The results of goetic ritual are inconclusive at best, and at worse detrimental to health not only of the magician, but, it seems, people associated with him, and the surrounding area!
Problems with Ritual Magic
A large part of the problem lies in the methodology of ritual magic where the magician, having found a suitable place, set up his circle, prepared his magical weapons, checked on the astrological portents, the weather, the tattva tides, has decided on the invocation of a particular spirit at a particular time. Who has the inclination to undertake such an important ritual, particularly when the likelihood of the portents from all these methods agreeing is so small? There is no evidence that a Goetic spirit is tied to any time of day anyway, while the supposed powers of the spirits bear little resemblance to modern life, and what use is the massive duplication of powers anyway?
Over the years, the Goetia continues to appear to me. The phrasing of that sentence is deliberate – I have never performed any ritual, and I certainly was not expecting to invoke or evoke a spirit of any class, let alone Goetic. For me, the appearance of a spirit means that there is some work to be done, to the mutual benefit of myself and that spirit. They know who they are and what they want and when a magician can assist them. While this is all very interesting, there is nothing that will help the reader who aspires to communicate with the Goetia for attaining his or her Holy Guardian Angel. For that reason I tended to keep quiet on the subject – I had nothing to pass on that would help.
What is different about me that bring success in Goetic Invocation? I am not, nor have been, a member of a Lodge or Magical Order such as the Golden Dawn or the O.T.O.. From an early age I had a thirst for spiritual knowledge that took me through Yoga, the Eastern religions and beliefs onto the Western magical systems. That desire was maintained as I devoured spiritual books looking for answers. Twenty years ago that answer came in the form of a Sufi Master. Forget all notions of what a Sufi should look like, and what he would say. This man lived in a world where everything was caused by spirits – animism. Strange things happened when I was with him, and when I wasn’t. I was expected to figure it out myself, trying to understand the onslaught of spiritual experiences that would happen day and night. I never discussed with him, but I was under no doubt that they came from the intervention of ‘spirits’. Very often I had ‘spirit problems’, which he would fix. We never discussed the name or nature of these spirits, or the spirit that was affecting me. Over the years I began to find answers to what was happening to me, not in Sufi literature, but in the Golden Dawn books, Enochian, and the writings of Aleister Crowley. Now, I am not saying that Sufism is in any way the same or similar to the Western tradition. In other words, I was given the experience, and later I was able to understand it. Within this milieu the occasional Goetic spirit would visit.
So, you need to spend maybe twenty years with a Sufi! Not just any Sufi either. This is all as practical as an Abramelin Ritual, and besides how do you find a Sufi with this knowledge of spirits? There is a tradition in the East that ‘when the student is ready the Master appears’.
Without power the magician will never be able to work effectively with spirits. Knowledge is equally important. My studies of the occult have benefited me in so many ways over the years.
While I was writing “The Tarot and the Magus” I intended it to be an introduction to the Golden Dawn divination methods using the Tarot. In the process I spent ages studying the same sequence of cards. Somehow this study created a resonance with a mysterious group of Spirits whom Crowley wrote about in Liber 231. I have had regular contact with them over the years, but then all 22 of them appeared at once. Almost nothing was known about these spirits, I did not get too excited, but within a few weeks, some Goetia appeared; they were anxious to tell me that they were related to the Liber 231 spirits and I should not forget them! I was writing this book for beginners on the subject of Tarot and divination, but over the next few months I could not ignore these delightful beings – they are great fun, and quite blissful, nothing like their sinister reputation. With the guidance of these beings I began to uncover the magical and spiritual techniques hidden within Golden Dawn teachings and Crowley’s writings – not only that, but my publisher was happy for me to include them in my ‘beginners’ book.
Magic needs Energy
Magicians believed that mere knowledge of the names of Spirits gave them power over them. Since knowledge is power, great efforts were made to ensure the general population were kept ignorant. Similar things happened in religion, where the translation of the Bible from Latin into English and other common languages marked the beginning of the end of the power of organized priesthood. These secrets were jealously guarded.
Today, not only are the names of the spirits easy to find, but we also have all the magical rituals and techniques practised by the Golden Dawn and other occult institutions. With this abundance, are we better magicians? I doubt it. The fact is that the likes of Eliphas Levi, MacGregor Mathers, Dion Fortune, and Aleister Crowley have not been surpassed. Talented individuals will always do well in Magic, but could they have been better?
Contact with one’s Holy Guardian Angel could take longer than the formal period of six months required by the Abramelin Ritual, the modern magician will be working towards this goal simply by going about ordinary life, and studying magic. Health will be up, psychic defences will be stronger, and magical powers will increase.