When you ask a spirit for help through ritual magick, does it know what’s best for you? This is a question we get asked a lot, and the answer gives you ways to adjust your magick for better results.
Some people believe that a spirit such as an archangel will always know what is best for your highest good and will give you that. Some think the angel may know but will give you what you asked for regardless. At the other end of the occult spectrum, some people believe the spirits take orders, being commanded and constrained, unable to add their intelligence, compassion or knowledge into the equation.
If you’ve read much of our work, you might think we belong to the latter camp, saying that angels, demons, genius spirits and everything else you might choose to work with, are duty-bound to respond to your requests. It’s your life, your magick, and you are the one in charge. There’s some truth to this, but that’s not the whole story, and we certainly don’t think of the spirits as automatons responding as though programmed. Although we use the word ‘command’ – because that sense of authority within you helps the angel sense your sincerity – we don’t think that spirits are slaves.
We believe that spirits of all kinds often know more than we do, and that is why it’s crucial for us to do a bit of self-reflection now and then, to keep everything aligned and running smoothly.
If you accept that the spirits are real, it’s quite a challenge to imagine what they are, how they exist, and whether they think, feel, have opinions and so on. This gets easier the more magick you do, and if you invoke or evoke the spirits. But many mysteries remain.
The genius spirits, which feature in books such as Magickal Cashbook, Magickal Protection, and Magickal Riches are a particularly inspiring example. They work fast and appear to be real, conscious spirits that respond to your needs. Although not well known outside limited occult circles, they are important spirits. But what exactly are they?
Ok, this paragraph is a brief history lesson about the genius spirits, boring to some, and inspiring to others. Skip it if you want. I get straight back to practical magick after this paragraph, so jump ahead if you need to. Right, so, some people assume that the name ‘genius’ refers to ‘genie’, which would mean these spirits are in fact the Jinn (or Djinn) of Arabian magick, which is not the case. The Jinn are a completely different class of spirits. To clarify, the genius spirits we talk about are described briefly in The Nuctemeron, attributed to Apollonius of Tyana from the 1st century AD. When Éliphas Lévi translated The Nuctemeron, he used the French word génie, probably because it’s similar to the Latin genius (which was used in Roman magick to describe personal spirits). The English translation of Lévi’s work by A. E. Waite went back to the Latin and called the spirits of The Nuctemeron ‘genius’. It’s a name that has stuck, based on a series of translations from Greek, to French (based on Latin), and finally to English. Of course, some people see the word ‘genius’, think it must mean Jinn, and panic because Jinn are infamously unruly. Hopefully, you can see the spirits of The Nuctemeron are something else altogether.
Working the magick
With these revelations, occultists knew a small amount about the genius spirits. Thankfully, you don’t need much to start an adventure. Knowing the names and the secret powers, and hearing stories passed down through the centuries, occultists began to work with the spirits and discovered how they worked, where they excelled and what it was like to work with them. They were easy to call, responded well, and felt different to any other kind of spirits.
The genius spirits are often observed to have some degree of personality and free will. This is because angelic power is being filtered through your will and personality when you contact a genius spirit. It’s almost as though the tension between who you are and who you want to be, creates this ‘personality’ that can be felt around genius spirits.
The full theory behind this may be described in a book (some time far in the future). For now, without explaining it all, I can say that after exhaustive attempts to evoke the genius spirits, we found that they were a conduit for angelic powers. Each genius spirit personifies the virtues of various angels, giving the spirit a specific nature. Nitika, for example, is a spirit who channels the power of several angels to assist with the chance attraction of financial fortune.
It became clear to us that each spirit conveys a range of angelic powers, combined in a unique way. This discovery made research into the genius spirits a hundred times easier. It was the gateway to practical magick.
This is how we learned so much about them; by knowing the source of their power. And if a genius spirit appears to have free will or a personality, this is at least in part because of the way you interpret the spirit when you make contact.
This immediately makes you wonder, is the spirit real, does it have thoughts, does it make decisions or have consciousness? If I contact Nitika, am I contacting the same Nitika as you? We think yes, it is the same spirit, but we all have our own style of connection, so the experience will vary.
We can never know precisely what spirits are or what they experience, but what matters for the magick to work is that you should think of each spirit as a living entity. Even if it is composed of aspects of angels and aspects of yourself, think of it as an individual spirit. This is why the spirits are named and called by that name; it works. And this is why magick with genius spirits can be extremely simple, needing a call and request and usually, not much more. Calling a genius spirit brings together your deep desires and the angelic powers bestowed upon that spirit.
If you read extensively about the genius spirits, most of their powers are described in obscure ways, and some of them sound weird, or even cruel and evil. The labeling of these powers is not literal but symbolic, thankfully. Angelic powers can be fierce, but you can be assured that the genius spirits are a class of spirits that are easy to work with, in most cases, and any powers that seem evil are something utterly different. They are gentle and virtuous, yet powerful. Allegory and symbolism have been used to hide the true powers of these spirits. This is the nature of occultism; important truths can only be discovered by those who go deeply into the work.
But what of other spirits, such as archangels, angels, and demons? One reason that rituals make use of your emotions, especially the emotions arrived at after sincere contemplation, is that emotions communicate a profound truth about yourself. From this starting point, the spirits can see much more than you can, and they take this into account. Your emotion is an expression of where you are, what you feel and where you want to be. Usually, you get what you ask for, even if you could have asked for something better. (This also applies to my book, Sigils of Power and Transformation, even though no spirits are called in that book, because the essential stream of magick I talk about responds to sincere feelings in the same way.) It’s fair to say that spirits know a lot, and they have some creative freedom in how they interpret and execute our requests. And this keeps the magick interesting, without the spirits making decisions for you.
Making it practical
From a practical point of view, this means you get the best results when you ask for something you want deep down, that aligns with what you want on the surface. If you use magick for endless loveless seduction when you’re really looking for love, the magick can falter. If you use magick for cash, year after year, when you’re actually looking for a career change or a creative outlet, magick can tighten up. This isn’t a moral warning but a practical one. Take the time to understand that magick is potential, true potential to shift the direction of your life or to enhance and secure what you already have.
Now it would be easy to misunderstand me here and think I’m saying you have to move on from ‘low’ material magick and seek a more spiritual path. Not one tiny bit. Make money, have fun! Seeking money, pleasure and all the joy you can get is a magickal path that always ends up being a spiritual unfolding one way or another anyway. So those warnings above are not about morals, but about getting stuck in a rut, and the danger of asking for the same things year after year, because you don’t realize you’ve changed.
When you do magick, you change (even if you don’t notice it), your needs change, your potential changes. Look at where you are, what you really want, who you are now, and pause, breathe and see where you want to head next. You may want less, more, something different or something bigger and brighter than you used to dream possible.
And then the question comes back: do the spirits know what you want? They do, but if you know as well, then the spirits can bring all their intelligence, wisdom and compassion to your magickal results.
– Adam Blackthorne