Power Word

Warning: extra long post

(tl/dr: I got it.)

Further to my previous post, I performed a ritual with the intent of gaining a power word to snap myself out of impending rage and into my magical persona. The ritual itself is outlined in the first paragraph of this article, which I preceded (and followed) with the banishing ritual given as an example here. Pretty basic stuff, really.

Not having used our living room as a ritual space before, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it fit the requirements. Although not aligned precisely to the cardinal points, it’s a square room with a window to the East, a multifuel stove to the south and a large portrait of Ganesh to the North. If you’ve read the two articles linked above, you’ll see why having the window to the East and the room being presided over by Ganesh are so apt. Traditional attribution of the quarters puts Air to the East (sky through window) and Fire to the South (stove), while “Norse quarters” tend to put Odin to the North, so I’m used to having a “Boss God” there. If I’d noticed all of this before starting the banishing, I would have lit the stove and put chalice of water on the bureau to West. As it was, that’s where the incense bowl sits, so I offered incense and my usual invocation as I entered the room:

“Hail Aesir, hail Nornir, hail Vanir. Hail to the Ancestors and Allies. Hail to our descendants.”

I find that this works as a generic nod to all of the many and varied entities I have worked with across numerous traditions (plus it prevents squabbles by alluding to but not naming certain beings within the Norse trad that will work with or through me, but refuse to be associated with each other. A bit of a cop-out, I know, but it’s the best compromise I’ve found).

After making space by moving the big pine chest that serves as a coffee table onto the sofa, I began the banishing. It’s been a while since I “cut” pentagrams, but was happy to note that I could still “see” them as I cut them and hold the finished shape in my mind’s eye projected onto the wall as I pumped it up with the IAO invocation (here we have the essence of being “mixmage”: That’s Norse, Hindu and Egyptian deities invoked before we’re even through the banishing!). I then knelt facing East and gathered myself for the next stage of the rite.

As I knelt I noticed a long thread on the carpet just by my knee. I picked it up to get rid of, began winding it around my fingertip and realised it wasn’t thread, rather a steel-wound guitar string my eldest son had just replaced. I was going to put it in my pocket to dispose of afterward but, as I got half-way through, realised that this was perfect symbolism for “binding” the Demon. I continued with that intent, took the wrapped loop off my finger and passed the remainng third through the middle over and over, binding the strand into a tight quoit.

Binding complete, I began the main part of the ritual. As per the description, I tried to emulate the physical effects of being caught in the midst of intense anger. I tensed my fists, jaw and shoulders, tried to pull the tension up into the top of my chest to mimic the feeling of rage, found I couldn’t get enough tension into my thighs and calves while kneeling, so stood up and tensed my whole body, my face locked into the hard, irate frown that seems to strike fear into anyone who has seen me flip out.

I began the glossolalia, allowing my mouth and voice to make whatever sounds they wanted to: plosive, sibilant, humming, I was surprised just how many and varied the quick-fire syllables were. This went on for half a minute or so without slowing or settling on any repeated patter-pattern: no sign of a power word. I called to mind the form I had imagined for this Demon Rage: a large, stocky humanoid figure made entirely of flame, a kind of shambling bonfire golem; a generic fire elemental, I suppose. Despite having this image in my mind, the power word still refused to form.

It suddenly occurred to me to turn to the South, to face the Fire quarter. The moment I did, the image of the fire elemental was overlaid and obliterated by a huge and angry bull’s head with huge vertical horns. I was shocked, but also encouraged – This is the face of my Rage Demon. As I gazed upon its furious countenance, I realised that it was more the head of a Minotaur than a bull, and in this moment my glossolalia began to solidify around a string of syllables. I pulled away from influencing the outcome and allowed the sounds to form of their own volition. As my voice settled on a repeating string of five syllables, the image of the demon faded away, my soul and body relaxed and filled with a feeling of deep calm. It sounded vaguely Nordic, which was pleasing to me, complete with rolled ‘r’ sounds. I repeated it to myself a few times just to make sure I had it, then closed the ceremony by repeating the banishing.

Since then I’ve had a couple of chances to test it out: it works well when I can feel myself beginning to boil, but the sudden flip-out is still faster than reflex; although I can’t get in the way of the switch flipping, I now have the tech to pull out of the rage, which is a major step forward in itself.


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One Response to “Power Word”

  1. mixmage Says:

    Update: I have since discovered that the five syllable phrase I gained actually makes sense in Swedish. Even more so considering what I was doing, the intent of the ritual.

    I don’t speak Swedish.

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