The most important thing I have learned about magick and working with entities is that respect and boundaries go a long way. I have briefly mentioned this in a previous article, but feel it needs to be addressed again.
For those working with entities, or the energy of archetypes, there can be many pitfalls and falling outs with other beings due to misunderstanding. Most miscommunication can be prevented through research of proper correspondences. I suggest mythology, history, and old grimoires compared to the New Age and modern authors after Aleister Crowley and Kenneth Grant. Many of the modern correspondences have either been white washed, or even twisted with “new” and “modern” interpretations that have nothing to do with the being, or their energy signature.
For example, the Greek goddess Athena; She is seen today as a correspondence to empower women, especially in the arena of justice. Her original mythology actually states She sides with Her father, Zeus, on justice related matters. Zeus generally sides with males. So, what does this mean to a woman asking Athena for justice in a court case against a male (including divorce, rape, and murder)? It means the possibility of Athena siding with the male, and him winning. Especially if the male is military, because that is where Her bias lies.
However, I feel the most arrogant, and biggest fallacy, a practitioner can commit is the idea that they are more powerful than any entity. I have seen great misfortune come from hubris and pride. I have seen practitioners contract rare illnesses, have loss of libido and orgasms, physical misfortunes like broken bones, loss of property, have loved ones begin to die off, and series of events that have turned some people insane. These are forces of nature with a conscious that we are working with, not play things. This is why, even though we all start out somewhere, dabbling is not recommended.
These are some basics that will help you with your practices more smoothly.
Show Respect. I cannot emphasize this enough. Many beings/archetypes, though they operate in their true fashion, will sometimes allow wiggle room if you are respectful. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t stand your ground, or that you have to bow to every entity, it means you treat them as you would a guest, an elder, or a teacher. Don’t bargain down, don’t curse them, don’t try to capture or punish them, etc. Showing deference and respect goes a very long way with smooth communications and working with entities.
Set Boundaries. Boundaries are very important, too. You may want to work with an entity, but you don’t want to be pulled into shenanigans, or treated like a slave. Respect works both ways, and a clear way to do this is to know yourself, then set boundaries. Know what you are willing to trade, or do, before making deals (you should have an offering regardless of whether the entity helps you are or not – this is payment for their time and energy). Also, if the entity is rude or overbearing, you have a right to be polite and firm, and let them know they are being disrespectful. Let the entity know you expect the same respect you have given them. If an entity is still abusive, dismiss them and don’t work with them. Remember to be polite, because word does get around (as above, so below – gossip works both ways), and that means that there may be some refusal to work with you, or that an entity/deity may exact punishment for your behavior.
Research, Research, Research. Knowing correspondences can keep you out of a lot of trouble. I will write more, with examples, in another article. Know this, the older the mythology, the more that type of personality, from years of energy put into their cultural thought form, will reflect in the entity/deity. For example, some people see Hekate as a protector, but loving. For those that work with her, and have read the mythologies, loving is not an accurate description for her – dark, heavy, even frightening are the feelings conjured. Most goddesses, and even gods, have been whitewashed as loving. If you instead think of every deity and entity as their own force of nature – wild and unpredictable – you have a good start in understanding their behaviors. A being can only operate as dictated from the core of its True Nature.
Know Thyself. This is extremely important. Your True Self also dictates your nature and how you act. This, along with your life experiences and biological functions, make up who you are and what you will tolerate. If you have been raped or abused, do not call on entities and deities that have a habit of doing this, especially if it is a trigger for you. If you know you gossip, have hurt people, or actively seek revenge, don’t call on deities to help with “karma”, until you’ve changed your own. You may not like the payment and backlash. Self examination and feed back from friends with integrity is a great way to accomplish this. However, you will need to grow a thick skin for honest and constructive feedback, or you may erroneously view it as an attack on your character. Instead, think of it as a consideration of how you behave towards people, and their perceptions of your actions.
Communication. This is a great skill to learn, not just for magickal practices, but social situations. I would suggest learning about body language, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and psychology. You will find that you can avoid miscommunication and even establish strong relationships by learning these skills. Plus, networking on this plane, or the next, is a great way to facilitate goals and even fulfill emotional desires (which is a human biological need).
Learn Another Language. This can be important and very helpful, as people from different cultures think very differently than our own culture. One way to experience this is through language. As language conveys thoughts, ideas, and emotions, it establishes a connection between two people. For an example of how language effects thinking and cultural values, let’s look at the word “love”. In some languages “love” is actually more than one word, each word describing specific kinds of love. Because the word is not all encompassing, it allows us to see that love is perceived very differently. There are also words in other languages, that we have no word for in English, that convey very specific and intricate ideas and emotions. Entities and deities work the same way. They do not feel, or communicate, the same as we do. Working with them has opened up new ways of feeling and thinking for myself, and others. Physically making an effort to learn a language and culture opens a practitioner up for new experiences, and the ability to establish a connection with those that are not similar to themselves.
Work With Your Guides. You will learn more through your guides about protocol, laws, what entities/deities to trust and work with, and much more, than you will find in any book. Your guides have your best interests in mind, and will help you any way they can. Try practicing some of the exercises from the article, “Spirit Guides, Part 2: Communication”. https://arachniasweb.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/spirits-guides-part-2-communication/
Intuition. This can be tricky at first, because of bias. However, when your intuition is ‘spot on’ this can help you navigate through trouble areas in your spiritual practices, and when unexpected situations pop up during ritual. Again, know yourself, and realize that sometimes if your answer is too easy, or too good to be true, it may be desire and ego, not true intuition. Intuition, when honed, is a very powerful and useful tool under your magick belt.
Later in this series I will write more specific ways to enhance your communications and relationships with entities and deities. These basics are a great start. Practice them every day, not just during ritual, but also with other people. You will find that life goes smoother, and manifestation is much easier, when you have the respect and help of others.