Limitation and how to work around it

I've been thinking about this post I wrote recently on limitation, especially in conjunction with my evocation practices. My approach to evocation, whether its evoking an entity or a specific type of energy, involves the use of a painting or drawing as a gateway. The act of creating the drawing or painting is the initial evocation of the entity, usually finalized with a consecration of some sort.

However, once the drawing or painting is created, the evocation portal is also created. Nothing else needs to be done, save to make sure you close it when not evoking the entity or energy in question. The entire point of it is to remove a lot of effort out of the equation, by making it simple to access to the entity or energy in question when needed, whether in a strict evocation, or to enhance a magical working being done at the time. But it occurs to me that this is also a way around limitation, as R. J. Stewart discussed it. Specifically if the spirits you work with are going to limit how much you can draw on, why not instead create a way to tap into the power current when you need it, where you have a consistent flow of energy or access to enhance or power up your magical workings? You won't necessarily move beyond the limitations imposed, but instead of having to do a lot of work each time, cut down on the effort involved and get the same return you'd have gotten before. It seems like a short cut, but my reason for creating such an approach to evocation was to make it easy to access whatever it was I wanted to work with. I figure if such an entity is willing to work with me, I have its blessing to make that process easier for both of us.

This also depends on whether or not you accept that such limitations occur when you evoke or invoke an entity. Personally I'm inclined to believe in those limitations as my own experiences suggest just that. For example invoking an entity to do a full on possession of the body takes up a lot of energy, and not just for myself but also the entity. At a certain point there is a strain for the entity as well because it is placing itself in a foreign environment that its not necessarily suited to. An evocation portal provides a different level of interaction and one that's not as demanding on either side of the equation. The limitation may still be there, but it'll take longer to come up against, which can be useful for prolonged magical workings. It comes down to being aware of a limitation and the figuring out how to bend it, to make it work for you, instead of against you.

Book Review: The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

This was an intriguing and occasionally amusing book about the behavior of dishonesty and how dishonest people are in general. The author provided a variety of experiments and show cases where he demonstrated that there is some degree of dishonest in most people's behavior, though not so much that everyone is a thief or a crook. A lot of dishonesty ends up being based partially on altruism and in general people don't always weigh the benefit of being dishonest, so much as decide to do so for less rational reasons. It's a book I'd recommend anyone read to better understand the role of dishonesty in our lives, and how it shows up in our own behaviors as well as the behavior of people around us. It can also be useful as a way of looking at dishonesty on the level of an organization and business, though the author doesn't offer too much in the ways of solutions for handling dishonesty, so much as demonstrating its presence in our lives.

A commentary on Evocations

There's this idea about evocations that if you do them and you don't see the spirit, you aren't doing them right. Some of this attitude comes from Joe Lisiewski's books, with his focus on doing traditional evocations. The consequent result is this elitist belief that people who don't see a visible entity clearly are doing it wrong.

As someone who's done a lot of evocations, I can safely say that the criteria that you need to have a visible appearance of an entity to prove you've done it right is just a bit biased toward a traditionalist perspective of magic. Then again, I've also successfully evoked three people into my life, so that not only have I visibly seen them, but also physically felt them. To be clear though, I've never approached evocation as a mental experience that just happens in my head. The concept that an entity is just a psychological aspect of yourself is the excuse of people unwilling to apply themselves.

But what I disagree with is this notion that you have to do evocation a particular way in order to establish contact with the spirit of your choice and achieve the result you desire. Although I have a background in ceremonial magic, I've long since stopped using the props and focused on personalizing how I do magic. I figure as long as I understand the underlying principles, the entity in question isn't going care how I evoke it.

More importantly, if I'm doing it right, it won't matter if it visibly shows itself to me. I will know its presence. I will feel its presence. And maybe this just a case of semantics, but I've never visibly seen an entity, at least not with my eyes. I've visualized an entity and I have felt its presence in the room with me, but I've never physically seen one. Nonetheless I have successfully evoked entities and achieved measurable results with the aid of those entities. I've developed and maintained relationships with those entities. They have moved me.

It could be argued that if I took the time to evoke the entities using the traditional grimoires I might actually see them. Yet nonetheless, I know that my approach to evocation seems to work well. It's not traditional, because I find traditional boring. Nonetheless there is still real work involved in the practices that I'm doing. Genuine communion with an entity is not something that can be judged solely on if it appeared before you. Genuine communion is an experience and how that experience manifests may differ from person to person. Nonetheless if a person is genuinely moved by the experience, what speaks to the success is not just the manifestation of a result, but a true relationship with the entity that brings about a consequent change in the person's life that is truly sustainable.


Evocation and the process of magic

Traditional evocation is a technique magicians use to work with entities. It differs from invocation in that the magician is summoning the entity into the environment around him/her. Evocation is typically used to summon an entity so that it can perform a specific task that the magician requests of it. Some forms of evocation involve summoning an entity and then compelling it to aid you by invoking other entities that are opposite of it. This essentially amounts to threatening or compelling the entity into doing the task for you. I recommend against it, and would suggest bargaining with entity, and honoring your end of the bargain. When doing evocation, it's a good idea to consider why you are doing the evocation, and if the task you want the entity to perform can be accomplished another way. There will be certain types of tasks that are better suited to entities and certain ones that you can resolve yourself. I use evocation when I want the entity to perform that involves influencing a specific behavior or activity in my favor, but still leaves me with the actual decision. For example, one entity I work with is focused on making me aware of potential opportunities. I still have to choose to follow through on those opportunities, but the entity takes care of an essential task that I simply couldn't do. Its focus is on scanning space/time for the opportunities and than making me aware of them. It's not a skill I have, but it's a skill that entity has.

On the other hand, evoking an entity to do something you could handle yourself is wasteful and also keeps you from sharpening your own skills. It's important to recognize this distinction so that you can improve your skills. For example, I once wanted to buy a car. Instead of creating an entity, I did an enchantment to obtain the money I needed to purchase the card. I already had a job, but I knew I needed more money than I'd have available at short notice. By doing the enchantment, I was able to focus on very specific details the entity might not have considered. I realized I needed to attend to the task, instead of assigning it to an entity. It's a case of picking the right tool for the right job, and with evocation, it's better to have an entity do something you can't do, then have it do something you could've easily handled yourself.

In ceremonial magic, evocation is done with specific tools, incenses, and other props that are used to create a specific atmosphere that accommodates the entity as well as the altered state of mind the practitioner needs to be in to work with the entity. However, evocation can also be done with collages , paintings, and other techniques that are non-traditional but still enable the magician to make a connection with the entity. Although some magicians will claim that traditional approaches are more powerful, I've found that using more artistic approaches to evocation has been successful. I think it comes down to understanding that evocation, much like any other magical technique, is really based on your understanding of the fundamental principles at work. If you understand those principles, you can make evocation regardless of what tools you use.

Evocation isn't limited to evoking entities. The magician can evoke specific behaviors or emotions, or even do an evocation of another person or a past/future version of him/herself. Just as with invocation, it ultimately comes down to connection, and understanding how to use evocation to create and embody a connection you want to manifest in the environment around you. I have successfully evoked people into my life, by using specific attributes as a way to create a connection with people who had those attributes. Evocation operates on the principle of connection and names. The name of an entity, or an attribute, or a person is a powerful tool that allows the magician to create a connection to the manifestation of the entity, attribute, or person. That connection is used to pull the entity or person into his/her life and to embody the attribute from within him/herself in the external environment.

Bune update

My latest Bune update: I'm definitely getting more business opportunities than I was getting before. While some of this is due to my own efforts, I've also had several situations occur last minute that I've attributed to Bune's influence. Those last minute opportunities have also lead to some future business opportunities that look promising. What I'm also noticing is fresh inspiration when it comes to my marketing, services I offer and other business related ideas, both in terms of my business and social media coaching and in terms of what I'm doing with Magical Experiments as a brand. Some of that creativity is inspired by Bune and some of it is inspired by being in a non-toxic environment. More than anything, I'm inspired to continue on this journey of self-employment which fits me better than anything else I've ever done. It's not an easy journey, a lot of the time and it has its share of frustration, but it is a journey where I am responsible for all of it and what I choose to do about it. Bune has emphasized this in his own way. He's not closing potential sales for me. He's just making me aware of opportunities and opening doors for me. I have to decide if I'll go through those doors and be responsible for the consequences of doing or not doing so.

And there's definitely a relationship here, much as there is with any other entity I work with. I mention that because I think its so important to recognize the full extent of what it really means to actually work with any entity. It's not simply a matter of evoking an entity and sending it off on some task. There's a relationship involved, ideally one of mutual respect, and to really work with an entity means mapping out what it will mean to create and sustain that relationship on both ends. Working with Bune, or any other entity has never been a casual affair for me, but rather a commitment to how we can truly help each other and in a sense know each other as well.

Update on Bune Working

I'd posted a little while back about a group working with Bune, a Goetic demon. Since working with Bune, it's been interesting to note results that have been achieved. My friend Bill ended up staying hired at his current job, while my partner Kat landed a full time position with a job she wanted. I've been finding inspiration in a new business direction, one that I think will be more authentic for me, while one of the other participants has also been exploring starting a business and finding some creative direction in it, after the working. There are many people I know who've practiced magic in the past and then stopped, disillusioned because they didn't get some kind of result they wanted, but I often wonder how much of that is a reflection on them as opposed to the magic or whatever they were working with. In working with Bune, clear expectations of what actions we needed to take were expressed in order to solicit his help. Not following through on those actions would show our unwillingness to take on any other steps that were more practically oriented toward manifesting our collective desires.

I'm reminded of a saying: "God helps those who helps themselves" Which I translate to this: Declare your intention to the universe and then start making it happen, so that the universe can align your declaration with your actions. Seems pretty simple, but I think some people conceive of magic as a kind of cure-all technology. I'll do the magic and that alone will be enough. But Magic doesn't really work that way. It's a way to communicate with the universe at large, or rather with your place in the universe at large, but communication is just one step of the process for making changes. The mundane actions we undertake are a confirmation of our own willingness to follow through.

In working with Bune, I'm struck also by the simple reality that what makes my work with him so real isn't a physical manifestation of him appearing in all of his glory, but rather a profound recognition that what makes my work with him or any other entity so powerful is my CHOICE to believe in those entities and allow for their objective existence. And my proof is found in working my process and in the results that occur as a result of following through in actions and in belief.