What about Watchtowers?

So I have been reading a few different blog posts and forum posts in various places over the last few months from people that are working through the GD/Modern Magick lens. Invariably the ritual description starts with “did” LBRP and sometimes “LBRH”.

Scott has been working his operant field system where he notes the different interplay of Invoking and Banishing rites of these two rituals, which is cool.

My question though is: What about opening and closing by Watchtower?

In Modern Magic, there is no practical magick in the book described at all without doing opening and closing by Watchtower. When I was in high school and finally got Watchtower down it was a revelation! When I started working with the OTO and people were doing Star Ruby and Sapphire only, people were blown away by the results of working within the Watchtower vortex. So my question is: why don’t people seem to want to do it?

I mean I don’t necessarily work with those zone rites anymore, but I do occasionally if only because they were my central rituals for my first 10 years on the path. When I do it, I use heavily modified versions of the BRH and Watchtower, but the essence of it is still there. If you want an operant field – Watchtower will give it to you in spades!

Anyway, I am curious why this rite that is really one of the KEY elements to Modern Magick gets ditched by, well almost everyone. It is not that time consuming, and you can streamline it down if it is.


About Inominandum

Author. Sorcerer. Consultant. I have 30 plus years of experience making magic a reality for myself, my clients, and my students. For a complete background go to www.strategicsorcery.net
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16 Responses to What about Watchtowers?

  1. My current theory is that the community is learning though reading other people’s workings. If you see a hundred outlines saying that the Lesser Rituals of the Pentagram and Hexagram is the proper way to start, and only one that says otherwise, you tend to go with the majority opinion.

  2. Ananael Qaa says:

    All I can say here is that when I tested the various openings against real-world probabilities, the Watchtower proved slightly less effective than the LBRP/LIRH. My data wound up looking something like this:

    LBRP/LBRH – Least effective.
    LBRP/LBRH/Watchtower – More effective.
    LBRP/LIRH – Most effective.
    LBRP/LIRH/Watchtower – Also most effective. No appreciable improvement over LBRP/LIRH, but more work. So I stick with LBRP/LIRH for my own workings.

    My working hypothesis is that because Regardie’s Opening by Watchtower still uses the elemental pentagrams and microcosmic (winds model) elemental directions it is more solidly rooted in the microcosm than the LIRH, which engages the macrocosm more fully. My guess is that your Star Ruby/Star Sapphire using folks were doing the banishing version of the Star Sapphire, so their effective opening was a variant on LBRP/LBRH. I can’t say for sure, of course, but I know that I see the banishing form of the Star Sapphire more often online than the (in my opinion correct) invoking form.

    It’s interesting to see you posting on this now because one of the ideas I’ve been considering testing out of late is a “Macrocosmic Watchtower” as a replacement for the LIRH. What you would do is take the standard Opening by Watchtower, move the elements to the macrocosmic (zodiac) directions, and then use the elemental hexagrams as in the LIRH rather than pentagrams. If nothing else it simplifies the floorwork for the elemental circumambulations considerably, since the zodiacal elemental arrangement naturally processes in the YHVH order used for the invocations. I have no idea how well it will work because I haven’t done any testing on it yet, but I’ll be sure to post my results on Augoeides once I get around to trying it out.

    • Jason Miller says:

      How are you using Microcosm and Macrocosm here? Sublunar and planetary or as inner personal and outer? If the former, than I agree that is how the system works which is precisely why the Watchtower is so juicy. If the latter I am curious as to what makes you arrive at that interpretation.

      I have also messed around with the same kinds of arrangements that you list above and can only say that for me, my data differs. I get a huge boost to material workings using Watchtower and have not gotten squat out of LIRH’s.

      The only problem with a Watchtower rite arranged according to the astrological element quadrants is that it than rips it out of its original Enochian context, cutting those words off from their origins.

      Though I do work mostly within the correspondences of whatever system a rite arose within, s far as actual qualities I tend to approach the elements more as the Tibetans do and have a very fluid concept of which quadrant they can be called in from in a Mandala, and also do not see them as something that is within or under the planetary spheres as RO might.

  3. Ananael Qaa says:

    The way I use microcosm/macrocosm it’s both. Sublunar represents inner and planetary represents outer.

    One of the biggest problems with trying to develop any sort of “universal” system of forms is that when building your sample sets you only have yourself as a reference point and maybe a couple of other people. There’s nothing there that says anything about how generally applicable one’s methods are going to be, so you share your lab notes, invite others to try out your methods, and then see how many of them get the same results that you do.

    One thing I will say is that the Watchtower feels more powerful in a subjective sense and it might be for certain mystical operations. The thing is, Regardie claimed that it was the key to practical magick so that’s how I was testing it. I was actually kind of surprised to find that probability-wise LBRP/LIRH/Watchtower didn’t produce stronger shifts than LBRP/LIRH, because when you’re doing the Watchtower it does feel like a lot more is going on.

    • Ahmad says:

      “Sublunar represents inner and planetary represents outer”

      This is incorrect. The sublunar world is the world of perishable things, this includes certain elements that make up the human being, but this does not mean that the sublunary world is the microcosm. But part of the microcosm (man) belongs to the sublunar world.
      The only thing that was called the microcosm is the man, and nothing else, this is the traditional truth. Sublunar and microcosms are not synonymous. Neither are the macrocosm and the heavenly world.
      The macrocosm is anything other than the man (microcosm) and this includes both the celestial and the sublunary world (in anything that does not include man), this is the only traditional teaching and true. Everything else belongs to incorrect and non-traditional teaching.

    • Ahmad says:

      I forgot to say that the above on my grounds, the LBRP affects only those who practice it to the limit of his aura, because the operator is the microcosm, but does nothing to everything that is not him or not is somewhat way related to him at that moment (this is the only reason why if it is performing a spell that depends on the effectiveness of the magician himself, the spell may be unusable). Another example, if someone at the moment is charged some energy, this is removed, whether good or bad, and of whatever type.
      While LBRH, clean the undesirable is not attached to the magician or personally incumbent.

  4. Inominandum says:

    Again, I would say that my data differs substantially.

  5. wind says:

    Hi Jason,
    You mentioned modifications. As someone who also used the Watchtower extensively early on, and then moved to Vajrayana, I’m very interested in learning more about what kinds of modifications to the BRH and Watchtower you currently use. Thanks.

  6. Pingback: Tweaks I made to BRH and Watchtower | Strategic Sorcery Blog

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