Angelology: The Study of Angels and Their Influence

The past few days I’ve been on quite an angel kick. Not because I work with them in magick (though I do) and not because any real particular event influenced me to consider it. No, for some strange reason I’ve been giving quite a bit of thought to the application of Angels to Magickal Theory and practice. Specifically I’ve been considering how a magician might utilize the structures of various angelic hierarchies as sort of map to link other correspondences to, whether in the mundane world or the celestial realms.

I suppose this has come to mind, been born really, out of a curious desire to understand how the Hebrews and other folks from late antiquity broke down the universe around them into understandable, bite-sized chunks. These chunks, being much easier to digest for the theologian and secular scholar alike, seem to me to represent a sort of proto-psychology.  

If we are to believe one of the more well known mystics of the past century, Aleister Crowley, at his word (and in this particular case I do) we understand that the art and science of working with spirits has to do directly with dealing with the human brain. As Uncle Al brought to our attention somewhat succinctly in his opening essay “The Initiated Interpretation of Ceremonial Magick” to the Ars Goetia, “The spirits of the Goetia are portions of the human brain.” (17) He goes on to explain how each aspect of ceremonial magick targets specific parts of the brain for alteration. Of course, the subject matter of the Ars Goetia is directly to do with the control and summoning of “demons” or other spirits oft considered “infernal” by occultists, religious folk, and theologians alike. Their title of infernal is undeserved but I will expand on why in the follow up piece to this one which I will link to upon completion.              

If we accept the presupposition that working with spirits, be they demons or angels, is causing us to access and fine-tune various parts of the human brain, then we are left with a somewhat startling revelation that the Hebrews, hermetic kabbalists and other such occultists have developed an incredibly comprehensive map of human psychology and brain physiology. Indeed it even seems they went so far as to develop a system of self-induced brain change via the examination and interaction with the Angelic forms and hierarchies. It is by exploring these hierarchies and their significance that we can come to an understanding about how these early magicians directed neuro-plasticity (self-induced brain change) hundreds, if not thousands, of years before the western world came to grips with the implications brought by the discoveries of modern psychology. Long before Freud, long before Jung, before neurophysiology and before our understanding of neuroplasticity, the ancients had, at least in part, figured it out.              

Of course, the Jews, Christians and Muslims certainly don’t have a monopoly on cosmological hierarchies. Scholars of Shamanism and various Indigenous practices, like Sandra Ingerman, Michael Harner and Mircea Eliade have done excellent work outlining shamanic cosmologies from around the world and the Eastern world has equally complex hierarchies of beings and entities. But for our purposes, and for the purposes for understanding these systems within their original context, we will limit our discussion to the angelology of the Occidental traditions. Correspondences to other traditions may be drawn at a later date at the reader’s liberty, but to do so prematurely may have much the same effect as trying to fit an oblong peg into a round hole. It looks like it could fit, but it may take a fair amount of brute force and academic dishonesty to fit the metaphorical peg into our hole of choice. Even within the occidental traditions, there is quite a lot of variation within the hierarchies, correspondences and symbol structures themselves.            

Just as a brief example, Henry Agrippa, legendary German occultist, legal scholar, soldier and unwitting revivalist of the Western Magickal tradition, relates the Angel Gabriel to the element water. That said, in the third section of the Book of Enoch (considered Canonical by the Eritrean Orthodox Church as well as the Ethiopian Orthodox Church) the element attributed to the Angel Gabriel is fire. Of course this has massive implications when dealing with this particular spirit and given the differences could, in the practice of working with Gabriel, manifest either as an incredible act of firey willpower or a splendid emotionally fulfilling repose. I point this out simply to remind any would be categorizer not to be too hasty when setting definitive correspondences about symbol structures, even within the bounds of contextual safety.              

Of course, this points to the notion that any sense of a possible “objective” categorization based on correspondence falls apart completely when one takes into consideration the regional and scriptural differences of any given region. The “truth” of these correspondences is, in this way, somewhat mutable. This is both a relief and somewhat frustrating for those who would prefer to have a clear, well-organized understanding of “how things are”. As always, we are reminded of the wise words of the founder of General Semantics, Alfred Korzybski that “the Map is Not the Territory”. No matter how good the map looks.              

More than a few psychologists and anthropologists have fallen into this trap as Jungian analyst Marie Louis Von Franz has so delightfully pointed out. “If you choose (anything) as a motif, then you can pile up comparative material forever, but you have completely lost your Archimedean standpoint from which to interpret it.” (10)  It is a danger that academics and hopeful armchair anthropologists of all stripes should be ever vigilant of. Nothing presented here is concrete.              

This is not to say that the ideas underlying Angelology do not exist. Of course willpower and emotions and other subjective experiences exist, if only experientially. I’m saying that the symbols that we use to represent these states seem to be quite flexible. This was perhaps one of the greatest gifts given to us by the founder of Depth Psychology Carl Jung. His approach to the interpretation of dreams relies heavily on the subjective experience of the patient. In this way, he isolated the individual’s symbol structure from the cultural symbol structure and could then better see the similarities and differences between the two. This approach gives weight to both the subjective experience of the symbol, but also the role of the larger ineffable archetypes of the collective unconscious that clothe themselves in the symbol structure of the individual to make themselves palatable for understanding by the patient. Whether the associations of water or fire clothe themselves in Gabriel or some other angel, the messenger is not the thing. The map is not the territory. It is only a model.                

So I digress. So given that these symbols are somewhat mutable for the individual experiencing them, the angelology of the western world gives a fantastic ground layer of symbols. The whole practice of categorizing angels provides a sort of filing cabinet to file psychological attributes in. If we think of each Angel like a “drawer” in our filing cabinet, the angelic hierarchies developed by Hebrew, Christian and Muslim scholars and theologians offer quite an impressive filing cabinet for correspondences, if not 100% comprehensive. Take for instance the Archangel Michael. Often thought of as the defender of Israel due to the inclusion of the vision in Daniel 10:13-21 where an angel directly denotes Michael as the protector of Israel, (curiously Israel coming from the Hebrew name Yisrael which translates to something like “God Wrestler” after it was bestowed on Jacob for literally wrestling an angel and having one of his limbs broken as a result). So the defender of Israel could be taken to mean the defender of he/she who deals/interacts with God.                

The Hygromanteia, the Greek Grimoire of spirits that some scholars think would later become the foundation for the Keys of Solomon, notes that Michael also has associations with the Sun and fire as a result. The Book of Enoch again lists Michael as one of the Sarim or Angel-Princes recording him as the “Chief Angel of the Lord” and denotes him as the deliverer of the faithful. So already, with those correspondences alone, we have an entity who is associated with the life-giving (and also, for desert dwellers, the occasionally oppressive and blinding) sun, a defender of the faith and protector of the faithful, a powerful chief angel of God and an association to the Southern Direction (if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) for that is the “direction” of the sun. Who doesn’t love a south facing window?                

So those correspondences are to do with Michael alone and are by no means exhaustive. The same methodology could be applied to any other angel or spirit. Thus invoking or evoking this being, we are dealing with the parts of our mind that recognize and access these correspondences and thus fine tuning those aspects within ourselves.            

This is where things get more interesting. Even though we are aware that the map is decidedly not the territory, we are still left with the task of at least trying to get a good enough map of things so that our inner (Via brain change) and outer (via capitalizing on that self-directed brain change in the physical world) work can be effective. Thankfully, and somewhat frustratingly again for those who prefer one “correct” approach, we are met with quite a few maps of how these beings, these parts, and functions of the brain, might be categorized.              

The first major undertaking of this task in a Christian context was by a Syrian monk sometime in the 4th or 5th century called Dionysius the Areopagite, though there are no records of what the author’s actual name was. His notion, put forth in De Coelesti Hierarchia (on the Celestial Hierarchy), was effectively that there were a series of hierarchies within the angelic ranks. These hierarchies are what medieval theologians would term “Angelic Choirs”. Dionysius work, later built upon by Thomas Aquinas in “Summa Theologiae”, developed a schema of three hierarchies, sometimes called spheres, of angels. Each Sphere then contained three orders, or Choirs, of angels. Though Dionysius and Aquinas affirmed the doctrine of the communion of saints, that is to say they accepted the notion that in paradise all souls are equal, and unified in their contemplation of the perfection of God; they put forth the notion that in the incarnated portion of existence there are different degrees of beings each with different powers in respect to communication and interaction with God as well as human life. We will briefly discuss each sphere and those incarnated orders of Angels contained within below.            

According to Dionysius, The first sphere consists of the Seraphim, the Cherubim, and the Thrones. These guys are thought of as the servants of God the Son incarnated.  

Seraphim, Singular “Seraph”, literally translates to “Burning ones”. Ranked highest in the hierarchy due to their closeness to God, the Seraphim are met by the prophet Isaiah in 6:1-7. They are described as having 6 wings, utilizing 2 to fly and utilizing the other four to block their faces and feet from God, lest they offend God by their feet (which were considered unclean at the time) and shield themselves by blocking their eyes from presumably be obliterated by the vision of the Almighty. They’ve clearly got an association with fire, purification and enlightenment as in the same part of Isaiah one of the Seraphim touches Isaiah’s lips with a lump of burning coal noting that, “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.”

Cherubim, unlike how we might imagine, are angels who have four faces that look out in different directions. Each face was different as there was one of a lion, one an eagle, one a man and one an ox, symbolically relating to the symbols of the four OG evangelists (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). Its curious to note as well that each face has elemental and astrological attributions. These guys have 4 wings each which are literally covered with eyes. They were tasked with guarding the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden as well as the throne of God as mentioned in Ezekiel 28:14-16. They are to be on the look out for transgressors. Their four faces, one for each direction, along with wings covered with eyes tends to help with that.  

Thrones, from the Greek thronos meaning “elders” also have lots of eyes. That’s a common theme among angels actually. As best I can tell the eye motif is something to do with the supremacy of foresight; a trait humans might consider attempting to emulate. Sometimes related to the Ophanim (literally meaning wheels) though this is not uncontested, they are often depicted as wheels within wheels with the outer rims of those wheels covered in eyeballs. The thrones are a bit hard to categorize as their relation to the Cherubim isn’t exactly clear. Ezekiel 10:17 suggests that “…The spirit of the living creatures [the Cherubim] was in the wheels.” Which muddles things somewhat in drawing distinctions. Somewhat more curiously, I’ve read in some places that other Christian theologians point to the 24 Elders in the Book of Revelation, who present prayers to God, as being members of the Thrones order.  Despite this, the Thrones are apparently utilized by the Cherubim to move the throne of God around, hence their seemingly wheel like appearance. The movers of God might be an appropriate notion. Whether moving God to respond to Prayers or just for whatever other reason the Cherubim might have for moving God about.          

The second sphere contains beings that work as sort of the governors of creation in that they guide and rule the spirits beneath them. They can be thought of sort of like the middle managers of the celestial bureaucracy. Contained within are the Dominions (sometimes called Lordships), Virtues (sometimes called Strongholds) and Powers (sometimes called Authorities).  

Dominions/Lordships, are presented as sort of the Bosses of all lower Angels. We might think of them like celestial generals. In De Coelesti Hierarchia their whole purpose is to regulate the duties of the angels below them, only very rarely, if ever, presenting themselves to humans. As a result not a whole lot is known about these folks.  

Virtues/Strongholds, are described by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in De Coelesti Hierarchia as, “The name of the holy Virtues signifies a certain powerful and unshakable virility welling forth into all their Godlike energies; not being weak and feeble for any reception of the divine Illuminations granted to it; mounting upwards in fullness of power to an assimilation with God; never falling away from the Divine Life through its own weakness, but ascending unwaveringly to the super essential Virtue which is the Source of virtue: fashioning itself, as far as it may, in virtue; perfectly turned towards the Source of virtue, and flowing forth providentially to those below it, abundantly filling them with virtue.”(171)        

They can be thought of as the workers of Miracles as they manifest in the world. To stick with the military metaphor, they receive direction from the dominions, and through their absurd virtuousness, they emanate those good vibes into the spheres and worlds below them. They can be thought of as the captains of the divine army. They deliver instructions to the next group the…  

Powers/Authorities. These guys basically hold everything together. Considered warrior angels by the Catholic church, they maintain order throughout the cosmos by fighting evil spirits who attempt to wreak chaos. Having received orders from the virtues, it’s their task to basically make sure everything keeps spinning smoothly on a universal scale. They might be thought of as the celestial infantry in the cosmic war. The important part is the “cosmic” part here, because they are not quite interacting with humans, rather they are frying larger fish. Thus we are brought to our third and last sphere, consisting of protectors and guides to human beings.  

Principalities/Rulers, are the angels specifically tasked with protecting groups of people, whether that be a nation, a state, an ethnic group, or an institution. Decidedly less cosmic than the previous classifications, these angels are specifically in charge of the realm of earth, though they do take orders from on high.  

Archangels, comes from the greek word “Archangelos” meaning something like chief messenger. Curiously, though only Archangel Michael is the only one mentioned by name in the New Testament, somehow along the way we wound up with a classification of 7 archangels.  This probably has to do with the Book of Tobit which is considered Deuterocanonical by Roman Catholics (meaning that it is accepted as canon by the Catholics but not by protestant denominations) where the angel Raphael notes that he was “one of seven who stand below the Lord”. The other 6 then it would be assumed qualify. Of course without clear indications of who these folks are, the symbols and their correspondences are very much up for grabs for the astute student.        

It should be mentioned that in the book of Enoch, as well as in the book of revelation, there is mention of the 7 spirits of God that hang out by the throne. But regardless of where this comes from, the Archangel class of beings is primarily responsible for being the chief messengers of God to humans. If we mash the 7 classical astrological planets with the 7 archangels, we have done a good job of understanding the aspects of each of these beings and how each one holds a “piece” of Gods message to deliver to us.  

Angels, last but not least, are the very most concerned with the individual affairs of men. Personal guardian angels generally fall into this category as well. These guys are basically the folks who’s job it is to listen to prayers, and ferry them up the line of command until they get to the top and then let us know what to do. We might think of them, in modern terms, as agents of our own intuition, and thus should be respected greatly.           

Ok, phew. You still with me? Good. So last thing, fairly quickly. There’s a book called the Sefer Raziel, which is basically an account of how this angel, Raziel, came to Adam and taught him the secrets of the cosmos. Aside from that being totally badass, (and incredibly patriarchal as he only does this when Adam blames Eve full tilt and apologizes for her, but that’s for another essay) it is incredibly useful when dealing with the core aspects of angelology. Raziel presents the 72 names of the angels as extracted from a part of exodus when read boustrophedonically (That is, read forwards for one name, then backwards for another), one for each angel, who run the cosmos. Given this, we each order of angel, within each sphere, consists of some of these angels and 72/9 comes out to 8.          

Thus, if one were so inclined, they could study each of these 72 angels, 8 angels in each choir, their relation to their station/order within the spheres, and their correspondences, religious, elemental, astrological and psychological, giving one a ridiculously large filing cabinet with subsections to pin attributions of the cosmos too. Such is the work of the angelologist. For more, check out Stephen Skinners “Complete Magicians Tables, 5th edition.”          

Works Referenced:
Skinners Complete Magicians Tables, 5th edition – Stephen Skinner
The Book of Enoch the Prophet – Enoch
The Goetia: The Lesser Key of Solomon the king – Translated by MacGregor Mathers with intro from Aleister Crowley
The Holy Bible – A Bunch of Folks
The Celestial Hierarchy – Dionysius the Areopagite
The Summa Theologica – St. Thomas Aquinas
The Interpretation of Fairy Tales – Marie Louis Von Franz  

Demonology: Or, How to Summon Demons in your Mom’s Basement

            I’ve been studying magick and witchcraft for more than a few years now, and just graduated with my BA in Religious Studies, so I tend to muck about in the spiritual realm with some frequency. As a not too surprising result of this, I tend to bump shoulders with folks on the darker parts of the astral plane more often than most. I figure if we’re going to talk about Angels from the context of magickal work, as I have in videos on Banishing, I would be remiss to leave out our friends from the infernal realms as well!  And so we find ourselves studying demons.
            It should be noted that demonology is not “The study of summoning demons in your moms basement.” What demonology is is simply the study of the aspects of demons. And just like in my past post, if we hold the thesis of Crowley as true, that spirits correspond to an act of the brain, demonology is really about studying ourselves and our psyches.
            If we look at A Greek-English Lexicon, originally published in 1843 and now on its ninth revised edition, we find that the word Demon actually comes from the Greek word first used by Plato, Daimon, which means something similar to “Fate” or Destiny”.[1] As time went on it got morphed to mean a “Deity” a “Genius,” or a “tutelary spirit”. One might think of a Daimon as one’s highest, truest potential. It’s easy to see how it could be used as a word for a God.
            This is far cry from the modern understanding of the word as something nefarious, evil, and out to destroy the light from the world. Never the less, the word evolved at the advent of Christianity to mean something more sinister.
            This actually probably transpired as a result of the Greek Bible. Take for instance Deuteronomy 32:17, a passage that talks about why the heathen Gods were inferior to the OG God Yahweh.  It reads, “They sacrificed to demons [the word used is δαιμονίοις referring to the definition of the demon as a “God”] and not to God- to gods in whom they did not known: new and newly made gods have come, in whom knew not their fathers.”[2]
            There are also about 74 other uses of the word throughout the New Testament, depending on what edition you’re reading.[3] Thus, all Gods who were not God, became demons (which is later sometimes translated as Devils, as in the King James Bible), and the word Daimon, which had meant spiritual teachers, ones higher genius, or Gods themselves, became restricted to some evil, lesser thing. But the advent of the word is certainly not the first time we interact with these sorts of entities considered evil.
            In fact, demons were causing mischief long before the advent of Christianity. There are tons of pre-Christian texts that detail incantations, spells and amulet construction recipes for warding off negative spirits. In Jewish folklore alone there is a pantheon of modern-day demon-like beings that run amok all the time. We can look to the well known Lilith the first wife of Adam, as well as her children the Lillin, who apparently kill babies in their cribs by draining their life force and doing other unpleasant things. The Dybbuk as well, who in traditional Jewish folklore are not technically demons in the sense that they are a God or from some plane other than our own; rather, they are the dislocated souls of the dead who as sinners cling to life afraid of the Truth. This being said, they can still stick to you (the word Dybbuk has been translated as, “stick” or”cling”) and possess your body which can result in strange and unpleasant experiences like bouts of hysteria, and symptoms that look like psychosis.[4]
            Curiously in the Babylonian Talmud noted in a section attributed to Abba Benjamin, “If the eye would be granted permission to see, no creature would be able to stand in the face of the demons that surround it.” There are tons of other references to demons, as well as references to potions and things one could take by which to see demons incarnate. So clearly the early Jewish folks put some serious stock into the proposition of Demons.[5]
            Weirdly though, there’s actually not a lot in the Old Testament or in the Babylonian Talmud about what to do with these beings or where they come from. There’s some mention about how God is actually in charge of all spirits in the book of Job (Job 1-2) so even if a “lying spirit” goes out and screws everything up, it’s only with divine consent, but other than that, things are surprisingly sparse.
            But I digress. The point I’m trying to make is that demons have been around in some form or another for quite a while, but demonology doesn’t get hot on the scene until we skip forward a few hundred years to the 15th and 16th centuries which heralded a massive occult revival based on Hellenistic pagan, cabbalistic Jewish and Christian thought. Folks like Marsilio Ficino and Cornelius Agrippa began to publish their works on magic throughout Europe and the study of demons. 300 or so years after Aquinas had published the Summa Theologiae and outlined how he understood the celestial hierarchy, so naturally, there had to come onto the scene a boatload of writings detailing the infernal hierarchies.
            The reason this took so long seems to be that this time facillitated a growth in the view that pagan Gods and spirits, as well as Christian demons, could impact the world outside of the purview of God. If, like previous Christian theologians had thoughtm it was all God’s creation, there was no room for such entities to be mucking about. But by the time Aquinas had introduced the concept of natural law and the study of it through natural philosophy, the doors had come open for a study of phenomena including, types of spiritual energy, levels of the soul and, drum roll please….The pagan Gods; the same Gods which the Christian theologians had hitherto denied the validity of.
            Hierarchies then became a really big thing.
            One of particular note in these infernal hierarchies is The Testament of Solomon, a pseudepigraphical work purportedly penned by King Solomon himself.[6] The text describes how there are these 72 demons but King Solomons incredible magical knowledge and a Holy ring he acquired by building a wicked awesome temple; employed the powers of the heavens to routinely route demons and force them into servitude to more holy aims. This text, and the later Keys of Solomon, which details how to summon and control those same spirits, heavily factored into the magical revival of the time and demons were back on the scene in a big way.[7] We’ll actually come back to this later, but I want to give a bit of a fuller history first.
            All the sudden, the 16th century was here and the world came alive with demons. Classification systems and other publications were found all throughout Europe
            Henry Cornelius Agrippa, arguably one of the most important folks in the occult revival, published his De occulta Philosophia in 1509, which detailed quite a few systems of demonic classification, but they would take too long to list here.
            G.F. Pico Published Examen Vaniotatis Doctrinae Gentium in 1573 where he attacked all forms of magic and superstition as demonic because they recalled the pagan Gods. The Gods that were not God. The demons. He particularly focuses on the works of the prisci theologia (The Ancient Theology), which asserted more less that one current could express itself in different forms, ie God could be expressing through other Gods. Pico disagreed vehemently and saw consorting with these energies the Prisca magi saw as expressions of God, as expressly evil.
            Peter Binsfelds published The Princes of Hell in 1589 and gave a classification of demonic hierarchies based on the 7 Deadly sins.
            King James published Daemonologie in 1591, (Bet you didn’t see that coming!) which actually classified demons not based on their rank or names but rather based on the method by which that particular demon caused you harm.[8]
            Sometime around 1609 The Book of Abramelin was published in German which gave extensive lists of spirits, Angels and Demons by means of merging Hellenistic thought with the Jewish cabala.
            In 1613, Sebastien Michaels, a vice-inquisitor in more than one witch trial, wrote a book, Admirable History in which he classifies demons on a Pseudo-Dionysian Hierarchy.[9] Remember Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite from my Angelology post? He’s back! Sorta, but this time, Demon edition! The Hierarchies are the same, the first including Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones with delightful names like Beelzebub being a prince of the Seraphim just beneath Lucifer, Berith being a prince of the Cherubim, and Astaroth being a prince of the Thrones.
            Then there’s the second hierarchy of the Powers, which included names like Carreau the tempter of men with a hardness of heart and Carnival, the tempter of men with shamelessness. The dominions have Rosier, who tempts you to be promiscuous, and others. Then there were folks like Belias, the prince of Virtues, who tempts men with arrogance.
            Then the last hierarchy of principalities, Archangels, and Angels with other just fantastic names and attributes I’ll leave to you to look up. (You can see why summoning these things in magickal practice to stand against them and understand how their functions play through the mind might be useful work.)
            And so on and so on. Magick began to fade out again in the 18th and 19th centuries as the enlightenment and rational, materialistic empiricism began to take its toll.
            It’s also important to take a second here to remember that at the time we’re talking about, from roughly 1500 to 1630 there was a serious case of witch phobia; similar to the witch hunts in the United States that would come a bit later, but much more widespread. It is estimated that some estimated 50,000 to 60,000 people were burned at the stake for practicing witchcraft.[10] To add even more fuel to the fire, this was all going down during the period of the counter-reformation right after the Christian Church had just shaken itself apart, roughly taking place from the Council of Trent in 1545 to the close of the Thirty Years war in 1648 as well as the multitude of other religious and territorial wars that had broken out all over Europe. The knight’s revolt in the Holy Roman Empire, the Nine years war the German peasant’s war, the Kildare rebellion, the Wars of Kappel in the Old Swiss Confederacy, the Tudors conquest of Ireland, and many, many others.
            So Europe is at war with itself. The great religions of the day were split and were also at war, magical writers were reviving the pagan Gods whom the Christians of all sects called Demons (Though Catholics were more likely to be Magi, as in the case of Agrippa and Giovanni Pico) and basically Europe is going through major changes.
            You’ve got to understand that all of this stuff is coming out of an atmosphere where a lot of these writers can’t even say what they’re talking about for fear of persecution by The Church or the state. I mean it was absolute madness what was going on.
            People like Ficcino and Pomponazzi (another mage at the time) saw this coming and were incredibly hesitant to include any mention of actual practicing magick with the aid angels or demons in their major publications based on the correct assumption that this would lead to a headache down the road, but others didn’t and were unfortunately killed or imprisoned as a result.[11]
            Ficcino is actually strange in this regard and in a way that is worth mentioning. He clearly believed in demons. Or at least he said he did, having professed to two exorcisms in his lifetime as well as writing lesser works about the entities of the celestial realms. Also expressed in his earlier writings are notions that Angels and Demons were planetary beings that could, in fact, impact the soul, even above the spirit. This was an affront to Catholic Orthodoxy. He clearly practiced a form of Neoplatonic Magick by invoking the power of the planets, and the magick he performed, as described by his disciple Diacetto was clearly demonic.[11]
            This attitude stands in contrast to his major published piece, De Triplici Vita during this time where he makes no mention of Angels or Demons, preferring to reference a sort of spiritus mundi, a world spirit, that flows through all things. He argued a fascinating notion that got around the censures of the time where he understood that the planets, the Gods they represented, and their associations could be called up to access that particular part of the spiritus mundi and affect the individuals spirit, (as distinct from the anima mundi, the world soul, and the soul of the individual, which he argued that nothing could control but the one God.) Of course, his detractors thought he was just doing demonic stuff anyway, that his explanation was just a veil for resurrecting old world pagan Theurgy and unifying with energies that were not of God, consorting with demons, etc. Maybe it was, maybe not.
            With all this fun stuff out of the way and understood as the genesis of modern Demonology, we fast-forward a few more centuries to now. Now, after the age of enlightenment, the understanding of the mind brought on by Freud and Jung and Wilson and Wilbur, the innovations of modern magickal practitioners, like Pete Carol, and those in the past 150 or so years, like Crowley and Mathers we are brought back to our understanding of correspondence and how each spirit, Daimon, Demon, or anything else, is reflected in a part of the brain. Thus, working with these spirits can facilitate functionality in that area of the brain. If we work with a demon who’s thing happens to be poetry, we’re going to stimulate that part of the brian. If we work with a demon who’s thing is lusty bedroom time, we’re going to work with that part of the brain. etc. I won’t rehash the whole idea here but if you want to jump back and read the first part of my angelology post to get an idea of what I’m on about.
           This, curiously enough, brings us back to The Testament of Solomon and as a result, the Keys of Solomon sometimes called the Legemeton. The section of import to us is entitled The Goetia.
            Translated into English for the first time by Mathers, founder of the Golden Dawn and Occult scholar, the text deals with the rituals and methods by which Demons may be summoned for particular workings. All in all there are 72 Demons, the number of which seems to be inspired as a reflection of the Sefer Raziels system of Angels.
            It’s worth mentioning that in Crowley’s introduction to the Key of Solomon, in the section, the initiated interpretation of ceremonial Magick, he notes,
“Our ceremonial Magick fines down, then, to a series of minute though of course empirical, physiological experiments, and whoso will carry them through intelligently need not fear the result. I have all the health, and treasure, and logic that I need; I have no time to waste. ‘There is a lion in the way.’ For me, these practices are useless; but for the benefit of others less fortunate I give them to the world…”
            What he’s saying, on a concrete level, that if you follow the rules, you’re just playing small games with your physiology and need not worry about becoming possessed by parts of the spiritus mundi or any Demon or creature or any other thing. But that’s if you follow the rules.  So if you want to start working with these archetypes, to understand what makes them tick, and by virtue what makes you tick, or just want to fully understand what you’re capable of, I highly advocate picking up a copy of The Goetia by M.M. and A.C. It’s one of the finest handbooks on the conjuration of Demons available and an invaluable tool for the armchair magician and the practitioner alike. if you want to stay consistent between Angels and Demons, you could mash the demons of the Goetia with the Angels of the Sefer Raziel and reveal an ENORMOUS mental map of what the human being is capable of experiencing.
            An alternative option is to study the work of Sebastian Michaels and how it relates to the Celestial Hierarchy of Pseudo-Dyonisis and the Summa Theologiae of Aquinas.
            Or you could go light candles and worship Satan in your mom’s basement. Up to you.
Works Referenced:

[2] Deut 32:17
[7] Crowley, Aleister. The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King. Boleskin, Foyers, Inverness: Society for the Propagation of Religious Truth, 1904.
[8] King James. Daemonologie. A Critical Edition. In Modern English. 2016. pp. 59–90.
[11]Walker, D.P. Spiritual & Demonic Magic from Ficino to Campanella. University Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003.

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