If anyone knows anything about me, It’s that I feel the Hat is a primary tool of Magic (and if you don’t, mark your page, and then close the book and look at the cover, are you back with us? good, let’s continue) in 3200 BC One of the first pictorial depictions of a hat appears in a Thebes tomb. A painting on the wall shows a man wearing a coolie straw hat. 1700 BCE - The Westcar Papyrus (now in the State Museum, East Berlin) records the earliest known performance of conjuring with a Hat.70 BC - A young Danish chieftain falls into a bog to be in near perfect condition along with his pieced leather and fur cap. This is one of the earliest physical representations of hats that has been found. Circa 40 CE - Simon Magus, aka Simon the Sorcerer and Simon of Gitta. Samaritan magician who has been referred to as the founder of post-Christian Gnosticism. He is said to have fallen to his death while levitating, or, more accurately, when he stopped levitating too soon. He was said to always have a Hat on the ground in front of him when levitating.50-818 AD - According to legend, St. Clement discovered felt when, as a wondering monk, he filled his sandals with carded wool to protect his feet. The moisture and pressure from walking compressed the fibers into a crude yet comfortable felt. Hatters in Ireland as well as a few other countries have celebrated him as the Patron Saint of Felt Hat Makers.1797 AD - John Hetherington stirs a riot in the streets and earn himself a £500 fine. What did he do, you ask? He wore a top Hat! It's great height and shiny silk luster incited terror and panic. And to Incite is the whole point of the Hat, from Top Hat to Miter ,Native Headdress to Shriner’s Fez, the Hat is used for both the conjure and those who attend to him or her, be they human or otherwise.
The Origins of the Brimless, conical hats that have long been associated with male wizards and magicians, comes from The "dunce cap," and the word "dunce" itself, comes from one man: John Duns Scotus, or "the Subtle Doctor," born in 1266 in Duns, Scotland. He was considered a master philosopher in the late middle ages, coining such oblique terms as "haecceitas" ---literally, "thisness." (use it in conversation with a spirit, I dare you.) He taught in Oxford, Cambridge and Paris, and founded the school of Scholastic thought called Scotism, whose followers were referred to as "Dunsmen." One incredulous tale told about him, shortly after he was made Abbot of Malmesbury his students stabbed him to death with their pens for "trying to get them to think." "the pen is mightier than the sword" comes to mind. He was a respected teacher until the 16th century, when his ideas were attacked by reformers and humanists as being sophist and needlessly complex. The Dunsmen (or Dunces) rallied against the attack (their name was by then already associated with "hair-splitting-ness" and specious reasoning), but all their struggle against the "new learning" only made their name synonymous with "idiot." The problem seems to be a tendency to favor extremely subtle and indirect reasoning that makes fellow Scholastic Thomas Aquinas seem accessible by comparison, and being subtle and indirect has plagued the world of magic ever since. What does this all have to do with the Wizard’s Hat?Well, one of the Ideas that Duns put forward was the wearing of conical hats to increase learning. He noted that wizards supposedly wore such things; an apex was considered a symbol of knowledge and the hats were thought to "funnel" knowledge to the wearer. As archaic as this may sound, it was, and still is, accepted fact in Taoist Magic and ritual Professor Jerry Alan Johnson textbook, Magical Tools and the Daoist Altar. Has this to say on the matter, “The priest's hat, covering his or her head, represents the spiritual anointing of Heaven. According to the first volume of Rules for the Use of the Ritual Robe of the Three Grottoes, written by Daoist Master Zhang Wanfu during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) for regulations concerning Daoist clothes and adornments, "A Daoist priest's hat is symbolic of contemplation. It is worn to remind the Daoist priest to contemplate on his or her spiritual body, and to cut off (or remove) all physical (mundane) desires. Once the hat is placed upon the disciple’s head, it allows him or her the ability to sincerely pacify the mind, and to attain the fruit of Daoism. Furthermore, the disciple of the Dao should contemplate on outer materials as not being personal possessions, this will assist him or her in cutting off all desires.” Wangfu had the right idea that the act of putting on the Hat is a reminder to the mind and spirit that all acts with the Hat on become spiritual, and by gaining the ability to pacify the Mind, the conjure can see and work with spirits and gods with much more skill and control.
And Excerpt from The GRIMORIUM CARCERIS.=Copyright 2015 Vincent Piazza