About the Author
Konstantinos is a recognized expert on occult, new age, and paranormal topics. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and technical writing from New York Polytechnic Institute. He is a published author of articles and short fiction which have been featured in numerous publications including Popular Electronics, The Spook, and FATE Magazine. Konstantinos is a popular lecturer on the paranormal at colleges and bookstores in the New York City area and he has appeared on CNBC's After Hours and The Ricki Lake Show.
A Dark Neopagan, Konstantinos has been researching the occult and practicing magick for over fifteen years. Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Konstantinos now devotes his time to writing, singing Gothic rock music, and exploring nocturnal life in New York City and around the country.
Konstantinos is also the author of Vampires: The Occult Truth, Summoning Spirits: The Art of Magical Evocation, Speak with the Dead: 7 Methods for Spirit Communication, Gothic Grimoire, Nocturnal Witchcraft, Nocturnicon: Calling Dark Forces and Powers, and the forthcoming Werewolves: The Occult Truth (September 2010).
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter One Your way of life can never be truly codified by others. Seeker of dark mysteries, how you choose to fulfill your desires shall always be flexible. Yet perhaps youve begun to notice that in your exploration of the dark side of the occult, youre experiencing something that is much more than just a collection of nocturnal experiments.
Stepping into the Current
There is a very tangible current or energy at work in the ether of night. If this is your first foray into nocturnal magick, then maybe you still need some time to feel the current. But even after invoking just a few dark gods and goddesses, and tapping into the ether of night for inspiration, it is almost impossible to not feel that the darkness possesses just such a currentan energy that seeks to embrace and carry you along to the accomplishment of greater things.
This dark current is, in a way, the only ally you need in your path to spiritual development. It links you to the Source through the guise of the nocturnal deities. It gives you, this energy you can tap into, the tools you need to transform reality around you.
Learn here, in Part One, how to use this current to fully step into the nights mysteries.
Identifying the Nocturnal Tradition In Witchcraft, a new energy current usually forms around a new tradition. Some High Priest or Priestess determines a set of practices and rites, deities and myths, to base a tradition upon. Practitioners then give energy to the whole, adding vitality to the new current being formed. All Wiccan traditions have begun in this way.
Contrary to popular legend, there are no Wiccan covens with lineages dating back hundreds of years. While Paganism is many thousands of years old, it was never celebrated in quite the way that Witches do so now. This is why many Witches prefer to add a prefix to their theology, calling it Neopaganism. Traditions are relatively new, be they the ones Gerald Gardner or Alex Sanders began last century, or any of the others that followed. Again, until now, Wiccan traditions would come first, then an energy current would form around them.
The current of night, however, has always been here. How can I or any other Witch ever claim to have created this current? Dark power has always existed, and has been tapped by countless magick users through the years. The Nocturnal Tradition, therefore, is one we must attempt to identify in reverse, if you will. It is a tradition formed to make best use of a timeless force that has shown itself to nightkind each sunset for millennia.
While I am presenting here rites that will enable you to live year-round within something Im identifying as the Nocturnal Tradition, the rites can ultimately be molded to meet your needs. This tradition is what you nightkind make of it, after all. You can use the practices presented here, as they are, for decades, or you can immediately rewrite themI wont mind. The nights energy is still there, waiting to be tapped. I only hope to help you feel its reality and make practical use of this current.
Initiation If youve performed any kind of self-dedication to the God and Goddess and have begun working with dark magick, then you have experienced the dark current. A few short lunar cycles after said dedication, you should have felt that your connection to the universe expanded. If youve only just begun working with magick, youll soon know what I mean.
Everything starts to seem different when you walk down a magickal path. In magick, results are obtained when probabilities and coincidences are bent slightly to ultimately provide you with what you ask for. Do a spell for a new car, and you may either get a raise to make possible the payments on a new car, or may even win one in a contest. The universe decides how results are obtained.
Well, coincidences and bending probabilities and the like abound even when youre not waiting for a set magickal result. This is because life itself is a path toward a magickal resulttoward adepthood or occult mastery. Working with a current sets this all in motion. Even newly developed currents take on a form of tangible intelligence in time, providing the universe with a means of helping you. A current as old as that of night, however, can powerfully alter your life.
To more fully allow yourself to be swept up by the wonderful gifts awaiting you in the darkness, you should consider taking your dedication a level further through full initiation. Contrary to legendand recent legend, at thatyou can initiate yourself. Again, there are no centuries-old traditions that can claim the authority to pass on a figurative torch. And even in ancient days, when Paganism was the prevalent religion of most lands for millennia, self-initiation rites still existed, ranging from inner vision quests to dangerous exposures to the elements in the wild.
The Self-Initiation found here will only strengthen your link to the unseen world and to the night itself. Think of the night as an ether filled with intenta viscous intelligence that closes in on you with each passing sunset. In time, the dark will guide you where you need to go with gentle nudges or even startling pushes in the right direction. Initiation allows this current to carry you in the fullest sense of what the word current implies.
In addition to helping your development, the Self-Initiation will strengthen your link to Divinity. The gods and goddesses of night will somehow feel closer to you from the moment you complete the rite. This is no hallucination on your part. The dark current is what you use to access these deities. By aligning yourself more closely with the dark current, you allow your soul a freer way to reach the godforms built upon the same energy.
To perform this ritual, you will need an altar that is fully set up. Make sure there is a black skrying device or nocturnal portal on the center. You will also need to cast either a nocturnal circle or whatever magick circle youre comfortable with.
In addition, a couple of extra items will be necessary. One is a lidless black box about the size of a shoebox. This can literally be the latter, covered on the outside with black construction paper or paint. The box will be used upside down as a cover for some items that you need to place at the foot of the altar.
These items? For starters, youll need a piece of obsidian. This can be of any size, but consider that it will be something you keep around for a long time, so make sure its a piece you like.
Also, gather representations of the four elements that make sense to you. A feather for air, perhaps, or some rocks for earth? How about a match for fire and a shell for water? Dont worry too much about what you select. Unlike the obsidian, these representations of the elements will not be around with you for long at all and should be disposable.
This next item is one you dont have much leeway with. You need to find some kind of small toy human skull, unless you happen to have a real human one lying around (and if so, I dont need to know why!). Odd as this sounds, trust me on the skulls necessity for now.
The last item is a one-sided hand mirror. Place this facedown on the ground before your altar and put the other objects on top of the mirror. Try to arrange the objects so that the elemental symbols are toward the appropriate quarters on the mirror, and place the skull in the center. The skull should be facing west (and all the objects should be on the floor to the west of the altar, where you normally stand). Behind or to the east of the skull, place the piece of obsidian. It should not be visible if you kneel before the items on the floor.
Cover the objects with the overturned black box and prepare yourself for the Self-Initiation. Before you undertake this powerful transformation rite, however, be certain to read through it a couple of times, even visualizing how youll carry it out. It contains a few steps that are more dramatic than the typical ritual and which youll perform much easier after having imagined them.
Take a ritual bath if possible, imagining that you are being purified by the water around you.
Do a self-relaxation meditation or rite.
Cast a magick circle, but do not invoke the God or Goddess yet.
Place both palms on the altar and kneel before it, being careful not to knock over the black box with your knees.
Spend a moment feeling a connection with the energy present in your altar. Your palms may start tingling.
Look into the nocturnal portal until you can see your reflection. Think about how you coexist with the glowing darkness around you, and about how your life has been changing as a result. Think of your first successful invocation, your first manifested thoughtform or spell result.
Gaze into the reflection of your eyes and say:
I now delve deeper into the shadows. Move your face back from the portal, seeing its reflection blend fully with the darkness.
May the gods and goddesses of night guide their still-blind child
on the road of the seeker.
So mote it be.
Lift your hands and wave into your face some of the incense smoke that you used to cast your circle. Close your eyes and let the mystical scent alter your mood and, ultimately, your state of mind.
Stand up suddenly and move clockwise around the altar to the east. If you feel a head rush, however, pause for a moment before making such a move. When at the east, say:
I now depart the land of the rising sun for the realms of darkness. Now, move counterclockwise to the west of the circle and, as dramatically as you can, simulate your own death. Bizarre as it sounds, you should face the west and collapse (carefully!) ...
Whoever dies shall be reborn.