Monday, December 22, 2014

More Thoughts on the Elemental and Celestial

Being a hermit has advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand it protects me somewhat from the dogmas of traditions according to a guru. But, on the other hand, I have to work out many things myself. This reconciliation of astrological spirits with elemental/chthonic spirits feels like one of those situations in which I struggle to figure it out but feel that others are already way ahead. Ultimately it doesn't matter. I know myself well enough to know that I would instantly distrust an answer I obtained easily. I subscribe to the concept that all of this magic stuff is strongly subjective and personal and I am almost never satisfied with someone else's answers.

At any rate, I have a few more thoughts on a unified cosmology that includes the astrological spirits and the demons of the grimoires.

  1. The universe exists with both of these groups of spirits in it and so a practice can be developed involving both groups. One does not need to replace the other. (I have struggled a bit with this concept, thinking I had to choose and work with either one or the other.)
  2. Astrological timing figures heavily in Verum and so exists as a tool to the practice. It is not replaced or diminished.
  3. The spirits of the grimoires are essentially elemental. This is an argument presented by Jake Stratton-Kent in his Encyclopedia Goetica series that I feel he has expressed sufficient evidence to support. 
  4. Being elemental the grimoire spirits are therefore sublunary and subject to astrological weather as humanity is. A question about this, however, is: are the sublunary grimoire spirits subject to "generation and corruption" as other things in the world or are they not part of the material world and therefore exempt? Perhaps by virtue of being elemental?
As I see it there are three basic choices. First, I could see the two hierarchies as distinct systems, ignoring one for the other. I have already discounted this idea. Second, I can work two systems and practice them simultaneously; each with its own rules and practices. I tried this for months and it is cumbersome to maintain. What wound up happening was that one supplanted the other and I began to stagnate with indecision until I just dropped everything. For me, kept separately they kind of canceled each other out.

Or there is the third choice which is to combine the two systems into a melded whole. This is the path I am already headed down. There are a few avenues for this line of thinking. The first, again from Jake Stratton-Kent's Encyclopedia Goetica, is a pretty exhaustive listing of possible astrological correspondences to the demons of the Grimorium Verum. Or I could do as Jack Faust describes in his blog, ascribing chthonic manifestations to the seven planets. This, however, may be a less than ideal example and strikes me as simply putting skull masks on characters.

Obviously I still have a lot of work to do on the subject. And work as opposed to theorizing. Combining the Picatrix and the Grimorium Verum into a cohesive working whole seems to be the task set before me. Time to get to work. Past time.

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