of the world plunging into lockdown and panical angst from Covid-19 that we started experiencing from February on.
One effect of my initiation was the rediscovery of an idea that's been in the back of my head ever since I started experimenting with the Trithemian system: a portable version of a "table of practice" that also includes some "psionic" improvements.
The sudden extended holidays and quarantine measures provided me with a great opportunity to revive my rusty knowledge of electronics and dive head-on into studying the art and craft of software-based circuit board design.
I hired an engineer from the Ukraine to assist me in navigating the new terrains and eventually we turned my idea into physical reality. Behold the Psithemius:
The Psithemius is a psionic device for spirit conjuration and magical manifestation.
Its basic architecture consists of printed circuit boards hosting concentric circles with magical names and symbols and a triangle with a spiral shaped transmitter in its center. The design is based on a system attributed to the German abbot and polymath Johannes Trithemius who lived around the end of the 15th century and developed methods for communing with transdimensional entities.
For the Psithemius device to work properly, a small single terminated quartz crystal is needed (it should have one pointy tip and one flat tip) or a small crystal ball. The device emits light and an electromagnetic field around and into this quartz crystal set in the center of the triangle that acts as a focal point and spirit medium.
The Psithemius device utilizes principles from Psionics to detect and electrically amplify intent in the form of magical sigils or radionic rates sent to it. The goal is to charge the crystal with energies resonating with the nature of an entity and act as a beacon of condensed intent to attract them to the ritual space.
Now I admit those are quite bold claims, but they are based on a ton of research. Let's dive into the juicy underlying theories of Solomonic magic, Radionics, and quartz crystals and then tie them all back to a conclusive manual of operation:
A Matter of Three
As many readers will be familiar with, in the so-called Solomonic tradition of ceremonial magic the magician protects themself from the potentially dangerous forces by means of one or two concentric circles surrounding them for the whole duration of their operation. Daimonic entities that are compelled to appear before the operand are by their nature not able to cross the circle that is often additionally fortified by powerful holy names and symbols.
In several grimoires that evolved from the notorious Lemegeton1 an additional apparatus is used for self-protection and coercion of the spirit, the so called "triangle of manifestation" that supposedly aids the spirit to appear on the material plane but also restricts it to do so in a confined locus. In most of these protocols the magician stands inside the circle and the triangle is located outside of the circle.
The triangle is the archetypal symbol for manifestation because it represents the union of two giving birth to another. It also represents the three dimensions of space necessary for the universe to exist. The triangle is also a symbol that can be used to trap spirits and energy. In both the Goetia and the Tantric Phurba rituals, the triangle is used as a place to hold unruly spirits so that they can be dealt with. --Jason Miller2
The concept of triangle and the number three as symbols of the manifest world go way back to ancient Pythagorean ideas. In Book I of De Caelo Aristotle wrote:
A magnitude if divisible one way is a line, if two ways a surface, and if three a body. Beyond these there is no other magnitude, because the three dimensions are all that to there are, and that which is divisible in three directions is divisible in all. For, as the Pythagoreans say, the world and all that is in it is determined by the number three, since beginning and middle and end give the number of an 'all', and the number they give is the triad.3
An allegedly plagiarized early 19th century magical text named The Magus4 by Francis Barrett contains a treatise called The Art of Drawing Spirits Into Crystals5 attributed to the aforementioned magus Johannes Trithemius. This magical protocol marked the beginning of an alternative approach to the traditional configuration of circle and triangle in the art of spirit evocation. Instead of placing the triangle of manifestation outside of a protective circle, the Trithemian method reverses this logic by placing it inside a small circle. As mentioned before, this apparatus is called Table of Practice and meant to be used as a base for a pedestal holding a scrying crystal. The operator conjures the spirit into the crystal inside the triangle of manifestation while being shielded by the magic circle surrounding it.
21st century magicians like Joshua Gadbois aka. Frater Rufus Opus (RO) have undertaken extensive experimentations with the Trithemian method and simplified its design by getting rid of the pedestal and placing a scrying device directly onto the triangle. RO made this simplified table of practice the central apparatus of his magical work and describes it as follows:
The Table of Practice is a symbol of the cosmos. [...] The outermost circle represents the Seven Heavens and the Intelligences therein. They are the governors of the spheres, and their presence helps ensure you get the spirit you’re looking for when you perform your conjuration. The Elemental Kings provide the gate to the material realm, so the spirits can influence your life materially, if necessary, but they also make sure that any spirit you call up of a terrestrial nature won’t go ballistic and eat your soul, leaving you dead by dawn. These two circles together represent the meeting of the Heavens and the Earth in your temple space. [...] Taken altogether, the Table of Practice represents our relationship with the Seven Governors, the Four Elemental Kings, and the Process of Manifestation. It is designed to provide the place where a spirit can manifest, and to give us a shared space between the Heavens and the Earth in which we can work together to accomplish the things we have to do.6
The Psithemius device is basically such a Table of Practice, but enhanced with "psionic" technology to simplify its operation and amplify its effectiveness. If you want to read more on the Trithemian method, I highly recommend the extensive treatment given to the topic by Polyphanes that gives the best available overview of its history and contemporary variations.
Deus Ex Machina
What do I mean by psionic technology?
A popular definition of the term "psionic" is "denoting the practical use of psychic powers or paranormal phenomena."7 I use the term as its inventor John W. Campbell, the editor of Astounding magazine coined it in 1951 combining the word "electronics" with "psi." I'd like to re-claim the term "psionic" as "magic aided by electronics" and prefer to use it over the other term "radionics" that describes quite similar things but has the tendency to reject anything "magical" in favor of some more materialist concepts such as "scalar waves" or "quantum effects" to describe what makes them work the way they do.
Radionics is using devices with the belief they have a basis in physical reality.
Psionics is going through the same motions with the belief it's all in your head.8
To me that distinction seems a bit reductionist. I think if you take "radionics" and "psionics" as used in this quote as two ends of a spectrum, from materialist physical effects all the way to magical or subtle "psi" effects, the truth of "how it works" probably lies somewhere in the middle - as with so many things. The clear distinction between the two reminds me a bit of the usual metaphysical "spirits" vs. "psychology" dichotomy so passionately discussed among occultists.
I simply prefer the term "psionics" over "radionics" because the latter mainly presents itself as a scientific art of healing, whereas the former seems to have a more open approach and range of application.
The healing science of radionics started in the early 20th century and was invented by Dr. Albert Abrams. Its basic premise is the concept that each life form has its own electro-magnetic field, which resonates with, influences and is influenced by other such fields and that all life shares a common ground of being immersed in the vibrating electro-magnetic field of the earth. If sufficiently distorted, an organism's electro-magnetic field ultimately results in disease. Psionics is the art and science of receiving, selecting and emitting these vibrational waves for diagnostic and healing purposes9.
Practitioners of this art use the principle of radiesthesia (dowsing) to detect distortions in an organism's energy field in much the same way as a water diviner detects the location of water or mineral deposits. Besides classic radiesthetic tools such as pendulums, radionic diagnosis and treatment usually involve electric devices with a number of variable resistor or capacitor dials, coils in various sizes and shapes, and quartz crystals, that all together can be used to tune into these frequencies and determine their unique vibrational fingerprints in numbers, so called 'rates'.9
Each rate has a specific shape and direction on a multi-dimensional level and works on the principle of resonance. Imbalanced areas of organism can be put into resonance with correcting vibration sent to it resulting in its optimum health level.
Psionics utilizes the power of electro-magnetism to detect, manipulate, store, and emit psychic energy to influence reality and therefore can be seen as a modern branch of ceremonial magic. In principle the rates can be compared to magical symbols and sigils. Both can be conceptualized as numerical or geometric representations of multi-dimensional vibrations, addressing transdimensional entities, intentions, ideas, or forces.
In traditional magic the symbols and sigils are usually seen as supportive tools to amplify the main force of a magical operation: the focused intent of the operator. When magic fails it is often attributed to a lack of focus.
This is where psionics comes in. Ed Kelly of KRT Laboratories explains:
A pivotal benefit of a live-signal instrument is that it acts a repeating station for the Intent you've defined for unlimited periods of time. Most of us can only maintain pure focus for moments or minutes at a time. The instrument allows you to define an output radio signal that resonates with your intent [...] and pump it out into the Universe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The operator only has to stay engaged for the moments it took to set the instrument [...]. With a live signal instrument, the electronics do the work.10
Let's face it: most electronics exist to work so we don't have to. Psionics can provide that to some extent too. But there is also another important factor in favour of psionics: safety!
A live signal instrument is a mind-matter interface and serves as a firewall between the operator, the subject(s), and the energy vampires in their various forms. Any of them following the light back to the source find only a box of components, not the operator. With symbolic instruments and other radiesthesia tools, the operator is still the one doing the work and remains the principal conduit for the energy, so the path still leads back to them.10
If you are interested in learning more about this fringe technology field, I highly recommend reading the KRT handbooks for a more radionic/scientific angle and Uncle Chuckie's freely available ebooks for a more psionic/psychological one. For a great overview that covers the history and most prominent figures in the field as well as more artistic approaches to the topic, Duncan Laurie's book is a treasure.
The shared element between the Trithemian method of conjuration and the architecture of many Psionic devices is the quartz crystal. The former utilizes a clear spherical crystal as locus of visual manifestation for the magician while the latter usually exploits the physical and energetic properties of quartz crystals for purposes of amplification.
Although the principles laid out by Trithemius focus more on the optical properties of spherical crystals for scrying purposes, there is enough evidence for a more magical property of natural quartz to be used for aiding transdimensional entities to manifest.
quartz crystal was used by prehistoric humans as early as 75,000 B.C.E. Quartz has been found in prehistoric burial grounds, as well as the monuments of pharaohs and the ruins of Sumerian cities. Archaeologists have discovered Egyptian and Babylonian crystal scarabs, vases, and cylinders dating back to 1500 B.C.E. Egyptians were mining agate as early as 3500 B.C.E., while early inhabitants of Mesopotamia fashioned cylinder seals, signet rings, beads, and other ornamental objects from this stone.11
The famous polymath scientist Nikola Tesla wrote in a 1900 article for Century Magazine:
We can conceive of organized beings living without nourishment, and deriving all the energy they need for the performance of their life-functions from the ambient medium. In a crystal we have the clear evidence of the existence of a formative life-principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is none the less a living being. There may be, besides crystals, other such individualized, material systems of beings, perhaps of gaseous constitution, or composed of substance still more tenuous. ln view of this possibility,-nay, probability,-we cannot apodictically deny the existence of organized beings on a planet merely because the conditions on the same are unsuitable for the existence of life as we conceive it. We cannot even, with positive assurance, assert that some of them might not be present here, in this our world, in the very midst of us, for their constitution and life-manifestation may be such that we are unable to perceive them.12
Not only did Tesla perceive crystals as living beings, but he was also convinced of the existence of invisible entities.
Not only are crystals animate beings with an unfathomable consciousness, but they also have properties that allow them to act as a host and medium for subtle energies and even unmanifest entities. This is also in line with ancient "shamanic" knowledge:
The archetypal cosmology of shamanism portrays crystals as solidified light originating in the supernal realms. Although fallen or brought down to Earth, crystals offer the shaman both a bridge to the heavens and a key to supernormal powers associated with celestial beings. Shamans generally ascribe a singular importance to quartz above all other power objects, perceiving it to be the bones of the earth, a “live rock,” a living being. As such, crystals are regarded as among the most powerful of the shaman’s “spirit helpers.”13
To this point the famous father of chaos magic, Peter J. Carroll wrote in Liber Null:
Any sort of material base is a spirit trap in some way, but some substances, notably crystals, absorb aetheric imprints very readily. Quartz crystals, which are large and readily available, can be used to pick up impressions by leaving them near charged places, persons, or objects. If a spirit or elemental is discovered to be inhabiting some place it can be trapped by plunging a crystal into its form.14
Aside of mad genius polymaths like Tesla and magicians like Carroll who spoke of crystals in that fashion, also very down-to-earth materialist scientists like IBM engineer Marcel Vogel became obsessed with quartz after realizing the crystals' potential:
Each living form has its own distinct vibration, It is our signature in that we broadcast a distinct vibration (the same as we have a signature in our handwriting and our fingerprint). This vibration [can be] transferred to the crystal. It is through this signature or vibration than you can transfer or receive a charge to or from another person or object.15
To me it seems that the highly geometric physical properties of quartz are in tune with basic natural principles of the universe (sacred geometry) that also informs basic operating principles of two-dimensional symbols in ceremonial magic, notably triangles, hexagons, hexagrams, but also three-dimensional ones like the Platonic solid of the tetrahedron. They operate on a principle of resonance.
To this point Marcel Vogel said in a lecture given at a Yoga retreat on Paradise Island, Nassau:
Quartz is particularly wonderful in storing the information of the mind. It is silicon dioxide, with a space group very close to that of water. Our bodies are over 70% water. The energy of water, as it is from the body, forms patterns or fields which surround our bodies. The energy of mind utilizing these fields can penetrate crystals of this type. The energy can be reabsorbed or retransmitted as information or as an image - a communication link. The basic shape is hexagonal. We in our pattern of energy around us hexagonal. The most economic use of space is a hexagonal space. You’ll find this in a beehive - hexagonal, 6 sides.16
Quartz crystals are made up of atoms stacked together in tetrahedral patterns. They are manifestations of sacred geometry and universal principles:
Simply put, a tetrahedron is a triangular pyramid with a triangular base. To Euclid, who is considered the father of geometry, the tetrahedron was the most special of all the Platonic solids. How so? If you look at the other four Platonic solids, each of them can also fit inside one another and be perfectly nested. The tetrahedron is different. It is the only solid that cannot nest other solids. Rather, the tetrahedron has the ability to “give birth to itself” endlessly, through a process of regeneration (or as healers would put it, “transformation”). Although for Pythagoreans, triangles were the most stable of geometric figures, modern science has shown that the tetrahedron alone produces not equilibrium but instability. No wonder Plato associated it with fire. Fire is the only element that possesses the power to change all that it touches. That is why tetrahedrons are associated with transformation.17
To create balance, tetrahedrons must be in pairs or sets of pairs. A 64-tetrahedron cluster creates equilibrium in the vacuum of space. When tetrahedrons work in pairs, they also create the star tetrahedron, which is associated with balance. The star tetrahedron consists of two inverted tetrahedrons contained within each other. This represents our polar world and the inseparable relationship between the two complementary halves: the positive and negative, the manifest and unmanifest, the masculine and feminine, spirit and matter, heaven and earth, which form a perfect equilibrium. According to the ancients, when we are able to integrate the polarities within us, we can achieve “oneness” of our unlimited selves: in other words, the authenticity that is inside each one of us."18
Whether you consider them beings or mere material objects (for me that's the same, but that's a whole other discussion), fact is that crystals have abilities/properties that allow them to store subtle energies and act as media for unmanifest entities. When working with them one notices that crystals don't really care which type of spirits, vibrational patterns, or information of the mind to attract or store. Just like magnets don't seem to differentiate what ferric metal to attract. They just do it by nature.
There are methods that allow us some control over their memory though. It can be wiped and re-formatted like a hard-drive. Every New Age crystal healing practicioner can assure you that and there are different approaches for erasing a crystal, like rinsing them with spring water, rubbing with salt or by exposure to sunlight.
Crystals built into psionic devices had to be removable for that exact reason. Otherwise the accumulated subtle energies from past operations would start interfering with current ones. At least that was the case until Aetheric Arts craftsman, chaos magician, and radionic practicioner Joseph Max had an innovative idea:
Assuming the cleansing power of sunlight comes from it’s powerful ultraviolet component, I figured I could cleanse the internal crystals using shortwave UV light.19
It was a great discovery that UV-A light can not only cause sunburns, sanitize surfaces and disinfect aquariums, but also erase the memory of quartz!
This innovation in crystal erasure has also been implemented in the Psithemius device by a simple push of a button. It cleans the crystal prior to its dedicated use and acts as an extra "kill switch" safety feature during the operation if it goes awry or as a simple banishing at the end of the operation.
Operating the Psithemius
The Psithemius device is the product of my research into the overlap of Renaissance magic and the powers of modern psionic "quackery". It is a ritual accessory that can be used without electricity in the same way any other classic table of practice can be used. Plugging it in and using it as a "live signal instrument" has a lot of potential to improve its efficiency. It is new and still needs to be extensively tested in all kinds of different ritual situations.
The Psithemius is available for purchase. Please contact me if you are interested in buying one.
Again: it is a tool. Like a phone. A phone can't do the talking, it can provide the connection. The Psithemius device will not do the conjuration work for you. It attempts to assist you by acting as a beacon radiating intent and correspondences in the form of light and electromagnetic waves in a tested and approved geometric and symbolic framework. It also gives the operator more control of the energies within the triangle of manifestation.
Like with a phone you need to know who you wish to call, the number to reach them at, and how to speak to them. The optimal way to do that is by learning the Trithemian method and the most straight forward way that I also followed is by getting Rufus Opus book "Seven Spheres19" or even better, by studying his "Red Work Course" material disseminated by his talented students of his here, here or here.
Now, with all that out of the way let's get to the practical part of using the Psithemius:
Refer to the new Operator Manual
Trithemius of Spanheim. Secret Things and Doctrine of Spirits. Drawing Spirits Into Crystals. From Barrett, Francis. The Magus, Book II, London, 1801, pp. 135 ff. electronic edition 1999 Apr 21, by Joseph H Peterson ↩
Fr. Rufus Opus. The Red Work Course. The Black Work, Lesson 6, pg. 14-18 ↩
Footnote 11. EPUB ref. 14.10 ↩
Carroll, Peter J. Liber Null and Psychonaut: An Introduction to Chaos Magic. 1987, Weiser Books, pg. 61 ↩
Footnote 11. EPUB ref. 13.166 ↩
Ibid. EPUB ref. 13.167 ↩