One of my close relatives has anorexia, and in one of my rites, she “told” me she was not going to live a terribly long life and asked me to take care of her young adult children. They are big now, and don’t seem to need their mother, but really they do. We do need our parents, until quite late in life. My father was once one of the most prominent astrologers in a major American city, and fell apart so badly when his father died that he could not continue. The fatal weakness of astrologers, of course, is being the bearer of bad tidings. Terminally ill clients kept asking him when they were going to die. He stopped returning calls, moved us to a skanky neighborhood, and drank nonstop for five years.
So when this news of my cousin’s expected departure from the world came about, being a necromancer, I began to be visited by her old ones the urgent business of keeping her in the game. They are mostly fake Muslims and therefore Amerindian–Amerindians can adopt any guise in this magic, it is one of their most endearing traits, but the costume indicates a special kind of sponsorship among the fey folk–and she was born into a family of mostly Christians and Jews. This was not an easy life, and she should have been arranged more effectively for it, but since there is no birth wizarding to speak of in the Western world, they had to make the best of things. She is brilliant in everything she does, and I wanted to back a fresh start at midlife. One of her old ones, a wonderful “North African” woman, kept demanding cows for her. If only she had a cow, she would be all right.
It was around this time that one of my Deep Self old gods from Sweden, a land god associated with cattle, came in, and informed me that he had always worked with my own being–the others of my Deep Self–in farming, and insisted that I buy a farm. As I have said before, the quest to heal the gods and find my way out of this horrible muddle called the Western Mystery Tradition has caused me to lose much money on crazy ventures, as is common in ceremonial magic, which is why most people just watch TV. I love my gods, and want them to be comfortable, so I spent an entire week on the internet shopping for cows in the event that I would someday be able to buy the god a farm and work with the land spirits in the old way. The old ones of Sweden and Denmark are all about farms. Even the Big Cheese of the Norse, a being who goes by the moniker The Viking Warrior, has assured me that he was mostly a farm person and now a minor demigod, so it is all right for a great wizard to muck around with farm stuff. My cousin let me know that she was going to come and live with me on this farm if I ever got it, and that she was going to make sure we had a lot of cows.
I am mostly trying to keep sane.
I had only an ancillary interest in cows. I had decided that their poop was too runny and that I would rather have goats, since their poop is tiny little balls and perfectly dry and they can’t kick me to death. I am also a writer, so I am not that into either cows or goats, but goats are the less objectionable of the two. I know this, because I grew up with goats, and goats are good people. But my “Muslim” cousin worked with the “djinn” through her cows–pets are the only way some people can be of nature spirits anymore–so they were her solution to the problem of not having the right genies in your life, which my cousin clearly does not.
But I was mostly interested in horses.
The first time I evoked the great god Odin into a gold disc of Solomon, he conferred upon me the gift of Catholicism and the gift of a horse, which I of course had to buy, because Odin didn’t telekinetically produce a horse in this evocation, but he does favor horses. Odin is a very commanding presence, and very interesting, and it is natural for his wizards to be all about him, so I was very focused on the horse aspect of this projected farm. I was reacquainting myself with horses, at least in my mind, having known them in my youth, and preparing to ride in the style to which I was never accustomed, English, the only style that really interests me, because I like the costume and the power. (I should be sensible and put on cowboy boots, but who can be sensible about OOOOOOOdin?)
But my cousin kept insisting that I send her a cow. I realized that she needed nutrition, so I investigated all kinds of ways of magically “sending” a cow. I finally decided on a Latin American folk Catholic technique called the amparo, where you place someone’s picture and some herbs between two opposite-facing images of a Saint, in this case, a cow.
I first selected a photo of Hindu holy cow, because that is what we were actually intending, but that got nixed by the old ones for being Not Quite Right.
During this time the old ones of the Norse informed me that our great Goddess, who doesn’t usually work with cows, had arranged the magical form of a cow for this very purpose. They kept sending it up the Middle Pillar for the rite of saving my cousin from starving herself to death. They are very supportive of my efforts to reconstruct-ish Bronze Age Norse shamanism, and we are basically figuring out what works in each given situation.
Most things only work in weird ways that cause me to be tired, except for learning Old Norse, which causes me to have MONEY.
In theory, everyone was all about this cow-sending magic, but in practice, it beat the daylights out of me. The target’s energy didn’t like it, and my magical advisor the Zydeco Healer advised against further pursuit of this particular spell. A person’s energy has to accept the magic, he maintained, and hers didn’t. All of those fake Muslims in her evidently didn’t like the idea of elevating a cow to the status of a saint. (She is partly Catholic and got a taste of her own medicine with all this weird crazy money tricks.)
Wait till they get a load of this:
Now an old god is a corporate being composed associated with about eight to ten beings of the Deep Self of a particular animal who has evolved to full illumination and has brought somewhere around twenty to forty humans into the organization working in a particular place in a particular culture/mythology and often with a mythology that contains some aspects of a human form and some of animal forms, or has the liberal use of shapeshifting. THIS DEPENDS ON THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREA AND THE AMERINDIAN NATION WHOSE PRACTICES INFORM IT. NOW WE ARE HOME AND THINGS ARE WEALTHY AND ALSO FULL OF RESPONSIBILITY. IF WE ARE PULLING TOGETHER A “NEW” GOD IN AN OLD FORM, WE CAN DO IT LIKE THIS OR MAYBE OTHER THINGS. A god is focused on forming the energy being of humans in such a way that they will survive the death of the body and be able to evolve in the underworld in full, elegant, intelligent ways relying on the animals to guide the system, because animals are better at death than humans. Any underworld system where the humans call the shots is mechanistic and able to be corrupted by meanies. The wizards formed in the old systems are better–and mostly kept out of the game.
Naturally the good guys have mostly lost control of the situation. The underworld is in a very bad way. Back to the information:
A smaller god is two or three members of the Deep Self of an illuminated animal that work as a team to accomplish one particular aim with humans. Most of the time, when humans work religion in a lackadaisical or occasional manner, the spirit being who tends to them will be a human ghost or energy from their own Deep Self. However, if a person works a magic with a great deal of persistence and care, a god will show up and help. Local gods are extremely effective at targeted things and do not have the many entanglements of gods from long ago and far away. Thus practical magic performed with their assistance is extremely effective and wise.
Gods with animals in them are routinely formed but mostly with dogs and cats who are kind but not as apt as the wider variety we used to have. But we are grateful for them.
One of the great–and probably unintentional–things about contemporary Hermetics is the assumption of Egyptian godforms, whose therianthropic aspect enables the gods and the old ones to work with us as they would have shamans. It’s too bad we don’t do more of it. Shapeshifting has to be practiced relentlessly, and then it turns you into a being who can solve problems in the underworld, which most humans can’t. And you become a minor celebrity.
In even the most ancient human cave paintings there is evidence of therianthropic beings, so it has been part of human culture for some time, but it wasn’t until I performed Solomonic magic mixed with a whole lot of other stuff that I got clear about the fact that the gods are absolutely what the Greeks and others said they were: animal-human-great ones. I knew from scholarship that the Greek gods were shamanic; in some places, they were worshipped as one aspect, in other places another–a giant mess, as far as I could tell. Zeus courted his girlfriends sometimes as a swan, sometimes a golden rain, sometimes an ant, and the child demigod of his liaisons would have various qualities accordingly.
It was at this point that one of the old ones associated with Odin informed me that though he was originally a peacock and therefore Muslim. The Muslims traded extensively with Scandinavia and took home slaves who incarnated into their worlds and became Muslim. I have lots of them. My grandfather’s Muslim powers seem to call the shots in his work with me. He doesn’t even like to think of Sweden. As part of his general excellence and commitment to the evolution of mankind, this soul had also incarnated into the form of a snake. This gives him–actually mostly her–a lot of powers that are very useful for a sorcerer of Mesoamerican ancestry like me with all of those PLUMED SERPENTS INVOLVED. It also makes him a great candidate to play the role of our Deep Self god Odin, who shapeshifted at various times into the form of the eagle and the serpent, whose two favored animals were ravens, who rode an eight-legged horse, and was the All-Father of the Norse. The peacock god said he had investigated this god form in his two-hundred-year isolation in the underworld, but it was not until I performed the Abramelin, signed my name in blood in a death pact with the demons, and obeyed Paimon’s injunction to throw away every object that I owned because they were interfering with the magic of Solomon, that this wonderful family was able to gather many of their beings in a posse, remember to be a god, and walk to New Jersey.
This is why there are not more Solomonic magicians. It is very . . . expensive.
On his way to New Jersey, Odin jumped from person to person who knew of Odin at some point in their Deep existence. Of these there are many, because Odin was great and because there are many Germans in the world, and there was much work of Odin in the ancestors of these, and many greatnesses. This god learned of Odin as they traversed the land, and planned their strategy for being of the return of this enormous power in the final battle of RAGNAROK which they hope to win this time. And to work as a quasi-secretary in a normal day job.
For a peacock to incarnate into a serpent was not easy. Unlike humans, who are unable to focus on a new one for more than five minutes, animals focus on the new one continuously for its entire life span, which is why they illuminate so gloriously and why when we encounter a bona fide GOD we know they are, indeed, the GREAT ONES and we are mush by comparison. They are also involved in human incarnations and are part of our own Deep Self. They are usually called Orishas in this era, but apt to sneak off if a more DANGEROUS bell is rung.
So here I was faced with the old ones of an ill person asking for her cow genies back and wondering how I might accomplish this feat. In the end, I did what any sensible person would do, and turned to India, which still works with all of these gadgets and asked what to do. Lord Ganesh offered to assist, and I petitioned him. It was an interesting working, but the Muslims didn’t jibe with the elephant godform. It asked them to reconsider their afterlife functionality in ways they weren’t ready for, and kind of bounced off their energy form in jarring ways, while seducing them into possibly being Hinduized (smile!) and while I love to educate and heal the dead and learn stuff, I was mostly interested in getting my cousin to eat a cheese sandwich.
Her old ones don’t want me to do it again, but they do want me to thank Lord Ganesh for his help and maybe ask him for money instead of a cow god. They suggested petitioning the Angel Gabriel, who having wings is PART BIRD, and is very popular in Islam for revealing the Quran to the Prophet, who can be petitioned in Golden Dawn in the West and by velas in the style of folk Christianity, which always works for me, being Mexican. So here we go back to Grandma’s rosary and the prayers of the NORMAL, something the ancestors are always on about.
I have come to respect the ideas of the old ones of my targets, and to grasp that the magic will inevitably have a trial and error quality associated with it. We didn’t know at the outset how to jerry-rig the Golden Dawn to function beneficially with fairies in an operative style that would work as well as brujeria, since its Enochian magic is very funny to the fey folk WHO ARE SO LARGE, and since the magic isn’t really designed to make you into a wizard–one of the dirty secrets of the Golden Dawn–just to immortalize you in the magic of lodges–no mean shakes!
I’m not knocking lodge magic–my highly decorated lodge buddies in the underworld are suggesting that I try to get the average lodge person to do ten minutes of work a week. I do ten hours. I just wish there were an escape hatch in lodge magic for people like me. There isn’t–there is only joining more and more lodges, which I have done and which I see abundant evidence of in the lodge community, people covered in badges from head to toe. Court magic is elegant, Odin insists; he has twenty years imprisoned in its ecstasies in the Enochian underworld and highly recommends AN ESCAPE HATCH FOR GODS, TOO.
It is hinted that if I send someone a cow forty times, their gods will finally remember that they were once part-cow themselves, loving beings who are sensible and very good at “making” humans in death and they won’t form everyone into a Catholic monk bot with oaths of poverty, chastity, and obedience that follow the Deep Self for hundreds of years and crap out all the fun.