There’s a very interesting conversation going on in the magical blogosphere right now. Riffing off a remark by Gordon, Rufus Opus has sparked a conversation on the blogs of Fr. Barabas, Jack Faust, and Fr. Acher. These luminaries have years more research and hundreds, perhaps thousands, more conjurations under their belts than I do, so I will not presume to question their assessments. But, although I am more than a little late to the party, I will answer Fr. Acher’s call to share a little bit of my own experiences.
I have been conjuring planetary powers for little more than a year. So far, I am largely tapping into the “elemental” power of the Spheres to imbue my talismans, perhaps drawing the attention of lesser planetary spirits … and perhaps not. On those few occasions when I have conjured specific planetary powers, or gone on spirit journeys to visit them, I have seen little or nothing to hint at what those spirits might do when not trafficking with mortals.
I have, however, been working with a familiar spirit for a bit longer than that.
Tsu has done me numerous favors—some simply out of friendship, others in exchange for offerings. More importantly for this discussion, however, she has spoken to me, some, regarding her existence outside our contact. She has, unfortunately, been deliberately obtuse on a number of points. And, of course, one always hesitates to draw broad conclusions from such limited anecdotes; certainly one cannot draw conclusions about Goetic Demons and Elemental Kings. Further, given the nature of spirits, one even hesitates to assume that anything I was told was the absolute truth.
However, for the sake of interest and posterity:
* Very early in our relationship, she asked that I name her and create a sigil for her. She implied two things: that she did not, at that point, have a name; and that the name I was giving her was temporary, that she would eventually take another, greater name.
* In the above series of conversations, she gave me the impression that she was whatever the spirit-world equivalent of a magician. What, precisely, that entails, I haven’t the faintest idea.
* In a separate conversation, she strongly implied that spirits can produce offspring by pairing with either other spirits or with morals.
* When asked point-blank, however, what she does with herself when not conversing with me, she flat-out refused to give me an answer.
* I know that sometimes when I go to my Inner Temple she is waiting for me, sometimes she is elsewhere, and sometimes she is just hanging out there, indifferent to my presence—almost as if it’s her favorite park.
Nor is Tsu the only spirit I’ve gotten interesting hints from: I’ve a veritable lifetime of bizzare spirit encounters, many of which more closely resemble Jack’s experiences with elementals:
* Way back when I first started practicing, my first spirit guide was known to get bored and go bother my more psychically sensitive friends for conversation.
* One time, during my days on IRC chat, one of my online friends’ spirit guide came to investigate me for no other reason than that it was bored.
* More recently, I had an encounter with a genius locii from which a wiser magus than I might be able to draw more concrete conclusions.
* And then there was the time this one daft kid called up the someone he didn’t really have the credentials to, and a local spirit had to intervene on our behalf. Again: someone wiser than I might be able to draw conclusions from that where I am not.
* Work with Tsu , ZG, and SKM (my Natal Genius and Demon, respectively) has made clear that the three discuss me when I am not there, and that they have planned an astral excursion for me together on at least one occasion.
* When doing my explorations of Elemental Earth and Malkuth for the ceremonial experiment, I encountered a spirit who posed as a guide but who clearly needed things from me that she could not or would not communicate. When I failed to provide them on my own, she attempted to coerce me.
Again, none of these experiences do not necessarily speak at all to the nature of spirits on the scale of Goetic Demons and Elemental kings. Conversely, however, they strongly suggest (to me at least) that those spirits which more individual than archetypal (which, from what research I have done, is a fair description of these powers) have lives and ambitions at the same time both more familiar than we would imagine, and more alien than we can possibly conceive.
1 – Others may have joined the conversation by the time this post appears. I will add them below as they come to my attention.