In August 2018, magicians are challenged to “summon a spirit or a set of spirits for 30 days to transform an aspect of your life.” This sounds good, except for one thing. I’m a Daemonolater, and Daemonolaters don’t summon or command spirits to appear. We prefer to invoke or invite spirits instead. Invocation is the subject of the October Domagick challenge too, which means the writer sees a difference between the words too. I recognize, however, that their difference might not be the same as mine.
After all, my own definition of ‘invocation’ has changed as I have progressed through my occult studies. When I first started, I believed that I evoked spirits when I asked them to appear before me. I invoked spirits when I channeled or drew their energies into me. Here the differentiation between the two words wasn’t about free will, but about where the spirit would manifest.
So, where does that leave me for August? I’m the kind of person who likes to plan ahead but also wants to start the challenge on the first of the month. That’s less than two weeks away, which means I either have to make plans based on possibly faulty assumptions or go against type and wait until the last minute to plan out my work and hope that this month’s video will add some clarity. Ugh! Given how I feel about summoning, I’m inclined to skip out altogether except that the Domagick challenges help keep my magickal muscles in shape.
A friend recently asked me how I manage to do magick every day. I told them that I’ve worked up to it over the years, sort of like people who go to the gym every day. Even so, I often have to wrangle up the time or energy to do magick, especially when life takes a busy turn. When life gets too chaotic, the “static” can even make spirit hard to hear. If this happens, my daily practices can feel like simply going through the motions—like I have to wait it out until my signal from spirit comes through clear and strong again. These periods have occasionally lasted months, but I know to keep plugging along anyways. If I don’t, my magickal muscles will get flabby.
The same thing would happen if those avid exercisers quit going to the gym everyday. Their bodies would likewise lose definition. Now, I’m no athlete, but I’ve heard of “leg day.” I assume this means they rotate through their body to keep from getting bored and to make sure none of it gets over-worked. While I pretty much stick to yoga and walking for my physical exercise, I try to switch up my magickal routine frequently, and the Domagick challenge is a big part of that.
Luckily, I think I may have found a work-around for August that will allow me to participate. Thanks to my recent sigil and rune work, I started rereading my copy of Kvedulf’s Gundarsson’s Teutonic Magic and came across a section about creating a magickal personal. He states, “The use of the magical persona charges the rite with an added certainty and intensity, as can be seen in several runestones in which the vitki has identified her/himself by a name which is fitting to the purpose of the inscription, thus filling the enchantment with the totality of the person performing the runes and such godly aspect as she/he has taken upon him/herself.”
As I read it, this aligns with the Daemonolatry practice of merging with a Daemon and empathically entwining our energy with theirs (see Meditation Exercise Four, Page 213, Complete Book of Daemonolatry). Indeed, the exercise Gundarsson outlineswould work fairly well in that capacity, except that it the vitki or magician is intended to merge with a magickal persona they create rather than a spirit known from lore. In other words, they are to use psychological magick to call forth the most confident aspects of their personalities.
Cool! That’s a form of summoning I can get behind!
Realistically, people do this sort of this in their day-to-day life all the time. When we go to work, we put on our “work hats,” calling up specific parts of our personalities that function best in that environment. When we go home, we put on the hats that go best with whatever we do after work, cycling through the headgear as need. We may not even notice our changes in hats/behavior, but ask yourself: are you the same way around your boss that you are around your friends? One form of psychological magick can involve recognizing what “hats” you already have in your possession, creating more hats as needed, and learning to switch between them as necessary to get what you want. Exactly how you do perform these feats is the magick itself.
My Plan for Persona / Ipseity Magic:
- Design the persona and purpose – sketching, journaling
- Invoke the persona – the same method every time, for a consistent “on switch”
- Meditate and merge – butt-on-cushion, moving meditation, et cetera
- The act of my will – private
- Separate from persona – the same method every time, for a consistent “off switch”
- Thank the persona and say goodbye – the same method every time, for consistent “off switch”
Obviously, there are some big holes here. I have yet to design my “on” and “off” switches, and the eventual technique I use could involve everything from some form of ornamental dress to shamanic drumming. I just don’t know. The switches chosen will depend largely on the persona and its purpose, and I am not 100% yet clear on those. Gundarsson’s suggested magickal persona, Brightshield the Valkyrie, seems geared towards warding and blessing rituals but could be “slipped on” for a wide range of applications. I will think on this model in the days ahead.