I've been reading a lot of spider-man comics lately and one theme I've noticed in some of them is an exploration of the spider as a totemic being that spider-man is aligned with. It's interesting to me because at the same time the question is raised as to why Spider-man hasn't explored this connection in a more meaningful way. He's accepted the spider on the surface level, but not necessarily gone deeper. I think that commentary speaks as much to people in general as it does to him, but I'm not referring so much even to an exploration of the spider in more depth, but really a more in-depth exploration of any being or spirit a person would work with.
In the comic book, the character of spider-man never really does explore the connection he has with the spider to any greater depth than he had before. There's a brief move in that direction, but then other writers took over, and spider-man moved on to other things.
How I apply this to magic is just this: it seems like in some cases, working with an entity is really a casual experience. You get an idea or two or something and then you move on. But I think that kind of approach is really the wrong way to go about it. When I started working with elephant, I did some research by reading about elephants and did some meditation work as well to just get to know him. Even now I've continued to learn about Elephants, because its a relationship I want to maintain and explore. I recognize that there's a lot I can learn about Elephants and to just work with the spirit of elephant on a casual level doesn't really do justice to the relationship I could have.
The same has applied to working with Goetic spirits, angels, and other spiritual entities. Really working with these spirits means forming some kind of relationship that goes beyond just calling them up when you need something from them. But there's this tendency to do exactly that. What I've found to be most meaningful is developing a relationship with a given entity in such a way that it knows there is reciprocity involved. And there's good reasons to do it, not the least being, that you can learn the full extent of how you and the entity work together if you take the time to really develop that relationship.
Spider-man never really gets curious. Maybe part of him is even afraid of what he'll discover. But it seems to me that curiosity is a good thing with entities. We ought to really know more about what or who it is we choose to work with. And when we don't take that time to really explore this relationship we've created, at some point you've got to wonder when the piper will come for his due. By taking the time to get to know different entities, to form relationships that involve treating the entity as a separate being instead of a psychological construct, and understanding that for what is given there is always a price, I've learned a lot about the entities I work with. I feel like we've got the measure of each other, and that's definitely a good thing.