Today's #witchcraftfriday is a followup on last week's session, where I talked about magical posses. I'll attempt to be brief, but I tend to be somewhat verbose with these sorts of things.
We start below the ground - our chthonic contacts.
Below the earth lie many spirits - gnomes and dwarves, the violently dead, and serpentine/draconic entities (who may or may not give a hoot about you). These spirits typically fall into one of two categories: either they are quick and violently hungry (perfect for morality-breaking rites, as with the violent dead) or slow and leaden (excellent for raising power in ritual work).
Approach these spirits with respect and caution, especially with the hungry dead. While many an older grimoire has spells utilizing their services for quick ends, the fact remains that they are like time bombs waiting to go off at the slightest provocation.
Spirits with authority over the dead (such as Hekate, St. Michael, etc.) can lend you their strength and wisdom in these dealings - it is recommended to work with them before going downward.
Also, cleanse often. You'll need it.
Next are terrestial/elemental spirits - those of the air, the sea, the land, and the fire. These are excellent for interacting with specific elemental phenomena (temperatures, wind gusts, storms, etc.) and can do a lot of work for you on the street-level side of things. Drawing a little money from work, or cooling a hot summer day with a breeze - but it doesn't stop there.
These spirits can also make introductions on your behalf to other spirits, networking for your benefit in your local area. Plus they can also (with the right offerings and rites) aid you in meeting their respective courts, which is a Big Deal when you're a magician. Just remember to be polite.
Spirits of common things and phenomena also fall under this category, such as spirits of crossroads, local buildings, trees, and so forth.
Next, we have the sublunar/goetic spirits - not quite high enough on the level of planets/divinities, but not low enough that they have no sense of identity on a large scale. You'll find here the Solomonic Goetia, the Four Cardinal Kings, the spirits of the True Grimoire, and others.
Trafficking with the Goetics is like working with the mafia - be careful, keep an eye out, and word your wishes precisely. Once you're in, you're in, and there's no going back.
The infamous "I conjured a spirit, asked for money, had my house burn down, and got the money in my insurance" was due to a goetic spirit: Bune.
A quick note before we go higher: you'll notice that my definitions are heavily based in ceremonial magic. It's the system that's worked best for me for classifying spirits, but don't let that stop you! There are spirits that can fall outside of this classification system (I see you, djinn), so don't take it as the be-all and end-all.
Back to the thread.
Next up are the planetary spirits: you can find the 7 planetary archangels here, as well as their accompanying intelligences and spirits. You'll also find some of the planetary-aligned angels here, such as Elubatel (reputed to be the sun-aligned archangel of perfection).
Each planet has its own portfolio and affects quite a variety of things, so think of these as middle-management friends (compared to the street- and city-level spirits we were talking about earlier).
So if you want to make traffic this holiday season easier for you, you can work with Mercury to ease things up. Need to lighten the mood at a party? Venus, among others (or the Moon, if you're so inclined). Trying to keep tempers dialed back at that reunion? Saturn, or you can try Mars (although expect to vent it later).
The possibilities are quite varied and endless.
Above that are the spirits we call gods, goddesses and divinities. You know them, you love (or hate) them, I don't need to tell you all that much about them.
One particular note: while there are many, many divinities out there, the ones that are known to work well with magicians are those such as Hekate, Hermes/Mercury, Thoth, and so forth. As with all things, research and respect are your go-to actions in this regard.
So how do you form your magical posse? Well, I would suggest starting slow, working with a divinity at the top to help you along and initiate you into his/her/its mysteries. Once you've settled into a rhythm, say hi to the spirits of the world around you and leave small, ecologically responsible offerings such as incense, liquor, or so forth.
Keep notes and be respectful. Ask the spirits how you can call on them, what they like, and so forth.
A word of caution, though: once you get a rhythm down, your life will become weird. Sometimes you might wake up in the middle of the night with this incredible urge to do a rite. Sometimes you will have a name pop out at you multiple times over a day. Sometimes you will do a rite, and a voice will tell you in your mind "No, do this first."
That's just how the Work works out.
Open space time! If you have any questions to today's #witchcraftfriday, toot them away at me and I will try to answer them over the weekend (keep it relevant, folks).
If you found this useful in any way, please do boost and slap a sigil on my toots, it's much appreciated. Big shoutout to @anna for making these toot-a-thons possible!
A witchy space for most any face! Whether a witch or a witch-respecter, join the coven that is free of fash, TERFs, feds, and bigots