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Possession and Spirit-Appearances

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.christnet.demonology,alt.magick.goetia,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.religion.angels
From: nocTifer 
Subject: Possession and Spirit-Appearances
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 20:28:45 GMT

50040316 vii om kali 

>> when Poke talks about "The Goetia spirits (and demons)"
>> is he necessarily referring to the same set of objects or
>> subjective components? if I 'tame' them will they become
>> tame for *everybody* thereafter?

sri catyananda :
> What a cool idea! This would make a nice plot for a film -- the
> guy who spends his entire life taming demons for the sake of all
> humanity. 

possibly in part the compassionate interest of Chud rites in
Vajrayana Buddhism (corrections welcomed -- the monks feed the
demons with their own bodies as I understand it). inasmuch as
this ties into psychology theories and integration within a
Transpersonal perspective, I think an examination of spirits
with a more compassionate and tolerant attitude might be best
for all species of entity (human and non).

> But that aside, you are facing the same issue that appears in
> trance possession religions -- the bilocation and inconsistency
> of a spiritual entity. In Santeria these inconsistent forms are
> called "roads" or "caminos" -- there are dozens of caminos for
> each orisha (spirit being). 

you're positing different forms for the goetic spirits in the
same way that the orishas or lwa have different faces or forms.
that may make demons into more potent spirits than they are
usually supposed. I don't disagree. my impression is that the
rudimentary and simplistic understanding of demons in general
is indicative of a strained relationship with them. we may 
then wonder what other relations with them are possible and 
what the benefits or detriments of such relations might be.

> We heard something today on NPR about
> the historical evolution of Jesus from a suffering person to a
> feminine ideal, thence to a muscular ideal, and so forth. The
> same is true of demons and of the gods and spirits of pantheistic
> religions. In India there are dozens of manifestations of Kali
> and Durga and Ambika and Uma and Parvati. In Europe there are
> dozens of manifestations of the Blessed Virgin Mary as white,
> black, happy, sad, suffering, maternal, grieving, and so forth. 
> I assume the same is true for demons. 

the followup issue, then, is whether the spirits or gods appear
as they do for certain people because of who those people are
or what they do. there is a convention, for example, that the
spirits or gods will not appear if they aren't given the right
offerings (foods/smokes/sigils/etc.). some of them will not
appear unless the caller is a priest of the religion, it is
said, or performs the proper preparation or ritual activities.

in the case of demons, often the demons are described in very
strict terms as beings who wish to possess human beings (giving
religious like Christians incentive to employ their god Jesus
as a means of exorcizing or casting them out -- sometimes even
without the individual asking to be so 'remedied' -- one might
describe this god as antagonistic to other spirits therefore). 

where did the term "possession" come from? is it a condemnation
term originally used to marginalize non-Christian religions as
involved with coercive and "evil" spirits? are there exorcist
orishas or lwa with similar functions as the Jesus spirit? is 
the description of angels as requiring INvocation and demons 
necessitating for safety purposes Evocation also constructed 
from within this particular cosmological mindset?

if so, then Poke's relationship in worshipping the spirits that
were identified as gods by some and demons by Christians may be
completely understandable. one might thereafter wonder whose
task it could be to assist the goetic spirits, whether they are
just misunderstood, whether they might be valuably worshipped,
if they have forms which are not as horrendous as represented
by the grimoire describing them, etc.

in fact, the reverse might also be true. spirits understood to
be gods might have "demonic appearances". appearance ITSELF may
be a function of interface and relative friendliness content.
an inverso-Christian Satanist might be described as 

	best evoking the Yahweh demon taking precautions 
	to surround themself with goetic names fearsome 
	to the Yahweh cultists and the Yahweh god, 
	power tools inimical to the spirits of 
	Christianity, etc.

this is to some degree what I mean when I describe my God as
"Queen of Demons". not only is She, as depicted by Her fervent
devotees, a Protectress and Fount of Benefaction, but to those
who know Her caustic side or oppose Her, She is the Great 
Beastie from the Infernal Depths, omnipotent as Time and the
Decimator of Those Who Tangle With Her What Are Not Ready. 
one might speculate that the power of the spirit or god, if 
not the familiarity with said being, was displayed by the
number and variety of such 'caminos' or appearances.
> ...Poke, like most pantheists, is comfortable and 
> non-threatened by the concept of varying caminos 
> for his spirits.

while he doesn't always put it this way, I agree.

[massive snippage, RE the True Grimoire:]

> ...I agree with you that the 83 demons of the Grimoirium
> Verum seem far less rationally organized than the 72 demons 
> of the Lemegeton. yet both are said to be evil. 

here's where the "evil" begins to interfere with our relation
to the beings in question. "they are said to be evil". who was
it that originated the evaluation of these beings? if we are
to take them seriously as objective spirits (rather than some
subjective energy that one might integrate into oneself), then
the attitude and perspective of the evaluator will necessarily
colour perceptions and approach to those we're encountering if
we take their report at face value without due consideration.

in part this is why I keep asking people what their experience
is when they attempt to encounter these and other spirits. if
we can't observe the interaction and record it, as it takes
place subjectively, we can at least 

	1) observe what the individuals do when they are in
	   touch with the beings in question -- whether they
	   delight in malevolence or beneficence, whether
	   they seem to like destruction or creativity,
	   whether they exhibit certain personality-traits
	   we could composite into a character-portrait 
	   of the being as has been done for spirits 
	   (including gods, demons, djinns, etc.) for aeons.

	2) obtain reports from those who claim to have had
	   an encounter with such beings, particularly those
	   going by the same name and taking note of the
	   differing methods used to encounter them -- does
	   the forced appearance and trapping of them inside
	   symbolic cages predispose them to be ugly and
	   coercively nasty to those who use this method?

perhaps the reputation and character of some demons is in
part the result of precisely these types of reports. if so,
the issue of whether different caminos or appearances of
spirits take place becomes immediately important, and the
dogmatic repetition of some anonymous report should be
considered unhelpful *except* to those of like character
or background/belief/allegiance.

> Did you notice that 83 minus 72 equals 11?

I did not! thanks for pointing this out!
and I'm the one that usually pays attention to numbers/math!

> That's about all i have to say on this except thanks again for
> bringing out some of the OTHER grimoires.

my pleasure. there's a handful that have received the attention
of Hermetic and ceremonial mages during the course of years.

I'm finding it valuable to analyze the character of spirits as
described by religious, whether they do or do not originate in
the religion in question, and come to understand how they might
indeed vary in their appearance to different means of address.
my intention is to construct a truly global demonology which 
is devoid generalizations without basis.

r       B
o      l         b
n     e        e
w    s       a
o   s      s
d  e     t
e d    !

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