Naga Magick

Naga MagickThe Wisdom of the Serpent Lords

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Pages:216 pages


Serpents have always been both venerated and feared throughout the world, but perhaps none so much as the Naga in Hindu, Tantric and Buddhist traditions. What are the Naga? They are the Serpent Lords of ancient times, more akin to the Orishas of Santeria than to the remote gods of Olympus. And, like the Orishas, they are far more accessible.

Naga Magick is more than a mythic and historical account of the Naga. It is also a Naga 'Grimoire' of practical and spiritual rituals.

Serpent spirits are seen everywhere in Asian iconography and practices, but because of the extremely ancient and 'grass roots' origin of their worship, they are only rarely mentioned in traditional religious texts. This parallels the prehistoric worship of similar serpent spirits across the ancient world in many places under many names. In most Eastern and Western animist or pantheist traditions, serpent-demigods are positive beings manifesting as spiritual guardians. Often these spirits are associated with springs, rivers, lakes and oceans as well as the numinous chthonian world below, as are the Naga. Naga wisdom has the power to enlighten us about the ancient, often forgotten serpent spirits, their magick rituals and their place in helping us to heal Nature.

Whether you wish to learn the history and mythos of the Serpent Spirits, or if you wish to work directly with these luminous beings, Naga Magick provides unique access to the power and wisdom of the Naga Lords.

Naga Magick includes many Illustrations and an extensive Glossary.

Read an Excerpt

What Is A Naga?

The Sanskrit word Naga means 'One who slithers on the ground,' or alternately, 'one without legs.' Naga also means 'serpent', but there are other Sanskrit terms for serpents (Sampa, for example) and Naga, while sometimes meaning only 'snake', most often refers to an animistic entity appearing as a snake, a human or a hybrid of the two. A Naga often appears in the form of a semi-divine king cobra. While not a full God/Goddess, a Naga is part animal spirit (serpent lower half), part human (upper half) and part divinity. It is mentioned in the Puranas (Hindu holy books) that this makes them wholly unique in the spiritual universe of Tantra/Hinduism. They can mate with humans and bear demigod/human children. Many royal lines in Asia--for example in Myanmar--trace themselves to such unions. The Naga are divine protectors, but may also be demonic, poisonous tormentors. They can bring gifts, healing, and protection from snakes, or they can bring death and terror. In this way, they are much like humans!

Such snake and serpent spirits are ubiquitous in ancient animist and pantheist religious traditions worldwide. In the Western Esoteric Traditions we have the Greek serpent-spirit called Agathodaimon, the guardian spirit for each person. Neriads were half serpent beings in rivers and lakes (much like Nagas) and the Genius Loci or spirit of a place was often depicted as a serpent. The Delphic oracle relied on a serpent intermediary, the primal Titan Python, and the oracular priestess was called the 'pythoness.' In Greece the Great Mother—under many names such as Gaia, Rhea and so on—was venerated in the form of or through a serpent intermediary.

Chnoubis, the lion-headed serpent, was not only a mainstay image in Gnostic and pre-Gnostic Hermetic traditions, but has become a crucial image in such Western magickal orders as the Golden Dawn and the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), representing, again, the Guardian Spirit among other things. In the ancient world, there literally existed thousands of snake or serpent spirits venerated in many places under many names. A number of popular books and videos show the cross-cultural profusion of the serpent-spirit archetype. In most of the animist or pantheist/Pagan cultural traditions, these serpent-demigods are positive beings manifesting as spiritual guardians, reflections of the inner Self or specific spirits of places and nature, and almost always associated with springs, rivers lakes and oceans as well as the deep chthonian world below.

So common are serpent spirits or Gods that in my travels to nearly thirty countries I have yet to visit one where they were not prevalent. One marked shift in mankind's view of the serpent-spirit came with monotheist religions that sought to demonize the earlier, far older, nature religions and traditions. Thus the serpent 'devil' in the Tree of Life in Genesis, tempting Adam and Eve with the 'sin' of knowledge! This serpent in the tree exists as a common and positive motif in older spiritual traditions, including Naga myths, but in the Bible it transfigured into something sinister and evil. In Islam the serpent became a symbol of Iblis or Satan, as it is in Christianity. Yet in Buddhism, not only are the Naga venerated and honored, but the Buddha himself is called MahaNaga! Buddhism has always been more accepting of prior myths and deities and the serpent spirits are a prime example of this.


I have yet to find a single culture that does not honor serpent or dragon spirits in some way, except in a few areas where they do not exist. Yet even cultures like Nepal, which have no indigenous serpents, honor Naga spirits and Northwest Indians, often having little or no contact with serpents, still honor the 'double headed serpent' Sisiutl as a powerful magickal ally.


This book focuses primarily on magickal pragmatics rooted in historical and mythological research in conjunction with on-going meditative practice (Naga Sadhana). I spent as much time invoking, communing with and manifesting Naga wisdom as I did in research, taking notes and composing. I am attempting to reconstruct a magickal tradition or narrative so adepts today may either learn extensively about the Naga and their historical and mythological aspects or work, as they will, directly with these amazing beings in ritual or meditation practice.

Om Puuh Svaha!

Editorial Reviews

Naga Magick is an in-depth exploration into the traditions lore of the Nagas, providing deep and personal insight into their communion. The author has done an excellent survey of the deeply ancient Naga cult as it has manifested in various cultures throughout time. This is not an easy subject as the traditions of the Nagas originate in the remote depths of time, and little has been written about these practices. This book is not just an historical overview, however; this is a manual of practical Tantrik Sadhanas to engage with the Nagas directly and intimately. As such, the author presents original rituals and first hand experience of engaging with these mighty, proud and powerful beings. Unique, practical and very eye opening, Naga Magick is highly recommended.

Gregory Peters The Magickal Union of East & West: The Spiritual Path to New Aeon Tantra

The chthonic Naga universe and the serpentine path presented in Naga Magick is alluring and compelling with sigils and rituals and safeguards for those intrepid explorers called upon this most ancient and primeval path. Denny notes: "It is the Sorcerers — Magick-making Shamans and Tantrikas — who feel the most comfortable in the Naga realm." Count yourself in if you qualify.

Linda Falorio The Shadow Tarot

Le Grande Zombi (the Great Serpent) is an integral part of New Orleans Voodoo, my chosen system of practice. It is enlightening to see how these powerful deities show up in other systems and practices. If your practice or interests include serpent spirits, this is a work you should have and use regularly.

Dr. Louis Martinié New Orleans Voodoo Tarot

Naga Magick offers unique insight into a field that touches both the divine and the human: wisdom-bearing serpents. We find this theme in mythologies all over the world — as in the Judeo-Christian mythology where the serpent tempted Eve with knowledge. In accepting knowledge, a path of illumination and discovery was struck for humankind, and it is this path Sargent shares with us.

Nicholaj de Mattos Frisvold (Vajrapaninath) Palo Mayombe; Exu; Pomba Gira; Obeah; and Craft of the Untamed

Snakes are fascinating and ancient manifestations of magical energy. Naga Magick bridges the Tantric and esoteric traditions with meticulous research informed by personal practice. The beginner will find the prose clear and understandable, while the experienced practitioner will discover a rich and deeply satisfying tradition that easily harmonizes with any Pagan, esoteric or Tantric work. This is a gem, perfectly crafted for our time.

Brandy Williams Practical Magic for Beginners; Ecstatic Ritual; and The Woman Magician

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About the Author

Denny Sargent

Denny Sargent is an accomplished writer, historian and university Instructor with a Masters degree in Ancient History and Cross Cultural Communications. He was initiated into the Nath Lineage of Tantra in 1980 as taught by Shri Gurudev Dadaji Mahendranath, and has practiced and written about Tantra ever since. He has traveled extensively and conducted on-site research in more than 25 countries, including India and many other areas of Asia. He is the author of many books including: Global Ritualism; Myth & Magick Around the World; The Tao of Birth Days; and Dancing With Spirits: Festivals & Folklore of Japan. He likes snakes.