ulysses black

ulysses black

word. image. action

An Invocation of Ritual

With each cycle, following the 'sacrifice' of one of the t-shirts, a ritual word from the ritual map (focus of the adoration) is then inscribed on the body, affecting some slight transmission via 'sympathetic magic'. Photography by Samuel Horn

An Invocation of Ritual

As part of my own campaign process of invoking ritual, adhering to my own threefold methodology, the transition from 3rd Perceptual Position to 2nd was marked by the devising and performance of a ritual that addressed the matter of invocation (and in this case, the invocation of ritual).
   This was in essence a 'meta-ritual' - a ritual to affect ritual. In doing so the ritual entailed numerous congruent aims which formed a matrix that directly reflects the complexity the unfolds within ritual in general. The aims were:

1) For me to formally mark the invocation of ritual through ritual action. This meant using not only invocatory practices, but also referencing general ritual practices as a means to identify 'ritual' as the object of devotion.
   The ritual included: contemplation, attention direction, repetition, divination, adoration, sacrifice, and circumnavigation.

2) Alongside the ritual seven spoken word audio tracks play out in sequence, timed with the seven revolutions that form the body of the ritual. These detail the process of invocation, describing my developing notions of the tripartite formula of Priest, Lover and God. This ritual marks a transition point from Priest to Lover.

3) by way of content, the ritual employ ed my own biographical details as they relate to my life with ritual. This formed the visual substance of the ritual by way of artefacts and fetish items.   This included: the sequential donning and removal of seven Ulysses Black T-shirts, indicating the repetition of the seven days of the week.
   These when removed were 'sacrificed' in a heap within a salt circle that surrounded the suspended 7-foot chart that details my ritual research. This chart became the 1st-stage (Priestly) object of devotion and veneration. It signified the god-made-word.
   A salt 'triangle of summoning' in the centre of the room marked the locus of evocation. within this was my black circular mirror (as featured in the Summer of Love work, and numerous other operations dating back to the Exploration phase of the Initiative). Upon this, in the centre was a small mound of salt with a single chicken egg as the ovum (Atu 14) awaiting the fertilizing (Atu 15) arrival of the god. Within this egg, which formed the focal point of the ritual, the 'god' 'ritual' would be summoned.  
   Opposite the chart, and facing it across the black draped room, was a table upon which was a silver bowl filled with black paint, creating yet another black mirrored circle. This was the skyring surface. Next to it was a paper pad onto which the recieved sigils were drawn. Opposite the pad was a stack of the seven magical diaries i have filled since i began my MA in Ritual Performance (which were the ‘greater days’ in fractal reflection of the t-shirts of Ulysses Black).
   These various objects conspired to produce a ritual sequence that was both a cyclic invocation in its own right, but also formed a biographical account of the invocatory campaign in the greater.
   At the climax of the ritual, the egg was uplifted from its place on the black mirror void, within the triangle of salt (an ‘eie’ in the triangle, signifying ‘god’ was a pun buried within the centre of the work) and carried over to the skrying bowl. The egg was then cracked into the bowl and the paint was stirred. In this action the egg as receptacle for the ingress of the godform, was now added to the black paint, (in a manner that recalls the use of egg tempera within renaissance painting).
  Within the rubric of magical ritual, the egg, charged with the evoked godform (evocation being distinct from invocation), when added to the paint transmits and charges it also. The paint was stirred with the papers on which the sigils seen in the paint had been drawn, again bringing its own outpourings (as mediated by Ulysses Black) back into the paint.
  The bowl of paint, that black mirror from which the name Black hails, is taken to the large suspended diagram, and upon which is now daubed the outline - head and shoulders and flanks - of a faceless figure. From the text of the chart, through the mediation of ritual and ritualist, the god ‘ritual’ is beginning to emerge... to arrive...


Jan 2013 (ongoing)

Phase 1 of the ritual cycle: contemplation of the ritual map. Photography by Samuel Horn

Ulysses Black lifts and examines the logo on one of the seven Ulysses Black t-shirts before putting it on to continue the ritual cycle. Photography by Samuel Horn

Ulysses Black stands in the Posture of Silence before the ritual map, the focus of concentration and adoration, marking the beginning of each ritual cycle. Photography by Samuel Horn

Before the egg, adoring the ritual map. Photography by Samuel Horn

Skrying the circle of black paint. Photography by Samuel Horn

daubing the 'charged' paint on the ritual map. Making visible the silhouetted godform of ritual. Photography by Samuel Horn

Behind the skrying table, the line of the schematics and plans for the ritual explaining the constituent parts. Photography by Ulysses Black