Respect and magical entities

In a recent post, Mike asked what people's experiences with the Goetia were like. I found the responses interesting, because most people described having problematic encounters with them. I've never had any of the problems the people mentioned in my own encounters with the goetia, but it likely helps that I've never done traditional evocation with them either, where you command them to appear and threaten and coerce them into working for you. In fact, I've never really understood the appeal of doing such evocations and have always focused on a more cooperative approach to any magical entity I work with (whether goetic demon or something else). I'd rather establish a relationship of respect and mutual benefit with the entities I work with. Consequently I've never experience any of the problems mentioned in the comments on Mike's post. If anything, I've had an excellent track record with the entities I work with. I've given them what they wanted and they've given me what I wanted. Everyone's happy.

Respect goes a long way, with people, animals, and magical entities. Instead of doing a traditional evocation, why not take a more respectful approach? Instead of being adversaries, why not work toward each other's benefit? And if nothing else why not critically question the cultural and historical beliefs that inform such an adversarial relationship?


Why I like to work with the Goetia (and other spirits)

In a recent blog post, Jason Miller argued that one of the things we need to the gravity of is the goetia. His point is that working with goetia has defined how people work with spirits and that it can become an obstacle to discovering your magical path. I agree with him, but in thinking about it, I realized that one of the reasons I like to work with the goetia and other established spirits sometimes is that they may not be the most powerful entities out there, but they are convenient to work with, in the sense that people do know about them and have some awareness of what expectations are involved.

But with that said, I think its important to expand your horizons. I do work with Bune, but I also work with Dragon. I have worked with Purson, but I've also worked with other time and space related entities. I've worked with the classic elemental spirits, and I've also chosen to explore the possibility of working with other elements.

There's value in going with what's tried and true, but there is something to be said for leaving the convenient behind and seeing what other spirits are out there. Thus lately I've been working with the planets, both in terms of contacting the archangels, but also working with the spirits of the planets in and of themselves. But you could just as easily work with Franz Bardon's lists of spirits, or with spirits from other grimoires.

At the same time having hopped on the Bune band wagon myself, I can say that choosing to work with him has been useful because he's getting so much notice. If everyone's working with him, there's probably a reason for that.

My work with Bune

I recently decided to work with the Goetic Demon Bune, who amongst other things, provides riches to a person. As you can probably guess my focus was on doing a wealth magic working with him. However riches is a very ambiguous term so I knew I needed to decide how I wanted to work with Bune and how that kind of working would relate to wealth magic. Just wanting him to get me money or wealth wasn't realistic because it'd leave plenty of loopholes. Instead I looked at the circumstances already available to me. In this case I run a business and have another business I'm about to start. I provide services to clients and I'm developing product lines. I realized that what I wanted was to work with an entity that would help me become more aware of business opportunities and ping my intuition to notify me of potential clients and business opportunities. I consulted Bune to see if he could provide me these services and he agreed that he could. In return he wanted a dedication at a meal and for a book on wealth magic, a painting, and a blog post about my work with him. These seemed like reasonable requests for me to fulfill, so I agreed to them.

I've since created a painting to Bune and hung it in my business office. I'm writing this blog post, and I'll likely write others to provide updates on the efficacy of the working and I did a dedication to him at a meal in his honor. By doing all these activities I am showing him my willingness to develop a partnership and relationship. That's my preference in working with entities in general. It's better to establish a relationship of mutual benefit instead of trying to command or control something.

I did this working last week, but I've already seen a couple opportunities arise. I'm excited to see what will happen. By taking the time to define the role and activities I wanted Bune to perform in, I've also created the path of least resistance for him to do what he does, while also providing a path for how it can occur.

First part of a new time magic experiment

It's nothing too glamorous though. I looked through the Goetia and found each Goetic Daimon that has some relationship to time magic. I've already been working with Purson for a while, but I thought it might be useful to expand my horizons and work with other goetia that focus on time work as well. My first step was simply to read up on them, and then transcribe their seals onto pieces of paper. After that was done, I put them in my memory box. Later on this week, with the help of Purson, I'll start making contact and see what develops from there.

The act of transcription is the first connection, the first interaction. It's not very overt or dramatic, but it is focused and it serves as a knock on the door as it were.


Time Experiments, Ethics part 2

On Friday, my group and I did some work with time magic. The first two experiments we did were based off of Jean Houston's book The Possible Human. We did one experiment, where we would experience our consciousness as a unit of time, such as a second, minute, year, 100 years etc. Eventually you lose track of the units of time and enter into a non-linear state of experience with time. Each of us who did this exercise experienced a very similar state of mind.

The second experiment was one where we worked with three segments of time on a yardstick, as it were, but altered which segment of time (past, present, or future) was more prevalent during the meditation. It was an interesting experiment, again because of the state of mind it put us in, moving us out of a linear state of mind and into a non-linear state of mind.

Both of these exercises are useful ones to do, to put you into a very receptive state of mind for doing time magic. They don't take very long to do, but they condition your mind to push itself outside of the constraints of linear time.

The final exercise was done with the Goetic Daimon Purson. In the mythology I've created around my own use of time magic, Purson is a guide on the silver strands of time. I introduced him to my group last night, partially as a way of thanking him for his services and patronage and partially as a way of helping the people I work with learn a bit more about my own approaches to time magic. We used the tesseract board to evoke him and my experience with was of two trees twisted together. I thought that rather odd until late that evening, I came across Ipos, another Goetic Daemon of time...so I'll be contacting him soon.

So an update on the Ethics book. I've started working on chapter one and it's coming together nicely. I got some responses on the first post, both from commenters on this blog and from a blog entry by Augogeides along the lines of arguing that magic is a technology and puzzlement that there's a need to write about ethics as it pertains to occult culture. It was also argued that ethics as they applied to magic boiled down to being able to determine if an action was ethical or not, regardless of whether it was a magical action or a non-magical action. That's the gist of it, or at least what I got from what was said.

When I talk about ethics and magic, I'm talking about taking a proactive approach to ethics, which incorporates practical magical techniques into how one approaches ethics in his/her life. However, I don't think merely determining if an action is ethical or non-ethical, and then making your choice to follow through on that action or not, is really ethics...or rather I think of that as reactive or cover your ass ethics, ethics utilized as a way of making sure you aren't doing anything wrong (or aren't getting caught). I don't really think of that as a useful approach to integrating ethics into one's life because it doesn't make ethics part of your life process and growth. Instead it's just a convenient code to check on occasionally to make sure you are in the clear. I have a lot more to say about this, but I'll save it for the book. Suffice to say my and Vince's approach and outlook on ethics and their role/integration in magic is decidely different from what I've usually encountered in the occult community.

Book Review: The Evolving Self by Mihayli Csikzentmihayli

I wish I could say this book really represented an evolution in psychology or how we conceive of the self, but the truth is, it really doesn't. If you read this author's other works, then this work can be thought of as half a step beyond those works. At times the author is judgmental, condescending, and whiny, and he doesn't offer much in the way of a concrete definition of self. The final few chapters predictably focus on flow, but don't  provide anything significantly new to the theory that he hasn't offered anywhere else.

Two out of five