“Working the Names
” is a new course by Dr. Aaron Davis, who teaches a well-received class on hoodoo at TBS. The new class is focused on ceremonial magic forms and mysticism connected to the 72 Shemhamphorash Angels of the Zodiac. Not only will you learn lesser-known ceremonial magic traditions of working with the 72 Shemhamphorash Angels, but you will also
learn to combine spirit-work with practical, results-oriented magic.
Some additional thoughts by Dr. Aaron Davis related to his new class:
“As some of you may know, I have a class starting soon that works with a particular set of Angels that have been around in the occult scene for quite some time—the 72 Angels of the Shemhamphorash.
“Working with them was not something I just started now though. I actually reached out to one of them a long while ago, at least 15 years ago. I was becoming more interested in such things and was particularly interested in exploring angels. I read everything I could find. I even received a few New Age angel attunements, which I thought would make it easier for me to dial them up and communicate.
“There wasn’t much out at the time related to the “Shem” angels back then. I remember I found one book (I can’t remember what it was called), and in that book it taught you how to look up the name of your Shem Birth Angel. I found out who that was and began to work with her. The book did not, from what I remember, have a specific ritual to use or anything. Just general suggestions of stones and such to work with them (I specifically remember it suggesting Angelite, which I managed to find!).
“For a solid month or more, I set up a small altar in the basement apartment of a friend where I was staying. All it had were some of those stones, stick incense and a candle. I would turn everything on and just pray from my heart. I would ask my Angel to come to me and make herself known in whatever way she wanted or needed.
“Most nights, nothing happened. But right around the end of about a month or so, I woke up one night almost startled out of my sleep. I looked up in front of me and I kid you not, before my very eyes was a smallish angelic figure hovering overhead. She didn’t speak, and neither did I at first. I wasn’t afraid, but I was definitely shocked! When I got over that, I thanked her for coming and hearing my prayer, and asked her to keep watch over me.
“She still did not speak, but as if she heard me, she alighted on one of those big storage freezers some people have in their basement. She sat there and DID watch over me for what felt most of the night. I can’t usually just fall back to sleep when I know a spirit is manifested in front of me, but that night I did.
“My point in writing this is just to note that we all start somewhere. I did not know where to turn or look, so I experimented. I read what I could find and made my best attempt to connect. As New Agey as parts of it were, it still worked, and fairly well for a beginner spirit-worker. I didn’t really know what I was doing. But I trusted my intuition and had my faith in God and knew how to pray. I put all of this together and cobbled a practice that set me on part of my path.
“Now I want to also be clear that I am not knocking New Age religion. As I said, I did part of it and found it helpful. But at this point in my journey, it doesn’t speak to me anymore. I am very much aware of New Age’s tendencies for misappropriation and what is dangerous in doing that, especially when talking about spirit-work. So, I started to dig and research more about the 72 Angels. As the years have gone by, more books and information has surfaced as well.
“The class that’s starting soon is a result of some of this period of searching. I wanted people to have an option for practice that was more grounded in (spiritual) ancestral insights and ways, and I think it is. Interestingly, the Ruling Angel concept is still important too, even after all these years. The way this arcana is, that Angel is the one who directs the traffic of what you might do. I also see them in a similar tradition as the three chief angels ala Agrippa, who speaks in fair detail about the Natal Angel of a person’s astrology. This Angel is not exactly the same thing, but in this system serves an almost identical function.
“Know that whoever you are and wherever you have been spiritually, if aspects of your past have been important to you to hold onto, that you do not have to totally reject that past in order to step into a more meaningful present. I in fact assume people bring diverse practices to my classes. It then falls on them to figure out how things fit and work in concert with each other.
If you think you’re interested in learning more about these Angels, I encourage you to sign up and come on it!”