Ravemore's Notes

A little meandering… Pagan reflections on a left hand path.

Month: August, 2013

Demons or Gods?

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs

Demons of the Ars Goetia and My Left Hand Path

This is going to serve as an introduction of sorts to approximately 72 posts, along with a couple more to lay some groundwork, which will be uploaded in fairly close succession over an unknown period of time. These posts will expand upon each individual demon in the Ars Goetia. There will probably be other miscellaneous writings dropped here or there while this venture is underway, but for the most part I’d like to keep this project both on track and in a fairly cohesive presentation. In my Left Hand Path demons are referred to as “Lesser Powers” only because they are not the Gods I have chosen to worship. It is in no way a reflection of their ability, stature, or actual power to manifest and affect change in our world. Some border on godhood in ability, and are worshiped by many practitioners of the darker paths as such.

The first question an aspiring adept will probably field is: “What value do demons have to me?” This is not an easy question to answer. Summoning demons and interacting with them can be very dangerous and trying, but through adversity, danger, and pushing the envelope in our self-development we are able to obtain tools and knowledge we would otherwise be deprived of. Through pacts with these lesser powers we are able to exchange services and grow in power and understanding while also facilitating allies who have a peculiar interest in our world and the human race.

The next likely question is probably: Why the demons of the Ars Goetia specifically? This answer is more simple and straightforward. These specific demons have been conjured, worked with, and have for the most part been parties to productive pacts for centuries. They are more of a “known factor.” This does not make them safe though. They are akin to a bladed weapon in that they are just as likely to cut you as they are to cut an enemy if you do not respect them and interact with them in a cautious manner. Demons can possess living creatures, both human and animal, therefore it is unwise to open a gate and summon anything willing to step through it. The known danger is much preferred to the unknown.

In my presentations you are going to see that I am going to attempt to strip out a lot of the Christian garbage that has been attributed to them over the centuries. The old medieval titles are going to be missing as they are not relevant and merely a way to classify these beings in a way that fit within the paradigms of the period in which the grimoires were compiled. The rituals will be adapted to my Left Hand Path. It will have more of an ancient Greek feel to it, as the hellfire and brimstone will be noticeably absent, and they will be regarded as they truly are.

Value in a Monster?

I may tie this little post into Left Hand Path philosophy… or I may not. I’m not really sure as these words drip into the Blog via my fingers and keyboard. These thoughts have been floating around my mind for a couple of days when I began considering whether there can be good and value in bad people. I’m not entirely confident I know why either. I’m not even really sure they mean anything, or have any useful substance. This post is not going to be one of my usual mythical stories, philosophical points, cryptic Left Hand Path messages, or conversations on the arcane or ritual. I’m going to throw the proverbial plate of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. This is probably going to seem a little disjointed or rambling… but then again it may make sense to some of my readers. I think I may do a couple of similar posts because there are several other topics I want to write about as well.

Anyway, I’m not widely known for my compassion, empathy, or happy demeanor beyond my immediate family and a few friends. I’m a straightforward and to the point person most of the time. I like to go into a store knowing what I want to purchase before hand, and get out as soon as possible. I’m not keen on large social gatherings. I like to stay below the radar and am not ostentatious by any stretch of the imagination. My two story house in an upper middle-class suburban neighborhood with a homeowners association is neatly kept, freshly painted, and has gorgeous landscaping that I enjoy maintaining myself. If you wave at me when you pass by, I will wave back and smile… possibly even dabble in some polite gibberish. That is all a mask though… I am a chameleon of sorts, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A monster. But aren’t we all though? If you answer no, you are probably lying to yourself. You may raise many arguments to counter my assertion… but they are probably all fallacious at heart. It is possible my tours in the Marine Corps and Army shaped me. It is equally possible that the many years in my current career field have contributed to making me. My occult studies over the years have definitely had a hand in the result that sits in front of this monitor. It is amazing what affects the environment and an open mind can have on the social development of the individual.

What makes me a monster? I have many responses to that question, a sample of which follow… First and foremost, I embrace darkness. It is who, and what I am. If I do not like you and come across you in a car crash, and you beg me for assistance, I will walk away and let you die. If you break into my house, I will kill you… and then sit down to eat a bowl of cereal while I await the police department to arrive to remove your cold, dead, cadaver. I routinely curse… both types. I summon demons and cavort with devils. I enjoy debaucheries of many, many, many types. I disdain Christianity. I hate with a fervor and heat that can rival the sun. I am vengeful. I cannot stand people in general, and view most simply as tools… a means to an end. If you are a dumb-ass and I’m interacting with you, all will appear pleasant, but inside I’m probably wanting to rip your face off with a pair of pliers. I live my life as I choose and am not bound by the moral platitudes of a society shaped by religions and dogma. Ascension and seeking The Light are always foremost in my mind. Regardless of what I really am though under the thin veneer of conformity that I preserve, I am a high functioning individual by societal standards. I hold two college degrees, have managed very large organizations, am routinely required to do public speaking, and have been a member of a fraternal order and mystery school for approximately 18 years. I have never been convicted or charged with a major criminal offense. But where am I going with this tangent of thought…? Let me continue…

There are balancing qualities within me as well… Not strong… or enough to tip the scales into a state of equilibrium, but they are there. Those I love, I love with a passion and intensity to rival my hatred. I honor my word when I give it. I will fight to the last breath and put my life on the line for those I care about. Occasionally, on a whim, I have been known to act mercifully and with great caring toward strangers I do not consider absolute ass-hats.  I value the rule of law and the benefits it provides.

Again, where am I going with this?

Essentially, people are usually not what they appear to be. We are complex, beautiful creations and contain both Darkness and Light. This applies equally to those who walk The Right, those that travel The Left, and those that cling to the Middle. Whatever road you walk, it is likely you’ve have qualities from the other two. Also… even a monster is capable of some good. Therefore, beware hunters of monsters… in addition to the obvious dangers of the hunter becoming the hunted, you risk snuffing out the possibility of some good. It must be thrown into the equation before placing anyone in your sights.

 

“Frodo: It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.

Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.”

– The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. (23)

– John Donne, 1624

 

The Key…

We are mortal, and we suffer the lot of all mortals – bound by destiny and chained by fate… yet we hold the key within ourselves to ascension, immortality, and godhood. A key dropped into the clay forms of the first of Danu’s Third Children by The Goat God at creation, a flame that quickened the potential within.

This potential is beyond good and evil… beyond light and darkness. Neither polar opposite is a prerequisite. We are what we choose to be, what we are most comfortable with, and we do not need to conform to reach our true potential… our birthright. What is the key though? What form does it take? What is that mysterious, invisible, intangible thing that can move us beyond the cycle of life and death? I think Crowley got it right…

“For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.”

-Aleister Crowley, The Book of the Law

We must simply be strong enough and focused enough to will it. Open to the Gnosis, eyes turned upward to The Morning Star, ears open to the whispers from the shadows…

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