I appreciate the comments from my regular readers encouraging me to write. For the record, I'm in the process of developing three books. I'm spending most of my time on the Modern Goetic Grimoire, but I'm also working on an Initiatic Journey through the Seven Heavens. The third book is on Astral Warfare, and is by far the most enjoyable manuscript I'm working on at the moment. Even in the depths of my neglect over the last month I've managed to work on the Goetic manuscript, off and on. So, thanks for the encouragement, and great minds think alike.
In the Goetic Grimoire, I'm presenting a Cthonic worldview that incorporates the neoplatonic core of my beliefs within a more cthonic approach. I'm on the initiation phase now, which is a subject worthy of its own book. Realizing this, I started the Initiatic Journey book. I find I'm more drawn to talking about initiation than strict ritual, specifically the ideas behind it, and the effects it has on the magician. In spelling out the initiatic requirements of the Goetic system as presented in the Lemegeton's Magic Circle from the Goetia, I realized why fraternal magical lodges start with initiations into the Elemental realms. I also found myself opening a door to yet another manuscript regarding the relationship of the living and the spirits of Nature and the restless dead.
I have quite a few things to work on, but I'm focusing on getting the Goetic grimoire out first. It's near and dear to my sphere, after all. In terms of practical magic, there is no system more effective in accomplishing short, mid, and long term goals than the spirits of the Goetia.
A friend is doing a lot of work with the Arbatel, and I'm looking forward to his results. I think the spirits of the Arbatel are a hybrid of the terrestrial and celestial beings, with a foot firmly planted in the Cthonic macrocosm and in the manifest microcosmic realm. My own work with Och has continued to manifest money in my wallet, and while it's not a lot by 21st Century American standards, it's a great deal more than your average unemployed husband and father in Kenya would have. At least one other magician friend worked with the Arbatel Venus spirit, whose name escapes me, and found the true love of his life. I hesitate to jump to any conclusions, because my experience is limited, and I'm looking forward to my friend's research before crystallizing any solid opinions on their nature and spheres of influence.
Within the neoplatonic framework I work with, I'm able to classify different spirits from different systems across the spectrum, from the nebulous Archangels of the Sphere of the Prime Mover to the local nature spirits. I place them tentatively as I go along, leaving room for overlap. For now the Arbatel spirits are in both the material and spiritual worlds, while Goetic entities are closer to the material world. Enochian angels seem to be another group with feet in both realms, but I place them as primarily terrestrial spirits. Trithemian archangels are mostly macrocosmic, as are the Intelligences of the Planetary Tables, although in concert with the Spirits of the Planetary Table, they do a fabulous job crossing over into the material realm.
I think as we develop, we end up with a "stable" of spirits that we work with for different aspects of our lives. Mine currently covers all the realms except the elemental ones, and that's something I should really work on adding to the collection.
The collection isn't the point in and of itself, though. I really haven't needed any elemental work, which is why I haven't worked it. I'm sure there have been times when having elemental initiations would have helped my Work, but being ignorant of their roles, I've managed to get by without them. The spirits in my "stable" are the ones I've needed, from both a physical and pragmatic point of view, and from a spiritual and ascendant point of view.
It's weird speaking in dichotomies of physical and spiritual, because they're different aspects of the same thing. Rituals for cold hard cash bring spiritual revelations, and rituals for spiritual initiations send me across state lines to bear witness to enlightened gurus and receive instruction. Like classification of spirits as terrestrial vs. celestial, it's a useful categorizing tool, but it doesn't really describe where they "really" are in the spectrum of manifestation, just where I put the relative to myself and my current interests.