Sunday, May 31, 2020

Finding your Calling

The other day, I was talking to a friend about our magical experiences, and she mentioned that she often has dreams of leading the dead to doors so they can pass over/through whatever.

Having this kind of experience all her life made her think she was crazy, dreaming of the dead all the time, and she spent a lot of her life dealing with everything we all deal with, plus weird visions of walking the dead on through to the next thing, like a psychopomp.

Now, it should be noted, I'm no expert on any of this stuff, and we're going to be talking about "finding your calling" in this occult world. It's a pretty big topic, so don't pretend I know everything about this one, it's bigger than I am.

A lot of my students over the years, and a ton of my friends into Thelema are often carrying on about the "True Will" or finding their "Genius" so they can find out what they want to do. I'm going to call this thing "your calling," the thing that you called yourself to do in this incarnation, the thing that you've been called on to do, by the fates, the gods, the stars, your higher self, whatever. The basic theory is that there's a thing you were born to do that fills you with an inner peace and contentment, a satiated sensation of being fulfilled when you're in the moment doing the thing. It can be yard maintenance, your patio, some flowers in the house, a curated bonsai garden, your heirloom tomatoes. It can be fixing all things mechanical, being born with hands that naturally know when a bolt is tight enough, or that the plug's fouled, or that the carb isn't getting enough oxygen.

It can be an inclination that you're called to all your life. Service to society, to our religious groups, to our gods and ancestors. It can be political, or academic. It can be the military life, or even excel spreadsheets that bring you to contentment. I once knew a completely at-peace-with-life office manager whose greatest pleasure was seeing someone go get a pen, and there being a pen in the office supply drawer because she made sure there was.

Your true calling can be anything. In the Hermetic approach I use, I went through the seven spheres, ascended through initiations and Work, and return in power, and determined that my purpose is to create the world as I see fit, a fully empowered creator-god. But then ... what do I create? Job house car? Wealth health prosperity? True Love?


Then I started talking about this stuff, and then I started teaching about it, and I found that I am happiest in life when I am standing in front of a crowd talking about esoteric subjects. My true calling, it turns out, is to share what I know and encourage others to do the Great Work. Let dem magicians know they're magicians.

So back to my friend with the visions, see, we get massive hints and clues about who we are and what we want and what we're going to be happiest doing. She gets visions of walking the dead through doors. I'm betting that's a good indication that she's called to be a psychopomp, a Hekate-type, a Hermes Chthonios-type. Heck, Bune would work well with his link to the spirits. She's called to escort the dead, I think, so she'd likely do well in a profession that deals with the transitions between life and death. Morgue work, funeral planning, coffin design, crematorium consultant. Or grief counselor, someone who walks the still living through the letting go. Because I worked with Bune on necromancy, I kind of had a moment of "recognition" of that kind of psychopompery for the spirits of the humans.

We don't all get that kind of vision to hint at what we're supposed to be doing though, right? I mean, wouldn't it be great if I knew my whole life I'd be happiest teaching esoterica? I could have studied and practiced and gotten good at it, right? I personally think not, I was horrified to speak in public until I started teaching the occult stuff. It wasn't until I could fulfill my calling I figured it out.

But we might be getting these hints and clues the whole time, and just don't see them. She dreamed her whole life about escorting the dead, but never met anyone who recognized that as a psychopomp indicator.

So look for the things that you're actually interested in doing. The things that made you happier, if not happy. Look for recurring themes that travel through your life. Listen for the voice that's guided you, not where you wanted to go necessarily, but to where you are in your life now. It's telling you what you want to do, through your actions. It's telling you why you're here through your passions, your interests, your desires, the things you do that make you think deep thoughts, or feel great emotions, or pop endorphins at the gym until you can't see straight.

The things that you try to do and suck at? That's not your profession, or your genius. That's just you being stubborn.

Which could be your true calling.

Ultimately, your "true calling" is going to be "to create something." Something that is tangible or not, something that changes the world, or is just for you and you never show anyone. Situations, lifestyles, all that stuff. You'll find it when you least expect it, and you'll find it's something you are really comfortable doing, and you'll have the encouragement, approval, and acceptance of all those you help by making yourself happy.

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Should you do that Magical Thing that you're Afraid to do?

When would-be magicians come to me and ask questions, a good percentage of them are about whether or not they should begin conjuring spirits, because it might be dangerous.
  • Will I get possessed?
  • Will I or members of my family get hurt?
  • Is it dangerous?
  • What if they're lying?
  • What if they won't leave and turn your house into Poltergeist?
  • If you really work with demons of the Lemegeton's Goetia, do you become one of their Legion members when you die?
The last one is for real, by the way. Dude had heard it from the guy who was teaching him conjure magic. Heh. I mean, even if that does happen, it wouldn't be all that bad. But I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.

All these are aspects of fear in the magician of the consequences of their actions. They're afraid that it might not work, or worse, that it might work, and they have limited information on magic and its consequences because it's magic, occult, hidden wisdom. It's not like a computer program that you can break down into logical lines of if-then-else statements with all the possible results documented and a start and a stop where it isn't still doing stuff when you're done.

So yea, it's a valid fear. The unknown. But should that stop you?

Fuck no.

Doing things you're afraid of with magic is how you learn to become a good magician, not just some well-studied book-quoting intelligent Magus Psittacus.


Doing magic can create personal, financial, emotional, and spiritual growth. We grow the most when we are stretched beyond our comfort levels. Magic does that, in a healthy way most of the time, although you might not think it's all that great at the time. Ask the Heptameron's planetary angels of the Sun to help your side project replace your full time job, and bam, your contract is terminated for budgetary reasons, and you have all day to develop your side business, and the motivational financial understanding that you'd damned well better.

And it works.

You can work with spirits that bring peace between people from the Lemegeton's Goetia, and find yourself becoming a peace-maker yourself, first within yourself, and then with you and others, and then with people you know and haven't met yet. The journey can be uncomfortable as you grow, but the things that alter in your life are extraordinary.


You'll never know anything well in magic when you're inexperienced. You won't understand things like planetary hours, and what happens when you miss it and do it anyway. Or if it even matters for this type of ritual. You won't understand the power that grows between you and the spirits that you work with the most, or what types of unlisted offerings this spirit or that will enjoy by the way they smell when they walk in the temple.

You'll miss all the in-jokes blatant references that make no sense without having stood in or before a circle and spoke to the forces of Nature and the Heavens above. Our predecessors had a sound sense of humor and nuance in their descriptions of paraphernalia, vestments and of course, the spirits themselves. 

Power, Wisdom, all that Jazz

As you do magic, you gain influence over yourself and others and the things that make up the warp and weft of your daily experienced lives. Sometimes a great deal of influence, other times not so much. You'll know what happens when you aren't looking, even if it's miles away. You'll understand how things are called into being, manifest, and fade according to their designed intent. You'll know where people are coming from, literally and figuratively. You'll gradually start to think Trithemius' puns aren't that bad. All the things Magic is supposed to do, all the reasons you want to do a thing you're afraid to do, they all happen, in degrees and stages, as you go through the metamorphosis into the Magus you were born to be.

But Seriously, What if ...?

But those fears, of getting possessed, haunted, causing unintended side effects, and all that though, what about them. Could any of those things happen?

Well, I mean I guess they could, and probably will, but it's not that bad being possessed, and hauntings are cool, and sometimes some family members are askin' for it anyway. Most magic is temporary, but if it's not, all magical systems come with ways out. There are more banishing rituals, cleansing rites, offerings to make, spirits to call on for aid, and ways to undo what you did than you can think. Learn one of them.

And this works because of a basic axiom: 


But take some basic simple steps. At a minimum, specify in every conjuration that no harm befalls anyone, or yourself and your loved ones. It's in the script of most of the conjurations, I think. Take the obvious precautions when you're doing the ritual the first time.

Long term, get you a familiar or HGA or Supernatural Assistant using one of the many rites in the PGM, Dehn's Book of Abramelin, Crowley's Samekh, Agrippa's Good Genius, and at the start of the rite have them provide the spiritual food to the spirits in attendance, and send them as an emissary to make clear the way between you and the spirit.

Have a Banishing Ritual present just in case.

Afterwards, watch for things to happen in relation to your request or the spirit's description. 

Thank it with something appropriate. Make a new friend, or thank it and just send it on its way.

Take notes.

And realize that honestly, it was silly to be afraid the whole time.