Saying Hello

Mastering Witchcraft includes a ritual that amounts to summoning Vassago for purposes of “particularly complex” divination. There were token warnings about Vassago’s power, but I didn’t remember those until rereading the passage for this post. I do, however, remember (before rereading) that this was petty and thinking, “Doesn’t somebody just summon this guy just to say hello?”

I wasn’t the only one who thought this way. This post I found then, and after some work found again, describes the author’s own experience with the conjuration in Huson’s book. It reads like an episode of A Haunting, crazy demons terrorizing family members and all. I think we can safely assume his continuation with grimoiric methods is borne of the ignorance of the young who don’t know any better, but gradually, as we all do, he did learn better.

Grimoire rituals treat demons like the enemy, because they are rooted in a Christian framework.

If we aren’t Christian, why do we need to follow those rituals? And if they work in terms of manifesting but not in terms of results, then isn’t it time for a change of approach?

He thought so. And I did, too.

Now, I won’t say I’m the kind of lunatic to randomly strike up polite dinner conversation with a confirmed demon, but I’m definitely on that spectrum. I struck up a conversation with Jack Frost, possibly part-time Old Man Winter, and it’s worked out quite well for me so far. I also attempted to talk to Jesse James in the past. That was… less fortunate for me, and I’m grateful for the spirits who were with me at the time. But, on the whole, unless I am deliberately claimed (as if by a God), then I prefer to open with a ‘hello’.

Better than coercion, and I wonder how many others think about that.

When in Rome…

I began this journey essentially clueless. I didn’t know any other gods but the major ones, and none of them were speaking to me in the way this previously unnamed goddess was. Was she Luna? Well, that was an OK place to start. For a long time I hovered around Scàthatch, but that didn’t make a hell of a lot of sense, either (and before I continue I don’t want to say that I had her confused for the way she appeared in young adult novels like the Nicolas Flamel series). I still kept searching, and gravitated back toward this figure as a sign that I was on the right track, but I still had no idea where I was supposed to be going.

And then, because I was on an unrelated never-ending quest to learn about magic (and, in fact, I still am), I found the answer. I found everything I had been looking for on page 213 of a little book called Mastering Witchcraft, by Paul Huson. (For reasons other than the fact that it helped me find Andred, I absolutely recommend this book to everyone who encounters this, and me online generally.)

I found this:

Photo on 11-23-16 at 12.24 PM

The Theban writing (in this case right to left) spells ‘Andred’, and this image matched everything I was looking for, and had seen and gathered over the course of time.

I searched the internet for references to her, and I found (among a number of different little tidbits whose validity is questionable), this account from Dio Cassius:

Let us, therefore, go against [the Romans], trusting boldly to good fortune. Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves.” When she [Boudica] had finished speaking, she employed a species of divination, letting a hare escape from the fold of her dress; and since it ran on what they considered the auspicious side, the whole multitude shouted with pleasure, and Boudica, raising her hand toward heaven, said: “I thank you, Andraste, and call upon you as woman speaking to woman … I beg you for victory and preservation of liberty.

From this we gather much of the basics of who Andred is: a goddess of victory whose name means “the unvanquished”, with associations with the hare and women, as well as the fight for oneself, for liberty or survival or both. In this way She stands with the underdogs, and does not always govern direct battle. If the battle is staying alive one day at a time, She will stand with you. If the battle is trying to escape, She will stand with you.

All other associations (and arguably the last of the ones listed above) are Unverified Personal Gnosis, and so I provide that disclaimer in the opening post of this blog. As I post my thoughts on Her (some previously posted on Tumblr), that must be borne in mind. The primary purpose is to be a source of (some) knowledge, as well as an e-Shrine to Andred, and maybe whomever happens upon this blog will make the same connection I did.