Thursday, July 23, 2015

Where The Power Lies

In the downtown area where I work there is a Nike store that has had a sign in their window advertising a shoe "so fast it comes with an airbag". I find the advertisement amusing partly because I like to image an airbag inflating in someone's face if they stub a toe but mostly because of a mentality that assumes that power is granted by an object. Magic is full of this. I constantly hear talk of which grimoire is the most powerful, which tarot cards the most accurate. It's like asking a couple of kids whose bicycle is faster. Sure the performance of one bike may be more efficient or it may be lighter than the other but that is not the source of the power of the bike. The power comes from the strength and determination of the rider.
The same can be said of grimoires and tarot cards. The effectiveness of both of these items have less to do with their content and more to do with the conviction of the practitioner.
Let's take the case of the Simon Necronomicon. This is a book mostly based on the fictional works of H.P. Lovecraft. It was published in the late 1970s and was a mix of Babylonian names, invented sigils, and material from Lovecraft's writings. It has no pedigree or ancient lineage. But people have gotten it to work, contacted its spirits according to the procedures in the book, and it has spawned a subset of grimoiric magic all its own.
Why are there Hello Kitty tarot cards that people are able to use effectively? Because the content is secondary to the practitioner.
Content is secondary to the practitioner.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hearing From Spirits, part 2

I made a mistake.
My mistake was thinking that I needed to keep my First Character on my person at all times. Now, granted, I don't shower with it, but even then it is only a few feet away. In retrospect I think it would have been better to leave it behind for an hour.  Here is how I learned this lesson.
A few days ago, while on vacation, my family and I decided to go to the river to go swimming. My First Character was laminated in 5 mil plastic and I also put it in a tiny zipper baggie. It was waterproof. With the double wrapped seal in my pocket I wadded into the river. I dipped my head under the water and when I came up I instinctively put my hand to my pocket to check on the seal and it was gone! In a panic I looked around and saw it floating down the river! I swam after it and caught it. It was undamaged and all was well. We swam for a bit more and then we prepared to leave.
Our little party split up because we took two cars. The group I was with got in our car and it wouldn't start. The other car with the others took off down the road before we could stop them. It was a Saturday and it was the Fourth of July, a holiday in the United States in which virtually no businesses are open. None of us had a phone and we were in rural Montana so the phone wouldn't have helped anyway. To get out of the situation we had to walk to a house about a half mile away and use their phonebook and phone to call for help.
It was then that I started to wonder if perhaps swimming with the First Character was a less than ideal idea.
One of the other activities on this vacation was to attend a raku party in which guests glaze a ceramic vase that is then fired in a kiln. Most of the guests' vessels turned out beautifully but every one of mine broke in the fire. I glazed six of them and took measures to make sure they would survive but none did.
In things spiritual I tend to a bit of solipsism and I try to temper it with an objective view but these two events suggest that perhaps I had not endeared myself to Astaroth by this action.
Now I find myself consulting my divination tools to find out if I have indeed made a mistake, if I have offended Astaroth, and what to do to remedy the situation. As I began this post, I know that I did make a mistake. The Wolf Coin suggests that Astaroth is not offended but that it was this spirit that affected the car troubles. Maybe sort of like saying "I'm not mad, but don't do it again". I have consulted my tarot cards as to what the remedy should be but I am still interpreting the answer.
I guess that if I had really offended Astaroth the consequences would have, or could have, been much worse. I will chalk this little adventure up to initiation trials, albeit rather minor.
Don't put the seals of Chthonic and Infernal spirits under water.
Lesson learned.