On How to Create Magickal Entities
Thanks for your feedback on the recent Glyph of the Moon article. I understand that the actual technique has become more clear than its practical application. Point taken. That's why yesterday I decided to create a second page on the topic and to share an example of the use of a sigil from the Glyph of the Moon.
You can find the full article now online in the Circle Of Practice section.
The example chosen to illustrate the use of the technique is a couple of years old; back then I experimented with creating a magickal entity as a guardian for my temple. My former teacher had used this technique quite successfully. His temple was located in a remote forest, hidden in a cave he dug himself. The biggest threads to this temple were a) the water ingress after heavy rainfalls when drainages stopped working or b) the curiosity of wild animals and huntsmen. While the entity created as a temple guardian couldn't help much in the former situations, it proved to be a wonderful companion in the latter. Inspired by his stories I decided to create my own version of such an entity. Not in use in a remote forrest, but on the hallway of my London flat back then...
Well, I guess the beauty of any blog is that there is no such thing as digression? It just is perfectly fine to move from story to story and thought to thought... what a special place! So here are two cents on the history of using magickal entities as placeholders for yourself:
The tradition of such undertakings goes all the way back to Egypt - and probably even further than that. As one of the many examples to be found in the magickal tradition of Egypt we can take the magickal use of Ushabtis. These were representatives of a deceased person in the form of small figures which were placed into the tomb together with the dead person. The application of the Ushabtis was completely practical: it was believed that the deceased - once and if they reached the afterworld - would encounter the same tasks as in this world. Water had to be carried, sand had to be shoveled, houses needed building, animals needed feeding... you get it. Similarly one was expected to encounter the same social hierarchies as in this life. So the purpose of the Ushabtis was to be able to delegate all low labor tasks. If the afterworld-Pharaoh approached you to fetch water from the Nile or help building his new pyramid, he would not realize if you sent your Ushabti instead of yourself... The Ushabti was an astral double of yourself specifically created for an individual task.
Thus in many cases high ranking people carried several hundreds of Ushabtis with them into their tombs. The numbers of authentic antique Ushabtis have remained so high to these days that you can actually buy them on ebay for very little money... In later times their use evolved and the shape of an Ushabti - complete with the name of the deceased person and the task it was dedicated for - was simply drawn on parchment. I guess, if someone had given these guys a laptop and a printer, God knows they would have put it to use it for their magick!
Thousand five hundred years later we still encounter the same tradition in the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe where the creation of Golems formed an essential part of their living magickal lore. Aryeh Kaplan has revealed the details of this technique and the use of the 231 Gates in his expanded version of the Sefer Yetzirah.
Fast forward another few hundred years and we find the use of astral doubles integrated into modern Chaosmagick combat approaches such as in the teachings of Frater V.'.D.'., who even introduced the term of 'Doppelgänger-Magic'*. In this specific form of combat magic the magician creates an astral double of himself and shields his own energetic field; thus any magickal attack will mistake his astral double for himself.
In essence the technique of the Ushabtis still seems very much alive after all these years... They only changed professions from shoveling sand and building afterworld pyramids to taking the punches for us... Well, not exactly what I call a career - which leads me back to the question on how we should treat the spirits; even the ones we created ourselves.
I hope the additional article helps to further elucidate the powerful talismanic technique of the Glyph of the Moon and its practical application. In case you have more questions, just leave a post here or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* for further reading see the German article by Frater V.·.D.·., „Spaltungsmagie. Der Doppelgänger als magisches Faktotum“, in: UNICORN, H. 2 Lammas 1982, S. 79-81