Thursday, July 2, 2015

Heaven's Mirror: Terrifying and Beautiful

The title of this blog is one of my favorite expressions. Not sure where it came from, but I love using it to describe the relationship we have with a Lwa or an angelic or even a demon.

Angels are said to be so beautiful they are terrifying to look at. A physical manifestation of everything at its absolute pinnacle can be enough to drive one mad. I think it means that we cannot comprehend the visual of either, making us terrified of either angel or demon countenance. But I also  believe we are the mirror of heaven - we reflect the angels and demons as they do us. And if that is so, then yes, it is truly terrifying. Read the news of late, to see what I mean. ISIL destroying humanity's heritage; black churches being burnt to the ground; children being arrested for being kids. Heaven's reflection is pretty awful these days.

Of course, you can't swing a wand without hitting someone channeling Michael. Or writing for Michael. Or being Michael on odd days of even numbered months.  This whole walking with Angels thing is not cool at all -- especially if you actually knew what an angel was.  If you look at older works of religious art, you will see angels rendered as dreamy Victorian ladies (never men) in flowing gowns and large swan-like wings.  They drift over nightscapes, sometimes with cherubs in their arms or waft over wintery scenes trailing cascades of snowflakes and crystalline stars. Ick. You never see an angelic being rendered in reality - like say, Vin Diesel in Riddick for example. Now there's a real visual of an angel. A big, bad, brutal force that destroys everything in his path by simply being in the wrong place at the right time.

It says in the bible that angels are sent by G-d to regularly cleanse the world. Honest - dig this:
Psalms 78:49
He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels.
- See more at:
Psalms 78:49 -- "He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury, indignation and trouble, a band of destroying angels."  In Psalms no less. Angels arrive to take out Sodom and Gomorrah; they kill the first born male child of every Egyptian household; they destroy the Assyrian army in one night. You could say that the angels are the bad biker boys of heaven. They are given too much power by everyone, including G-d. They are all about destruction when they aren't trying to boink a human female they find comely. 

And they are angry about everything: they are angry they are not human; they are pissed off they are not gods; they hate not being regarded as bad like the demons; and to top it all off, people think they look like dainty schoolgirls.  Trust me on this one -- when the angels arrive you better run for the hills, because they are ready to knock heads, kick butts and take names for later beating sessions. Gustav Davidson, author of a Dictionary of Angels says quite simply never invoke an angel unless you are ready to be scare witless. I agree. I have a godson in Haiti who shared the story of angelic invocation that was performed in a secret sosyete outside of Port au Prince. "Cho! Anpil, anpil!"  he said - Extremely Hot! And he wasn't referring to the work, but the room temperature when the angelic being appeared briefly. I am not sure I would want to be in that place even for a second - I will refer you back to the story of Lot's wife (she was dehydrated into a pillar of salt by the mere presence of the angels...)

And what of the Demons, the Angels less fortunate brethren?
Psalms 78:49
He sent upon them His burning anger, Fury and indignation and trouble, A band of destroying angels.
- See more at: take down Sodom and Gomorrah with their mere presence. They destroy the Assyrian army. They kill male children in Egypt. They even tried to take down Jerusalem itself, but G-d had to come call them off for that one.And what about their poor counterparts, the demons?

Remember, the word "demon" was used interchangeably with angel for a long time in the old grimoires. Angels and demons were both considered otherworldly, and sometimes its hard to tell who is who in the old writing. Yeats often wrote fondly of his demon; my own lineage mother Dion Fortune wrote an entire book on her Demon Lover. Even my teacher Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki refers to her Indweller as her personal demon (and I know a thing or two about that as well, I might add...)

It seems to me that there is a fondness for the demon that is not shared with the angelic and for good reason. The demons live here with us. They get down into the muck and mire of this world, swim along in our wretched emotional currents and find solace in our misery.  The demons are like our own personal Emos - they've been so thoroughly marinated in our essences, they have evolved to become more human than they realize. Take the Goetia, for example. Many excellent magicians have been working the Goetic realms now for a couple decades. Folks like Stephanie Connolly, Lon Milo DuQuette, and Poke Runyon have written volumes about the demonic horde, making them feel more like misunderstood outsiders than hell raisers.However, they are still demons....

Lately, I have been overly involved with Gremory. She has proven to be a powerful ally and has done some amazing work for me, as well as a series of clients. Although she has come forward on her own, I am careful not to ask too much, engage her too often and always finish my deal, regardless of the outcome. I am currently working on a commission for a client that is a shrine for Gremory's spirit vessel.  I also made and consecrated the vessel a year ago.  Gremory brought the client a true love and they are expecting their first child.  So you can work with demons -- just carefully.

I think of demons as your biker brother. He's a Hells Angel (literally), and he make everyone nervous at Sunday dinners with his bad manners, excessive drinking and leering at the young girl cousins. But -- he will kick someone's butt if they look sideways at you or disrespect your mother.  You might not party with him on Friday nights, but you enjoy the occasional beer and chat now and then. Demons are like that - entities worth calling up for a purpose, but then putting away from you for a time.

I don't work with demons like Connolly does - no blood offerings or demonic weddings for me. Nor do I take the slightly psychological approach of Duquette. I do it the old fashioned way. I call them up with praise and song. I entertain them and we do our dance together, I ask them to work for me, make my offer of payment but then it's finished. Like the biker brother, I'll happily pay for the beer, but at the end of the night, we part ways in peace. Keeps the temple clean, my mind calm and the house peaceful.

As for Gremory, she's here for now. I found a statue of her that I love and I am going to paint it for her, in payment for something I've asked for. The shrine will be completed this weekend, and sent on its merry way to the client shortly. The client and his partner are naming their new arrival "Gremory."  Hey, we've all got a little bit of demon inside us. This time, its the real deal: a demonic lover that will be his to command now and forever. I wish them all the best - she's a beauty, but her camel can be pretty stinky.

"Midnight at the oasis,
Put your camel to bed..."

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