Saturday, October 03, 2009

Holy Goetia! (and a brief Chaos Magic Bash, and the Secret to Magical Power in General)

Argh!

I spent the last two days drawing ut all 72 spirits' seals from the Lemegeton's Goetia by hand for my Goetic Grimoire. I'm finally finished scanning them all into the computer (I drew them on 3 sheets of paper, and then broke them into 73 image files, 2 fer Bune). Now I get to modernize their descriptions, and add my own commentary on the ones I've Worked.

I recently said on a message board that you can "literally sketch their seals on a piece of paper and have them start manifesting in your life." I meant, of course, if you sketch it with the intent to conjure them. There's no underestimating the power of intent. Agrippa even mentions that it is the intention of the magician that determines what spirit we receive.

He was speaking in the context of Spirits who are different entities, but share the same name. There's a minor debate among traditionalist magicians about whether there are more than one spirit with the same name, or one spirit that can be in multiple places at once. I haven't had any problems with that part of magic in general, so I don't really give a shit which is true.

But a fellow magician recently mentioned that he believes the seals of the Goetia function the same as the sigils of chaos magicians. My hackles rose, of course, and I quick fired off a response basically saying that the difference is seals of spirits are revealed, sigils of chaos magicians are created by the mage, and you get weak results from Chaos Sigils as a result because most magicians haven't done the work to get the power to have the right to dictate reality by drawing the sigils. My standard line of shit, I suppose.

But I've been thinking about it a lot today. Having just drawn out 73 seals, and feeling the awareness of the Spirits of the Lem's Goetia turn towards me en masse, I know there's inherent power in the Seals that just isn't there in Chaos Magic sigils, no matter how much spooge the average adolescent mage pumps into them. At the same time, I know people who can draw the Seals and have nothing whatsoever happen at all, even though they are totally intentionally trying to get in touch with the spirits.

And furthermore, I know some folks who are chaos magicians who swear they get the same results from their Chaos tech that I get from the traditional seals. I don't doubt them at all. I think they get the same mediocre results from both because (and here it comes, the big reveal) the amount of power you have access to in Spirit Conjure magic is directly proportional to the amount of power you have as a magician.

Initiated magicians who have received empowerment and authority from their relationships with the spirits, specifically the 7 Governors of the Planetary Spheres, have more power to fuel their intent than magicians who don't have any initiation, experience, or empowerment.

And there's the Source of the power of the rituals. The spirits of the grimoires are spirits that have power to make things happen spiritually by their Will and their Status in the overall hierarchies. They were made to work with magicians in accomplishing our Wills. Human beings, on the other hand, simply aren't in the same class as the spirits. We have the ability to create new things because we're made in the image of God, but we aren't the Spirits. We're the Magicians. There's a difference. We're the fulcrum between the manifest and unmanifest, but they're the ones that oversee the transition between the two. We give form to their powers in Magic.

So, I'm thinking the degree of initiation of a magician, the degree of empowerment we have is what determines the degree of our results in our magical activities. A magician can craft a sigil to represent their desired outcome, but to make it manifest, they need to be able to direct the Powers and Principalities (and Thrones, Dominions, etc.). Without the empowerment, it's an un-intent-ed sketch, and nothing more.

But man, by the time I was done drawing out those seals, I could feel their eyes on me. I explained what I'm up to, and they understood I wasn't specifically, intentionally conjuring them. They went back to their business, and I went back to mine. I understand why there aren't a lot of these things on the market. Writing this thing has taken a great deal of awareness and control.

10 comments:

  1. i couldn't agree more, as i said onn the group.
    I make a distinction between a SEAL (which is reveal/emparted. sworn by) and a SIGIL (artificial).

    Great blog, too.

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  2. I didn't even get through the third paragraph of this post before I starting thinking "yeah, attunement and initiation." You can do the work without either of those, but its a hell of a lot easier if the channels are open and the roadway swept clean.

    I look forward to your finished (in this very specific instance) work.

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  3. I get you. When you think of how hard initially it was to make contact and the effort that was necessary to do so, it can kind of catch you off balance how quickly the spirits say something like:
    "You rang?"
    these days with minimal attention and focus. Comes with the territory mate!

    Love Kathy

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  4. That's a really interesting idea. I think you might be right. My seals and sigils are both pretty powerful these days because I have made the progress necessary to really understand and use them. I just don't want people getting hung up on any one seal as THE authentic seal for any given spirit, because they have channeled different seals through different people at different times for different purposes. The Arbatel actually says that seals can lose their effectiveness over time, especially if they were granted for a specific magician's personal use.

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  5. all of this is very true. thank you for presenting a realistic and rational outlook on the 72 spirits.

    -- venus satanas

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  6. Amen. In addition to your remarks about personal initiation I also believe spirits are attracted to those who have a genuine magical or mediumistic gift, even if latent. They find their expression and function fulfilled by working with such people - not so much with the rest.

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  7. "...sigils of chaos magicians are created by the mage, and you get weak results from Chaos Sigils as a result because most magicians haven't done the work to get the power to have the right to dictate reality by drawing the sigils."

    Yeah, okay, that might be true of people who don't put in the work and think a symbol on a notecard with no thought behind it is sufficient. I've had great results using sigils, however. I wouldn't write it off wholesale; it works (very well) for lots of people.

    And, yeah, sigils and seals... not the same thing, obviously.

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  8. O Disk:

    If you're having good results with sigils using chaos magic, good for you! I'm not writing off Chaos magic techniques entirely. Many of the practical stuff it teaches is straight out of Agrippa.

    I had "good results" using Chaos magic techniques. The sigils I made were effective. I'm not saying they're total bullshit.

    But when I switched to grimoire magic and quit treating beliefs like a pair of socks that I can change every day, I started having results the totally and completely blew everything I had ever accomplished using sigils completely the fuck out of the water.

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  9. as an unitiated, unexperienced, almost moronic dabbler in such stuff, i can attest i have some really wierd dreams whenever i doodle out a Goet seal. As for sigils, the results (if any) are so ambivalent i get headaches when i think about em.

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Thanks for your comments, your opinions are valued, even if I disagree with them. Please feel free to criticize my ideas and arguments, question my observations, and push back if you disagree.