The baseline idea in a bunch of conversations I’ve been having recently is that Enochian isn’t particularly dangerous into and of itself, but rather that it’s the same shopworn path people have fallen into with the folly of magick. Folks want something, they don’t know how to get it, they want it with incredible desperation, and therefor magick. Right? It works. It works really well. They have an incredible, absolutely amazing well of intent and emotion to draw from and the merest flicker from the lens of ritual focuses that into a beam. Like the sun on a bright day, the effects aren’t immediately noticeable, but the sheer amount of power they have behind that focused star causes change in the world.
For some folks, that’s great. They accomplish what they want. The next “spell” or “ritual” they do goes kaput because they didn’t build up the tantric wellspring of desperation or inspiration and they quit or they decide it’s bunk or they believe whatever they want to believe and move along. That’s fine. I sort of get annoyed at the magickal community sometimes for rejecting the idea that not doing magick everyday is somehow an indication of a lack of commitment. There is, at some level, a subset of magicians working on the idea that thaumaturgic goals are all that magick is for and are perfectly adequate to their ends. They do magick to get comfortable, they get comfortable, and until they’re uncomfortable, they’re happy and fine. Unpopular opinion hat on: That’s absolutely a valid application of magick. That model requires unhappiness and desperation and there simply is no magickal power in something which isn’t a fight for a goal or with someone.
Those people also tend to be very comfortable in systems like Thelema, where Crowley says folks should do their own Will. I think that interpretation of Crowley is very narrow, but if its someone’s Will to sit about and get that nice office job and enjoy their family and what they provide I cannot say that this is wrong. If a person believes their true Will is to lay about and eat tacos all day (and I love tacos), and they are happy and have accomplished that, then they are perfectly correct.
I personally don’t enjoy that perspective. I also think there’s a subset of people who want to practice magick because they desire to help the world at large, which is much more complicated task, and because they want to make themselves better. I recently had a moment about a year ago where I looked around and thought, “I’m pretty darn comfortable”. My schedule tends to be erratic and I find myself with little free time between the job, and the gym, and then to further drain that resource I find that my children have progressively more homework and I desire to philosophize with them and discuss the world in their terms and share my own perspectives as an adult. But, finally the Light came on me one day and I realized a few things.
If you’re comfortable, you have an obligation to help. The Enochian forces in their original, not Golden Dawn format inspired labor, and they inspired travel, and they inspired self improvement in a variety of seven liberal arts and sciences. Even in the pagan context, because I still get down with the sublunar forces of nature, the AesiR and the VaniR told myths about how to care for the world, and poetry, and family matters, and charity. Sure it’s great to hear the story about how Thor smashed all the ice giants or how Dee sunk the Spanish Armada, but these are means to ends. Thor didn’t just go hunt ice giants for the hell of it and I’m sure Dee had interesting, lost to time soul searching about what the sinking meant to the world. If he expressed more than passing doubt it has been lost.
I’m thinking at this point in my life, “I am ahead”. I have a comfortable sum in the bank, I have a nice family life, and I have a career (as much as anyone does in corporate America because mergers and acquisitions rarely have any account for which team is let go). However comfortable natures breed complacency, and I thought perhaps I was falling into that trap of the well running dry. Therefor I joined the Freemasons. I knew my grandfather was a mason and he was big into community service, and I was fortunate enough to find some memorabilia from him which wasn’t just war spoils and located his lodge. They still operate today and thankfully I was allowed to join them. At the same time I started contributing code to public projects and have my (professional, real life) name stamped on those projects. I picked them based on their use – the particular database I contributed to runs on low end hardware and is favored in developing countries trying to get their infrastructure off the ground. However, the code feels abstract, and furthermore I had a professional interest in developing that, so I didn’t find it fulfilling enough. It was also easy.
The Masons, on the other hand, emphasized community service and they do so in very “hands on”, earthy ways. We made sandwiches for the local women’s shelter. We made sandwiches again for the homeless shelter. We clean up local parks. We have scheduled a visit to the local Masonic community for the elderly. Ah ha, another trick. We can gain magickal power through selfless community service.
There’s probably a section of readers here going, “Oh but that’s what Christ did, it should have been obvious”. Well that’s the point, that’s how Christ helped his community. It’s how Solomon and Moses helped his community. It’s how Mohamed helped his community. It’s how Dee helped his community. (I believe Dee was humble enough as expressed in his writing that he really did believe he was helping the everyman). The community service banks magickal power based on the gratitude of the people receiving your work.
Lets say your wallet is empty. Can you contribute to the wellbeing of the community if you cannot buy things? Sure. Everyone at the homeless shelter needs help painting the place, or the park could use your help picking up litter. I would tacitly venture that working as a team would be better since you cultivate the gratitude of the people. I ensured I would be meeting the folks who picked up the sandwiches and the lodge worked as a unit to clean up the park, to which the giant bags of trash inspired awe in us all.
But how does this work? Why is this better than, say, being a professional magician who helps people by selling talismans or whatever? For one, I believe selling spells diminishes the operator. I believe that people believe because they’re purchasing a spell or talisman from someone, that they are purchasing a bit of that magicians power. I believe in many cases this sets up a vampiric relationship between people as money usually does. We believe, in the west, that we pay money for something and therefor we are entitled to whatever it is we purchased. This means that if the person believes that the exchange of money is paramount to an entitled amount of power, the magician probably is setting themselves up to be drained. The counter-argument I expect from the magickal community would be that the magician doesn’t get their power from some personal wellspring (this is untrue) but from the virtues of planets or minerals or the composition of materials. While true that these items do possess power into and of themselves, the spell or ritual we operate in doesn’t somehow make us into rocks and trees and so many bones. We draw power into our personal batteries from objects or community service or the pious observation of the heavens and distribute it through rituals much like a car generates electricity from the motion of it’s engine to charge it’s batteries, and draws upon that to exert the effort of starting the car or run the headlights. While it might be community service of a sort to leave your headlights on in a dark country road for the benefit of people, you would probably return to see your car unable to manifest enough of it’s own power. There are folks who can do it, but this is very complicated, and in danger of overdrawing the battery. How do they cut the circuit? When they cut the circuit does the item lose its power? These are complicated questions for later.
Why then is community service in my opinion better? Instead of establishing a relationship of entitlement to the magicians energy battery, it inspires other people to contribute their own energy to an operation. Imagine, if you would, a busker with a guitar. (Read: Me, in college). That person is not selling their energy to the community, they are freely giving their services to the community. People may or may not pay that busker for what they’re offering, but the person with the guitar plays regardless of everyone throwing in their silver or nothing at all. Furthermore that person might then inspire some passerby to pick up a guitar to improve themselves through learning the liberal art of music, or even better, inspire someone else to participate in the same way and bring a drum. Then, through the action of the person playing the drum, the music is enhanced, and therefor the music is better. Perhaps it even gets more tips. “But isn’t this some sort of reverse vampirism?” (the tinfoil hat community asks). Yes, but this is hermeticism, where we understand everything is a two way street and then make moral judgements.
This also means I understand that I’m basically humble-bragging his whole post. I realize I am talking about community service to improve my magickal well of gratitude energy. Therefor there is a third position of action: Selflessness. The daath scenario here is to be neither impressed with community service nor perform it – death, much like the magickal position proposed therein – is merely illusory. If someone prays “I am” as they die, they merely change state. We all know we’re here as individuals, right? If they pray ARARITA as they die, they gain the Kingdom.
Someone asked me about the evocation of EXARP and why it worked for me but didn’t work for them. The best questions are questions which force us to examine failure. The obvious abdication of responsibility is to claim that my rituals are fit for me. That is true. However this isn’t a binary problem – either you’re me or you’re not me and therefor you either wholly subscribe to my life or you differ in my opinions. You should disagree – I prefer you “beat your own path through the jungle”. If I help through the broadcast of this blog I have accomplished a selfless service – I do not make money off this writing and do it merely to organize my thoughts. I believe we share the ideas – I believe we are all sparks of the same divine One Thing and I hope it helps us understand ourselves. Therefor I also believe that the reason why the evocation helped my mother in law and my wife and I in particular was because it was a good mix of desperation, the finest of the magickal wells of power for me, and service, because I gain nothing from helping my mother in law who I believes would love me as a parent does (because she doesn’t know I’m a magician, of course).
Really though I believe that the magical “cutting of the cord” is to tell people exactly whats in the mix. You won’t find whats in coke, or pepsi, or KFC spices simply because to do so would empower you to make your own. Similarly magickal secrecy breeds dependance, and therefor breeds vampirism. Here’s what I want you to do: If you believe you are called to the enochian system, I believe that placing the seal of camara under your foot will produce an effect. Therefor, you should print out the seal – or draw it – and place it under your foot in the day and hour of Sol. You can pray if you’d like.
The only catch?
I want you to reply to this post, or email me, with what the results were. Don’t be afraid to switch feet, or skip the prayer at all. Just be inspired that you have conducted the experiment.