Monday, November 15, 2010

Inside Magic, Outside Magic, and the Spirits

Living with another active practitioner of the spiritual arts can, at times, require negotiations if you both are not into the same practices. Especially in smaller, shared spaces. At times, it can be trying. When everyone was all starry eyed for Goetia a while back, I honestly gave it some thought. I talked it over with Deb, after which it was decided, "Not in our home". Demons, as a category, were not for in the house.

And I know that many demons are Pagan Gods in disguise, and I am a Pagan, and thus should have no trouble working with them, blah blah, blah. But truth be told, as a Pagan, why would I work with them in their Demonic/Grimioric form? I can just work with them in a much safer form that doesn't involve threatening, posturing, or a ton of worry. What I call "True Demons" are right out. If you had to be locked away for aeons for the safety of humanity at large I am not working with you. I can have compassion for you, but we aren't going to hang out, you aren't going to install my plumbing, or get me ladies, or anything. But it's not just that. Demons, Real Demons have an alien-ness to them. This malevolent presence that is difficult to wrap your mind around. Some people bathe in that. More power to you! I am not that cool. To me the mark of a true demon is something that is Supremely selfish, and driven by hatred, rage, etc.

I know that some folks out there will have far difference mileage than me. Let me just say that is my definition of the Demonic and if something does not fit that definition, I don't consider it a Demon, proper.

Saints, oddly, are a case by case thing. Deb has good relations with the Virgin of Guadalupe, I am quite fond of Our Lady of Czestachowa (and Black Madonnas in general), but St. Expedite and our house never quite meshed. No animosity at all, but it was like a series of really awkward dates with someone all your friends like and thought would be a really good match for you. A lot of staring across the table in silence, stirring coffee and going home early. A great guy, but not the best fit. St. Benedict is an ass kicker if there are spirits hanging around who should not be.

But I am not just talking about Catholic Saints here, but anyone who was a totally normal person, then got Awesome. All the Siddhas and Mahasiddhas are included. (My personal favorite non Christian Saints are Sukhasiddhi and Virupa, as well as Matsyendranath, Gorakshanath, Nagarjuna the Alchemist and Bhogarnath)There is a distinct human-ness about the Saints, something relatable. Their energy jives in our house pretty easily. Unlike Jesus, Padmasambhava, Dattatreya, etc. who were all born Awesome, the Saints became Awesome. They are a reminder of what we ordinary mortals could be, if we would just work at it.

Pagan Gods. . .once again, case by case. There are some Gods we just don't work with. A bad fit, and all. Some we don't trust and some that we just have no connection to. Sometimes this even goes for entire pantheons, though there are categories of Deities that we tend to work well with generally. For Deb it is usually "Bad Ass Warrior Queen/Mother." and for me it is usually, "Divine Yogi/Magician with an Iron Hard Erection". Those could be indicative of our personalities. . .or not. Even the Gods have a certain "Human-ness", a relatability. Like us, but bigger. I tend to view the Gods as people who are both hugely cosmic and as concrete as earth, lightening, storm, and snake. But they are people none the less.

The Dead we honor in our home, but rarely work with. I can't even think of a time when I have really asked my dad for something practical. For me, also, there is a certain guilt. My dad was a very together, self sufficient guy, and I feel bad asking him for help. I am pretty sure I would feel the same if he were still alive. Aside from a general "Bless our home with amorphous good fortune" we don't work with our Honored Dead. I also don't generally work with my living family, either.

Angels are another subject for debate in our house. We both agree that there is a certain alien-ness to Angels, but that's where our agreement begins and ends. Deb has trouble overlooking the alien-ness, but I am really cool with it. They aren't banned from the house at all, but that's work that I do solo. To me they are like the Gods, only they aren't as directly connected to the Material World. Angels oversee and rule over things, but I dont see them as in a way BEING that thing.

Our shared home Altar is a tribute to our shared relationships with the Gods, and that melding is important to our hearth. Of equal importance however is separate space. Time and space to get down and do your our thing. For me that is my day off, early mornings, or whenever else I can get the house to myself as I prefer to be alone in the house. We've found that a simple closed door makes a world of difference when one partner has to do work and the other has to do something else in the house, even something quiet. The feeling of alone in the house vs. someone sitting quietly on the couch is massively different. The physical door helps keep the ritual work contained, and lets you temporarily forget that the other is there. Out of sight, out of mind can be a good thing in this context.

I am only "banned" from the house on the occasion that Deb's Dianic circle meets at our house, and that hasn't happened yet in the new place. Instead of invading Womyn's Space I just go hang out with my friends for a while, and come on back when I get the all clear sign via text.

It's not a perfect system, but it works well enough. I think the key point to remember is that whatever you do in your home, you are doing IN YOUR HOME! Some things are set in a graveyard, wilderness, or crossroads for a reason.


Pallas Renatus said...

Huh, it's interesting that you find Angels more ethereal than Gods. I suppose you're right though, it's going to vary case-by-case.

Jow said...

The Gods, for me, streatch the whole gamut, from the most subtile to the most manifest. They eat, they fuck, they cry, they fight, they love, they die. They have a relatable life cycle at the grosser levels.

Angels I have a hard time relating to, but not working with. They are very.. "pure" for lack of a better term. I still work with them, but I don't think they get my problems at a visceral level, as they lack viscera. But, as in all things, I could be wrong.

Angelica Weber said...

I think modern society has Angels wrong. According to the bible, there were children of Angels and Men. The Noah thing makes it a little more unlikely, but you never know.