Fill In The Blanks
Previously posted by me on an occult message board. The current version below has been slightly edited.
With the concept of Egregores still floating about in my mind, I keep getting drawn back to a thread Animapurasit began on the Occult Studies group concerning “Traditional Vs. Non-Traditional Evocation”.
Now, the jury is still out on whether or not the “Entities” we work with are in fact real (free-thinking and outside of ourselves) or fictional (hallucinatory portions of our subconscious minds). However, let us, just for a moment, assume that they are in fact external stimuli.
Even in the old grimoires, demons (or other spiritual entities) are well known to have multiple forms. A stereotypical Demon from a Grimoire might be described as:
“The greate and mightie spirit Ablathamonax, who appeareth first as a mightie bull, but when questioned bye the exorciste, becometh a man withe sixe legs and the heade of a nighte raven. He is wise in the ways of floral arrangementes, and giveth powerful familiars… “
So the first thing we know about these spiritual entities is that they can easily change shape. One might note, in the standard edition of the Goetia, how the spirits as drawn by Crowley differed from the traditional descriptions (I mean, apart from the obvious growth in penis size).
Now, for a quick pseudo-non-sequitor .
Clifford Pickover, in his book Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves, as well as many before him, noted that there was a striking uniform similarity in the hallucinations of people who were under the influence of the drug DMT. Though many of the small details differed from person to person, certain things remained constant: Bizarre and complex feats of architecture (huge buildings, castles, complexes, etc.), “Alien” beings attempting to communicate (Elves, greys, etc.), Odd music, Mathematical Formulae, Time and space seeming “malleable”, Strange pictographic languages (runes/cuneiform/hieroglyphics), etc.
This has led many to speculate whether or not DMT is responsible for helping peoples’ brains perceive an actual dimension outside of our own. Also, since DMT is in fact naturally synthesized by the human body in small doses, some theoreticians have now dubbed it “the drug of religious experience”.
Taking a page from the DMT theories (and our aforementioned “External Spirit” assumption), it would not be difficult for us to reason that Demons, Angels, and spirits exist in dimensions outside of our own. This also might help to explain why their forms are never really “constant” (if seen at all).
Our brains are naturally resistant to any dimension outside of the 3rd dimension (the one that we can all agree, is the most “solid” of dimensions, at least as far as human perception is concerned). However, during the off-chance that we do, in fact, perceive an entity (or essence, energy signal, etc.) from another dimension, our brains are forced to do far more work than they are used to. Some of these entities are “felt” before they are seen, and then, when we finally do “see” them, we “fill in the blanks” where applicable.
Example 1: Sally the Seer is in a room with a spirit. She senses warmth, kindness, tenderness, and a slight touch of melancholy. When her brain finally allows her to “view” this spirit, she perceives a thin, lovely young woman in a flowing dress with tears in her eyes.
Example 2: Sally the Seer is in a room with an angel. She senses power, might, fury, and righteousness. When her brain finally allows her to “view” this angel, she perceives a radiant young warrior in shining golden armor, his hair a flame of fire, his eyes glowing bright gold, and he holds a war-spear limned with white light.
Example 3: Sally the Seer is in a room with a demon. She senses malice, chaos, entropy, and disgust. When her brain finally allows her to “view” this demon, she perceives a Hound-headed anthropoid figure with needle teeth, its front claws scraping the floor in front of it. Every time it speaks to her, flies drip from its slathering maw.
In actuality, none of the entities described by Sally the Seer look like that in the slightest. They are theoretically from different dimensions, and have forms truly incomprehensible to the human mind. However, since we humans don’t like the idea of something we cannot truly see, we “fill in the blanks” with images in our subconscious that best fit the “energies” that we sense at the time.
I have done a few tests with “seers”. Specifically, I have brought along two friends of mine (the aforementioned Sally Seer as well as my pal Vinny Visionary), who both seem to have a natural aptitude for perceiving normally invisible entities, to ghost hunting expeditions and the occasional ritual. I noted that when I “sensed” something, they were both able to “see” what I could “sense” — though their descriptions would always differ. Yet, the general “gist” of the spirit would be the same.
For example: Teth, Sally and Vinny are walking through a graveyard. Teth senses something “odd” on top of a nearby hill. He keeps his mouth shut, waiting for the others to say something. The other two eventually stop and point towards the hill. Sally describes what she sees as an evil-looking female child holding a wicked knife, with sickly green eyes and nasty, pointed teeth. Vinny says that he sees a skeletal-looking dog with glowing red eyes snarling at them. Whatever the case may be, Teth knows two important things: 1.) There’s a “spirit” on the hill. 2.) It ain’t friendly.
Now then, back to Evocation and Egregores. Lovecraftian Monsters have been noted to seem “just as real” by many serious magickal practitioners as the entities found in Grimoires like the Goetia. Why is that? I posed the point in the “Trad Vs. Non-Trad” thread:
“Lovecraftian Monsters are meant to scare the shit out of us. Not only are they supposed to be wholly strange, bizarre, and menacing, but they are supposed to trigger some primeval, guttural response of fear/wonder/ amazement somewhere deep in our psyche. I believe these “dark parts” of our collective subconscious, the fight/flight/ morbid curiosity areas that are almost always ready to take control of our conscious selves at any moment are what make the Ancient Ones (and similar Lovecraftian nasties) so real and almost tangible, and why they could very easily be evoked, invoked, etc.”
However, I forgot something very important in the genius of Lovecraft’s descriptions of his monsters, and that is their stark and blatant ambiguity. Everywhere in Lovecraft, one will find that he describes his entities, monsters and horrors as: “Horrible, Terrible, Eldritch, Dreadful, Blasphemous, Horrific, Indescribable” — and a host of other adjectives that really do not give us concrete descriptions whatsoever. No. The genius of Lovecraft’s writing was not his ability to describe things. Quite the contrary, it was his ability to choose specific “buzzwords” that caused immediate reactions to occur in our brains, thereby allowing the most frightening aspects of our subconscious to fill the void left by his ambiguous descriptions.
This, to me, is very similar to the sensing of “demonic” entities, and then one’s subconscious mind taking over in order to “fill in the blanks”, fleshing out the frightening details in order to “see” them.
In the case of Egregores one wishes to work with, all one truly needs to believe is that the actual “essence” of the egregore does in fact exist (on one plane of existence or another), and that through meditation and/or ritual, one can “tap into” that specific essence, as one’s mind fleshes out the details. The more said Egregore is worked with, the more the mind will “fill in the blanks” for the practitioner.
Perhaps before working with a specific Egregore, one should write down a list of “buzzwords” used to describe its essence, and see where one’s mind takes them.
© Anthony Teth, 2015