Ok, so you know how the final stage of the Great Work is Projection, right? After you've made the Philosopher's Stone, you're not finished with the Great Work until you've taken the stone, ground it up or distilled it down, and then started using it to provide longevity, cure ills, and generally increase the purity of the world. That's the true goal of the Great Work: To Make the World a Better Place.
Personally, I think the The Stele of Jeu the Hieroglyphist sums up where we end up as we progress in the Work pretty well.
"I am the headless daimon with sight in my feet; I am the mighty one who possesses the immortal fire; I am the truth who hates the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world; I am the one who makes the lightning flash and the thunder roll. I am the one whose sweat falls upon the earth so that it can inseminate it; I am the one whose mouth burns completely; I am the one who begets and destroys; I am the Favor of the Aion; my name is a heart encircled by a serpent; come forth and follow."Now, many of you know I can't stand a lot of the parts of existence. I'm sure there are things you can't stand too. Some forms of hatred can be noble. The hatred of evil, like racism, torture, and tyranny. The hatred of ignorance. The hatred of the idiots we share the road with.
In the Stele, it's presented as hatred of the fact that unjust deeds are done in the world.
I just realized the path of the statement above traces a spiral on the Kircher Tree of Life. Starting at Immortal Fire in Tiphareth, the Sun, you then hit hatred of injustice in Geburah/Mars, thunder and lightning in Chesed/Jupiter, inseminating sweat in Netzach/Venus, the burning mouth of enflamed prayer and energetic communication in Hod/Mercury, the begetting and destroying or waxing and waning of Yesod/The Moon, and ending in the Favor (or Fortuna, Fate) of the Aion in Binah/Saturn. And then you've got the Heart encircled by a Serpent.
Interesting little things like that are neat. I don't know if it means anything, it's pure speculation and observation of possibly related things. Pretty cool though.
Anyway, everything's cracked. Look around, and there's a ton of shit to hate, plenty of opportunities to see things that could use improvement. Calvinsim, my favortie brand of Christianity, explains it all with the Total Corruption of the manifest world. I think that's pretty harsh, personally. I don't think all of existence fundamentally sucks. I've been high on a mountain in Colorado too many times to think existence itself is fundamentally flawed. It's just too beautiful to be basically broken.
But it needs to be managed better. Who among us hasn't thought, "If there is a God, he's fucked UP to create an existence like this!" I mean, all of us hit that point sooner or later. Those of us who do the Hermetic Work of getting through the spheres get a somewhat more useful understanding of the Fucked Up nature of existence. Shit's mostly fucked up because PEOPLE have forgotten Who they Are, Where they Came From, and Why They're Here. So no one is making sure things work out the way they're supposed to.
Humans are part of the hierarchy of entities who have a role to play in the manifestation of all that is. As we progress through the Spheres, receiving initiations and getting the powers of each integrated into our daily lives, we are able to see the process of manifestation and how things could work better. Being in the World, the realm of the Spiritus Mundi, we have an insight into the way things feel when they actually get here that the spirits of the higher planes don't necessarily have. We can finesse and finagle the final stages of the waxing and waning of manifestation here on Earth. We can do the Right Action at the Right Time to inseminate the world with our sweat, because we've seen the Visions of the Spheres, met the entities that manage manifestation, and can provide feedback from "in the field" to our co workers further "up" the chain of manifestation.
Our "Charge to the spirit" phase of conjuration is the part of the rites where we provide feedback from on the ground. A fully initiated, consciously aware human can be on the scene painting the target with the laser beam that guides the laser missle to the right target at the right time. We need finances, so we do a rite, but we tell the spirits not only what we want, in amounts, but how we want it to manifest because we can see it, we can feel it.
All those gifts we get in the spheres, the psychic powers to do remote viewing, or psychometry, all that stuff is there for a reason, and it's not entertainment. We're supposed to develop those things so we can participate in the creation of the world more fully. You scan an object to get more information in how to direct forces to fix the cracks where they appear. You use the favor of Kings to change political policies that are unjust. You use the health and longevity to accomplish long-term goals that take years to complete. Every gift or power received from your initiations into the spheres is given to you so that you can do your job. The results of the purification and transformation is a being, a human being who can coordinate the forces of the manifest and unmanifest realms to create a complete and better world.
That's what Projection is all about. You take the cracks, and project the Light into it and make it better, a cleaner, more just, more empowered, more harmonious version of what it was, closer to the Idea that spawned it.
Man's awareness of "shit that sucks" is a tool to be used, an indicator, the same way pain is an indicator that something's wrong with the bodies we live in while alive. Magicians end up with very acute senses of things that are right and wrong.
Which can suck terribly when you're not doing regular magic. I'm thinking now of Jow's recent post about sharpening the tools but not using them. He mentioned that irritation that builds up when you're always doing the maintenance, but you're not using the techs or forces you're conjuring up to do anything. We get angsty and irritable, bored and annoyed.
When you get those feelings, do what Jow did, recognize it for what it is and figure out something you should be doing. If you can't think of anything, here are some suggestions:
- Figure out what your major obstacles in life are. What's blocking your ability to accomplish your goals? Once you've got a list, ritually destroy them with a little gunpowder rite. KABOOM is a magic word.
- Do some strategic Sorcery. Figure out what you want, and then break it down into phases, and then into specific steps. Do the magic for each step, cover your bases, and see how it works out.
- Politics always offers good targets for working out injustices. Somewhere near you, right now, there is a corrupt official waiting to be exposed.
- Social causes: racism, gender/sexual orientation discrimination, bullying in general, there are all kinds of things you could focus on in the daily news.
For the more patient, compassionate, and wise among us (don't know how close I qualify on this, but... sigh, here it is anyway), there's also what I think of to myself as "Hermetic Counseling."
One of the things I've learned over the years of doing magic is that the insight I've gained through the Great Work makes other people's problems, and the solutions, pretty easy to figure out. I'm too emotionally attached to myself to regularly be able to solve my own issues, but when it comes to others, I'm spot on.
The Work provides us with not only the wisdom and insight to identify people's problems, but also access to the forces that manifest reality so we can change people's lives. Not everyone is called to be a magician, and those of us who are (who are also gifted with the ability to stand listening to other people's problems) are in a position where we can actually help people in more esoteric ways to have a better life.
This is not for everyone, and should come with lots of caveats, because really, most people aren't equipped to help others out until they've done some serious work on themselves. It takes years of Work and refinement to be able to help people, and to know when you can't, no matter what.
But we can conjure the Geniuses of the clients' natal charts and just ask them what's going on, we can bind the Evil Daimons who are bringing challenges to them, we can direct the ministries of the Spirits on behalf of those who need it. It's like the Sorcery for Hire stuff a lot of us already do, but it's more objective. We won't necessarily do only what the client asks, we'll also do what the spirits and our experiences and insights indicate needs to be done for them. We'll divine the true causes of their suffering, and take appropriate action on their behalf.
This particular effort comes with a lot of dangers, though. A lot of us (self included ) can be blind to our own ignorance, and with the best intentions in the world, completely fuck someone else up. If we lack the discipline to perform divinations regularly, to see past the dollar signs to the things that really need to be done, we're not ready to help others regularly. Offer sage advice, but include the warning that you could be wrong. Offer to do magic you think is right for the client, but don't just do it all willy-nilly. If you think something is good for someone, but also suspect they'd fail if they tried it out where they are right now, don't push them into it anyway with the assumption that the fires released that consume their lives will also refine them enough to take the next step on their own. Sometimes when people's lives are consumed in a refining fire, they just quit while their lives are still in ashes because they weren't ready to face the issues you've tried to deal with for them. You can seriously fuck some shit up.
But really, this is the kind of thing a magician is best equipped to do. Fill in the cracks. Make the world a better place. Help one another.
Jesus, it sounds so ... nice. And really, it is. For those who are more into magic to get rich, get ahead, or whatever, all I can say is that urge to acquire and advance is a really good thing, but I've personally found that the only way to consistently assuage that urge is to use your magic to make the world a better place. That includes getting rich and meeting your personal ambitions, because then you're in a better position to use your knowledge and skills effectively. Those who conjure spirits to get in good with local politicians and leaders will be in better positions to help communities struggling with poverty and crime. Those who conjure up their soul mate will have their emotional and sexual needs met, and have all that time they would otherwise spend pursuing gratification free to put to proper work.
And the Work we do is the most fulfilling thing we can do in life. It's pretty awesome.