Ohh how I love this discussion! It is such a fun topic… even though it goes round and around, etc.
I enjoy it with each new flavor that becomes added.
Like RO, I began within a certain sect of Neo Paganism. However, unlike many I was not originally drawn to it (magic) by media portrayals, friends who experimented with the taboo, or by desperately grasping for alleged power, to help myself out of failed attempts at social status in high school. My passionate pursuit of grimoric magic has always been the ritualized and formalized exchange which occurs between spirit and magician during these magical ceremonies. I wanted to explore beyond the culturally refurbished conglomerate of the so termed: ‘New Age’ magick. Visualization and subtle integration is great and worth while, but nothing is quite like being in the presence of a being you can fully see but not comprehend.
My main reasons and decisions for pursuing grmoric magick as it is given -first-, are in the paragraphs below:
Dedication, Discipline, and appeal of the Medieval magician/Wizard/Sorcerer-
OKAY! I admit, after years of exploring various groves, coven’s, and lodges and after reading from various gurus of the time, I felt some key elements were missing. Much of what I saw was quasi-intellectual musings from the hippie infested hosh-posh of what most modern pagans and ‘magicians’ have devolved into,
Without hubris I aspired to be among the few serious magicians who actually ‘did the work’. I wanted to be one mage who hadn’t jumped to magick after failed attempts at social and economic assimilation, only to meddle with new age fads. I wanted to DO magick like it had been done in the days magical books (grimoires) were actually written! The procedures, tools, and methods are so difficult and complicated but I wanted to try them and SEE!
Very few HAVE, few still DO, and many will NEVER even attempt magick like the grimories write about. Its very expensive and time consuming! (So is building Helicopters, its not for everyone!) For me it was (and still is) not JUST about the results. It is about knowing that I have DONE this type of magick. I’ve made the equipment; I’ve memorized the conjurations, studied the methods, and DONE THE EXPERIMENTS AS CLOSE TO THE WORK AS I COULD POSSIBLY MANAGE. I didn’t just pick up where another modern magician left off. If someone had already done this and said, “It doesn’t work!”,it wouldn’t be good enough for me. I’ve done and can do many things other people have not been able to manage. I had to try it for myself.
Very few people are these types of magicians or even have the means to be. That’s okay, its meant to be that way. Like Hardcore martial arts, the discipline alone is enough to weed out the dabblers, and those who are not meant to maintain a practice on such a huge scale this lifetime around. Nothing wrong with it. I just smirk at the pouters who voice “Well it doesn’t work that well anyway”. Or, “You don’t need all that stuff, just do this guided imagery with me.” Most of these folks have never EVER tried actual grimoric work to the letter. No one may ever speak with wisdom on something they have never experienced before.
Most of my exasperation comes from the side handed claims of young ‘magicians’ who barely know their elbow from the wand up their ass. Imagine a western teen punk who claims he can “Talk to the Voodoo gods and goddesses and command them to cure or bless whomever he chooses!” Hes read a few books, tried a few hoodoo workings and even talked to a claimed Shaman once or twice.
Now imagine your a Haitian native who’s family has lived this tradition for generations and you have personally been chosen and filled with the utter being of your patron god(dess), know their every particular passion and feeling and it defines your very being. Imagine hearing the claims made by Mr. White-teen-shaman, and tell me you wouldn’t see it as little more than an insult. No one can convince me that these two would have any where near the same results and experiences.
I am unconvinced that anyone is working with (contacting) a Goetic demon who simply includes a sigil into their sympathetic magical workings.
I’m not flying around invisible yet but the effort and work has been far worth it.
Appearance and manifestations of spiritual beings:
The spirits and ‘beings’ I, my family, and close friends have seen during the earlier parts of my life have been profound, dynamic and in no way subjective to those who experienced them. These beings were clear, affected physical matter at times, and very present without any need or aid of ‘astral vision’. Though rare, situations like these happened in the similitude of something you’d see in a fantasy movie or at least a few of the paranormal specials that air on tv. These experiences were so disturbing (at times) that my parents and others still do not care recalling the events. These things actually happened, these beings ACTUALLY appeared right in front of us at the same time. I had never been able to manifest events like this before, and never made it happen under controlled circumstances. Since the grimoires are among the few to actually claim to achieve such feats, my interest would seem obvious.
Previous success..Trial and error:
Experiences I had years ago (when I began this type of work) lead me to believe grimoric (or at least work with the Lemegeton) was viable and complete enough to be practiced with success. The first time i saw a spirit appear before my eyes, linger in the space of the triangle, and communicate directly, I was HOOKED! Like any art however I have come to realize that it’s a matter ofDEGREE. Degree in the sense that it takes talent, dedication, and much PRACTICE to garner further ‘treasures’ which the book promises. This is not a one shot deal. A ‘misty shape’ and telepathic conversation is a great start but not the end all!
Ancient scrolls contain the martial knowledge, techniques, and applications of many martial arts. Without years of experience however there could be no understanding or correct interpretation of what those scrolls were ACTUALLY showing. Even an expert continually finds deeper understanding/integration decades later and after hundreds of readings. Unfortunately, applicable Information is not instantaneously osmotic.
I find it is similar with the grimories in the sense that many modern, intelligent people try to decipher and understand their (the grimoires) methods without REALLY working it out for themselves –first-. You can’t skip ahead! You can’t jump to conclusions and ASSUME you know what the book is trying to convey and then apply modern alternatives. Vital pieces will always be missed.
This is my continuing argument after reading scores of books from EXPERTS in this field. Few are as obsessive about following a traditional method as I am. Not many find the ‘outdated’ methods necessary anymore or practical. No matter the tradition or methods, magic will always be highly personalized in the end. Not only that, but ( IMO) magick will NEVER be consistent and cohesive between people in any agreeable sense. This is a human condition and has little to do with the sprit world. People very rarely experience anything with identical recollection.
So this leads to the argument I tend to agree and side with myself: “If this stuff works better, lets SEE it and get some proof or results that it does!”
I agree with this in the most base, skeptical, and mundane portion of myself. Part of my work has been to better catalog and record my own magical workings which might be dissected and analyzed by more scrupulous observers. I’m not looking for PROOF ( well, okay I was and am looking for more from what experienced so far!), I know it when I see it. I do know that since my full immersion in the Lemegeton, my experiments have been much more profound and dynamic. Its a far step from astral scrying or visualization of any kind.
Grimoric working is definitely NOT for the mage who is mostly concerned with quick, practical, expression and results.
When I’ve garnered further experience and hopefully reached some aptitude in the art, I hope to better record or share the results with a few others.
I’m cautioned by what some of those actions might mean however. I’ve used hypnosis to cause people to ‘see’ various things which did not fit in with their concept of ‘belief’. At one time this caused issues with a (at that time) close friend of mine, which I regret deeply. Nothing HUGELY serious but a good lesson was learned. Its sometimes difficult to judge which people are able to handle certain manifestations or even perceive them.
As technically and culturally ‘advanced’ as we are,…we must remember, ’what the mind cannot put to place it either discards (disregards) or tries to account for by using an alternative support’.
In the end, we take ANYTHING we do ( art, practice, passion) to the DEGREE we are capable. The biggest fear we have is that the ‘ANYTHING’ will not meet our expectations or be the grave of crushed fantasies.