Why did I decide to jump right into this process before trying other, less intense or time consuming ritual Magick? At first, I did so because many of the workings I read seemed to have the HGA invocation as part of the opening series of protections and to me, it seemed silly to invoke anything about which I had little to no knowledge. Plus, I would later discover that there was a much greater reason why I chose to begin this work, at this stage of my life. After all, ignorance and Magick just don't seem to be very good companions. So, I made sure to choose and use the latest guide for the work--the Dehn version called "The Book of Abramelin." It seemed to be the most appropriate for me, since there were historical context-setting explanations and there weren't too many things I would have to buy to make K&CHGA a reality. I would discover that this process was actually a continuation of work I had already completed...I just needed to make sure I had all the necessary items to undertake the process as outlined in the Grimoire.
The following is combination of journal excerpts and clarifications to them:
Preparation: I purchased everything I needed to make the "Oil of Abramelin" (per the Crowley recipe), incense, wand of pecan wood (purchased lathed and unfinished) and all other items. Getting the scarlet colored silk was a challenge, but the white cotton for the robes was much easier. The incense was easy to procure, although I added an additional ingredient* to it, for a more uplifting effect. The altar was smaller than usual, so I converted a night-table that had a drawer in which I put the items after closing, but with the addition of a covered box top, it had the appearance I sought The room I used was perfect for the work--I specifically rented an apartment that had a room with its windows aligned properly--one in the east, one in the west. Another thing that I was told to do, by a good friend that had already completed this process, was to pursue the work WITHOUT a preconceived name of my HGA; that would be revealed as the work entered the second phase. I would later discover that no preconceived notions should be had about anything, as few things happen as described in the book--some things are hidden purposely.
The work: Day one consists of a clearing of sorts and is unlike the other days. Some simply omit this day's work, but in my opinion, that would have been totally contrary to the purpose of the work. In my opinion, it offers the initiate an opportunity to make an accounting of himself to himself. I chose the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur to begin the working, for obvious reasons--not because I am a Jew or religious; it just felt right. Now to be quite honest, I wasn't in prayer from sun up until sundown, but I did make a full accounting to myself of all the things I felt I needed to. It was all new. The level of detail required to perform the Abramelin seemed above and beyond what one would normally do for other ritual workings. I opened and closed as per the literature.
Impressions: On day one, some things seemed silly and difficult to do with a straight face. This was a phenomena that occurred only at the very beginning. "Inflaming" myself "in prayer" was not easy to do either. Dressing up in the appropriate attire and making sure the room was properly consecrated took a lot of time and it seemed unimportant. Something else I found myself doing initially--clock watching; an hour of constant ritual is tough to pull-off at first. I also found myself wondering why I decided to start a process that could last a year and a half. It wouldn't be long before I discovered that the entire process works and unites one to himself--his higher-self, identifies his purpose and other things that I will discuss as this series progresses. There were no epiphanies to talk about from day one, incidentally.