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?)

Conceptualization and Entities

Recently I got involved in a conversation where I was asked if I'd ever encountered a spirit that hadn't been written about or encountered in mythology. It was an interesting question to ask, and I responded that I hadn't encountered such an entity and I didn't think it possible, without having some humancentric frame of reference to use in context to the entity. In the subsequent conversation I discussed the conceptualization of entities (which I'll explain in more detail below) and the person I was having the conversation with also shared a story of an entity he encountered that ended up using humancentric frames of reference to connect with the person.

When I talk about conceptualization of an entity I'm referring to the mediation of the entity into a context that is understandable by your average person. If there is no frame of reference it would be very hard to connect with a given entity. In the case of the conversation above, the person was given a name by the entity and ended up researching that name and finding it attributed to a company called Accubar. Whether the entity is the corporate presence of that company, or simply used that name to describe itself is debatable, but it could not engage the person without providing some frame of reference, some concept to help that person understand it.

A concept is a frame of reference used to define an idea, entity, etc,. so that it can be understood and related to. Without a concept you don't have connection. An entity needs to establish itself as a concept that a person can understand in order to relate to the person. The concept provides common ground for the entity and person, because the entity also uses the concept to provide itself a context by which it can interact with a given person. And that's something that should be considered carefully. The benefit of using a concept is that it provides mediation both ways. The entity is meditated into a context that helps the person understand it, but the person is also mediated by the interaction with that concept, so that the entity can also relate to him/her.

I don't think its possible to connect with an entity without some kind of context provided to mediate that connection. There needs to be a medium that enables communication and the possibility of understanding that can come with communication. Without that medium, there is no connection, no way to really verify a contact. The context frames the interaction and provides a way to meaningfully interact with a given entity. Both parties benefit from the conceptualization of an entity into a form that makes sense to the person contacting the entity.

That's my opinion, but its based on my own experiences, as well as looking at the interaction with given act of invocation and evocation. It's also based off the realities of human interaction and limitations.

Developing a relationship with the spirits

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.



Religion and Business part 2

I recently attended a business luncheon where the keynote speaker spoke about his business. Among other things he talked at some length about how he dedicated his business to God and trusted in the vision and path God revealed to him. Before every major business decision, he'd pray to God for guidance. It was interesting to note that many people in the room seemed quite comfortable with his god talk and seemed to agree with what he did. I'll admit I had my own knee jerk reaction, but I got over it fairly quick and then I really paid attention to what he was discussing, because I realized I could take what he was discussing and apply it with a magical focus. Instead of working with a god (though one could be useful), I could work with a wealth or business entity who's sole purpose was to focus on growing the business. I could even work with the business itself as an entity, consulting with it about major decisions and using its advice. Maybe it sounds a little farfetched, but is it really?

The keynote speaker's business is doing really well and what's most fascinating is how many times they've gotten really good business deals because they brought it to God and let him does his work. As a magician, it's clear to me that this person has gotten a direct tap to the field of probabilities and gotten some useful results. And you don't need to be a Christian to make that happen, because it's not so much about the religion as it's about the process.

This business owner prays to God each time a decision comes up and is specific in his prayers. Then he lets go and lets it happen. Sounds similar to sigil and spell work.

The magician can take a similar approach. I've actually done that in corporate world, by creating an entity out of the project I was working on and having the entity guide me in my work and interactions with co-workers. Applying it to your own business works in a similar manner, with the added benefit of already having a logo and name for the business, which can house the entity. Before you make any major decisions, do a consult with your entity, explaining what you want to accomplish and directing it's focus toward helping to manifest the desired result. Then let it work and do your part and watch what happens: Manifested reality.

As simple as that.

Making an offering

When I was eighteen I made an offering to the elemental spirits and every so often I make offerings to different spirits I work with. Sometimes the offering is an exchange of one service for another, but sometimes its just to make an offering, with no strings attached. The reason I make the offerings is to show respect, but it's also sometimes a release of attachment. An offering gives you a chance to give something that has meaning, but also release you from that meaning. The other day I took my old wedding ring and the handfasting cord off the wall and decided to make an offering to the elemental spirits. I no longer felt a sentimental attachment to either object and I realized I needed to let go of them, to let go of whatever lingering emotions there were that were attached to the objects in question. I took a walk with both objects and found a place where I could make my offering to the elements...and I made it.

The release was palpable, as was the response, a surge of energy that shot up my body after the offering was made. A sure sign of approval as any, and also a release for me. They accepted the two objects, accepted the meaning associated with them, and accepted the value of the release of those objects for me.


Bune Business advice

I'm starting a new business that focuses on applying internal work to dissolve blockages in a person's life so s/he can discover his/her true potential. That's the gist anyway. If you want to learn more visit the Inner Alchemy website, follow me on Twitter or Fan my new business on Facebook. I'm mentioning this on here, because while internal work is a passion of mine and something I consider an important part of magical work, I want to focus my posts on here on other aspects of magical work, while using the new website to focus exclusively on internal work.

But there's another reason I'm mentioning it as well. I believe in following one's own passion. It's what you feel passionate about that really makes you live your life as opposed to just letting it pass you by. In October I did a working with Bune and the focus of my working with him was to inspire in how I could bring in more business. I've actually done well this year with my core business. I doubled the amount of business, which is really good, but Bune focused my attention on the internal work and asked me why I wasn't doing anything with those skills. It was a tough and good question to ask.

When you bring in outside consultants (in this case the goetic demon Bune) the reason you do it is for their perspective, which will look at what you're doing with fresh eyes and lots of questions. My working with Bune didn't automatically bring me new business to my existing business (though I did actually get a couple new clients in Nov and Dec), but he did inspire me to look at what my other passions are and asked how I could use them to bring more business. The result is a class on magic, which is starting tomorrow (there's still time to enroll and I offer payment plans) and this new business I'm starting.

I have no doubt as I continue to work with Bune and follow through on his suggestions that he'll offer additional advice. It'll be up to me if I follow it, but my working with him illustrates something I've realized again and again about magic: "You always get what you need, even if you don't always get what you want." I'll admit, I had different ideas as to how Bune would help me, and yet with how matters turned out, I can honestly say I'm much more pleased with the results and looking forward to seeing what the new year will bring.

Happy new year and magical blessings to you.

Update on my work with Elephant

It's been a while since I've written about my work with Elephant, mainly because there's been nothing to write about. I've been busy reading and researching more about Elephants and their relationship with humans, per Elephant's request. What I've learned, particularly in reading The Astonishing Elephant by Shana Alexander has been really eye opening in terms of how intelligent Elephants are, the uneasy relationship they have with humans, the abuse and poaching, and the uncertain future for elephants. After reading up on Elephant, Monday night I was allowed to take my next step in working with Elephant. I put on a bracelet of elephant hair, given to me by a friend and then meditated with a statue of elephant, which had a similar bracelet place around its neck. The meditation lasted over an hour and involved a long conversation about what I had learned, how it made me feel about Elephant and what my relationship with elephant could possibly be. What I really remember from it was facing the full force of elephant as a being that could easily kill me as a human, and recognizing in that experience a certain awareness that I think many people never experience, namely the recognition that in the right circumstances I could easily be killed by an animal regardless of my "superior" reasoning, etc. In fact, Elephant pointed out that the image that humanity had cultivated for itself has lead to so many of the problems that humanity faces as a result.

I did a similar meditation today and Elephant asked me to wear the bracelet for part of the day.  This time we focused on what we could offer to each other. Elephant pointed out that I could help out by looking into contributing in some form or another to efforts being made to help elephants. In turn Elephant told me that it could help me with some memory and spatial awareness concepts. Wearing the bracelet for a good part of the day was interesting...a distinctly different feeling and energy than my own.

I'm not sure where I'll go with this yet, but I do feel that working with Elephant is providing me some unique experiences for me.

Review of The Astonishing Elephant by Shana Alexander

This was an interesting exploration of the history of the elephant in America, from the circus days to the most recent times. The author also covers the history of the elephant in other cultures and then discusses at length the current fate of the elephant. What surprised me the most was just how violent elephants and humans have been to each other, as well as just how much we don't really know about Elephants. The method of communication that elephants have fror instance is much more sophisticated than many people would attribute to animals.

I found this book to be the most useful in my continued studies of Elephant as a spirit animal to work with. I definitely feel I know more about the issues surround Elephant survival and treatment, than I'd previously known about before I'd read this book.

five out five.