Thursday, June 30, 2016

Solve et Coagula; Academic Syncretism

I just recently finished reading a new pamphlet from Hadean Press by Jake Stratton-Kent titled A Prince Among Spirits. I was keenly interested in acquiring this book as it is about the Verum spirit Surgat. And those of you following along will note that I have been working with Surgat off and on for a while now.

I thoroughly enjoy Stratton-Kent's writing. The style that I came to appreciate in the Encyclopedia Goetica series is continued here; intelligent but not obscure, balanced in terms of considering practice, deeply researched, and written to an audience of practitioners. It is an excellent addition to the Guides to the Underworld series and, in my opinion, superior to a few of them.

The information in this book is a whole other direction from where my own received Personal Gnosis was taking me. At the risk of giving a spoiler away the main thesis of A Prince Among Spirits is along the lines of Surgat=Forcas=Aquiel=Aziel. And Aziel is all over European and Semitic spirit work in very high ranking positions, including King of the West (cardinal direction) in Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy. So Surgat, under a variety of names, is one of the more powerful and ubiquitous spirits of the grimoires.

I have little doubt as to the academic rigors of Jake Stratton-Kent's research. Some of his deductions about spirit names from different eras and books being related seem tenuous at times but never without merit or logic. From a practical standpoint I'm still processing how, or if, I will incorporate this new knowledge into my practice with Surgat.

Here is my difficulty: I have always been under the impression that the various names of an entity are really different entities. Venus is not Aphrodite. Does it help me to work with Venus knowing the depth of Aphrodite? Yes and no, in the same way that it is instructive to know something about a person's family before you meet them. But I don't think it tells me very much about Venus specifically. This has been my difficulty with syncretism in general.

I do appreciate that the interwoven strands of Surgat's mythology have been laid out in front of me. The way they seem to have joined and separated over time is the inspiration of this blog title.

I think I will continue to work with Surgat for his own sake, at least for now. A Prince Among Spirits has not greatly changed my attitude about Surgat. I was never much thinking he was a subordinate spirit in terms of esteem anyway and, if anything this book has confirmed that notion. We'll see if Forcas or Aziel make their way into my work with Surgat.

I'll be talking with Surgat and Scirlin about this at length.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Meditations on Surgat, part 3

After nearly a year of little to no activity, Surgat calls once again.
I have progressed a bit in the construction of a talisman in Surgat's honor.
For the past couple of weeks I've been concentrating on Surgat, working to build a relationship that was started a while ago. You can read my previous post here and another one here.
I posted some of my thoughts on Surgat on the Grimorium Verum Yahoo Group page and learned that Jake Stratton-Kent has put out a treatment on Surgat through Hadean Press, titled A Prince Among Spirits. I've ordered a copy but I can't seem to find an electronic version. I will be very curious to read it and see how it matches or diverges from my limited experience so far. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Tarot Working, The World

The World
This is the last one for this project. I too have a few transitions happening in my life that seem to coincide with this working; endings and beginnings, new eras, new chapters.
I found the World to be rather draining to work with, much more than any of the other cards. I was so tired when I finished. At any rate, here is my report.
I opened the session in the same way as I have with all the previous cards; “Spirit of the World, I call to you. Come to me. Speak to me. Share with me your wisdom. Show me your forms.” Soon a noticeable stillness falls over the room and the mantle on the central figure of the card image begins to glow. Then I see a vision of a dark brook, a creek, winding through a thick wooded forest. The branches of the trees grow over the creek in a sort of low ceiling of lattice branches. It looks like a tunnel. It reminds me of the place I grew up. Then the vision passes and the image becomes the card again.
I ask, “how can I use your energy in my life?” The garland that surrounds the central figure in the image takes on the appearance of being comprised of feathers. They become two wings bent in an embrace. I hear, “encapsulating.” Then the central figure says, “turn,” and I take it to mean changing direction.
I ask, “what are the lessons you can teach me?” The figure in the center is now a dancer and she says, “the surety of your footfalls.” Then the angel in the corner says, “the words in the ledger,” and I see the angel is holding a large book. Then the eagle says, “strength of heart,” as it thrusts forth its chest. I understand that it is invulnerable. Then the lion says, “the stillness of the subdued,” and he bows his head and it turns into a grass covered hill. I understand the hill is a symbol of patience. Then the bull says, “your curiosity and your humor; your sense of wonder,” and the bull is laughing like a child.
I ask the figure in the middle, “where are you?” She says, “above you,” but she answers my question just as I’ve thought it and before I can speak it.
I ask her, “who are you?” In response I see a vision of a stone lined well at night. I understand that this well is the only water source for a small village.
I ask, “What are the objects in your hands?” She says, “the active and the receptive. The hammer and the bell. The pitcher and the cup. A man and his god.” In her dance she does a spin. Below, the bull shakes water from its head as if it were submerged. Then its face becomes human, then two people’s faces, then back to the bull. The lion’s face changes to an old man’s face with a long beard but bright, youthful eyes. They are eyes that have lived a thousand lifetimes. At the top the angel has turned bright red and is gesturing toward the eagle to try to calm it. Apparently the eagle is angry and agitated. The figure in the middle gestures toward them all and says, “they turn as they will.” Then she spins again.
I ask, “what is your connection to the Four Kings?” The figure in the middle of the card looks thoughtful for a moment and then a glowing line like a string extends from her heart and connects to the eagle. Then another extends from her heart and connects to the angel, then the lion, and then the bull. They are connected through her. She is the product of their combined efforts. The four of them are her creators and work continuously on forming her. The moves of her dance are the buffets of their efforts.
The figure in the middle raises her arm in a gesture of blessing. She is blessing the world. She becomes a heavenly messiah blessing the earth as she returns.
At this point I am really tired and drained and it’s all feeling really intense so I decide to end the session. I thank the spirit of the World for coming and speaking with me, to be at peace. And as I do the figure in the middle continues dancing.