entities

Are the 4 quarter Archangels the same as the Guardians of the Watchtowers?

I was recently asked if the Guardians of the watchtowers are the same as Archangels. The reason I was asked is because a lot of Magicians call angels to their circle or the Guardians of the watchtowers. It's a good question to ask, and since I've been doing my own work around the archangels of the quarters, I thought I would answer it.

The short answer is that the Archangels aren't the same as the Guardians of the watchtowers. They are each their own distinctive set of beings. Frater Barrabbas has an excellent book out about this very topic called Spirit Conjuring for Witches: Magical Evocation Simplified (Affiliate link), where he explores this topic in depth.

The Creative Genius as a Spirit

One of the books I'm currently reading, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear offers an intriguing idea about the nature of creative genius. The author shares that the ideas a person gets and acts on are the result of the genius, but the genius is a spirit working through you.

Kind of like A Genius Locii (a spirit of place), but instead its a spirit of creativity.

I think its an intriguing way to look at one's own sense of genius, because instead of claiming something as you're own, you acknowledge its a gift that's been given to you, an offering that you've been allowed to express (should you take it up). It's an opportunity to be humble and recognize how your creativity is inspired.

Why a spirit won't solve your problems

Every week I get a message on Facebook or through email where someone asks me if I'll teach them how to summon whatever Goetic demon is the flavor of the week in the occult community (though usually it's Bune).

And there's a common theme in these requests, which boils down to this:

"I want to summon the spirit and get it to solve all my problems for me and remake my life."

In other words, I want something else to do the hard work for me because I don't like my life or situation and I want to cut corners (I mean isn't that what magic's for?)
 

How do you measure your work with Spirits: Influence versus Results

How Magic Works

How Magic Works

Lately I've been thinking about my work with spirits and how I measure the success of that work. It seems to me that people sometimes have unrealistic expectations of working with spirits. The unrealistic expectation is that really they want the spirit to do the work for them. The reason that expectation is unrealistic is because it demonstrates a lack of understanding about how spirits interact with our world, versus how we interact with the world.

It perhaps doesn't help that what some people really want is a physical, visual manifestation of the spirit, something that'll smack 'em in the face. Something obvious that shows yes these spirits are real. Consequently what I see are people looking very hard for that obvious sign of manifestation and missing everything else that would help them recognize they have connected with a spirit.

When I've worked with spirits, what I've learned is that your average spirit isn't going to solve your problem for you. Nor is the spirit going to manifest and smack you in the face to prove it exists. The spirit doesn't need to prove anything to me, or you, or anyone else.

Case Study: My work with Bune

Bune

Bune is really popular right now and I've gotten a few queries from people who tried to work with him and been unsuccessful, so far as they know, in theirs to connect with him. I think part of the problem, on their end is that they seem fairly desperate, and when you're desperate in any type of situation, its not an attractive feature. However, more than that the impression I get is that the people really just want someone else to fix their problems, and Bune doesn't work that way. He's not going to solve your problems for you. He has no interest in fixing your problems. And if you don't pay attention to the signals that he's sending you, well he won't care about that either. Afterall, that's on you, not him.

When I first connected with Bune, I did the work without any expectations of material gain or outcomes. I wasn't looking for him to manifest a specific dollar amount or to make me fabulously wealthy. Really what I wanted was to learn about wealth, and the difference in that desired result versus a specific dollar amount or becoming fabulously wealthy is distinct.

I wasn't looking for a manifested result from him. I was looking for influence from him.

via GIPHY

I didn't want Bune to solve my problems. I wanted Bune to be an influencer, to point me in the right direction, to make suggestions that I could either follow or ignore. In short, what I really wanted was a voice on my shoulder, at the right time and right space, to point something out. And then leave it up to me to do what I needed to do with the information he provided.

After all, he's a spirit...he doesn't have the same corporeal reality I have. He has access to perspectives and possibilities I don't necessarily have access to. I have access to the physical reality and the ability to turn a possibility into a manifested reality through my actions.

So Bune hasn't solved all my problems, but you know what he has done? He's pointed me in the right direction, to opportunities I might not have discovered otherwise. He's helped me connect with the right people and he also helped me realize how I could create a third viable business, which has significantly improved my resources and continues to, to this day.

But guess what?

I had to do all the work. I had to make the decision to take advantage of the opportunities pointed out to me. I had to talk to the people he indicated I should meet with and I had to start the third business and do the necessary work to make it viable.

Bune continues to be an influencer in my life. He'll show up every so often, and point me to a possible opportunity and then be on his way. Recently he pointed me toward an online conference I'm currently taking classes from. The information is excellent and if I can apply it (which I know I can) it will help my businesses. But its up to me to do the work. Bune has done his part.

This is how I work with spirits in general

Whether its an entity I've created or a demon or Deity I've chosen to work with, the work, across the board, is the same. The desired influence may be different...but its really about influence as opposed to specific results. What I make of that influence is what creates the specific results I'm looking for.

via GIPHY

You want to know what the real secret working with spirits is? You've got to be willing to open yourself up to them....let them in. And that is hard for magicians to do, because magic, in some ways, is all about being in control. So people get this idea of summoning a spirit and compelling the spirit to solve their problems, because then it means they are in control. And being in control is really not about letting a spirit in or allowing it to be a source of influence in your life. Being in control is getting what you want, when you want it, which is why so many magicians suck when it comes to working with spirits, because they are trying too hard to be in control.

When I work with a spirit, I let go of the need to be in control and instead work with the spirit as a collaborative partner. I give the spirit its due and listen to its advice and then I make my choices, recognizing that in the end it is up to me to either follow the advice or not, either take on the influence or let it go.

As the Rolling Stones song goes, "You don't always get what you want, but you do get what you need."

My work with the spirits has always gotten what I needed, if I paid attention and if I follow through on my end it usually gets me what I want as well.

How Magic Works

How Magic Works

Some Thoughts on Devotionals

Copyright Taylor Ellwood 2015 The other day my friend Kelli taught a class on Daily Devotionals. What fascinated me about it was the process for coming up with a devotional and why you'd even want to. I'll admit that my approach to magic is fairly technical at times, but there's still a spiritual dimension to my practice. I have entities that I commune with each day, but what this class challenged me to was find a way to connect with a specific entity more intimately. I decided to match this work up with a problem I have sometimes, which is writer's block. I actually have recently reconnected with a Goetic Daemon I've worked with before: Ronove aka Ronwe, who, amongst other things, is proficient in language and writing.

The other day I was feeling a bit blocked with some writing I wanted to do, so I composed a devotional on the spot to Ronove, raising him and asking for his aid to inspire my writing. Right after I did that, the writing became much easier to do. The block just seemed to go away. I haven't done the devotional since, and I don't feel that Ronove is really looking for that. If anything, what I like about it is that its a devotional for a specific situation so I won't use it all the time, but I will use it when that situation occurs.

This makes me think that it might be useful to come up with devotionals for specific situations that match the skills of the entity you are working with. The impression I have from Ronove is that he'd rather have a devotional from me in a moment of genuine need than to just have one for the sake of having it. I'll have to see if I get a similar feeling off of other entities I work with, as it applies to given situations, but I like that approach. Mind you, I'm only applying this to myself, but I think when situations come up that I need help with, I'll develop devotionals for the situation. I'll change them each time as well, because I think the spontaneity of such a change is useful as well. It shows the deity I'm working with that I'm willing to make an effort on my end, which is significant in its own way because if you're going to ask for help, why not show what you can do as well?

Book Review: Aion by Jung

Aion is a continuation of Jung's work in psychology. He explores the role of symbols in archetypes and how symbols are used to creation connection with archetypes, as well as exploring different aspects of a person's sense of self. I found the book to be useful for understanding Jung's contribution to psychology and why his work has continued to be significant. If you're interested in psychology or just want to understand Jung, this is a good book to pick up.

In Praise of Agares

Agares I praise Agares, Justice Bringer protector balancer of scales you who makes situations equitable and create solutions that work for the benefit of all while ensuring that the unjust the prideful, those who look down on others are humbled and brought to their knees to know their true place. I praise you for your protection, your strength, and your guidance.

This devotional was inspired by the recent class taught by a friend. It's also an offering to Agares for his continued support.

A Poem to Glasya-Labolas

glasolyalabolas Hail to Glasya-Labolas Winged Dog spirit that faithfully retrieves and shows memories and the secrets of working with them. He shows you instant recall with what you know and is an excellent networker who helps you discover the right people. He'll have your back if you honor him. He'll make sure people like you and cause you no harm. He'll help you fade into the background when you need to not be around or just want to observe Hail Glasya-Labolas!

A Poem to Purson

Copyright Taylor Ellwood 2015 Hail to Purson, Goetic Daemon of Time Revealer of secrets, Finder of treasures, With his horn he shows the relationship between vibration and time. His wisdom reveals the past, present, and future and all the possibilities hidden within Guardian of time he guides those who wish to walk the web to discover their potential Give him his praise what he is due and he will show you the mysteries of time.

How to choose the Spirits you work with

Agares Recently I started working with Agares and Ronove, two Daemons from the Goetia. I've actually worked with Ronove in the past, but it had been some time back, whereas this is my first time working with Agares. They each have their specialties. Ronove provides help with rhetoric and writing, whereas Agares provides expertise on issues of communication. I decided to work with both of them because of some writer's block and a desire to continue improving my communication skills. That got me to thinking about why people choose to work with spirits and how to actually go about choosing the spirits you work with (unless they choose you, which I'll discuss further below).

I've generally chosen to work with specific spirits that bring with them specific skills that can be applied to situations I'm dealing with, but in a manner that I'm not able to do it. I've found this to be a good rule when working with spirits, in the sense that what they bring with them is a different way of handling a situation and that difference can be useful. However that's not the only reason to work with spirits. In some cases I'm working with spirits to develop a specific system of magical work and getting their insights on that system is useful for what it will allow me and other people to do as a result of applying those insights.

How I go about choosing a spirit to work with involves doing some research around the desired result. Once I've defined the desired result, then I can start looking at possible processes, and one of those processes can be working with a spirit. I'll look into the various types of spirits I could work with to determine which one (or more) seems to be the right fit. Then I'll do the invocation connection working to see if in fact it would be a good fit and from there the magical working proceeds.

Sometimes, though the spirit picks you. Thiede chose me way back when I started working with him. He made it very clear that he was going to work with me and that the work we needed to do together was important for him as well as for some of my own interests. And it seems he was right, as he has contributed to the development of pop culture and space/time magic currents. In such cases where a spirit makes itself known to you, you don't necessarily want to accept it on blind faith, but you also shouldn't reject it out of hand. When Thiede first made himself known to me as a spirit, I was already familiar with him and was able to test what presented itself accordingly. You can do the same, and its quite reasonable to do so in order to make sure that if you choose to work with the spirit it will actually be a beneficial relationship.

While not all of my magical work revolves around working with spirits, it is fair to say they play a significant role in my spiritual work and in my life in general. I think if you choose to work with spirits, it is a good practice to figure how you want to work with them and honor them, because you are forming a relationship that brings with it a necessary appreciation for the efforts on both sides of the equation. Pick who you work with, with care, and make sure you follow through on your end.

Magical Experiments radio show: Interview with Emily Carlin about shadow and pop culture magic.

Book Review: Awakening the Sacred Body by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

In this book, the author shares the Tsa Lung and 9 purification breaths techniques and explains how to work with them. The book also comes with a DVD, so that you can actually see how to do the exercises. I found the writing to be clear and explicit and it made it easy to learn the exercises. Doing these exercises in conjunction with other Dzogchen techniques can help you quite a bit with internal work you are doing around issues, as well as learning how to experience yourself and the world from a place of stillness. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn more about Dzogchen or learn some alternative approaches to meditation.

A Poem for Bune

Bune Hail Bune, Great Three-headed Dragon Lord of the Dead and Wealth With one hand he provides and with another he reminds that all is temporary change inevitable, He'll give you solid advice on wealth and death Just remember to make offers of appreciation for the aid he gives. He'll make you wise and eloquent and provide answers to questions but his greatest strength is that he'll show you opportunities and give you solid advice What you do with it is your choice. Hail Bune I give thanks for all the changes you've brought to my life.

Archetypes and Mythology

goetia One of the books I'm reading is The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious by Jung. I've never read his work before and in the course of researching Pop Culture Magic 2.0, I came across some references to his work that intrigued me enough to crack open some of this work. Something he mentions in the book is that the word archetype shows up a fair amount in classic literature, something I wasn't aware of. His treatment of the word is focused on the psychological use of it, but he makes some interesting connections to it and mythology, arguing that archetypes are unconscious content that becomes conscious and through being perceived becomes personalized to fit the consciousness of the person perceiving it.

What makes this connection of archetypes to mythology intriguing is how the interaction with the spiritual world confirms it. For example in faerie work, your spirit contact will show up in whatever form is most appropriate to interacting with you. If you do an evocation of a daemon, part of that process involves requesting the spirit to show up in a form that is recognizable to the person. Patrick Harpur, in his books, argues that even UFO and Bigfoot sightings are essentially the spirit world connecting to people in the guise that is most familiar to them.

Where I differ from Jung is that I'm hesitant to write this off as just a psychological phenomena. What he perceives as symbolic and just part of the subconscious of a person is a simplification of the relationship a person has with their spiritual contacts. Part of how spirits connect with people is through the assumption of something that is familiar to them. I makes sense that spirit might draw on the content of a person's consciousness to affect that assumption. Additionally we might consider that spirits have a closer relationship to consciousness or a more primal one then we do since they don't have the limitations of a body to deal with. On the other hand, one of the reasons the spirits want to connect with people is to get a taste of the very limitations we have.

Jung's use of the word archetype is, in a way, problematic because of the definition he applies to it and how that changes the awareness people have about the word. The original context of the word has been reshaped to fit the context he has established for it. While I don't necessarily think that was his intention, it is interesting to recognize how much awareness or lack there of a word's origin shapes the understanding a person has about the word. For that matter, I suppose the same applies to the spirits, in the sense that our contextual awareness of them plays a role in our interactions with them. In any case, I know that I want to do some more research about the word archetype and how it is used, instead of simply using it in the way I previously have, mistakenly assuming that the word originated from Jung.

 

 

 

The Spirits help those who help Themselves

Good to Great Recently,  an acquaintance shared some difficulties he was having with some magic work he's been doing. One of the observations I made based on what he'd shared is that he's relying to much on spirits or magical entities to do the work for him. While working with a magical entity can be quite useful, there are limitations to its effectiveness and much like anything else, too much reliance on an entity can ultimately be a crutch to your magical practice, especially if you consider that the entities you work with have their own agendas and interests, unless its one you've created (and that has its own limitations). The truth is your average spirit doesn't want you bothering it all the time with requests. The spirits help those who help themselves.

In my work with various spirits, I always create a very specific relationship, and one aspect of that relationship is that I typically ask the spirit to do something for me that I couldn't do on my own. I don't ask it to do anything I couldn't do mundanely or magically, because doing so is a waste of the entity's talents, and is also laziness on the part of the magician. For example, if I'm looking for a place to live and decide to employ magical means to get the place, I probably won't call on an entity, because both magically and mundanely I have the necessary skills to get into a living situation that I want to be in. I know my own skills are sufficient for that task. On the other hand, I'll create an entity to help me become aware of opportunities I might otherwise ignore or miss out on, because the entity will have a perspective I don't have that can be useful for discovering opportunities. I'm employing the entity to use the skills that it has, in a manner which draws on its strength, while filling in a gap that I might not otherwise be able to address. It's better to employ an entity for a purpose that allows you to leverage its strengths for something you can't do on your own, then to waste its skills on something you can do.

Another way that I like to work with spirits involves getting the advice or knowledge on a given subject, either by asking them to point me toward the best resources, or if possible, do a direct download of information. The majority of times its a combination of the two. The reason this works so well is because the entity is providing you with something you don't have already and may not have the best skill at finding. An entity is happy to do this because it ultimately still involves you the magician doing the work. Sure the entity points you to information, but you actually have to follow up and learn it and then do something with it.

There's a theme here: Its better for you to attend to the detail work of manifesting desired possibilities into reality. Let the spirit handle the things you can't easily do or do at all. That's where the specialty of the spirit comes into play, and where it will be most useful to you. Anything you can do, plan on doing it yourself either magically, mundanely, or better yet both ways. Speaking of which: Take a multi-pronged approach and work with the spirit, but also add in your own magical work and mundane actions. It's better to implement multiple approaches to achieve your desired result, and better to take action, instead of just relying on an entity. In fact just relying on entity is the lazy magician's surest way to fail.

Non-Anthropomorphic Pathworking Techniques: Touch

tactile In my recent post on Pagansquare I shared six anthropomorphic assumptions (and possible solutions) that can show up in your magical work. If you don't want those anthropomorphic assumptions to show up you need to develop some type of technique that allows you to get around them. The technique I've been developing, at least for working with the microbial life in my body, has involved using tactile awareness as the means through which to communicate with the microbial life. Tactile awareness refers to the sense of touch and kinesthetic awareness of feeling your body.  Approaching non-anthropomorphic work in this way has been very useful because its cut spoken language out of the equation and focused instead on experiencing sensation and using the sensations as a guide for the interactions with the microbial life.

I've also used this technique with my latest round of communion with the neurotransmitters. Just as with the microbial life, I've found that using the sense of touch as the basis for the pathworking has lead me to experience altered states of consciousness consistent with earlier experiences I've had with neurotransmitters. What's most fascinating however is how the sensations nonetheless have become symbols. In other words, the feeling of the experience will replicate itself in specific ways each time I work with a given neurotransmitter and that pattern then becomes a symbol, which can be meditated upon and used to experience the physical sensation, provided the person understands how tactile pathworking works.

Learning Tactile pathworking involves conditioning yourself to be aware of both surface and internal kinesthetic sensations. you can do this in several ways. First, I recommend learning and practicing daily some type of breathing practice, which forces you to pay attention not just to your breath, but also to how your body responds to the breath. If this practice also involves working with your internal energy, then so much the better as it'll teach you how to pay closer attention to the kinesthetic awareness of your body. As you learn how to move your kinesthetic awareness in your body, you can also try directing it to a specific part of your body and maintaining awareness of that part. What you'll discover is that your body provides you a lot of information that you normally suppress. However, suppressing that information isn't always useful and by mastering kinesthetic awareness you can learn ho to process and experience that information without the need to suppress it.

I also recommend stillness practices. Stillness practice teaches you to be still. That stillness will help you become awareness of surface feelings on your skin. It'll also help you tap into your deeper kinisthetic awareness, especially if you focus on a sensation like breath or your heartbeat. In fact, your heartbeat can be an excellent teacher for kinesthetic awareness because its something you experience all the time, but its also something you learn to ignore. You actually have to consciously focus on it to be aware of it, but if you focus your awareness on it, you can use the heart beat to create a rhythm that leads you into a meditative experience with your body.

Another practice that's useful is movement practice. Movement practice can be as simple as being mindfully aware of your body and how it moves when you are doing something, or it can be as focused as doing specific movements in a sequence and maintaining awareness of your body while doing those movements. When doing these movements, you want to pay close attention to how your body moves and how it feels as you move. For example, how do your joints feel when you move them in specific ways? By focusing on those sensations, you'll learn a lot about your body and how it feels when you are doing this tactile pathworking.

As you practice these various techniques, focus on cultivating your tactile awareness, both inwardly and outwardly. Pay attention to what your skin feels or how your fingers feel when they touch a surface. Pay attention to how you carry your body and how that makes you feel internally. When you do breathing meditation and move your internal energy, focus your awareness on how your body responds. By learning to do that, you can then focus your kinisthetic awareness inward. Then when you work with your microbial life or neurotransmitters or whatever else you'll be able to use that sense of touch for that purpose. In a future post, I'll cover how you can also apply this concept to sound.

Anthropomorphism and its affect on Perceptions of Reality

Daemonic Reality I'm in the midst of my research for Pop Culture Magic 2.0 (thankfully I'm almost finished with it). Part of that research has taken me to some interesting tangents in relationship to how people experience the otherworld and daimonic spirits. While most people wouldn't associate pop culture with daimonic spirits or the otherworld, I'm seeing a connection and it's also helping me understand the affect anthropomophism has had on people's encounter with spiritual beings. Patrick Harpur makes an intriguing point when he notes the following:

"It is to our discredit that in order to draw attention to their reality, the daimons have been compelled to become physical and fixed, like crop circles. By Masquerading as - by parodying- literal facts, they answer our modern requirement for quantifiable effects besides which everything else is deemed illusory. In other words, their way of presenting their own metaphorical, mythical reality is to appear not as literal, but as if they were literal" [Italics are his] - From Daimonic Reality

What I take away from this quote is that anthropormorphism is at the root of modern society's fixation on quantifiable reality. There are, of course, other disciplines and perspectives which also inform that fixation, but if we examine anthropomorphism carefully, what we find is that it seeks to recast experiences with Daimonic reality, and indeed with the universe at large, into human perspectives that label and categorize such experiences into neat little boxes. The resultant problem with this is that it creates a rather static experience of reality that always needs to be situated in what humans find meaningful to them, as opposed to really being open to how the experience might change their perspective of reality. This leads to the issue described above in the quote, wherein the Daimonic spirits need to appear in a specific context in order to connect and communicate with us. That specific context is filtered, sanitized, presented in a package that is ultimately limited because of the need to attribute human behaviors, meanings and values on the connection that has occurred.

This does open the floor to a question however: Why do these daimonic spirits want to connect with us so much that they are willing to limit the context of the experience to what fits us? I think there's two possible reasons. The first has to do with symbiosis, and the second has more to do with how we limit the experience and how they respond to those limitations. Lets explore both reasons in depth below.

The symbiosis reason essentially explores the possibility that daemonic entities have a symbiotic connection of sorts that requires a connection. I'd argue that the connection runs both ways. In other words, there are benefits conferred to both humans and Daemons by the nature of the connection. As a result its worth it to the daemons to continue to have contact with us, even if that contact is limited in ways that makes it more acceptable to humans. What's fascinating is that if this is the case, Daemons have nonetheless adapted quite well, and one possible theory for pop culture magic could be that what we're really connecting with are daemons that have taken on pop culture as one way to connect.

The second reason focuses on the limitations humans create in order to interact with Daemons. If we use anthropomorphism in its various forms to categorize our experiences into something that is comfortable for us, the challenge for Daemons then is how to respond to such a limitation and that may very well involve taking on the limitation and its context and using that to establish the connection and then afterwards challenging that limitation in whatever manner possible. Thus they may act as if they were literal and yet find a way to challenge that sense of literal reality by helping the person experience something that can't be categorically defined very easily.

Bringing all this back to anthropomorphism and its affect on the perceptions of reality, I think that what we'll discover is that anthropomorphism really does limit our experiences and contact with the otherworld and with the kinds of experiences we can have. It filters out what doesn't fit the comfortable human definition of reality, so that what is experienced spiritually or otherwise can be explained away and written off into convenient categories and labels that seem safe. The problem with this is that if it ultimately a filter that may cause us to miss experiences and information we need to have access to. The challenge then is to recognize anthropomorphic inclinations and determine how useful they really are for the spiritual work we are doing. Are we truly allowing ourselves the opportunity to have an experience or just turning it into a label that makes us feel safe for the sake of not challenging our perceptions of reality?

The Name of the Spider Queen

timespider When I started doing research for Magical Identity, specifically for the space/time magical work, and I read Oryelle's book, a Brief Hirstory of Time, I encountered the Spider as an aspect of time magic, and considered the entity to be the spider queen of time. I never really asked her for a name and she seemed pretty content not to share one, but recently I felt an urge to ask her if there was a name I could use. I feel that this sudden urge was an indicator that the relationship was ready to progress further, so I decided to follow through on that urge and see what would happen.

One thing I wanted to be aware of as I decided to follow through on this urge was making sure that I was receptive to the name. I didn't want the mythologies around spiders to confuse the issue and have me think the name was something it might not be. This was a challenge for me because I am aware of several mythologies and for that matter fantasy books, where there are spider entities with names. That awareness created its own challenge, in that I knew I needed to be really present with the spider queen, while also being aware of preconceptions I could bring into the encounter.

When I did the meditation, I used the painting included in this post as the focus. The painting was inspired by my contact with the spider queen and so I knew it would help me in being present with her. I first did some stillness work, to clear my mind, still my emotions and center myself. Then I focused on the painting and called to her, asking her if I could have an audience. She responded and agreed I could.

I asked her if there was a name I could call her. "Isn't the Spider Queen of Time sufficient?" she asked. I explained the urge I'd felt and a recognition as well that if I was going to be teaching classes that involved her, it might make it easier for the people to have a name. She mulled this over and and asked, "What do you think my name is?" Immediately I started thinking of the names of the mythological beings, but they didn't feel right. She wasn't those beings and as she felt my thought she added her own 2 cents and told me that those names didn't feel right to her either. So instead of thinking of names, I meditated on her and on the web of space and time and what came to me through the vibrations of the web was a sense of Tempo, of pacing, which made sense, because she creates the web and sets the pace, but Tempo wasn't quite right either, so as I listened further what I heard was Tempora.

It felt right. She responded to it, liked it...said that fits me, describes me, is me. Naming is power. Naming is magic, and so she let me name her Tempora. The Spider Queen of time is Tempora. And now I call her that in my daily devotions and there is a deeper sense of connection as a result. Tempora.

My Work with Vine

VineRecently I worked with Vine (pronounced Vinea - long a). He's another of the goetia that focuses on space/time magic. In the Goetia, the description of him is that he appears in the from of lion, riding a black horse, beating a viper. His functions include discovering things hidden, witches, wizards, and things in the past, present, and to come. He is also apparently a builder and can cause sea storms. You can see his seal, above, which I recently painted, as part of the work I did with him. When I first contacted Vine, I did an invocation, where I memorized his sigil and then chanted his name. The chant was set up where I'd mentally say his name thrice, then whisper it thrice, then say it louder thrice, and so on and so forth. I did about three iterations where I mentally said his name and brought it up to a shot and then back again to mentally saying the name and building up to the shout. On the third time, the sigil disappeared and in its place he appeared in the classic form ascribed to him in the Goetia. I asked him how he could work with me, especially as related to space/time magic.

Vine discovers and aligns hidden possibilities in other people with the magician he works with. In other words, He draws other people to the magician by aligning their probabilities with the magician so that they are more likely to encounter the magician. It's an interesting and unusual approach to time magic because it's not directly focused on the magician, but rather is indirect and focuses more on setting up opportunities for the magician through the people s/he meets.

I started working with Vine in mid March and so I've had some time to work with him and see if this particular take on time magic works. It appears like it is working because I've had a higher number of people show up in my life with opportunities that were beneficial for all involved. When I work with Vine, I make it very clear that I want to connect with people, where the connection will be beneficial for all involved. I prefer such interactions because everyone wins and because it allows for the cultivation of long term relationships. In my particular case, I've noticed that a number of business opportunities came into fruition involving people I just met, and I also noticed I was able to make some good connections in the occult community, both in terms of magical practice and publishing. What stands out to me in both cases, is that the numbers have been higher than usual and the connections have sought me out as opposed to me needing to do anything. In my system of space/time magic, Vine fits in as a guardian of time as it relates making temporal connections between people.

 

Daemonic Realities and Imagination

Daemonic Reality One of the books I'm currently re-reading as research for Pop Culture Magic 2.0 is Daemonic Reality by Patrick Harpur. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it as he makes some interesting connections with the classical conception of a Daemon and paranormal experiences that have occurred in the contemporary world. Not all of his information is as accurate as it could be, but there's useful concepts to explore, especially as it relates to the notion of imagination interacting with reality to create an altered reality. For example, he argues that UFO sightings can be an interaction with Daemonic Reality, using case studies where people thought they experienced a UFO, when actually what they saw was the moon or sun, but how they perceived it changed their perception of it, putting them in an altered reality of sorts. What I find fascinating about this book also is how he explores sightings of bigfoot and provides a similar context. In one distance, he discusses a family's interaction with a bigfoot and how they failed to understand the significance of it wanting an offering, when it left a feed pail out in front of their barn. They would hide the pail each day, thinking it was a game, when it actually wasn't. The variety of anecdotes in the book make for fascinating reading and in my opinion shows that there is an intersection between Daemonic Reality and our own perception of reality. Harpur notes the following:

"Our trouble is that we have been brought up with a literal-minded worldview. We demand that objects have only a single identity or meaning. We are educated to see with the eye only, in single vision. When the prenatural breaks in upon us, transforming the profane into something sacred, amazing, we are unequipped for it. Instead of seizing on the vision, reflecting on it...we react with fright and panic. instead of countering like with like, that is, assimilating through the imagination the complexity of the image presented to us, we feebly telephone scientists for reassurance. We are told we are only "seeing things"  and so we miss the opportunity to grasp that different, daimonic order of reality which lies behind the merely literal."

It's an interesting point he makes and one I agree with. We get caught up in our own perspective of what reality should be that we don't always consider that reality could be something. A literal approach to reality is a seemingly safe approach to reality because it constrains reality to the physical perceptions that a person has, but in that process it discounts the imagination as something which is fictitious and treats the supernatural as being purely psychological, without considering that an encounter with the imagination can still bring with it a form of reality that has an effect on us. Harpur further elaborates on this problem when he notes the following:

"Literal reality is only one kind of reality, deriving from a superordinate reality, here called Daimonic,  which is metaphorical rather than literal, imaginative rather then empirical. Literal reality is therefore, if anything, less real than daimonic reality. Moreover, in relation to the history of our culture, and also to traditional cultures, a belief in the literalness of reality is the exception rather than the rule. Literal reality is the product of literalism, which is really a way of seeing the world, but which insists that it is a property inherent in the world. It insists that it is the only reality and, as such, actively denies other kinds of reality, especially the daimonic, which it calls unreal, fictional, even delusional."

The problem with literal reality (aside from how dull it is) is that the denial of imagination is also the denial of the sacred, but also the denial of possibility. In a literal reality, the focus is only on what is denoted as real, and so the awareness of possibilities is constrained toward what seems most likely to occur, as opposed to being open to the experience of other worlds. The Daimonic imagination on the other hand entertains the possibility of other worlds and the acceptance that these worlds intersect with our own under the right circumstances and sometimes through the right actions. A Daimonic reality isn't limited to the here and now, but instead opens us to intersections with alternate realities, as well as encounters with spiritual beings. For those people who steadfastly cling to literal reality, an encounter with daimonic reality is unsettling because it doesn't neatly fit into a category and it can't easily be written off, though of course there are certainly enough attempts to do so.

One of the reasons I find pop culture to be relevant is because it allows for an engagement of the person's imagination through structures they are willing to consider that can also be co-opted into Daimonic imagination and reality. Since spirit beings aren't attached to one form or another, there is no reason to think they wouldn't take on the form of a pop culture character, especially if we also consider that such a character will embody certain traits that can be useful for the spirit to employ. On the other hand, it could also be argued that such characters are becoming part of the Daimonic reality because of their relevance to people. Nonetheless such structures are derived from human imagination, and in part from the desire for a literal reality, whereas the Daimonic imagination and reality is something which responds to and interacts with people, in ways that aren't tied to human conventions.

An encounter with Daemonic Reality is an encounter with something we don't control. We interact with it, but it doesn't fit our rules or categories. Rather it challenges us and causes us to realize that we may not be in as much control of the environment as we delude ourselves into thinking. It throws literal reality in our face and demands we question it and consider in that process that imagination is more than fiction...imagination is a doorway to the sacred, a doorway to the unknown and we can choose to open that door and see what lies beyond, but when we do so we know we are no long operating under just our own rules, but also entering Daemonic reality, with all the possibilities it contains that offer us a glimpse behind the curtain of conventional reality.