Goetic Evocation – The New Fad

Goetic Evocation - The New Fad

A few years ago occult students and practicing magicians became enamored of the old grimoires and began to purchase newly translated and annotated copies of them. This may be due in part to published books written by Steve Savedow, Joseph C. Lisiewski and Aaron Leitch. All three authors recommended using the old grimoires in a literal fashion, and seemed to encourage the evocation of Goetic demons. Chaos magic has also lately latched on to Goetic demons, as if the faux gods of H.P. Lovecraft weren’t enough to keep them occupied. So now it’s quite stylish to use the Goetic demons in various workings, and everyone seems to be getting on the bandwagon to engage in this kind of magical working.

I have no intention of engaging this new fad, since my system of magic always had the evocation of Goetic demons as an included part of its overall strategy for magical theurgy and evocation. However, where I differ from the crowd is that I don’t work with these entities individually and in isolation. In a word, I don’t conjure anything without using a very tried and true context. This is because I believe that spirits don’t exist in a vacuum, that they have a very specific hierarchy and I use that hierarchy to work with spirits in combination. So that means that I don’t evoke Goetic demons in isolation, as seems to be the fad out there — instead I work with them as part of a hierarchy that includes the archangels of the 12 zodiacal signs, the angelic rulers of the 36 decans and the 72 angels of the ha-Shem. So if I sought to evoke one of the Goetic demons, it would only be after a series of theurgic workings that would include the archangels and angels that are part of its hierarchy.

The 72 demons of the Goetia have their counter-part in the 72 angels of the ha-Shem, and I would never evoke one of the demons without also invoking the matching angel of the ha-Shem. In this fashion the evocation would be controlled and balanced between light and darkness, which would protect me from potential demonic obsession and allow the dark aspects of my inner self and the inner planes to be worked out through the powers and the intercession of the ha-Shem angel. Pairing Goetic demons with angels of the ha-Shem isn’t new, since we have a record of this methodology found in the book, The Goetia of Dr Rudd. Where I part with tradition is that I choose to build a complete spiritual context using the angelic rulers of the decans and the archangels of the twelve signs as part of the hierarchy of spirits that I engage when working theurgy and goetic evocation. It’s my understanding that the Golden Dawn had proposed this kind of hierarcy, Aleister Crowley hints at it in his The Book of Thoth, and Carroll “Poke” Runyon uses a variation close to what I use. So there is some precedence for this hierarchy — but it’s likely to be recent and is not to be found in the tradition of the old grimoires, as far as I can tell.

If one were to perform the evocation of Goetic demons without use of the above hierarchy, then another hierarchy would implicitly come into play, and that would be the Infernal Hierarchy of Satan and the organization of Hell. This hierarchy is also part of the tradition of the old grimoires, but the demonic hierarchy would not be approached without the power and wisdom of the Holy Guardian Angel to aid and protect the magician. One would assume that because the magicians of the previous epoch would not have attempted to invoke a demon servitor without first going through the infernal hierarchy, then we shouldn’t consider these spirits in isolation either. However, because I am not a Christian or a Satanist, I believe that the infernal hierarchy is kind of contrived and represents a dualistic spiritual philosophy, which I don’t think is workable as a witch and pagan. I also don’t have a deity in my pantheon who is like the devil, even though the Horned God does come close — except that he continually dies and is reborn, which is not a good quality for an angelic adversary. I do believe that the concept of demons does work in a pagan and Wiccan spiritual environment, and I will attempt to explain this theory.

So exactly what are demons, anyway? If they are merely personifications and agents of evil, why would anyone want to traffic with them? One could assume that either magicians want to control the chaotic forces in their lives and apply them in a constructive fashion or they have a perverse desire to engage in malignancy and the exaltation of their own darkness. Others who traffic with them may be doing it out of curiosity, boredom, or because they are jaded and want some kind of new kick in their lives.

I see demons as spiritually negative, but more like a natural negativity — the dark Yin to the light Yang. Angels are like the agents of control who maintain the spiritual status quo, and demons are the agents of chaos who break up the status quo and counteract the laws of nature, including, perhaps, even the physical laws of nature. Where one could see angels as a kind of masculine force, demons would be feminine. They symbolize the archetypal opposition of light and darkness in nature, but without the connotation of good and evil. Angels represent the perfect mathematics of Euclidean space and Newtonian/ Einsteinian physical laws, and demons would represent the curved and distorted intricacies of Non-Euclidean space and the convolutions of Quantum mechanics. One can see by this comparison that demons are an integral part of the natural spiritual world, and that if one works with angels, one should also ultimately work with demons as well — to maintain a holistic approach to magic and spiritual mechanics.

Since demons of any kind represent the opposite quality of angels, then we could assume that they would represent chaotic, disruptive and even stochastic spiritual forces and intelligences. Obviously, we would want to engage such forces and intelligences in a very controlled environment, but conversely, such entities would be useful in breaking through old patterns and dealing with internal flaws within the psyche, or even engaging in processes that would be considered outside of the normal space time continuum. Such a controlled use would require either the assistance of the Holy Guardian Angel, a hierarchy of archangels and angels, or a combination of both.

I have used demons in the past to specifically address my spiritual dark side, to realize myself as a being of light and darkness, and to learn to harness and empower my dark side so that I might be able to master myself. I believe that this is relevant because the physical and social worlds that we live in are neither light nor dark, but rather a balanced gray. Demons help me to determine my limitations, flaws and weaknesses — something that angels would not be capable of doing since they are programmed to aid and assist humanity. Sometimes things need to be broken or even destroyed in order to ensure continued spiritual growth. Magicians, like everyone else, can allow habits and limiting opinions trap them. These habits can carve deep ruts in their lives that seem almost insurmountable. Drastic measures may be required to eliminate them. I believe that demons can do this quite adequately. Similarly, demons can also allow for the incursion of the impossible, assisting one in attracting totally new and completely unrealized possibilities into one’s life.

In the magician’s search for wisdom and power, no stone should be left unturned, and this is also true for the evocation of demons. However, I maintain my argument that one should never evoke demons without also working through the hierarchy and also, hopefully, having a powerful guide such as the Holy Guardian Angel to assist.

©2009 Frater Barrabbas
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Frater Barrabbas is a writer and practitioner of witchcraft and ritual magick. He has published two books — Disciple’s Guide to Ritual Magick, and the two volumes of a trilogy, entitled Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick — Foundation and Mastering the Art of Ritual Magic — Grimoire. The third volume in this series, Mastering the Art of Ritual Magick — Greater Key will be published soon. You can contact him at the email address tiresius@gnosticstar.org and his website is at www.fraterbarrabbas.com.

The Black Book

The Black Book

At this witching time of year, in the chill of lonesome October when the leaves turn brown and pile in drifts, and the frosted pumpkins begin to rot in the fields, we turn our minds to elongated shadows and gloomy pits, deep willow woods and gaping cavern mouths, secret places that elude the sun, chill haunts where spring the roots of black magic. It has always been a part of the Western esoteric tradition, but it is something that is seldom talked about in polite circles. It carries a taint of decay, a discoloration of disease, and most practitioners of the arts are leery of contracting its infection by casual contact.

Central to the black arts is the fabled Black Book that was referred to in hushed and horrified tones by the Christian demonologists of the Renaissance period such as Boden and Remy. It went under various names according to various learned authorities, but its qualities were always the same. It was a book of damnation that taught occult practices for the spreading of evil abroad across the land. Inspired by the Devil himself, it had but one purpose, to corrupt and destroy all those who fell under its influence or used its methods. Even to open the Black Book, or to hold it in the hands, or touch its binding of human skin, was to become a lost soul forever barred from entry into heaven, forever damned to hell.

The reason the book had many names is because it never actually existed in a material form. Various real grimoires, having titles well known but which few men had actually read, were chosen by the Christian demonologists to represent it. Works of dire reputation such as the Grand Grimoire, the Goetia, the Picatrix, the Key of Solomon, were vilified in harsh terms as corrupting tomes to be strenuously avoided, lest those whose idle curiosity led them to read within should be forever lost in the coils of the Evil One, he who is called the prince of shadows and deceiver of the flesh.

The Victorian occultist Arthur Edward Waite studied these books and many others of a similar foul reputation during his researches in the British Museum Library, and he observed rather dryly that when the grimoires were actually read, it turned out that their contents were not nearly so damnable as the references of the demonologists would lead one to suppose. Indeed, the common effect of reading them was more apt to be tedium than damnation. Waite was not the first to condemn and dismiss the supposed black grimoires — the student of Cornelius Agrippa, Johannes Wier, had done much the same two centuries earlier in the course of defending the reputation of his former master.

But these men had actually read the grimoires — it seemed that those most apt to condemn such infamous occult books as soul-searing one-way tickets to hell were those least likely to have actually studied them — the learned divines and inquisitors of the Catholic Church. The fabled black book of the Devil had the uncanny property of becoming smaller and less significant the closer one examined it. The reality was just not up to the task of sustaining the mythology.

Even so, the myth of the Black Book persisted down to modern times. The celebrated writer of horror stories, H. P. Lovecraft, created it anew in the early part of the 20th century in the form of his Necronomicon — which is perhaps the most well-known of its incarnations. In part, Lovecraft’s imaginary black book of evil was based on the equally imaginary book The King In Yellow, invented by the writer Robert W. Chambers and used in several of his supernatural stories. We may have left the era of the quill pen and the ox cart behind us, but the fable of Satan’s Black Book has followed us. Yet always it remains an illusion that vanishes like a mirage when it is approached and investigated.

Even those modern writers who have attempted to actually create the Black Book must be judged to have failed in their purpose. The self-proclaimed Satanist of San Francisco, Anton Szandor LaVey, made such an attempt in his The Satanic Bible, published in 1969, but it was weak plant that bore scant fruit. Several intrepid writers, myself among them, have written versions of Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, but no actual book can begin to approach the mystery or power of the original that existed in the imagination of Lovecraft alone — and perhaps, also in the akashic records of the great library of the astral world.

The Black Book does not yet exist in a cohesive, tangible form despite these attempts, and has never existed intact and entire in our material world. It is an enduring myth that from time to time has been associated with an actual but poorly known text, or a lost text, or even an imaginary text, and that is all. But in this gloaming of the year, when we hang suspended between summer and winter, when the dead are said to leave their graves and walk among us, unseen but not unfelt, we will imagine what the Black Book would contain in its pages, if there actually were such a book.

It is supposed to have been inspired or actually written by the Devil, who is reputed in Christian theology to be the father of all lies. Therefore it must be designed to deceive and mislead those who read it. The grand promises it makes of wealth and power and beauty and eternal life should all be presumed to be untrue. Yet they will be phrased in such a seductive manner that the susceptible reader will find himself unable to resist their siren allure. They will be designed to play upon the weaknesses and impulses of certain human beings who are open to deception and to spiritual corruption, by triggering character flaws in their natures such as greed, lust, envy and hatred.

If these sound familiar, they should — in past centuries they were known as deadly sins — deadly to the soul, not the body — an archaic term we distance ourselves from today. Who talks about sins anymore? Almost nobody, not even the priests and ministers. Yet these weaknesses of human nature still exist and are just as apt to cause the downfall of human hopes as they were when clouds of dark smoke arose from the blackened, crackling flesh of burning women in public squares.

In exchange for the offer of power, wealth and other things desired by the impressionable reader of the Black Book, the crafty author will demand a pledge of obedience and loyalty. In the lore of European witchcraft, as assembled from the confessions under torture of women accused of the black arts, this pledge took place at the sabbat gathering of witches, when the Devil presented his Black Book and demanded the neophyte of witchcraft to impress the print of his thumb in blood beneath the oath. This is all very fanciful, of course, but if the Black Book actually existed, the confirmation of the pledge would take a different form — it would be the requirement that the reader commit some initial act of unspeakable evil and perversity, as a confirmation of his sincerity in his oath, and to forever bind him to evil and prevent him from turning back to the light.

We see something similar among modern street gangs, where the new member of the gang is required to commit a crime, such as a random murder, in order to confirm his sincerity. This may be largely an urban legend, but it illustrates the necessary initiatory act that would be near the beginning of the black book.

The instructions of the text would teach practical methods of black magic, but woven among its rituals and techniques would be a path leading the reader progressively further along in his descent into hell, which in not a locality of space but a state of mind. The reader would be induced by the text to deliberately break all bonds of love and friendship with other human beings by betraying and injuring those he loved. In order to weaken his conscience, he would be encouraged to take “strong drugs” that would open his mind to illegal and immoral acts.

Drugs were used in this manner by Charles Manson to shape the members of his Family, prior to the murders he induced them to commit. Drugs were used in a similar way by Aleister Crowley to weaken the resistance of his followers to sexual acts considered sinful or perverse by society as a whole. Crowley used drugs to aid in destroying his own sense of conventional morality — although he needed little enough help in this effort.

Sexual perversion would play a crucial role in the working of the Black Book. Sex has a powerful hold over most human beings. By inducing its reader to break his sexual taboos, even the strongest taboos among them, the book would addict the reader to such sexual acts, since normal sex seems tame by comparison. When the sexual taboos are broken, it is easier to break other taboos, such as the one against murder.

One of the texts that exists in the real world, and which comes nearest to being a genuine Black Book, is the 18th century work 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade. This book is a catalogue of all the sexual perversions of mankind, arranged in an intensifying level of severity. De Sade was guided in his ordering of the perversions by his own sexual desire over the course of his life. When a perversion ceased to arouse him, he moved on to a stronger perversion, and in this way the catalogue of human depravity was graded from mild to unspeakably vile.

De Sade was a very clever man. He arranged his detailed descriptions of his sexual perversions so that in between each set was a moral diatribe designed to weaken some scruple or moral principle in his reader. Thus, he first sexually aroused his reader, then taught a lesson mocking virtue and faith. In this way he established a conditioned reflex similar to that of Ivan Pavlov’s famous salivating dog, which salivated at the ringing of a bell, because it had been trained to associate the sound of the bell with food. De Sade trained his readers to associate sexual pleasure with mockery and indifference to accepted moral standards. His intentional purpose was to deprave the sexual appetites of his readers and to use that depravity to turn them away from religion.

The final perversions in The 120 Days of Sodom are all descriptions of sexual pleasure derived from torturing, mutilating and slowly murdering innocent victims. This is the final state De Sade hoped and intended his reader to achieve — the state of morals, or lack of morals, that he himself had attained after a long life of debauchery and crime.

The central ritual of the Black Book would also be one of violation, mutilation, and murder. This would be its Great Rite, so to speak, the final and absolute confirmation in evil that is the underlying purpose of the Black Book, its very reason to exist, in comparison with which all its promises of power and wealth, all its teachings of practical magic, are insignificant. The true Black Book is first and last a book of damnation — the damnation of the self, and the spreading of damnation among others by lies and evil acts.

We see an allusion to this Great Rite of damnation in the mythology of the child sacrifice at the witches’ sabbat, where gathered witches were supposed by their Catholic inquisitors, and by the demonologists who wrote about witchcraft, to have sacrificed a baby in order to drink its blood and to harvest its fat for their flying ointments. The French novelist of the 19th century, Joris-Karl Huysmans, described a somewhat similar scene in the climax of his novel Là-Bas (usually translated into English as Down There), which details the descent of a curious man into the depraved practices of Satanists.

As the Devil is the spirit of lies, the promises of the book are all lies, but by the time the reader discovers this to be so, he is already damned in a very real sense — cut off from normal human feelings and normal social interaction by his perversions and crimes. His perverse desires act as an addiction holding him down and preventing the arousal of spiritual feelings or impulses. By his graded initiation into evil, the voice of his good angel is rendered mute to his ears.

As you can see, were the true Black Book to exist, it would be a very wicked text indeed. It is perhaps just as well that it exists only in fable, or at most, only in various detached fragments scattered far and wide, each of them possessing a limited power to do evil. Let us hope it always remains so, and that no individual possessed of sufficient creative ability, and having open communications with the spirit world, ever decided to bring this myth of the true Black Book of the Devil into our world.

©2009 by Donald Tyson
Edited by Sheta Kaey

Donald Tyson is the author of Sexual Alchemy: Magical Intercourse with Spirits, Familiar Spirits, and Soul Flight: Astral Projection and the Magical Universe, among other works. You can visit his website here.

Luciferian Illumination

Luciferian Illumination

I used to term myself a Luciferian on top of the various other titles that could apply to me, such as magician, mystic, Hermetic, Rosicrucian, etc. The history behind my adoption of the title will be told shortly, but first I wish to establish that I no longer consider myself to be a Luciferian. The reasons will also be explained shortly. I have recently gone through what might be called a crisis of faith regarding my Luciferianism and have come to some powerful conclusions, which will be the main subject of this essay.

Years ago, I began to very seriously explore the ideas and practices of chaos magic, at first as a supplement to my more Hermetic and Kabbalistic magical training, but later as a replacement thereof. As part of my experiments, I adopted a somewhat sinister approach to magic and especially enjoyed demonology. I admit that my primary motivation in exploring these particular aspects of the occult were founded in simple lack of maturity. I believe now that I did not even understand the material I was working with; I was very much alone in the dark without a lantern. At the time I did not care. I arrogantly believed that my pseudo-nihilism and disrespect for all things “light” was the right way to go. Everybody who respected the light was deluded, but those of us who not only acknowledged but reveled in the darkness were as enlightened as anybody could truly be.

After several years of messing with chaos magic, I became disillusioned with it. While I still stand by the basic techniques as a great method of training the will, I cannot any longer condone the childish philosophy (or, as chaos magicians like to term it, the “metaparadigm”) behind it which is itself somewhat of a contradictory and weak attempt at transcendental nihilism. I returned, slowly at first, and then all at once, to Hermetics, Kabbalah, alchemy, and related subjects. I did not do so without bringing plenty of philosophical souvenirs back home.

I continued to call myself a Luciferian and maintained a mild fascination for all things sinister, though I now looked through the darkness and toward the Light. The culmination of the process, and what I so far believe to be its crescendo, was quite recent but has its roots almost exactly one year ago as of this writing (November 2006).

Last year I was working on my first book, The Four Powers (Megalithica Books, an imprint of Immanion Press, Staffordshire, England). I have always had ambitions of being a writer of one sort or another, though definitely more ambition than talent. To curb my self-doubt and ensure at least moderate success I decided to employ a bit of demonic magic. I planned it out, got everything prepared according to the instructions of King Solomon Grimorium Verum or the True Grimoire and, on October 31st 2005, performed a full diabolical Pact operation in which I made an agreement in writing (on virgin goat skin, no less) with Lucifer himself. The details of the Pact are irrelevant, except to say that I agreed to write a book concerning a Luciferian approach to illumination (that is, mysticism and magical self-improvement) using a particular grimoire as the book’s practical foundation. This book was to serve as my payment for services rendered which, of course, involved getting at least one book successfully published.

In the intervening year, I began to do a lot of serious self-purification. I began an intensive daily ritual routine of performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram, the Middle Pillar Exercise, the Circulation of the Body of Light, the canticle of Light from the Golden Dawn Neophyte ceremony, the Adoration to the Lord of the Universe, followed by yet another LBRP — and all this upon waking up. Just prior to sleep, I would perform the Rose Cross Ritual. I followed this routine more or less for several months, at which time I made the grand discovery of Franz Bardon. I still thank my lucky stars, and my friends Taylor Ellwood and Frater Griff for guiding me to Bardon’s work. I have since been quite seriously and intensely involved in the practice of Franz Bardon’s first book, Initiation into Hermetics (available in a new translation from Merkur Publishing).

This entire intensive period of magico-mysticism led me to a great deal of self-discovery. Self-discovery, of course, led me to the realization of many facets of myself which I do not much like. Self-love is important, even vital, but so is a dedication to self-improvement. Quite nearly one year after the Pact was made, I found myself regretting it deeply. It may sound superstitious to some readers, but I found myself in a very serious fear for the health of my spirit and soul. I felt deceived and dirty, as if making that Pact were an irrevocable selling of myself. Lucifer truly became the Devil in my mind, and I felt wretched for having given so much of myself for so very little. Less than a day after I became aware of these feelings within, I destroyed all of my Luciferian paraphernalia and hacked the Pact and all of the attendant sigils and seals into small pieces and kept them in a small bag until Sunday evening when I burnt them in my fireplace and prayed intensely to the archangel Michael. You see, not only was Michael the one said to have defeated the Devil at the time of his Fall, but I had also a long time ago read a Kabbalistic legend (I cannot remember where or I would cite it) stating that at the Creation of Adam, Michael had knelt before the Throne of God in Heaven and pledged himself to stand by even the worst mortal as long as he or she had even the tiniest spark of goodness left. That Pact had become more than a rash and greedy act, more than a symbol — it had become the very physical embodiment of all of my iniquities, mistakes, and flaws. I asked Michael to be with me, to stand at my right hand, and to fight back the shades and demons long enough for me to clarify and fortify myself. I cannot cite a more successful operation than this, for Michael was with me for the time I needed him. For his faith in me I can never thank him enough. Even with Michael by my side, I was nonetheless terrified. I had read many times and in many places that there was no worse companion than a cheated demon. How could I expect to break a Pact with the great Emperor Lucifer without being severely punished for such a transgression against his devilish and unfathomable will?

Ever since I first began to study Hermetics and Rosicrucianism, I had an intuition that there were important and deep mysteries in Christianity. I still maintain that the mainstream sects and branches of religion which go by the title of Christian do not, in their vast majority, approach the real meaning behind the teachings which they claim as their own. Especially exemplified in that seemingly out of place and obviously esoteric book of Ezekiel and the book so arrogantly discounted (or fanatically taken literally) called the Revelation or Apocalypse, there are mysteries in the Bible which common Christians and Jews do not even begin to suspect. I am not a biblical scholar, however, and could not even begin to put together a lucid or knowledgeable argument concerning the meanings of the recondite symbols and signs given in those books. My lack of biblical lore will not stop me from composing a little apocalypse of my own.

Bits and pieces of information, legends and myths, theories and the wildest of hypotheses have continually come my way since that night when I burned the Pact, that night which I am sure I will always remember as a turning point in my magical career. Study, chance findings, and personal intuition have each done their part. Whether I have made this all up out of random scattered pieces or if it is truly a relevant magical allegory I do not know, but I present it nonetheless for it constitutes the closest thing I have to a conclusion of the present story.

I used to maintain that Lucifer and Christ were the same person, a being of spiritual effulgence who incarnated in order to bring to us an enlightened doctrine compatible with all the greatest of mystical systems. I believed that this being was like the Light shining in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not, but that it was only in enveloping ourselves in darkness that we could come to appreciate it. Now I see things quite differently.

Lucifer and Christ are as brothers, dual and opposite but both quite necessary. Christ is like the gentle North Star, guiding us through long nights toward our inevitable destination. Lucifer is like the blazing comet, seeming to shoot into our view from nowhere, burning brightly as it points us toward a momentary but important waypoint, then disappearing back into the ether. Christ is the faithful Son who does the bidding of His Divine Parents without question, not out of fear but out of good will toward His Parents and to we little children. He is in a sense the universal and ideal Older Brother, protective and gently guiding but willing at times to teach a harsh lesson or two. Lucifer has disobeyed just as our mythical ancestors but in a more dramatic way. Lucifer is the older brother even of Christ, created first amongst the angels. Lucifer’s rebellion was one not of hatred but of love, for without allowing Himself to Fall, free will would not have been available for the rest of creation. Lucifer will maintain His loving rebellion until such time as free will has become a universal constant uniting all consciousness in one pervasive liberty. He has sacrificed His own place in Heaven to grant each one of us the ability to make our own, while Christ has given up His to open the way before us.

There is a Hell, just as sure as there is an Earth, and if you were to find yourself there I assure you that there would be no escape from the eternity of torment awaiting you there. The Gates of Hell will not open until that final Revelation when the enlightened shall be gathered in joy and the ignorant shall be gathered in trembling fear. When the trumpets of the angels call forth the return of Christ, so too shall Lucifer appear and they together will throw open the Gates of Hell, nothing but severity showing upon their faces. Yet their eyes sparkle with a light which will be read at first by many as sadism, for how can the eyes of divine beings sparkle and shine at the prospect of eternal torment? Soon all will be made clear, however, and the twinkle in their Holy Eyes will be shared as one joke amongst us, for as the Gates swing open there will be no torrent of sulfurous fire nor waves of rotting flesh washing over us in hopes of consuming our own living tissue. Instead we will see behind those wide open gates… a gaping emptiness, a void awaiting its fill but receiving none, for Hell was, is, and ever shall be empty. Each one of us, in the fullness of time, shall find our salvation each in our own way, and we shall all be assumed into the Kingdom of Heaven. Hellfire awaits no man, woman, or child no matter how sinful they may have been or may be still, for all are given the limitless and eternal Grace of God by default, by the very fact of our existence! Hell is not there as a warning or punishment for mortal souls but as a grand reminder before the eyes of the Gods and Angels that if Hell were to find itself occupied by even one lone mortal it would be Their immense failure. As sure as effects have causes, and causes produce effects (though not always in the expected order), we are each responsible for our own mistakes. The Gods and Angels set over us, and those Ascended Masters who have come before us, are in charge of our guidance and redemption. While we must seek to right our own wrongs and prevent our own mistakes, it is the duty of the Gods and Angels to make certain that we are given every opportunity to do so. Let there be no mistake that God’s Justice is severe, but so too is Its Mercy infinite.

And so, having set out to abandon a Pact, I have ended up fulfilling it in spirit, if not in letter. Every current which we set up must run its course, and as magicians we must understand this principle intensely and intimately. Every opportunity is given us for our personal development and evolution. It is up to us merely to make the most of them.

©2006 Nicholas Graham. Edited by Sheta Kaey

Nicholas Graham is the author of The Four Powers. You can read his blog here.

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