Two days ago I wrote about how Spiritual illumination and Practical magick are not in any way mutually exlusive.
Yesterday I clarified my point to note that while not mutually exclusive, they are not inherently intertwined either. One CAN do either without the other. I personally think that Sorcery without Gnosis is futile, but it can be done. I think that spiritual illumination without Sorcery is just fine and dandy. I find spiritual illumination without worldly action to be a bit lame, but there are all types of ways to act within the world.
Today FRATER R.O. wrote: Jason, can you tie this into that post on how I think you need a spiritual baptism to empower your practical magic though?
Hell yes I can brother! I never miss a chance to get up on a soapbox and pontifocate.
The Good Frater made a post last week entitled The Secret to Power which you should all read. In it he details how his practical magick AND his illumination really kicked off after his spiritual baptism in church, and than gave a very pithy exposition on the path his work has taken since. I can really dig this, as I had a pretty profound experience today at the Valley Forge chapel that its gonna take me a few days to digest.
So, while sorcery is not an obstacle to gnosis, and while spiritual illumination is not necessary for practical magick in general, it is helpful for certain types. Working with spirits for instance, the topic of my next book BTW, is usually facilitated by the power of spiritual authority or offerings or both. We will leave aside for the moment, styles of magick that rest on the practice of offerings alone and focus only on traditions that command the spirits through authority, even if there are offerings involved.
Spiritual authority is established in a number of different ways before calling upon the spirits. The most common way is to simply do it in the name of a spiritual power. Christ taught that anyone with faith could exorcise demons in his name, of course if one lacks faith this tends not to work. Note the episode in Acts:
| ||Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches."|
|Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.|
|But the evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?"|
|And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, mastered all of them, and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.|
ACTS 19:13-16 RSV
Another way is to perform an invocation or take on a god-form ahead of time and temporarily identify yourself AS a particular power. THis is why Crowley prefaced his translation of the Goetia with the Bornless Ritual, beacuse you identify yourself with Moses, the Law Giver, and are this able to command the Demons. In Tibetan rituals you generate yourself as Hayagriva or other wrathful yidam in order to command the 8 classes of spiirts or to summon the aid of Dharmapalas. This is what I call the "fake it till you make it" way.
The best way of course is to possess gebuine spiritual authority by virtue of your own Gnosis. This is why Abramelin was so different than other Grimoires. Rather than just telling you to shout out lots of names of God and threats to roast their ass or lock them up in a brass vessel, he is daring to suggest that you should spend a significant amount of time in prayer, meditation, and devotion so that you actually evolve spiritually. In this case the seal upon your attainment would be the Knowlege and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel. But there are other ways.
As the good frater points out, dealing with the Angels of the Higher Speres is another. This is one of the reasons I like my Descent of Divinity practice so much. This is the real secret of Enoch. He was seventh descended from Adam (7 spheres) and lived for 356 years (365 a full solar cycle) and than was taken by God without dying, and according to some sources was transformed into the Archangel Metatron. But I digress.
The taking of Holy Orders and Tantric Wangs and other types of transmission, is yet another way to establish Spiritual Authority, but without genuine spiritual work, that authority is never really actualized.
Beyond the issue of spiritual authority though is a much more important issue: that of guidance. Whether you are guided by your own heightened spiritual perception, or by what you perceive as the hand of God, or your HGA, it is this guidance that is most important in practical magick. It is only by knowing ones true will, which is synonynmous with the will of the divine, or in eastern terms: enlightened action generated out of rigpa or pure awareness, that your worldly action will be truly fulfilling and successful.
Frater R.O. has found that while his magick worked well enought before his baptism, it now works in harnmony with the universe itself and is profoundly successful. I have found the same, and in the last several years have found the need to perform formal magick for myself almost non-existant. Almost all the sorcery I do now if for other people. By keeping up my meditation, devotion, and awareness, probability tends to unfold better on its own than when i tinker with it myself.
Thats all I have time for tonight.
I will write more on Monday when I get back from vising friends in Boston.