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.