As this blog develops, it is likely that I will sometimes end an entry with “…and next week, make sure you read the next instalment of FoxGlove, which will be a recipe for some amazing cookies!”. Or something. But then what actually happens is I’m suddenly overcome by the urge to write about something entirely different (don’t worry, it isn’t cookies). I am working on a piece of writing about modern folklore, but it will a bit longer. In the meantime, I figured Fuck It, let’s get to something that every practitioner of the occult will have at least read about, so you know I mean business: Demons and the summoning thereof.
Since I intend FoxGlove to be an experiential record as much as an outlet for my knowledge and research, you’ll find me happy to share with you many of the rituals, engagements and contacts which have now become a regimen of my life. It took a while to come out of the broom closet, but I have been rewarded with my openness with support and a sharing of knowledge and ideas from the most inspirational people I have met in a long time. Obviously, there are some complete lunatics out there too, but all is well so far. So although I’m about to talk about a very personal experience, I remain convinced that this will find the right readers.
I want to begin by talking about the word ‘Demon’. If you’ll excuse the pun, it ‘conjures up’ all sorts of inaccurate imagery, which is the unfortunate result of fear, mistranslation and Hollywood movies. I generally loathe all three of those things. Although they are fun to learn from and laugh at, it can lead you down a dead end. Before I knew precisely what I was talking about, I was part of that conditioning too. Demons, in the sense that I’m referring to, are not evil minions of Satan – that’s a construct which has been used to frighten people for centuries, a method of keeping people stupid and scared, looking at each other in fearful paranoia of The Other, so that those in power can get on with their agendas uninterrupted. Today we have governments pointing at ‘mass immigration’; hundreds of years ago, we had religious leaders pointing at demons. Same shit, different toilet.
This is what I believe and what makes sense to me and as anybody worth listening to will tell you, those are and should be subject to revision. The Demons named in The Key of Solomon (more about that later) are avatars of energies, forces, elementals or spirits of a particular nature and you can tap into these properties. But the problem for me is that they have become the victims of mistranslation (deliberate or otherwise) and misinformation, so very early on, I realised that looking at books like The Lesser Key, although perhaps a good starting point, I was looking at the product of a dubious history, full of suppositions, embellishments and anachronisms. You can’t trust a newspaper written this morning, never mind something written in 14th Century. Maybe there’ll be a history lesson later, but I would urge people to question everything they read and put it to the test and only then consider it sacred.
What is undeniable and indeed sacred are the energies, forces or whatever handle you use, which are everywhere. Each named demon has its own characteristics and associations, so if I were feeling brave, I would go out on a limb and say that these ‘avatars’ are a way into those energies and one of many methods of direct experience with those forces. I’m writing retrospectively, as it was some time ago when I underwent this experience and, if I’m honest (which I always will be here), I still haven’t fully comprehended what happened.
I’ll save the theological debate for another time and I understand that perhaps the above conclusions, however vague, might contradict what some people believe and that’s fine, because that’s what we’re all here for. But I know two things for sure and I’ll put my name to them: Firstly, a pure and honest intent, clarity of purpose and an willingness to trust yourself is the key to progression in magic- but do your research and question everything. Secondly, I would advise against doing anything with the hope of harnessing all the Dark Powerz of Hades, because it probably won’t work. Or, worse, you’ll end up attracting something harmful. And there are harmful things out there; I’ve seen that for myself. When you work with magic, you basically paint a big extra-dimensional target on your head and it can be like opening Tinder in the middle of a bar brawl. You’re only going attract trouble if you’re in the wrong place.
So if you’re thinking of summing a demon for a vulgar display of power, or the execution of some vengeful agenda, you’re probably better off sending a nasty, but eloquently-worded email and then posting a really cool selfie. It’ll make you feel better and it won’t send you round the bend. What follows is not to be taken as words of encouragement or a cool example to follow; it’s simply what happened.
Having chosen who I was going to address, I set the room, attuned it the colour blue, filled the place with incense, appropriate materials and set candles. I remember the entire room being so filled with incense and candlelight that it was like looking through frosted, smoked glass.
With who and what already clear in my mind, I laid out in my thoughts precisely why. This is where clarity of intention comes in; I went into this only wanting one thing: protection. I knew that from now on, I was going to be delving into some very deep, exhilarating work in the future and while I found my feet, I wanted something there just to keep those harmful things away from me. So I went into a silent, deep, hour long meditation to calm myself and to centre my thoughts.
I did the ritual, with all the trimmings, which I’m going to deliberately skirt around now, because it is very long and if you so desire, you can easily find it yourself. I did it four or five times. The first thing I noticed was that two of the candles in front of me were flickering and waving. I checked the direction of my breathing to ensure I wasn’t disturbing them. They continued like that for a bit and then stopped. The next thing which happened, which will stay with me for a very long time, is that my head, neck and shoulders bent, bowed, suddenly, as if someone had given me a firm nudge downwards. It was like a small, polite bow, deliberate and slow. It felt like it came from within me somehow.
Those of you who meditate (and you should) might have experienced something when you’re tired, that you have a sort of ‘flop’, heading towards a micro nap. This wasn’t what I felt. The fact that I wasn’t tired at all, despite being at this for over two hours, makes what happened next all the more surprising. I had the overwhelming urge to go and lie on my bed. So I went, fully clothed and lay on my back and shut my eyes.
The dream went like this. A venue had been hired, or perhaps created. It consisted of several rooms, all decorated differently. The one I was in was pure white, with rectangular blocks and plinths, like an art gallery awaiting its curator. Gather in this room, was a mixture of what I can only describe as Pharaohs, kings, queens, priests from different time periods, a patchwork of royal history. We were all crammed into this room and I felt like I was awaiting a tour – there was a sense of something impending, a palpable sense of immediacy hanging in the air. Everybody was engrossed in conversation in different sized groups, some people flitting from group to group, seemingly greeting old friends. The atmosphere was jovial but boisterous. I noticed that many of these people were armed. there were swords, spears, bows and arrows. None of the weapons were loaded, drawn or being handled in a threatening manner. There was an underlying sensation of restrained animosity, as if we were on some neutral ground and that this was a time of respect.
It was then that I noticed the man who was standing outside of it all. He was standing, slumped against something, with a huge archer’s bow slung over his shoulder and a strange, asymmetrical hat which seemed to be made out of fur or a pelt. He was very attractive and, erm, not wearing a great deal else apart from his fancy hat. And he was looking at me with a smirk – not an expression of derision or scorn. If I had to give his expression a name, I would characterise it as “Hey, I’ve been waiting for you and I’ll be waiting here until you’re ready.” That’s what I got from him.
Suddenly, we were all ushered into another room and roles were assigned. There was a short man handing out pieces of paper denoting what each person was to do and even though he gave one to me, I frustratingly cannot recall what any of them were. There were other people there who don’t seem to fit in. They were very young, looked comparatively ‘clean’ and ‘innocent’ next to the rest of this unruly bunch. It was as if they had been permitted to observe and I realised that this is perhaps what I had been allowed too.
There was a period of fuzziness as with any dream and I found myself in another room, walking through what I can only describe as the dregs of a buffet or the remains of a party. There was an elderly woman sitting at a table, staring at me angrily and muttering about this all being ‘some sort of cult’. She had the most vile energy coming off her and although I didn’t appreciate what she’d said, I pretended to smile, nod and not be bothered by her. I wandered off and I saw myself leave through a frosted glass door, annoyingly unable to see what I looked like.
I came round at 4:10am
You know, some dreams are just dreams. I don’t think you should lose any sleep over all of them, so to speak. But then I’ve been paying attention to my dreams since I was a young boy, learning to interpret them and discovering what they might mean and I have learned when some dreams are much more than random, archetypal imagery. In two decades of listening to my dreams, I have not had one like this before. I immediately wrote down what I think I saw and what I was being given. Perhaps some parts will be obvious to you, some would take a deeper understanding of what I was going through at the time. That will come later in further posts.
I began this entry with what have learned and where my opinions currently lie on summoning spirits. It is enough to end this with a brief summary of where it left me. Namely, it was not what I was expecting, but then this was very early on in my journey and, who knows, an older FoxGlove may look back upon this and be grateful that I didn’t snag myself on anything harmful. However, what’s done is done and that I had deliberately not been expecting anything might be perhaps why I was open to this what-I-call vision and why I consider the unexpected results truly enriching. I have long since worked out who and what the smirking dude with the hat and bow was and if he is indeed waiting for me, then the time will inevitably come when I find myself there again.
Oh and if you’re wondering whether I received the protection I asked for, the answer is yes. If you’re wondering who I asked, as you will notice I deliberately left out, then that’s between me and the universe.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back next week with a recipe for my mum’s fabulous Yorkshire Pudding. Perhaps.