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.

The Dark Half of the Year

Traditionally, the dark half of the year begins at or around Samhain and ends at or around Beltane. These are the two points where “the veil between the worlds” is at its thinnest and spirits can be reached. People have argued for years that this veil has been shredded or at least exceptionally porous lately, more so than it has been in the past.

I don’t know about any of that, but I do know that this year, I’ve been highly sensitive to the porousness of the physical world. It started, to me, somewhere two weeks before Samhain. I know that I was gradually being consumed by thoughts of ghosts and spirits. And then, three days before Halloween, I saw a black dog running across the street, in direct line of sight from where I work. I’m unsure if this was a sign, but it felt like enough of a thing for me to take notice.

I’m not sure what it meant.

Then there’s the persistent quest this year for something to Yule and Christmas that isn’t the usual cheery nonsense. Something deeper and scarier. This is the realm of Krampus, Berchta/Perchta, the Wild Hunt (in all of its forms), and, believe it or not, A Christmas Carol. This is the world of blizzards and bitter cold and the struggle for survival and the impulse to huddle together with loved ones (note: the key phrase is “loved ones”, and there are people I am biologically close to that I do not love). Part of me craves that atmosphere, as though the blizzard will contain the numinous.

Based on all the folklore, I think I’m on the right track with that one.