Sunday, July 17, 2011

Y so Srs?

Ok, so Dhr. Balthazar's still concerned, and Jason thinks I'm underestimating the danger, and I've just got to know, why so serious about working with the dead in a spirit pot?

I mean, come on, a demon I had in a spirit pot burned my fucking house down. It's more dangerous than that?

We are talking about the spirits of the dead, right? Dead people.

In my experience with the dead, there are two types, the Powerful Dead who made it to a certain point in their spiritual attainment who became demigods, sort of like the Saints and the Heroes of Greece, and the far more common restless spirits, the shades of the dead, the nepheshim.

The Powerful Dead

Saints and Heroes make for the best kind of necromancy, imho. My main goal as a Hermeticist in this incarnation is to become one of them, in a way. The Hermetic texts teach that we go up through the heavens and become Powers, the same kinds of Powers we work with when we conjure angels and Intelligences and Spirits and such.

Saints... well, they're pretty obviously like these Powers. And the catholics have centuries of history working with them through spirit pots too. They call them Reliquaries. Really, not that dangerous, though I wouldn't steal one from a church.

In Voodoo, you learn to work with the Ghede, who I think are like the Heroic Dead, powerful, useful, helpful, and dangerous in the same kind of ways that the demons of the Goetia and Theurgia Goetia and the Planetary Spirits are powerful, useful, helpful, and dangerous. Jake Stratton Kent has talked before about how the spirits contacted in real old fashioned Greek Goetia were the powerful dead, like the tribes of the Ghede, who got promoted. I don't pretend to understand all that, but from what I do know, I know enough to stay away.

I wouldn't work with them through a spirit pot. They're saints and powers and demigods. Candles and altars make more sense to me than a spirit pot. A spirit pot is a more personal thing.

The Not-So-Powerful Dead

And then there's the Nepheshim, the far more readily available and contactable type of dead spirit that you'll most likely end up with in your spirit pot if you try to work the dead through the spirit pot instructions I gave.

I speculate that in Palo, you get a spirit the way Agrippa talks about it in Book 3, chapter 42. He talks about collecting bits of the body of the recently dead and using that to get those who died violent deaths or criminals or those who are yearning for a proper burial to do mean things for you. These are the nepheshim, the mortal parts of the soul that are supposed to fade away and turn to dust in sheol, but don't because they find another food source. They can live for a while after the body dies, up to a year according to some Hebrew and Greek sources, but usually they fade after six weeks if no one's feeding them.

And these spirits do mean things for people because they're angry, confused, scared, and all emotional about shit. They just lost their bodies in a painful or disturbing way, and on top of that, they lost their minds. Because their minds are the Ruachim parts of the human soul, not the nepheshim. The Ruachim have wandered on to the Akashic Records or are "asleep in christ" or something like that. They have no need for the body or the nephesh anymore, so the nephesh is all, "I'm abandoned, my body is dead, and I'm scared! and Angry!" Moody bitches, man, moody bitches.

Necromancers trap these spirits and send them at targets, and they'd go be all moody around their targets. Agrippa says they can "kindle unlawful lusts, cause dreams, diseases, hatred and such like passions." That's about what I've seen people in the Hispanic communities use the dead for, pretty much. They can get pretty powerful if they're fed right and taken care of, exercised and built up. They can be developed. But it takes a while, special training, and you really need to know what you're doing. Because they're toxic.

I've seen these spirits banished with as little as the sign of the cross and a Hail Mary. Some needed more careful exorcisms. One time I went to the Divine Darkness to eliminate a tribe that had been sent against someone. None of them that I've met can stand up to some Saturn forces lined up against them personally. I learned from Bune how to make them appear before me and give me their name, and once I've got that, I can engrave it in lead with some symbols of Saturn and bury it, hold a formal funeral, and the spirit's gone.

They're annoying, frustrating, and emotional, and they can cause the kind of damage in your life that you can cause when you act in frustration, anger, fear, or horror. They're really good at causing mental illnesses.

So yeah, putting one in a spirit pot if you don't know the risks can be dangerous. You've got to shield yourself from that shit, because you might think you've got the whole spirit of the person, but really you've just got the nephesh, the emotional survivalist who is more panic button fight/flight syndrome all the time than anything else.

Again speculation here, but I think Paleros and those trained to work with the muerte learn how to make the nepheshim calm and at rest while they're in their spirit pot, and then all upset when they send them to work mischief. I think they empower them and make them stronger too. Exercise them. Build them up. They also know how to keep any of the mental illness or occasional shifting keys and falling iron pans from disrupting their lives too much. One guy I knew cyber-socially mentioned that he just lived with it, called that kind of stuff the dangers of working with the dead. I wouldn't put up with it, personally. My own nephesh causes enough shit in my life, I don't need any other nepheshim buggin' me.

Now these aren't the ancestor spirits. These are wandering ghosts who haven't been properly shriven, who need to be put to rest, and who can be used for nefarious purposes if that's your schtick. Personally, I can do all the shit they do without using them. Ask my wife if I can cause mental illness, she'll tell you straight up I'm a pro.

Ancestor Spirits

But the ancestors are a different subject altogether. Most people I've seen talking about wanting to work with their ancestor spirits are talking about their dead relatives. Grandpas and grandmas, family legends who were teh awesome. They're looking for ... well, money, most of the time, but they don't say so, but also protection and guidance. Generally they want a house god, someone who keeps the peace, aids in prosperity, and protects the family from other wandering ghosts and anyone in the flesh with evil intentions.

In his Abramelin Ramble, Bill Heidrick talks about working with the nepheshim of ancestors. Good stuff, I won't repeat it here. It's chapter five, under the heading "Kitty just ate the neighbor's dog." Heh. I love Bill Heidrick.

Now remember, I'm not trained in any ATRs, and this is just speculation, but from the way I understand the whole death process to work, the spirits of the dead that you're going to get in a spirit pot are most likely going to be nepheshim. Even if you get the nephesh of the family member you want, it's still not going to be the whole person, their mind and memories and personality. It's going to be the part of them that kept them alive, that felt the deepest, most passionate feelings. It's little more than an animal consciousness. 

The part of them that you want to talk to is their Ruach, and it's moved on to better places. Contacting it and getting it to take up residence in a vessel for you is possible, but to do so properly would take skill and training, and magical experience. And permission to do that kind of thing. Saturn can grant access to these halls, and that path has dangers of its own to face.

So, y so srs?

All those bad things the spirits of the restless dead do that I talked about earlier? That's the worst case scenario that I know of that could happen to you if you try to make a muerte pot without proper training. Your kids will hear voices telling them to "cut the bitch's head off." Your cat will go insane and try to attack you (happened to my uncle after a ouija board experiment gone wrong). You'll hear all kinds of shaking and rattling. You'll be risking your sanity and the peace of your home and your family.

Biiiiiiiiiiig fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckin' deeeeeeeeeaaaaaaal. 

You're a freakin' magician. Wake up and smell the asafetida. This is exactly what you signed on for, and these are the risks that come with it. Whether you're putting together a muerte pot off misrepresented spirit pot instructions from a blog you read or conjuring your HGA, there's always a chance that you're going to pick up a nephesh with all these powers. This shit is risky. We're like archaeologists who found some ancient Greek instructions for building something cool, but we don't know for sure what it did, or how it worked, or whether it was some kind of mana machine or a microwave antenna that will fry our balls off. We're working off intuition, and trusting in an invisible hand that put us on this path to keep us from creating a Three Mile Island meltdown in our garage.

People who never practice magic risk getting these kinds of spirits. They are as common as dandelions. You know all your friends on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and mood stabilizing drugs? I'm not saying all of them, but more of them than you think are suffering from nephesh-created or nephesh-exaggerated symptoms of mental illness. Whether they caused it or recognized it as a free food source, you can bet they're around, and it's part of your job, magician, to clean that shit up. The LBRP will get rid of most of them, that's part of why you learn it first in the Golden Dawn, because they don't need that shit hanging around their temple on the noobs. It's like teaching someone basic hygiene so they can be around other people without getting them sick.

Prayer, having them acknowledge Jesus as Lord, or return the right grade signs of the Golden Dawn, or recite parts of the Book of the Law, or intoning YHVH at them, or tracing the seal of the Archangel Michael over them will reveal them to be what they are and drive them off. And if you can't get rid of them, you've got a mentor somewhere, someone with a shared interest you can check with for help. And if they won't help, you've got your HGA, or your Angel of the Nativity who will get them off you or bring you someone to help.

And that invisible hand that put you on this path hasn't stopped meddling in your life either. He who called you is capable of keeping you. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all this shit will pass by you, and only you will remain. I promise.

And you've got one more thing going for you: common sense. Well, probably not if you're as human as I am, but if you're lacking that, you've at least got a sense of self preservation. If you feel like putting together an ancestor pot is too dangerous, it really is for you right now. You'll be increasing your chances of getting a nephesh spirit by a huge exponential if you put together a spirit pot without enough experience. 

But I firmly believe you'll end up learning how to deal with it. I think that's a good thing, and I think you're up for the task, with all the forces available to you. This magic stuff is dangerous. 

But as Bilbo said, "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."


  1. I think its definitely correct to point that that all that we do in this path has potential for great danger. Even intitiated members of the ATR recgonize that even with permission and initiation they still run risks.

    However, I must disagree with your speculation on the nfumbe of the Palero. The spirit that is placed within the Prenda goes through a nigromantic process that produces a powerful spirit that is akin to a non-blood ancestor, imbued with the power of the Rada and becomes a powerful force of magic and guidance. It is more similar to a HGA then the resltess dead.

    Nevertheless, you do have a point. One doesn't learn respect for fire until a finger or two is burned.

  2. I also tried to point out that spirit pot experiments magnify the risk exponentially.

    And thanks for the insight into the nfumbe. I really don't know what it goes through, but I find it fascinating.

    I'm basing my speculation off the two paleros I've known who talked about what they do, and a few I've seen on some message boards. And some experience with some folks in Panama who were convinced it was a palero who was working against them. And I'm assuming they used the spirit of their nganga to attack the family, which could be wrong too.

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing. If it turns out there's a real reason to be "So srs," I'll look like an ass when I apologize and admit my wrongness. That would suck, but it would be worth it to be made right if I'm wrong.

  3. "Biiiiiiiiiiig fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckin' deeeeeeeeeaaaaaaal.

    You're a freakin' magician. Wake up and smell the asafetida. This is exactly what you signed on for, and these are the risks that come with it."

    Excellent point. Like I said in my previous comment, I don't know a hell of a lot beyond what I pick up here on the blogosphere with regard to working with the dead, But I do know that a large part of my evocative work is with "demons", and I'm pretty damned sure none of the Muertos I'd be capable of bringing into a spirit pot are half as dangerous as these guys. I mean, demons... biblical bad guys with a penchant for tearing shit up on a global level, so much so that the majority of the world is terrified of them, even having no experience with them whatsoever.

  4. Thanks for an informative post, R.O. I've thought, in the past, about working with the dead but never really got around to it.

    And thanks, too, for the reminder that this Work has its own risks. Even something as apparently innocuous as an initiation can throw you for a loop if you're not ready and able to manage it.

    And, what's more, for me, it's always the simplest things that fail the most dramatically...

  5. "Biiiiiiiiiiig fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuckin' deeeeeeeeeaaaaaaal.

    You're a freakin' magician. Wake up and smell the asafetida. This is exactly what you signed on for, and these are the risks that come with it."

    I absolutely love this post, and it's not simply a matter of working with the dead that makes your post an important read. It's the comment above. No matter what we do, it comes with risks. All of it.

    And if you're not ready to deal with those risks, get off the freakin' path.

  6. @Rose,

    Well, I wouldn't say "if you're not ready, get off the path," but definitely "if you're not ready, get ready already."

    The HGA is wonderful for this kind of thing. Crowley advised well when he advised magicians to make this their primary goal, because it makes all these risks ever so much less risky.

  7. "Crowley advised well when he advised magicians to make this their primary goal"

    @RO I agree, but I think its been misinterpreted by most, and his wording didnt help. Making contact with your HGA and building that relationship should definitely be among your first priorities, and until it is achieved nothing else should supplant it as your primary focus, but its definitely not "The Supreme Act of Magick", its not the culmination of a Magickal Lifetime as most Crowleyites believe, there is much, much more afterwards.

  8. I'm by no means experienced in working with the dead yet, but R.O. your blog entry today makes many fine points in answer to Jason's blog entry yesterday and all kinds of sense. That said isn't the danger of a rogue muerto a more persistent danger than the admittedly more explosive danger of a demon? As has been said elsewhere sometimes LBRP isn't effective in getting rid of stronger spirits of the dead. Then again, as someone who works with demons on a regular basis - piss one off and they have no problem reaching out and touching you whenever they god-damn please (banishings or no). Then again I think I'd rather deal with beings that can be reasoned with and appeased if necessary rather than mindless pieces of human spirit that are lingering around causing general chaos. Preference I guess?

  9. A bit off-topic, but you're the first person I've ever seen on the blogosphere link to Heidrick's work. I really have to encourage *everyone* to read at least the Abramelin Ramble, it's definitely worth it.

  10. Great post! Very much in line with Bertiaux's ideas regarding Luck Hoodoo spirits and the construction of an Atua.

  11. First is that I never said you underestimated the danger. I said you understated the danger. I think that you pretty well know the danger.

    You wrote:

    "I mean, come on, a demon I had in a spirit pot burned my fucking house down. It's more dangerous than that?"

    Do we really need to go past that? Is that not kind of making my case? I only talk about that when you bring it up, but I mean, c'mon. That happened to a magician with years of experience and AFTER they had gained K&C of the HGA and had planetary initiations of the seven spheres!

    But ok. let's set that aside.

    There are dangers and there are dangers.Saying that all magic is dangerous is fine, but that doesnt mean that its all the same danger level.

    Driving from my house to yours is dangerous, we need to be aware of the dangers as drivers and be capable of defensive driving, and of necessary have the right insurance when something happens. If however we decide to drive the Yungas road in a convertible, the danger level is way higher and should not be compared to the dangers posed by the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

    An even better example here is people. Meeting new people is dangerous. Meeting new people that are known to do unethical and criminal things for pay is even more dangerous. Asking those people to move into your house and give them access to all your shit is REALLY dangerous.

    Its not just the type of spirit that call to dwell in a pot (though in many cases that is a huge issue right there) it is the access to your life that you give long term. Some people get most of their Ngangas constructed in Africa or sometimes in Cuba or DR. Even when that is done, you still have to add dirt and items from your own home environment.

    Dispelling the dead who have been sent in a curse IS a fairly easy task. Dispelling the dead who have been sent in a curse where graveyard dirt has been planted on the victims person and home, and items from that victims person and home have been planted in said grave is more complicated. (BTW definitely don't do that. Unless you really don't like someone.)

    Dispelling the dead who have been bound and chained into a pot and a persons life, in a mini universe overseen by a Nzambi, and given a full on superhero like transformation, not to mention their own familiar spirits (there is for instance almost always a dogs bones in the Nganga for hunting down targets) is a REALLY BIG DEAL.

    Furthermore in some ways the victim of such a spirit would be LUCKY to have their house burn down. That is a huge wake up call. Most of the time it is slow and insidious and takes the health and persona in a long and twisted fasion that is obvious to everyone BUT the person they are doing it to.

    So yeah. Dangerous.

  12. Hey Frater! Great post!

    I can certainly understand why folks from the ATRs are "all up in arms" over the current Westerners' interest in spirit pots (and other practices associated mainly with ancient tribal traditions). However, I honestly think they are missing the point.

    Sure, we Westerners are just getting started. We're taking what we can from our own sources (like Agrippa) and we're learning what we can from the ATRs and similar contemporary sources. We do not have an unbroken tradition that comes with full community support. Thus, when we start talking about our spirit pots, the ATR folks scoff and assure us we don'w know what we're doing.

    Yet, at the same time (often in the same breath) the ATR folks scoff at us because they think we Westerners don't have anything that actually works.

    So when we try to learn something that actually works... we're wrong and should give it up? Bullshit. Western occultism is currently undergoing a new kind of renaissance. We've come down off our "my mysticism is holier than thine" attitude and are finally saying "Ok, we've wasted centuries, so let's start doing this right!"

    Are we going to make mistakes? You bet! Some of us will burn our houses down. Some of us will have our heads eaten by the spirits we try to keep. And you know what? That's just how you ATR folks learned to do it thousands of years ago (and still do today!) - trial and error. Eventually you got it right and developed a sophisticated tradition with full community support.

    By telling us Westerners to "give up the ghost" (pun intended!), you're basically saying that not only do we not have anything that works, but that we somehow have no right to try and learn and develop anything that works. And that attitude is what irks me.

    In short, if you're an ATR initiate and all you can muster is "Don't to that, go back, desist!" followed with "But I can't tell you how to do it right because of my oaths" then you are of no use to me and what I'm working to build here.

  13. While the bravado in this post will undoubtedly be warmly received by people on the internets - it thinly veils what is basically a profound ignorance about the subject of the dead, Rufus. Or how spiritual work with them looks and takes shape in actual practice today.

    I get the sense that because you have some experience conjuring up stuff in the grimoires you believe you have a working knowledge that applies to all fields and all things. But really, as in other professions, some things are highly specialised.

    And as Jason points out - the fact that your house burned down during your pot experiment (one would think) would have been ample enough indication of just how wrong this kind of thinking can be.

    Hamlet says it so well:

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  14. Dhr Balthazar,

    It's not a thin veil at all, I believe strongly that I have a huge ignorance about the dead. I must if it's such a serious danger for everyone.

    My point in this post is exactly this:

    What is the big deal about working with the dead? What makes them so dangerous? Here's my experiences, here's what I know to be the worst case scenario, and I've dealt with it and expect others to be able to as well.

    What am I missing?

  15. And another thing, Dhr. Balthazar, I DO have a tendency to think I know everything, and when I'm writing I get caught up in the moment of the post and speak as if I'm talking about how ALL MAGIC WORKS ALL THE TIME.

    And I am wrong, and I run my mouth often enough to put a caveat on the blog page about this being the RO bullshit zone.

    Nevertheless, I am eager to be corrected, I really do hate being wrong.

  16. Well, it's not that all the dead themselves are necessarily outright dangerous by their very nature, R.O. Nonetheless, the way in which you work with them can get very dangerous. Our discussion was about putting together muerto pots, and as I have been saying, this is something that requires for special care to be taken.

    Generally speaking, the dead are a specialised area.

    Which is why in the diaspora and in africa you often tend to find a class of specialists who work with them alone, or in separated sub-system, even though there are other spirits or deities whom are the focus of the religion, such as the Orisa.

    In Cuba you might say these are the paleros and more broadly the muerteros/espiritistas. Whilst the Santeros take care of the Orisa. Although, most santeros are also muerteros out of necessity because of what happened in the Diaspora during slavery. However, in addition there are other entirely separate priesthoods for the Egungun (ancestral dead) and the deified force of death, Iku, specifically. One of my godparents is an initiate in this kind of priesthood, for instance.

    Similarly, in South Africa you have Nyanga and Sangoma - the Sangoma specialises in the ancestor spirits, while the Nyanga on the other hand is a general magical worker with a focus on herbal magic and medicine.

    What I am saying is that in many of these traditions the dead are their own kettle of fish entirely. They are worked separately and in an entirely different way. They tend to have their own set of rules and taboos even though they are almost always considered the corner stone or foundation of the ATR systems. In certain sense you are basically working with the principal of death which, you know, is kinda a big deal if you think about it a bit.

  17. I Find it rather humorous that you are such a spiritual BADASS when it comes to Goetic demons and shades of the dead. Yet you are scared of your own "shadow" and find it necessary to bind you evil genius in lead by the power of Saturn.

    So my question is y so srs?

    Is your evil genius that much more scary / dangerous than a demon or might dead? After all the genius is part of yourself and should in theory be more easily controlled, no?

  18. @Anonymous,

    You are coming from a Jungian/psychological interpretation of magic that is largely useless when you get out of the armchair and into the conjure ring.

    Magic is not psychology.

    The Evil Daimon is not your "shadow," it is not "part of yourself," in the way you use the terms.

    It is specifically the entity that creates obstacles and disruptions that stand in the way of accomplishing the intended goals of any idea that manifests in the material realm. You get its name from the electional or natal chart for the moment of manifestation.

    If you understood the nature and the potential of this entity, you would also understand the value of binding it in lead.

  19. So sum up my own thoughts:

    1: Its not the type of spirit. Its the mode of working. Making something a permanent part of your life and giving it full backstage access is dangerous no matter what being it is you are working with.

    2: I am not saying not to do it, or not study the way that ATRs do it and use some of the tools they do. I am saying to do it smart and with as much understanding as you can and KNOW That if you are outside a tradition than you are not doing something that is inside the tradition. Its that simple. There is a freedom that comes with that, that I LOVE, but there is also a danger that comes with it.

  20. I wouldn't exactly consider myself an armchair magician, however I have only ventured so far as angelic/planetary spirits and intelligences. However other than a few references on your blog I have never read of the Evil Daemon. Maybe after the spirit pot issue dies down you can dedicate a post to explain the nature of this being compared to that of a goetic daemon.

  21. @Anon: I replied to Fr. Acher about that in a comment on the Daimon Trap post.

    You got a mention in that comment too. :)

    "Goetic" refers to a type of magic that was primarily Chthonic and dealt with denizens of the underworld. It included, but wasn't limited to necromancy.

    The evil daimon of the natal chart is your personal adversary. He makes bad situations worse. He tries to impede your progress towards your purpose for incarnating. He also tries to distract you from the Great Work with vain desires and conceits.

    In your daily life, it's the entity who embodies your own personal bad luck. Binding it doesn't eliminate bad luck, but it keeps it from being overwhelming.

  22. So if this discussion is about working with the dead, and that being a specialized practice, what exactly does it have to do with R.O.'s Bune spirit pot? Bune isn't one of the mighty dead, he is a non-human spirit linked directly to an astrological force. So all of this warning over working with the dead doesn't apply - which leave us with the question of what really went wrong with R.O.'s spirit pot. (I think he explained that in another blog, or perhaps it was over on Solomonic.)

    BTW - you folks asking about the "Evil Daimon" can learn how to find out the name of yours here:

    The concept of the Nativity Angel seems to appear first (in literature) in Plato's "Myth of Er", where each re-incarnating soul chooses an Angel to be its guardian. (This is NOT the same as the HGA of Abramelin.)

    I'm not sure when the concept of an evil counterpart to your Nativity Angel came about. However, it still exists in our modern culture. The little Angel and Demon that sit on your shoulders and try to convince you to do the right or wrong thing - that is your Nativity Angel and Demon. When you spill salt and cast some over your left shoulder, it is done to blind that Demon.

    Agrippa outlines a way of find the names of the Angel and Demon - which I provide along with examples in the above linked post.

  23. For me, the issue is not at all about working with the dead. I mentioned repeatedly that it is about mode of working. Building a long term access point for a spirit that is filled with links from your life can be quite rewarding, but it can also be dangerous. Some beings are more difficult than others. A Naga Khang in Tibetan Buddhism for instance needs to be treated with so much finesse and care that it is almost a guarantee that you will have some mis-step along the way that will piss off the Naga.

  24. Jason: Ok, so building a spirit pot (for the dead or any spirit) can be rewarding as well as dangerous. And I get that your issue is over "mode of working." So what I'm asking is what you see as wrong with the mode of working in, for example, Frater RO's spirit pot?

    And, please, don't say things like "because all the objects have to be washed in Omiero." We're not talking ATR Ngangas here, but Western spirit pots - like the Solomonic Brass Vessel. I doubt the author of the Goetia ever heard of Omiero. ;)

  25. I would never say anything like that. I was one of the people RO consulted when he built the pot. If I am not mistaken, I think its how we met. I have containers that are similar.

    There is nothing wrong with the mode of working inherently, only in the relationship between magician and spirit. The tendency is to get comfy and cozy with the spirit and forget its nature.

    It would be the same if you had a gangster living with you. He might be really cool and nice 90% of the time. He might be downright charming. That doesn't negate the other 10% of the time when he is dangerous and immoral and would fuck you over if it suited him.

    I never said not to build one, or that RO shouldnt be writing about it, or anything at all like that. I thought that he underplayed the dangers of them. Just because something is dangerous doesnt mean you shouldnt work with it, it just means that you should know the dangers.

    I know a few Paleros with very properly consecrated Prendas and totally legit initiations that I would say are obsessed by their muerto as well, so from my perspective, that doesnt have too much to do with it.

    As to what specifically went wrong with the specific Bune working, I can draw conclusions from conversations I have had with RO both on the net and in person, as well as posts he made at that time that were not directly related, but those conclusions might be wrong. It caused a lot of pain to him and his family, and I am not going to stand back and issue judgement.

    I will say that despite the spectacular outcome, it was a great piece of magic. It should also be pointed out that it was not a failed piece of magic, it did what he asked. It just did it in the most fucked up way possible

  26. Ah! Ok, Jason, I totally get your stance now. And I agree with it 100 percent. I even cover it somewhat in my "Spirit Magick of Abramelin" essay in Diabolical.

    Frankly, I'm as guilty as R.O. When I first wrote about spirit pots (in "Secrets..." and then again in "Modern Grimoire Magick"), I also failed to stress the dangers. Because I was also one of the folks he consulted in the construction and use of his Vessel, perhaps I own a bit of the responsibility for the conflagration that followed. :(

    My work was just a starting point - saying "Hey, we can do this." What we need now is a more comprehensive guide to making and working properly with spirit pots.

  27. I'm feeling you. Look at the people all around you, every day, at work, as you shop, etc.

    They aren't exactly powerhouses. Yes, a few are, but they are rare - and as you point out, not for this approach.

    Once the average person is dead, yes, s/he is 'on the other side', but that doesn't mean that the person is any sharper a tack there than they were on this side. They'd still need GPS to find their spiritual ass with both spiritual hands.

    I'm not clear how much good it does, working with the average spirit of a dead person.


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.