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How to create a relationship with entities, demons, and deities

By Taylor Ellwood



When it comes to how I interact with entities, whether it’s a pop culture entity, a deity, a demon, or an entity I’ve created, I take an approach which is rather different from the approaches which either advocate forcibly evoking an entity and commanding it to do a particular task (See Bardon 2001, Lisiewski 2004), or advocate the opposite relationship, where the magician is commanded by the entity (See Kaldera 2006). While it is evident that both of these extremes work for some magicians, I prefer to take a middle of the road approach, a moderate path toward the relationship I create with what I work with, which is based on a somewhat different perspective of deities, demons, and entities.

In the former approach I mentioned above, where a person commands an entity, the relationship is set up on the basis that the entities that are summoned are untrustworthy and as such needed to be commanded and compelled (often with the aid of other entities), in order to ensure that those entities will do the tasks you set them. You have to set up a lot of protection and if you get even one thing wrong in the spell work, you will face dire consequences (Bardon 2001, Lisiewski 2004). In the latter approach, deities and other entities are treated as powerful beings that can insert themselves into peoples’ lives right down to the point of possession and at the utmost extreme can treat their worshippers as slaves (Kaldera 2006). Both of these types of relationships may provide some advantages to their practitioners, but there is something to also be said for the disadvantages that can occur. However, this is not the article for that and it is important to remember that each and every person makes hir own choices in terms of how they manifest their spirituality and their relationships with what they work with. I’ll also note that what I might perceive as an advantage or disadvantage is based on my subjective perception.

Instead of focusing further on the extremes, since we’re speaking of choices, spirituality, and relationships, let’s take a look at my middle path approach. I do evocation and invocation on a fairly regular basis. Invocation can involve complete possession by the entity, to the point that I have no recollection of what happened while that entity possessed me. Even so, the possession is a voluntary choice taken on for the purpose of serving as an entities mouth piece, or sometimes as a way of aspecting a specific personality aspect or, if you will, a different version of myself. However for a possession to occur within my paradigm, there also needs to be an understanding between myself and the entities I work with.

Wok with are the key words to focus, because in fact that’s pretty how I conceive of my relationship with the entities I’m involved. I work with them in a cooperative partnership, which is based on a perception that said entities are not greater or less than me, but simply different. That’s right, I don’t even consider the gods as greater than me. I consider them, instead to be different than me, but equal despite the differences. They have some advantages I don’t have when it comes to what they can do, but I also have my own talents, and it’s fairly obvious to me that these being wouldn’t be working with me unless they felt there was something I could offer them that they couldn’t find elsewhere or within their own capabilities. Likewise, I’m working with them because they can provide something to me that I couldn’t find elsewhere.  If that’s the case, I say there’s power held on both sides, and if one side wants the other to work for it, it’s time to make a bargain.

Does that sound crass, or mercantile, or mercenary? Well perhaps it is. I’ve been accused of being blasphemous before, because I’ve refused to take on a certain servile attitude. But I see this recognition that both sides have something the other wants as a bargaining chip, as a way of defining a relationship of cooperative partnership, complete with appropriate boundaries that define how that cooperative relationship manifests. When you have something that someone else wants, you barter, you create a contract, and from that you form a relationship.

Of course, in choosing to work in a cooperative partnership, I’m also throwing out the opportunity to command entities. The reason is that I happen to believe in saying that you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. Commanding an entity to do something seems downright disrespectful to me. And treating said entity as a traitorous being that should be feared, doesn’t in my books, show any sense of respect. In fact, it seems that demons, in particular, are treated as scapegoats, in which what is projected upon them is the very worst traits of humanity, this done to avoid responsibility for those traits. “The devil made me do it when I evoked him, officer”. That excuse wouldn’t hold up in court, so why should it be acceptable in magical practice?

When respect is missing from a partnership, there will always be a tendency to either find a way out of that partnership or betray the commanding person who set up the contract. Within my paradigm, respect is essential. Instead of casting a binding circle to hold the demon and compel it to appear and do as I command it, I summon the entity and we have a chat. I tell it what I want, and I find out what it wants. I don’t compel it to do anything. I treat it with respect. If we can form an agreement, we each honor our side of that bargain. I apply this same approach to deities. I treat them with respect, but also in a manner that explains what I want and what I’m willing to do. Worship can be part of what I offer, and if it is offered, it is offered in the full context of worship, but with recognition as well that for worship to occur there needs to be a mutual respect.

As you determine what you can offer, you also determine the boundaries, in other words, the parameters of the relationship. Respect is one boundary. Another boundary is exactly what the entity can offer and exactly what you can offer. A personal example: Several years ago, a friend of mine suggested I work with Aphrodite, because I was looking for love in my life. I mulled it over, and decided to give it a try. I evoked Aphrodite and explained that I wanted to manifest love in my life and would like to get some advice from her. Her response was that she could offer advice, but to do that she would like it if I made an offering to her. She also explained that the offering could incorporate her advice and manifest her energy in my life, if I desired. I thought it over, and told her I could paint a painting to her. She agreed and provided me the advice. Later that evening, mindful that I needed to keep my end of the bargain, I started the painting. I also took to including her in my list of entities I pray to each day. I didn’t need to do the last action, but I figured it was worth the extra display of respect.

Once you’ve determined the relationship, it then becomes a question of fulfilling the actions necessary to maintain that relationship. If an action isn’t fulfilled by one of the parties, then that relationship is broken, and at that point consequences that aren’t desired come into play. For instance, you work with a deity and that deity does something to violate the boundaries of the relationship. At that point, a consequence could be loss of worship, or a destruction of whatever was done to indicate to said deity that you were upholding your end of the relationship. Or if you didn’t uphold your end of the bargain, the result might be an end of services provided, or worse a subtle twisting of the services so that you end up in a situation you want to be in. Remember that respect is earned at all times, and not just with other people, but also with the entities you work.

My paradigm, as you can see, still has consequences. The difference is that the relationship is created with an understanding that everyone involved is equal, but has different gifts to bring to the table. The differences are what actually creates the equality. I come to you because I need something from you and in turn I offer you something you need. It’s a win-win situation for everyone, as long as everyone fulfills their part of the bargain. I’ll grant it’s a different approach than just worshipping a god, or commanding a demon, but I’ve found it works remarkably well. I’ve never had a bargain backfire, and everyone has always left satisfied. Next time you decide to work with an entity, chat it up and find out what it wants…then decide if it’s worth it. You might be pleasantly surprised at just how much easier it is to create a relationship where everyone wins.

Bibliography

Bardon, Franz. (2001). The practice of magical evocation: A complete course of instruction in planetary spheric magic. Salt Lake City: Merkur Publishing.
Kaldera, Raven (2006). Dark moon rising: Pagan BDSM and the ordeal path. Hubbardston: Asphodel Press.
Lisiewski, Joseph (2004). Ceremonial magic and the power of evocation. Tempe: New Falcon Press.