May 23, 2010
Students who are searching for “an easier way” to accomplish Solomonic magick might be missing an important point: what you see in the grimoires *is* the easier way! The methods they describe are highly refined manifestations of ancient practices that had evolved over thousands of years. They are the short-cuts.
For example, look into the Old Testament. The Prophets (like tribal shamans throughout history) had to live entirely separate from society- often as hermits out in the desert- and subjected themselves to all kinds of physical abuse, deprivations and even dangerous drugs in order to gain their spiritual experiences.
Later on, we start to see magickal papyri and eventually grimoires that promise the same experiences for folks living like normal people. They are a kind of technology- I agree- that allow us to establish contact with these “alien” intelligences without having to- for example- eat a bunch of shroom caps and sleep with our heads on rocks.
However, before you can attempt to update or streamline this kind of technology, you have to understand it. And perhaps the first thing you must understand is that this is a right-brained, intuitive, devotional, mythology-based and highly symbolic technology. It is the other side of the proverbial coin from left-brained post-Enlightenment scientific thought.
Keeping my last post in mind*, this tech is used to establish contact with beings who live in a dream-like reality. Symbols are things there – and that is why magickal tools *all* have specific symbolic meanings. You can call the tool a “mere prop” all you want here in physical reality- but what the tool *means* is something concrete on the spirits’ side. Therefore, as you begin to delete things that seem “strange” or “pointless” to you, you’re slowly taking the machine apart.
So why do the spirits associated with the Key of Solomon demand, for example, thread spun by a young maiden? It would be a girl because females are famously known to possess natural mystical abilities. It was common enough at the time for mothers or grandmothers to recite prayers and blessings as they mended their loved-one’s clothing- literally sewing spells into the garments. Thus, the girl who makes the thread must be pure and innocent, someone who has not yet entered the adult world of sexual and social politics- probably still brutally honest as well- and therefore unlikely to inadvertently spin negative “ju-ju” into the thread. And, without a doubt, she would have an unwavering belief in such things as Angels and spirits as well.
Therefore, when the thread comes to you, it comes already charged with a particular “vibration” that the KoS spirits seem to like. It means something in a symbolic context. And if symbols are things on the spirits’ side, then what is the importance of that “thing” to the process of communication? How much static is added into the system if we just grab any old thread that was made by some schmuck in a factory somewhere? And how many little things can we delete until there is so much static the transmission is lost entirely?
To summarize: my main point is that the methods of spiritual communication we find in the grimoires are already shortcuts to the old-fashioned ways. Every part of them is meant, in some way, to make up for the fact that you can’t move into a cave and spend months in deep meditation. Thus, before you begin to judge what is and is not necessary to the magick, make *very* sure you understand what it is you are changing.