Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Modern Goetic Grimoire: Questions and Answers

Ahhhh, Saturday, day of rest...

Right.

Someone wrote me an email asking for more info on the Modern Goetic Grimoire. They asked very intelligent and insightful questions, just the kind of thing I'd want to know before buying a grimoire:

I would like to know if it is actually a formula of evoking the demons and working with them, but much simpler and direct than the traditional Goetia method.
First, it's not only a book on conjuring Daimons. It addresses that, yes, and in detail, but "Goetia" is a class of magic that includes much more than conjuring only the 72 spirits of the Lem's Goetia. Traditionally, Goetia included necromancy, working with the genius loci, and a lot of what we would consider Theurgy today.

That said, the answer is a resounding Yes. The sections that address conjuring the daimons present a simple and direct formula for working with the 72 spirits of the Lemegeton's Goetia. Older versions of the grimoire, like Weier's Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, also present a "much simpler and direct" formula for working with them than that which is found in the Lemegeton's Goetia. My approach is somewhere in between Weier and the Lemegeton, but it is a lot closer to the spirit of Weier's apprach.

Like the Modern Angelic Grimoire, you can, I believe, begin conjuring the daimons using only the materials found in the Modern Goetic Grimoire. But if you follow the advice I give in the book, you won't be rushing into anything as quickly as you do with the Angelic Grimoire.

Also if they are willing to serve: I guess there's no binding in your grimoire, so can I make sure they will want to fulfill my instructions.
Yes, they are willing to serve; but you are correct, there is no "binding" in my grimoire. The Spirits are already "bound" to you out of a relationship which you have forgotten, but they have not. They honor old friendships and alliances. (Like the Elves did in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie The Two Towers by showing up to fight and die at Helm's Deep. Totally not in the book, but a neat touch.)

As for "make sure they will want to fulfill my instructions," I've found they are always eager to fulfill my instructions. That doesn't mean that you always get what you want. Even when you get exactly what you ask for, there are times that you get nothing that you wanted. It's called the Monkey's Paw effect, and I address it in the book.

Before performing any Goetic Magic, I think it's very important that the magician is properly prepared. I outline a system of initiations I went through before going into Goetia, a series of changes to my personal sphere of influence to which I attribute my own success. At the same time, there's a "paradigm" shift that has to occur in the mind of the magician.

The Spirits of the Lemegeton's Goetia are not opposed to us and the rest of the universe. They are completely in harmony with the Will of the Mind from which they manifest. Their role in the universe, however, is to cause insatiable desires in the hearts of "impious men." Impious means you have not only forgotten your Divine Race and Eternal Value, but also have no active relationship with the Monad and the Intelligences he emanated to manifest his Universe. Going into Goetia thinking they are your enemies, or that they intend you harm out of some kind of intrinsic malice is a mistake. Goetic Magic is a lot like the cave that Yoda sends Luke into in the Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back. You find what you take with you.

Like any style of magic, there is no guarantee of success. Even those who follow the Lemegeton's instructions in the Goetia (conjuring by curses and threats, and torturing by fire) suffer failures. More often, I suspect, than those who use the "spirit friendly" approach I advocate in my book. If you go into it expecting them to be unwilling slaves, you'll see everything they do from that perspective, and you'll misinterpret a lot of what happens. I made that mistake early in my Goetic Magic attempts, and I suffered the consequences. I'd rather keep other people from doing the same kind of stupid things I did.

One of the most important lessons of any magical practice is that, "Sometimes the magic works. Sometimes, it doesn't." If you think the spirits are unwilling slaves, you'll blame your failures on their rebellious nature, rather than finding out why the magic failed and finding a way to make it succeed.

And finally, [I'd like to know] if there's any risk of attack/trouble with this method.
I have never had a demon attack me, the way I suspect you mean. However, there is always an element of risk associated with any magical act, no matter how benign. A friend used chaos magic to lose fifteen pounds. She lost the fifteen pounds, exactly. The fat went right into her bloodstream and clogged her liver, causing her pain and suffering that lasted years.

But for every risk, there is a mitigation. I work in Project Management, and for any project you set yourself to accomplish, there are certain risks that have to be identified and planned for. Nothing ever works exactly as we expect it to. Risk Management is the art of forecasting potential events, doing what you can to lower the chances of the risks appearing, and planning what to do in case the risk does manifest.

With the 72 Spirits of the Lemegeton's Goetia, the biggest risk you face is the manifestation of their negative attributes in your life.Vepar is a good example. Say you want to protect a Naval shipment for your cousin in Iraq. You conjure Vepar, and the shipment arrives safely. Later you learn that the crew also suffered a rare skin disease that caused really bad acne-like sores that lasted three days. Causing putrefying sores is one of Vepar's other abilities.

To mitigate this risk, you would have specifically told Vepar to cause any sores to appear on the crew of their enemies, not on the crew of your allies, or simply told him that you didn't want any sores to manifest at all. It's the kind of thing you don't think of when you're conjuring a spirit, looking only at the good things they do.

In the Modern Goetic Grimoire, I cover a series of initiations that will mitigate most of the risks that come with Goetic Magic. That doesn't mean that your magic will be fool-proof, or that you will never have any problems. When I teach Necromancy, for example I also teach what to do if a shade follows you home from the graveyard. It's a risk. There is a solution.

Other spirits cause other kinds of trouble in your life. Dealing with the spirits of the Lemegeton's Goetia is always risky, no matter what method you use. The system I present has a lot more in it that will protect you from the more dangerous effects of working with these spirits than you will find in any of the traditional grimoires. I believe the traditional grimoires were not supposed to be stand-alone systems of magic. They are note books, quick reference guides for magicians who are also performing the appropriate and required Theurgical magic that is discussed at length in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy.

It was assumed and not written, I believe, that the magician who would pick up the Lemegeton would already have performed the rites outlined in The Art of Drawing Spirits into Crystals, for example, or would understand that the Magic Circle was a representation of what it was that keeps a magician safe. I teach that in detail in the Modern Goetic Grimoire.

By nature, the spirits of the Lemegeton's Goetia are designed to cause trouble, but only in the lives of impious Men. If you follow the techniques I provide, you will not be "impious," you will have established relationships with the spirits that will protect you from the kinds of things I think you're worried about. You will also have the skills to deal with any troubles that do arise.

When you conjure the spirits of the Lemegeton's Goetia, you are performing what I think is "Left Hand Path" magic. You are working with spirits who have a close affinity to your passions and desires. If you are at the mercy of your desires, ruled by your lust and greed and appetite, you will most likely cause more trouble in your life by evoking the spirits designed to inflame these passions. If you have mastered your passions and use them to aid you in accomplishing your Will, you will be as safe among them as you are alone.
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