Berith is the patron demon of the alchemists and in this article I will share a ritual to summon him for the purpose of accelerating one’s alchemical journey.
Berith & Alchemy
The purpose of the alchemical process is to turn lesser metals into gold. This is at times taken quite literally. But as C.G. Jung, Julius Evola and other honest researchers of this ancient practice discovered, it can also be a cryptic way of describing an inner, spiritual transformation.
Why would the alchemists use cryptic language? First of all, to conceal their knowledge and wisdom from the ignorant masses. Secondly, to conceal it from the Church authorities, who condemned and prosecuted anyone who wanted to pursue a spiritual path that was outside its control.
The alchemists realized that certain demons could help them accelerate this inner transformation. The chief one at a certain stage of that transformation is Berith, who is described in the Ars Goetia in the following manner:
The Twenty-eighth Spirit in Order, as Solomon bound them, is named Berith. He is a Mighty, Great and Terrible Duke. He hath two other Names given unto him by men of later times, viz.: BEALE, or BEAL, and BOFRY or BOLFRY. He appeareth in the Form of a Soldier with Red Clothing, riding upon a Red Horse, and having a Crown of Gold upon his head. He giveth true answers, Past, Present, and to Come. Thou must make use of a Ring in calling him forth, as is before spoken of regarding Beleth. He can turn all metals into Gold. He can give Dignities, and can confirm the unto Man. He speaketh with a very clear and subtle Voice. He governeth 26 Legions of Spirits.
On Turning All Metals Into Gold
A casual reader of the text could make the mistake of taking this passage quite literally. If they are an ambitious kind of reader, they might put a lot of effort in summoning Berith to turn the scrap metal in their backyard into gold and fail to do so. They’d go on to say that magic doesn’t work and laugh hysterically at anyone who claims otherwise.
The problem would of course lie in their false interpretation of the text which set them on a fruitless path right from the get-go. It’s important to interpret grimoires correctly, and that can be done only after one has read countless such texts and made countless errors that failed to diminish his passion. Trial and error makes us wise, and so a magician is typically adorned by a great, white beard, having erred more than any mortal.
But to save you from this particular error, I will tell you immediately that what is meant here is an inner transformation. Furthermore, it doesn’t mean that the alchemist will immediately achieve complete spiritual enlightenment and demiurgical power (symbolized by gold, but also know as rubedo or redness), but that he will be supported in this process of turning various metals into gold by Berith.
In other words, purifying all the different aspects of the Self, which would then lead to the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone. The result is not immediate by Berith’s inclusion, but the process is accelerated and strengthened by focusing on various aspects and having Berith act as the conduit of transformation.
Berith Alchemical Ritual for Courage
Since we are dealing with a completely inner transformation, if the practitioner is conducting the summoning for himself and not for another person (as is the case with my ritual for hire service for example, where I perform a ritual for a client), the ritual is very much an invocation.
In other words, you are summoning Berith inside of yourself, pulling his essence inwardly so that it can spiritually enhance and purify some part of yourself that you are transforming at the moment. It could be your courage, inner detachment, wisdom, patience, diligence, fortitude.
If you are engaged in dark alchemy, it could also be deceit, lust, earthly ambition and so forth. Berith is a demon and doesn’t discriminate. It is your perception of what is gold and what is scrap metal that will determine the path of your transformation.
Once you’ve decided the inner attribute you wish to transform, you can invoke Berith to assist you. Due to the specific requirements of any alchemical operation, I can’t share a “general” Berith invocation which you could then use to transform any part of yourself. So I’ve decided to share one for courage, since we live in an age of pronounced fear and courage is in short supply.
- Setting the Sacred Space:
- Choose a quiet, private space for the ritual. Cleanse the area beforehand, perhaps by smudging with sage, to purify the environment.
- Arrange symbols of courage around a central bowl filled with water mixed with rosemary and ginger oils. Symbols of courage can be deeply personal or more general, such as a lion figurine, red jasper stone, sword or other traditional weapon etc.
- Place 2 red and 2 gold candles around this setup. Carve Berith’s sigil on each candle.
- Creating a Protective Circle:
- Use salt to draw a protective circle around your ritual space. As you cast this circle, envision a barrier that shields you from negative influences and creates a sacred space for your work.
Entering a Meditative State:
- Deep Breathing for Trance Induction:
- Sit comfortably within your circle. Begin deep breathing exercises: inhale slowly for a count of four, hold your breath for a count of four, and exhale for a count of four. This 2-2-4 breathing pattern helps induce a trance state.
- Visualizing Protection and Intent:
- As you settle into a meditative state, visualize a protective aura encircling you, shielding you throughout the ritual.
- Focus on your intent to transform timidity into courage. Picture yourself standing strong and confident, embodying these qualities you wish to attract.
Invocation of Berith:
- Chanting the Invocation:
- Holding or wearing a ring made of bronze, silver or gold, as mentioned in the Ars Goetia, begin chanting the invocation: “O Berith, dux fortitudinis, adveni et concede mihi audaciam” (O Berith, duke of strength, come forth and grant me courage).
- Repeat the chant, gradually increasing in volume and intensity, to summon Berith’s presence.
- Symbolic Transformation:
- Focus on the bowl of water. Imagine it absorbing your fears and doubts. Picture these negative energies dissolving into the water, signifying the shedding of timidity.
- Envision the water transforming into golden light within the bowl, symbolizing the alchemical change from timidity to courage.
- Embodying the Transformation:
- With each breath, visualize drawing the golden light into yourself. Feel it infusing every part of your being with courage and strength.
- Recite affirmations of courage and personal power, reinforcing your intent to embody these qualities.
Affirmation of Transformation:
- Sealing the Transformation:
- Chant “Ex timore in fortitudinem, per alchimiam et Berith” (From fear into bravery, through alchemy and Berith). Feel the energy of the chant sealing the transformation within you.
- Perform a physical gesture, such as raising your arms or standing up, to symbolize the completion of the transformation.
Concluding the Ritual:
- Closing the Invocation:
- Thank Berith for his guidance and assistance. Visualize his energy gently receding, leaving behind the gifts of courage and transformation.
- Snuff out the candles and dismantle the salt circle, symbolizing the closure of the ritual and your return to the physical world.
- Grounding and Centering:
- Spend a few moments grounding yourself. This can be done by eating something, touching the earth, or simply sitting quietly, feeling your connection to the physical world.
- Reflect on the ritual and the transformation you have begun. Journaling about your experience can further help integrate and solidify the change.
Regularly engage in activities that challenge you and require courage. This ongoing practice will reinforce the transformation initiated in the ritual and help manifest the qualities of courage and strength in your daily life.
This is a simple transformative ritual and it can be performed by anyone who has a sound mind. It doesn’t require any prior alchemical progress or knowledge of the intricate alchemical symbols and their relations.
Berith acts as the mercury element of the process, transporting the change evoked by your willed action and the ritual setup up to your psyche, so that it becomes an automatic, inbuilt part of you.
In other words, you are ritualistically summoning courage within you, with Berith acting as the conduit between your Will and your Pscyhe, so that the change sticks, instead of dissipating after the initial enthusiasm, as so often happens with self help methods that are popular today.
So, try this invocation for yourself if you have the time and desire. If you need my help with this or any other ambition you might have, consider using my ritual for hire service.