Saturday, March 17, 2007

2.5 - Spirit Pots

I hope you enjoyed the update on the Bune spirit pot earlier. That particular vessel is an example of the brass vessel described in the Goetia within the Lemegetton. The Lemeggeton is a Solomonic grimoire, and like all the grimoires I've seen, it is fundamentally rooted in the Neo-Platonic system we've been discussing. Personally, I place the spirits of the Goetia in the elemental realm, mostly within the sphere of the Aire.

Spirit pots are an interesting subject. I don't think they are the specific product of the Neo-Platonic system, but like the brass vessel in the Goetia, they certainly fit nicely into the scheme of things. In Greek mythology (at least in Hesiod from over 500 years before Christ), there's the story of Pandora's "Box," which in the original Greek was a jar. The jar as a vessel for trapping spirits can be found in many cultures, and frankly, I can't tell whether it originated in one culture and traveled, or if it's a universal constant across all cultures. The use of pots to contain spirits or their effects can be found in Persian stories in 1001 Arabian nights (along with rings), African Tribal Religions, Hesiod in the Greek traditions, and even in the Bible in the form of the Ark of the Covenant. (Ok, that might be stretching it a bit, but functionally, it's the same thing.)

The reason I bring up the spirit pot in the context of this system is because it's going to play a significant role when I get back to the Glyph.

My understanding about spirit pots in Palo and Hoodoo practices is that they are usually homes for spirits specific to the magician. That is to say, the spirits in a Palo or Hoodoo pot aren't going to be conjured at any given time by three or four hundred magicians reading from the same grimoire. I don't know how many magicians are working with Bune at any given time, but I've talked to at least three other magicians who have worked with Bune, and God knows how many other mages or would-be demonologists are summoning Bune right now.

Spirit pots can be made for any spirit. They generally seem to function like an icon to a saint. Burning candles in its vicinity with a statement of intent results in a manifestation of the desired outcome in the way the Spirit interprets the request. For instance, asking to get a specific dollar amount has resulted in Bune providing a huge series of very lucrative opportunities in my chosen line of work. Bune hears the request and goes about manifesting it according to his role, his designated nature. It's like the dollar figure gets filtered through a Jupiter-Sagittarius screen and then manifests in my physical sphere.

Other manipulations of the spirit pot have provided results that have led me to the conclusions I currently hold. Polishing the lid resulted in clearer manifestations. Placing it in an exalted status on my altar by putting it on a stand resulted in more authoritative results. I went from working with co-workers on projects to working directly with management. The spirit pot has given me the ability to fine-tune my interactions with Bune in a way that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

Making a spirit pot is easy. A friend made one out of a paper box. All you need is a container, the means to get the spirit's attention, and something to inscribe the appropriate seals around it to influence the Spirit's activities in your sphere. I prefer metal containers for their durability. I like to inscribe metal with my dremel tool. It's fun. The Spirit's representation should be at least its name and/or its seal. Any corresponding materials that are in tune with its nature can be included. I have dirt and rocks from my local bank in Bune's pot, along with things from the same line of 777 that Crowley puts Bune on.

The names that constrain the Spirit's influence should be representative of the macrocosm. Ideally, all seven classical planets and the Primum Mobile should be represented in your work with the Spirit. For example, the names on the front of the Mathers-Crowley version of the brass vessel in the Goetia are "AShR AHIH: GBRiAL: MIKAL: HANIAL:". From the GD interpretation of things, these are the God-Name of Kether, the GD Archangels of the Moon, Venus and Mercury. On the back is the notariqon ARARITA (One is His Beginning: One is His Individuality: His Permutation is One) followed by ChShMLIM, the name of the order of angels of the Sun, and Tzadkiel, the Archangel of Jupiter. Mars and Saturn can be found on the Secret Seal of Solomon, and Michael on the Triangle of Art.

At the very least, the Spirits in charge of the Spirit you're working with should be inscribed somewhere on the pot. This ensures the Spirit is constrained to operate with your best intentions in mind. This is more important with the troublesome "demonic" entities than with the neutral or angelic spirits, but it can never hurt.