Experimental Magic: The Evolution of Magic

Experiment with your magical practice by learning how to apply art, pop culture, neuroscience, psychology, and other disciplines to your magical work, as well as exploring fundamental underlying principles of what makes magic work. You'll never look at magic in the same way!

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Cultivating Relationships with your Spiritual Entities

When you've practiced magic long enough, you inevitably start to form relationships with spiritual entities, and much like relationships you have with people, its takes some work on your part (and their part) to create a healthy and sustainable relationship. There's also the question of how you form the relationship initially. There are some approaches to forming a relationship with a spiritual entity that I would find quite rude (these approaches involve commanding an entity to appear and do what you tell it to do), and other approaches I wouldn't do because I'd be concerned about how much power I was giving to the entity.

Personally I prefer a middle approach. I'm not going to worship a spiritual entity or deity and do what it says. If I wanted to do that I'd have stayed with the religion of my family. But neither do I believe in doing the medieval approach to evocation which involves summoning the entity and threatening it with other entities in order to coerce it into doing something. I figure why not just ask nicely and on top of that create a good relationship? I know, I know, some of you will say, "That sounds rather fluffy and ill-advised." But seriously why not simply dispense with all the theatrics and try and make nice? It's always worked for me and I've gotten the results I've wanted while also creating a solid relationship with the entity I've worked with.


My initial approach to cultivating a relationship is to do some research about the entity I want to work with. Who is s/he/it? What does said entity like or dislike? What does said entity actually do or help someone with? Once I've learned that information I decide if I'll want to actually make contact. Making contact consists of invoking the entity and explaining why I'd like to work with it, as well as finding out if it wants to work with me and what it might like in return for working with me. Once we establish what both sides want and decide if it's doable, then I proceed to creating a gift/offering to the spirit, which also serves as a way to evoke it. I'll invoke the entity to help with the creation of the gift (usually something I make), and what I make always has the sigil or seal of the entity on it. If the entity doesn't have a sigil or seal, I ask it for a symbol I can use that represents it.

The offering its a gift to the entity, but also enables me to evoke it and work with it directly. I don't do the usual type of evocation associated with incense and candles and protective circles. I use the actual object created for the entity for the evocation and its always worked when I've wanted to bring the entity forth into the world at large to do some work together. I also make sure to honor my side of the agreement, doing whatever it was the entity asked me to do to honor it. In return I've always found that entity has done the same. We treat each other with respect and it works. Let me provide an example.

In August of 2011 (a year or so ago) I learned about Bune. He's a goetic demon that you can find in the Goetia. I'd noticed that several other occult bloggers had been writing about their experiences with him (they were mixed evidently) and since one of his areas of influence is wealth, I thought I might work with him, and see if he could help me with my business. I wasn't too happy with my business at the time, both in terms of the finances coming and in terms of the services I was offering and I knew I needed some help.

I looked Bune up in the Goetia and saw that he was indeed associated with Wealth. I invoked him and asked him if he'd help me with my business. He asked that in return I write about him and that I include his sigil if I ever write a book on wealth magic. That seemed workable for me. I created a painting with his sigil on it (which is in my office to this day) and evoked him. The first thing he did was tell me that I needed to read books on business development and he also directed me to take a class on small business management. Over the course of the next year, I'd get intuitive pings from him and suggestions that included shifting my primary business to a coaching practice, and turning my occult author website into an actual business. Every time I followed the advice I found that my businesses improved. I now have a business coaching practice that allows me to work with other business owners on their business (and wouldn't you know it I get insights on that as well from Bune). I launched my first correspondence course for the magical experiments site and I am continuing to read books on business development and refining both businesses.

One might point out that I could do most of that without Bune, but it was my work with Bune that provided me the guidance to make the choices I've made. Bune has helped me grow my business and in turn I have and continue to write about him and honor him, and in that process made other people more aware of him and how he can work with them. The relationship works because we honor each other and what we've agreed to do. And that is how you cultivate a relationship with your spiritual allies.

What would you do to cultivate a relationship with your spiritual allies? How does your approach differ from mine?

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Taylor Ellwood is the author of Pop Culture Magic Systems, Space/Time Magic, Magical Identity and a number of other occult books. He posts about his latest projects at Magical Experiments.


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