On communicating with spirits
Thanks for your feedback on my account of the Arbatel Experience - Ritual of Phul. Let me follow up on a specific question I received from several readers.
Many of you asked questions on the chapter that I called 'Communion' and specifically about communicating with spiritual entities. Now, before I go a bit further into this topic I need to repeat that all of this is my personal experience and opinion only. E.g. I haven't worked with Goetic daimons and therefore cannot talk about their ways of interacting with us. However, I did have a chance to work with many kabbalistic, planetary, elementary and shamanic entities and all of these experiences confirmed the below.
Let's start at a source most of us think of as a trustworthy authority on this subject. Agrippa of Nettesheim speaks about the 'tongue of angels' and shares the following:
"But now how Angels speak it is hid from us, as they themselves are. Now to us that we may speak, a tongue is necessary with other instruments, as are the jaws, palate, lips, teeth, throat, lungs, the aspera arteria, and muscles of the breast, which have the beginning of motion from the soul. But if any speak at a distance to another, he must use a louder voice; but if near, he whispers in his ear: and if he could be coupled to the hearer, a softer breath would suffice; for he would slide into the hearer without any noise, as an image in the eye, or glass. So souls going out of the body, so Angels, so Demons speak: and what man doth with a sensible voice, they do by impressing the conception of the speech in those to whom they speak, after a better manner then if they should express it by an audible voice."
(Agrippa, Henry Cornelius, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book III, Chapter XXIII, link to Joseph Peterson's full online version or ref. page 530 in Donald Tyson's highly recommendable edition with comments)
Now, there is little left to say after this very precise description of how one communicates whit spiritual entities: Their words come from within. We are our own little radio station; our heart is the transmitter and our mind is the receiver.
All of the banishing, the hexagram work, the charging of our consciousness, the tight choreography of bodily movements and divine words to be vibrated - these are the tools that allow us to tune into the right radio frequency in order receive the signals sent by the entity we wish to communicate with. If one compares this approach to other traditions like Shamanism, Merkabah or e.g. the kabbalistic exercises compiled by Abraham Abulafia it becomes apparent that there are many more methods to achieve the same state of mind and 'sacred communion'.
At the end of the day 'truth is what works' - as Jodorowsky put it so simply. We all have to find the method that is most accessible for us and our own predisposition... This reminds me of the early days of my magical training. We were working all on our own but had a teacher and would meet at his house once a month to discuss progress, challenges and insights and receive new instructions for our work. On many of these occasions I learned how different our disposition as humans are with regards to magical operations. Some of the students sat down for a 2h asana meditation - and by chance left their body and entered into the astral realm. That is to say without any prior training; this experience was highly disturbing to them and it took a good teacher to learn how to handle their talent. Unfortunately I wasn't one of them and didn't know what I have understood today...
Back then I worked feverishly to 'see' with my physical eyes into the astral realm. I studied Tratak methods and stared for hours against a single spot on the wall or tried to see the aura of a random object like an apple or a egg. I assume this was a good training of willpower and concentration and does help me in my work today. However, I made very little progress and felt highly frustrated after months of daily training.
At some point I decided to let go and simply continue with my magical operations - as a 'blind'. Rather than giving up or getting stuck any deeper, I decided that if I couldn't accomplish to gain astral sight I would enter in blindness. This was a hugely important change of mind at that point in time for me: To never get stuck, but to practice Aikido with your own mind and goals as required.
The results I achieved since then as a 'blind magician' worked very well for me - and I don't feel blind anymore at all even though my astral sight still isn't any better. I discovered that my astral sense of 'hearing', i.e. being a precise yet adaptable radio station was very good. I guess I would have never discovered this talent, had I not decided to let go of pursuing to become a magician with astral sight...
What I am trying to say is: find your own talents and discover your astral senses without goals in mind. Your sense of sight or hearing might be numb or rudimentary, but maybe your astral sense of touch or even taste will work great for you.
This is not to say that hard work isn't necessary and we don't have to endure moments of frustration or even desperation. Any 'Great Work' is a rough and tough journey at times. Yet, there is a difference between a living tradition that we allow to fill our personal lives and experiences - and banging your head against the wall at the end of a dead end path.
I guess that is the only thing I would add to Agrippa's quote: The 'tongue of angels' can be heard with any sense in our bodies that is sufficiently evolved. The transmitter of our radio station will always be our heart, yet the receiver is to be found by your own practical work and explorations.