Book review: Sacerdotium Umbrae Mortis and Black Magic Evocation of the Shem ha Mephorash
This review was originally posted at the Wizard Forum.
The book and current it works from is directly inline with the vampiric school of energy manipulation and necromancy. It is different and opposite of GT types of evocation in regards to protection, which there is really none present, not even banishing. To be initiated into the priesthood you must first infect yourself with a parasitic shade which you feed with your own blood, this being said I would definitely not recommend this work to any beginners as mental psychosis and obsession could manifest. There are other initiation rites that must be preformed, then there are separate rites to advance through the four grades of priesthood. There are 11 classes of spirits drawn up being based on the tribes of Canaan each presided over by a ruling exarch. G. D. Laval shows a great understanding of Hebrew and has written a very well done review of the Qliphoth with some corrections to spelling and translations. Ritual implements are not that difficult to acquire, cemetery dirt, the usual daggers, chalice, bell, candle holders, a stake replacing the traditional wand, inscribed with some power names and words. Later on in the system it goes into the creation of some jewelry doesn't seem too extravagant, ritual garb etc, that section doesn't seem to me to be all that strict I'm sure one could work out substitutions if needed. The final grade consists of creation of a bound guardian spirit/shade creation housed in a spirit vessel you create, this involves the procuring of some human bones, reminds me slightly of some of the rites practiced in Palo by Mayombero and some other necromantic practices involving binding spirits.
The spirits are evoked via mantra, incense specific to each class and exarch of the 11 demon tribes is burned, there are tables for times and days for them, specific mantras to be repeated, the spirits are manifested via scrying, it is a rather solid system that I have achieved success with.
I think anyone who actively practices demonic, necromantic, Qliphothic or is involved in the vampiric magic current could get some use out of it even if they don't choose to advance through the priesthood. The rites of conjuration is the foundational ceremony of the entire work. That is to say the priest needs to have acquired and consecrated all the specific tools of the craft and worked through the sacraments present within the book. That being said to reach the first step in priesthood, the grade of Jeriah, you must evoke a specter from each of the 9 classes of vampiric death shades. You then are taught of their specific virtues and establish a working relationship where you are able to call upon them in the future. Later on in the priesthood when your power is greater you are required to conjure forth the kings of the tribes from their qliphothic thrones. I don't believe that any other means outside of the practices written would produce satisfactory results when conjuring as these kings and the shades under them are completely tied into the praxis of the priesthood and it's connections within its Qliphoth current. The ritual isn't to overwhelming considering it is for a modern LHP practice, ritual garb is worn, 12 hour fasting, bathe, specific circle of conjuration is drawn upon the floor, chalice filled Incense and candles lot then you begin. There is an opening of the gate ritual then the invocations and mantras are repeated until the spirits are evoked present within the scrying mirror, no full physical manifestations are achieved. After your discourse with the spirit there is a revocation of the spirits back to the qliphothic hell from which it came via provided words of power. Then there is a closing of the gate ritual and you are finished. It is a very involved system that is very interconnected and everything builds off another concept presented earlier in the workings. This is a really great book that will give you all the tools and information that you need to self initiate and work within this specific current.
Next a little on Black Magic Evocation of the Shem Ha Mephorash, a monster of LHP evocation information.
In essence it dissects the Abrahamic deity into 72 pieces, the divine name and nature of God, and lays out a system for the practitioner to conjure the spirits as goetic entities to perform magic with. It holds true that the forces of creation, structure and order exist in a parallel state with the qliphothic forces of chaos, entropy and destruction, one side of the tree requires the other to exist. The angels of the Shem Ha Mephorash, then exist both as demonic and angelic agents that the magician can utilize. The Shem angels then reside in the various sephiroth realms and have baneful aspects that mirror and distort spilling over into the qliphothic hells. Using this qliphothic energy one can evoke, or bring up, the energies of the spirits in shadow anti-universal form and function.
He has a rather straight-forward approach to the conjuration that he has stripped what he believes are unnecessary and outdated elements tied to the Christian mythos. There are three methods that he lists for accessing the Shem, although there are really countless ways to utilize the system. For the ceremonial evocation the tools are rather customary, a wand, athame or sword, chalice, baphometic pentagram, at least one religious icon of your chosen path, incense and burner, candle holders and candles, a scrying apparatus, and a gong or bell. Also there is a list of additional relics that a black magician could utilize to add ritual potency and empower the the shades with, I will not share those here.
It provides all the necessary information you need to work his system or you can take the entities information and use it in your own ritual magic as you desire, the BME is much different than the SUM in this regard. I believe it has to do with the fact that the Shem angels and their correspondent and inverse energies are much older than the kings presented in SUM which makes the Shem easier to access from different ritual practice as more pathways have been carved to reach them through time.
In his evocation method you force the entities to appear utilizing 36 decans of witchcrafts princes names, words of power based on grimoiric ciphers and the four gates of the elements and some of the high ranking demons as well. He has included information on the 72 angels of the Shem their natures, times, days, sigils, names, Hebrew explanations and the insight to allow the magician to work with their qliphothic emanations. This is a great book dealing with true black magic that I would recommend to any advanced magician that does not have hang-ups or issues related to inverse diabolical workings. I do believe that one benefits from a familiarity with the Shem in its other "white" usage to gain insight into the angels, but I believe that even if one did not they would be able to work the system that he has lain out.