As a magician I draw inspiration from the women who came before me. Generation over generation we remember the contributions of famous men but lose the women’s stories. We’re always playing catch-up reinventing what other women have already accomplished. So to celebrate the publication of my piece “The Future of Ceremonial Magick” in Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Ceremonial Magick I have asked Denny Sargent, Aion 131, to write a quick biography of a woman magickian whose visionary and community work focused on the future. Here’s a brief glimpse of one of the important magical women of the twentieth century.
Nema and Horus Maat Lodge
by Denny Sargent, Aion 131
One of the greatest adepts I’ve known was Margaret Cook Ingalls, known in the magickal world as Nema. She was born Sept 16, 1939 in Cincinnati Ohio and died in 2018. She grew up in rural Ohio and, as one would expect, was an interesting child. She went to Catholic schools in Ohio and Indiana and discovered mysticism and the Holy Guardian Angel. She wanted to become a nun early on but soon changed her mind and went to the College of Mt St Joseph in Ohio. She was a ‘wild child,’ with a knife strapped to her thigh and graduated with a major in English.
She settled down to domestic life on a farm in Ohio. She had three daughters and, after her divorce, was drawn to occult in the early 1970s, exploring yoga, meditation Vedanta, Wicca, Magick and Thelema. By 1975 she was working eclectic ceremonial magick with a group named Bate Cabal. Amidst one of their rituals a visionary presence unexpectedly appeared to her and declared itself ‘The Children of Maat’ from the future and sought ongoing communication.
Subsequent rituals opened this occult connection. She received an all-pervasive vision of a Black Flame/Feather and Maat who dictated a work announced as ‘The book of the preshadowing of the feather’ or Liber Pennae Praenumbra. In her words, this transmission and the magick it represented became her life’s work. An entity named N’Aton, the ‘future group-mind of humanity,’ was part of this work and still guides Maat magick.
As this was going on, I was a 16 year old witch in New York City. My coven friends and I formed The Grove of the Star & Snake to delve deeper into Magick. We discovered Nema’s work in 1976 through the The Cincinnati Journal of Ceremonial Magick which contained Liber Pennae Praenumbra. Its use elicited amazing magickal experiences. Fascinated, we began a long correspondence with her and she sent us more Maatian material which we used. We were continually astounded with our visions, art and writings.
Inspired, we drove to Ohio in 1979 to meet her. There we were, a group of teenage boys hanging out in the country, with a middle-aged woman doing magick. We shared a vision of a red blaze of Horus energy colliding with a Black Flame. Bam! This resulted in the most intense ritual work we’d ever done that resulted in a clear directive to form the Horus Maat Lodge (HML).
Afterwards, the HML evolved and grew. It became a vehicle to manifest the magick of the future aeon of Maat via N’Aton to balance the ferocity of the aeon of Horus. The goal was manifesting the optimal future path where humanity would survive and evolve into what Nema called Homo Veritas or True Human. N’Aton was reaching back in time to aid us and the HML is the praxis for this work. The internet confirmed all this with its global reach as the exoskeleton of N’Aton.
HML has continued this work since 1979 with Nema as our “queen bee” until her passing. I am grateful for the love and work we shared together and miss her, but we remain dedicated to helping humanity evolve. Nema will always live within our hearts and works which include: Maat Magick, The Way of Mystery, The Priesthood: Parameters and Responsibilities, and more found at horusmaatlodge.com and in the anthology The Horus Maat Lodge: The Grimoire of a PanAeonic Tribe.