“Demons Are Our Friends” – The Good, the Bad and the Goetic

We all have them – friends or relations who are trouble in every possible sense of the word. Their problems are catastrophic, their issues are profound, their drama (and oh the drama!) is a magnificent, ongoing spectacle. They complicate our lives in unpredictable and unsavory ways. They worry, disappoint and embarrass us. And even though they burn us, over and over again, and it is easy to see how much calmer and more productive life would be without them, we cannot, will not push them away. At least not for long. There is (as awkward as it may be to admit it) something in their fabulous mess that compliments our own (more) ordered lives. And probably, against all better judgement, we love them.

So in the spirit of embracing messy relationships, I offer you this esoteric excerpt from Lon Milo DuQuette’s Angels, Demons and Gods of the New Millennium:

Science tells us that we use only a tiny portion of our brains, and if our full potentials were realized we could exercise god-like powers – perhaps even program our VCRs. Aleister Crowley wrote, “The spirits of each Goeta are portions of the human brain.” Each section is endowed with particular powers and dedicated to executing specific tasks. Brain surgeons know that if you stimulate different areas of the brain with an electrical current the patient will react in different ways. Poke here, the left index finger twitches; poke there, the patient smells burning rubber, or recalls a childhood memory.

Could it be that in the matrix of the untapped recessed of our brains there are little areas that, if properly isolated, stimulated, and directed, are capable of performing all manner of wonders? Even more thrilling is the prospect that the brain and nervous system represent only the visible spectrum of vast invisible mind – a universal intelligence encompassing the consciousness of every monad in the cosmos. If this is so, our brains are merely terminals in a great intelligence network; the different areas functioning as keys on a keyboard. Activated with skill, they can generate messages and trigger commands to corresponding quadrants of the universal system.

Under this scenario the debate over the objective or subjective reality of the spirits becomes irrelevant. Each magician’s microcosmic Goetic spirit Sitri not only corresponds with every other magician’s Sitri, but also resonates sympathetically with the great macrocosmic Sitri. As we conjure Sitri to evoke the passions of the girl next door, we are also rubbing elbows with the same “enchantment” that draws magnetic negatives to positives, causes atoms to unite to form molecules, and lures Shakti to Shiva.

If  a Goetic demon is simply the power and potential of 1/72nd of the human brain, why is it considered an evil spirit? Is it because it punches the time-clock for Lucifer and gets bonuses for making your life miserable? Is it because it hates you because it is stuck in hell while you are free to eat pizza in your Porsche and stay up late and watch Letterman?

Like it or not, we all come hardwired with a complete set (twelve six-packs) of Goetic demons. Occasionally we unwittingly catch one and put it to work whenever we are forced to discipline ourselves to learn a specific skill, or in times of stress when we are required to draw upon extraordinary wit or courage or talent. Most of the time, however, they just run amok at our expense as we allow them to randomly discharge their energy in whichever direction offers the least resistance. They are units of untamed natural force within ourselves that we have ignored, denied, or disowned. They surface to work their mischief when our will is ambiguous and our resistance is low. After you have committed and embarrassing act of unbelievable stupidity you are referring to them when you slap your forehead and scream “I am my own worst enemy!” As long as they are ignored and uncontrolled, they are as dangerous as hungry beasts in an abandoned zoo.

Is it any wonder they are reluctant to be summoned into the triangle? Is it any wonder they try to frighten us into abandoning the operation by assuming unpleasant and terrifying forms? We have seen fit to be the absentee landlord to this rough neck crew for our entire life, we cannot expect them to be happy to see us the first time we appear at the door demanding that they clean up the place.

Besides being stubborn and scary, Goetic spirits have earned the “evil spirit” reputation because a small (but very noisy) percentage of magicians who involve themselves heavily in Goetic operations become quite mad. The cause of this embarrassing phenomenon can often be traced to a breach in the formula os Goetic evocation, an imbalance in the fundamental equation…(here DuQuette offers a specific example, too long to reproduce here)

Sadly, I have witnessed more than one mental casualty on the Goetic battlefield. Once it is discovered how easy it is to call up these critters, and how effectively they can be made to do your bidding, it becomes very tempting to call them all up and try to have them do everything for you. More often than not, this is a bad idea. You may think you are summoning the cooling winds to refresh your heated brow, when it’s embarrassingly obvious to all of your former friends that you’re only blowing your mind.

While I certainly do not claim to be the world’s greatest Goetic magician, I have practiced the art for nearly twenty years and feel qualified to at least voice my opinion on the subject, and perhaps even offer some words of advice. I feel that Goetic evocation can be an important part of a modern magician’s arsenal of skills. First and foremost, it requires that the magician establish a vital link with a higher consciousness – call it God the Holy Guardian Angel, the Higher Self. the Superconscious Mind, or whatever. Secondly, in order to understand its subtleties and wield its power, the magician is forced to confront important emotional issues and character defects that, left unresolved, will continue to hinder his or her spiritual evolution. Even in a clinical setting, such confrontations are seldom pleasant. Finally, equilibrium must be achieved in all aspects of the magician’s life, balancing the higher spiritual aspirations against the problems and challenges of everyday living. Properly executed, this is not only powerful magick but a recipe for good mental health.

As far as the evocation technique itself is concerned, I believe  it is purely a matter of artistic taste. There are those whose respect for tradition and sense of art demands that every step of the evocation be executed precisely as outlined in the Sloane manuscripts. Traditional evocations are a thrill to behold. The reader who has been lucky enough to witness an evocation conducted by C. (Poke) Runyon in Southern California has seen a master at work.

Personally I do not use the classic versions of the conjurations and constraints, nor do I protect my circle with the various Chrislemew holy names. I believe for me to identify with mythological characters I do not admire or guard my circle with the names of gods I do not worship would not only be hypocritical, but also dangerous. I do, however, acknowledge and incorporate the key elements that make this form of magick work:

  • I use the circle and triangle surrounded by words and holy names sacred to me.
  • I utilize talismans displaying the spirit’s sigil, and the standard pentagrams and hexagrams of Solomon on my vestments.
  • I ceremonially bathe and dress.
  • I purify, consecrate, banish, and open temple with appropriate ceremony.
  • I induce a trance of righteous authority by the recitation of the Gnostic Creed and Anthem from Crowley’s Gnostic Mass.
  • I recite a customized version of the Preliminary Invocation of the Goeta.
  • I conjure in the Enochian language with the First Call and a brief Enochian summons.
  • I welcome the spirit upon its appearance.
  • I give it a brief, unambiguous order and a time limit for its execution and demand from the spirit an oath that it will be carried out.
  • I give it license to depart after I tell it that I will be a kind and generous master as long as it faithfully serves me. I also inform the spirit that if it should prove disobedient I will punish it, and it necessary destroy it.
  • I banish and wait until all vestige of a “spooky” feeling disappears.
  • I keep the spirit’s sigil in a prepared container and watch for signs of it working on my behalf. If it fails to execute the charge in the prescribed time, I conjure it again and torture its sigil in fire while I remind it of its original agreement. Failing again, I conjure it one more time, destroy its seal completely and never acknowledge its existence again. Note: You will soon run out of spirits if you demand outrageous or unreasonable things. The Book outlines what these fellows do. Don’t be a complete jerk.

I have discovered it is unwise to evoke a spirit to solve a problem until I am positive I have exhausted all other avenues of resolution. If you want to hurt someone, it is much more effective (and far more painful) to just punch him or her in the nose and take the consequences. Asking a Goetic spirit to do it for you only reveals to the demon that you are a coward and unworthy of faithful service.

Let Ankhie make this perfectly clear – we do not endorse any of these practices (and certainly not the punching in the face part) but offer this information for your education and enjoyment. If you plan on messing about with demons (Goetic or otherwise) be sure to do your homework first – which goes far, far beyond the reading of this mere excerpt. Just like you wouldn’t call your cousin Agnes unless you knew beforehand that she was sober and employed, don’t call any spirits unless you know just who will answer, and how much trouble they might cause.

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