Dangers of Magick
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Much of the "dangers" of magick is an exaggeration, brought on in part by ignorance. There is also a strong fear of devils, demons, and dark forces promoted by the strong general Christian background of the US and Hollywood horror films.
I got a chuckle out of a post on another group about a magician that was tricked into reaching outside of the Circle of Solomon, and was burned to a crisp. The author of the post did say "it was a story they had heard". This is true of most of the bad, scary stories. They are hearsay with no real source.
Having said that, there are some dangers, and I always tell people, especially new practitioners to err on the side of caution. It's better to be over protected than not quite good enough.
Here are the dangers, as I see them. In goetic evocations, you are dealing with spirits that work through people and their baser instincts. If you are not adequately prepared, and focused these spirits will influence and effect your thought processes and your everyday life. Unless it was what you were attempting to do, this is generally not good. You become obsessive about some darker aspects of your personality, and you don't often realize it is happening. Some people might call this possession, but it is not really an accurate term. You are not being coerced against your will. It is more like you are being influenced by the bad company you've been keeping.
By the same token sigils that have been used, unless handled carefully can impart an influence from the spirit associated with the sigil. Many magickal operations involve charging sigils to get the spirit to perform it's tasks. Be careful, don't leave them lying around on the coffee table. They are like any magickal tool, and should be handled accordingly.
Some of the Goetic spirits or demons will deceive you if they are not properly confined in the triangle or bound in some fashion (yes, there are other ways to do it). If memory serves me right, you originally had some concerns about an evocation of Phenex some time ago. Their deceptions can be subtle, like telling half truths, or giving literal answers to poorly phrased questions, to downright devious, like telling you the truth for several evocations. You start to trust them, then they purposely mislead you.
They will occasionally try to trick you outside of your circle. You won't disappear in a flash of light, or be torn limb from limb. You are outside of your safety zone (the circle) though, and the spirits can more readily influence you and your thoughts. Sometimes, if a spirit has been able to influence, you will end up in a state of depression that may last for days or even weeks, or doing things you ordinarily wouldn't think of doing.
You must make sure your work area is properly maintained, and the spirit is properly confined. I did have a bad experience, where a dog of mine broke out in pustules and died because of an evocation of Marbas. Marbas likes to be difficult, but he is useful for health issues. I evoked him to help someone with an infection that wouldn't heal properly. I was in a hurry, and did not properly clean my work area. My dog had a real shedding problem, and some of his hair ended up in the triangle. In short, Marbas did heal the infection I had evoked him for. He just passed it along to my dog. I was careless.
Occasionally, you make a deal with a demon for a special evocation or result (I'm not talking about selling souls here). Always keep your end of the deal. If you don't, at best your evocation's goal will fail. At worst, your life may take a bad turn for a while as punishment. No one likes a welcher. Goetic spirits can make your life difficult. If you don't intend to keep your end of an agreement, DON'T MAKE IT.
Always banish when you are done with an evocation, even if the spirit seems relatively benign. You are basically open to the influence of spirits while you are working. A banishing is just a good way to make sure you are done, and everybody has left. As a sidelight, as you work with magick, you become more attuned to spirits, good, bad, and indifferent. It's not unusual for odd noises and sights to occur. Occasionally things will up and disappear from where you leave them (and no, it isn't alzheimers!). You're playing in the big leagues. You notice the spirits, they will notice you too. So long as you remember, that you through your will are in control, nothing will harm you.
You've asked about dangers, so this rambling post discusses some of the negative aspects of evocations.
If evocations are done properly, and with the appropriate precautions, the goetic spirits can answer questions about magick, alchemy, science, almost any subject you can think of. They will also perform tasks. These tasks are usually performed through people and events, so that when you get results you may end up wondering if it was really the demon or just a coincidence that you got what you wanted. After awhile though the "coincidences" add up and you realize that your evocations are working just fine.
With time, and multiple evocations, some of the demons will form a "working relationship" with you, if you want it. They come very easily at your call, without full blown evocations. They may come when you need them without being called. They are willing to work better than most to accomplish your goals and bring you information. It is what was really meant by familiars (As opposed to talking cats you see on TV). If you reach that point it is very useful. It does not preclude working with other goetic spirits.
There are other, unconventional practices where a demon is called, and a subject is purposely used by the demon in the ceremony. If the lead practitioner is sufficiently skilled, this can be done safely. This practice does invite many of the consequences described above if it is not done correctly. I would class this one under the "Don't try this at home" category. Are there reasons to do this?? Yes, but it beyond this particular discussion.
Unfortunately, mis-information tends to spread faster than the speed of light. People are always willing to believe the worst of other people and spread horror stories. Are there dangers using magick?? Absolutely. But I think your neighbors may be a bigger danger and threat if you are known as a practitioner than any demon may be.
First posted to Dark Lodge of the Desert group by Goldtrend on Sat. Sep 6, 2003, 8:20 pm
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