Morphosephram: The Handbook of Shadows (also known as M.T.H.O.S.) is a 2005 book written by William Wraithe, the first known to contain instructions for shapeshifting ritual magic, particularly into animals. The primary model used is based on morphogenetic fields and the use of dark matter as a source and sink for excess matter. Its rituals are meant to enable three types of shapeshifting. It has since been superseded by The Shifter's Bible which has much more versatility but a similarly high price.
The author claims to have gained the information for these rituals by making deals with certain demons (Paimon, Oriens, Asmodai, and Amon, referred to collectively as "POAA", as well as Furfur and Mobloch) for the knowledge, though the price was unspecified. All rituals in the book require an advanced understanding of visualization, ritual magic, evocation, and an open third eye. Despite warning that the book is not for beginners, exercises are provided to gain these prerequisites.
The "base sigil" is a simple symbol which the author claims dramatically enhance energy generation and retention. It forms the basis for the other container sigils and can act on its own as a generic container or amplifier. The container sigils are generally to be kept wrapped in a black cloth in the dark.
The "physical sigil" stores energy from the physical plane (prana) and must be periodically recharged. The "astral sigil" stores energy from the astral plane. Due to the sheer volume of energy it produces, it can be used as a virtually limitless source of energy. The "spiritual sigil" stores spiritual energy and never drains. It's used to connect to the spirit world and attract spirits. The author warns that it's dangerous as it's effectively an open portal which could allow entities in if unprotected.
The book provides a wide variety of techniques which may be useful for the main rituals, including:
- Meditation to open the third eye
- Shields: Physical, astral, mental, psychic, elemental, and spiritual
- Gathering energy: physical, astral, and spiritual
- Astral projection by means of Meditation
- "Astral winds"
The book provides rituals to become one of three types of shapeshifter.
Were-creatures are any human capable of shapeshifting into an animal, as well as an intermediate form, usually by genetic inheritance rather than ritualistic creation. Shifting is partially unconsciously controlled by emotions and the author warns multiple times about the possibility of harming others if proper precautions aren't taken. The transformation takes place over three rituals: "Trial of Spirit & Air" (binding to an animal spirit), "Trial of Shadow & Water" (merging beings with the animal spirit), and "Trial of Fire & Earth" (merging of the astral and physical bodies).
The last ritual is the most complicated and involves invoking POAA, evoking a spirit named "Merogh" Ruler of Shadow and his brother "Sehroh" Ruler of Spirit, and using the power of "Mistress Saturn" to complete the ritual. Who these particular figures are in the author's cosmology is unspecified, though it may derive from the religion of the Ho-Chunk tribe.
The author claims to have performed these rituals successfully in 1990 and expresses both gratitude and regret. It should be noted that the text implies this is the only set of rituals the author did - the rest are similarly obtained from POAA but not performed by them. This is further supported by the much more vivid descriptions of what can be expected to occur.
"Vampiers" are described as the true origin behind the vampire mythology. They are humans merged with servitors of Mobloch, capable of transforming into any combination of bat, wolf, or shadow. This transformation takes place over just two rituals and is the easiest of the three varieties: Summoning Mobloch to create a pact (with the implication that a steep price will be negotiated) and the summoning of his servitor to bind to. Shapeshifting is immediate without much need for practice.
Shape-changers are humans with multiple morphogenetic sub-fields, enabling them to transform into more than one kind of animal. Unlike were-creatures, they are not able to transform into intermediate forms.
The transformation into this form takes place over three naturalistic rituals in a similar vein to the were-creature rituals: Ndome Iadosma, Iamra Iolial, and Liel Ileiel. All three invoke the Great Spirit and evoke Allowat Sakima, who gives his blessing and guidance to complete the ritual.
The very end of the book provides recipes for a variety of oils, most of which are used in the main rituals:
- Dark matter oil
- Astral oil
- Summoning oil
- Protection oil
- Elemental oils: fire, earth, water, air, shadow, spirit, moon, success, and connection
- 12 Zodiac oils
- Connection oil
- Ho-Chunk religion:
- Channeled beings:
- Mobloch (not to be confused with Moloch)
- 20 High Guardians used to compel Mobloch
The magic system used by the author is a somewhat eclectic mix of Goetia, Enochian magic, Wicca (via Theban), The Golden Dawn, and native traditions of the Ho-Chunk tribe. Additional references can be seen with Celestial, Pigpen writing, The Alphabet of the Magi, Phoenician, Alchemy, and at least 4 other languages/alphabets. Rituals feature mild use of props and heavy use of magic circles, candle magic, energy work, and third eye visualizations.