I recently wrote a post about function and its role in magic. In it I defined function: "A function, in and of itself, describes a specific action that is supposed to occur within a process as well as why it occurs in the process in way it does." I also explained that function, as it relates to spirits, describes the essence of those spirits and what they are supposed to do. Some of the responses I got to the post asked me to go into a deeper explanation of function and how its supposed to work in magic and that got me to thinking about function and what came up initially as a way to explain function is the old school house rock tune "Conjunction Function, What's your function?" If you've never watched it, you should watch it because it's just that awesome. If you watch that video, it actually explains the concept of function quite nicely, but I'm still going to explain it in my own way as well.
The first thing I'd note about functions is that to some degree they are subjective. You use a function to describe an action and how it ought to work. Functions can also be likened to the attributes you associate with a component of magic, again with the understanding that the attribute, as a function, is describing how the component ought to work or how it ought represent a principle of magic.
The second thing I'd note about a function is that its a connector. Functions are specific actions, which when executed lead to other functions which perform specific actions and so and so forth...get the picture? Basically a function connects to another function when executed properly. And if it isn't executed properly nothing happens. Usually when a function isn't executed properly its because the people doing it don't understand why they are doing it or don't have a clear understanding of the principles involved. In my experience, to make a function, you have to understand why you are doing what you are doing and understand the principles involved. That lack of understanding translates into what you are doing and sabotages the working. Let's provide a specific example or two that helps demonstrate function.
One of my recent workings involved invoking Vinea, a Goetic Daimon. I was doing this invocation to make initial contact with him so that I can do further work with him in the future. Here's what happened. Step one: I briefly look over his name and sigil, to memorize the sigil and to make sure I know how to pronounce his name. The functions at work in this step are memorization (which will lead to another function) and Pronunciation (which will lead to another function). Both of these functions are the foundational functions used to set up the initial ground work of the invocation. Each function performs a specific action. Memorization imprints the sigil into my mind to be recalled when I need it, while pronunciation allows me to learn how to say the name for when I do my invocation chant.
Step 2: I lay down and get comfortable with my head against a pillow. I close my eyes and visualize the sigil, and mentally I say Vinea's name three times. The functions at work in this step are relaxation, visualization, and mental chanting of the name. Relaxation performs the action of getting you into a space where you aren't focused on your body so you can actually focus mentally and spiritually on connecting with the entity. Visualization performs the action of recalling the sigil and using it as a visual marker to focus on connecting with the entity. The mental chanting performs the action of building up your energy, while also creating a an auditory link between you and the entity. Think of it as providing a path to connect you and the entity to each other.
Step 3: I whisper Vinea's name three times, then I say it louder 3 times, louder again 3 times, then I shout it 3 times. While saying his name, the sigil turns into a shape that is representative of him. The functions at work in this step are sonic chanting and visualization. Sonic chanting as a function builds on the initial auditory link you created with the mental chanting. It increases the resonance of the connection, establishing a way for the entity's energy to connect with yours through the pronunciation of the name. The visualization as function builds off the previous use, but in this case is also an indicator that the entity is connecting because he's choosing to appear to you in place of the sigil.
Step 4: I commune with Vinea. We essentially have a conversation which involves an exchange of images and words, as well as coming to an agreement (if we can) of how we'll work together and what we'll do for each other. The function in this step is the communion. It's a function that occurs on both ends and requires both parties to participate.
Step 5: Assuming an agreement is made I follow through on my end by doing agreed upon actions and Vinea follows through on his end. I won't spell out the functions here because this step occurs after the invocation has happened, but I mention it as an example of how functions lead into other functions past the actual working.
So as you can see functions are a lot like conjunction junction. They make connections. One function leads to another, which leads to another, and everything is pull together to produce a process that works. That process makes the magic happen, as long as you understand the functions and what they ought to do or rewrite them to work the way you think they ought to work (but that's another post altogether).
Here's a link to my recent radio interview with Mainstreet Radio about Wealth Magic and my newest book.