Give for what you get.

No, friends, I’m not dead, nor have I hung up my robes.  Metaphorically speaking, I mean; I hang them up after every ritual, and even on occasion get them dry-cleaned.  But no, I’m still here.  I haven’t been writing much on magic because I haven’t been doing much with magic, and from what I gather, that seems to be a fairly common thing these past few months with a lot of the magicians I know.  Whether it’s a matter of collective and communal burnout or fatigue or just something in the stars affecting large swathes of occultists is beyond me, but I do feel bad all the same.  I feel disrespectful towards my spirits, towards my practices and traditions, and towards my teachers that I’ve been doing so little this year.  I am making an effort, however, to get back up and running; baby steps first, though, and slow work is in the foreseeable future for the time being.

That said, I haven’t been completely inactive.

A while back, about two months tops (time doesn’t really register between awake-time and sleep-time during the summer), a new job opening was posted in my office.  I applied, since it’s an increase of pay and rank, and I figured I had nothing to lose.  A few weeks later, I interviewed with three managers, one of them being my current manager; I had thought before that it was just an opening in the current office and branch where I currently work, but it turns out that it was similar openings in three different offices handling completely different programs.  Last week, I was offered the job I applied for, and I accepted it earlier this week.  Thing was, the job I got wasn’t the one I expected; I expected it to be in my branch, but the one I got was in a different branch.  Funnily enough, it’s the other branch and manager that interviewed me five years ago when I got my current job, and I turned her down then in favor of my current manager.

I asked my spirits to help out along this whole thing, and I reminded myself of a very important aspect in working with spirits directly.  I’m used to simply calling on favors after making regular offerings and building a relationship, but not all spirits (especially ones you only introduced to your household earlier this year) operate on that kind of practice.  I called on some of my spirits to open the ways and help me out through this job application process, and they did, right up through the time I got the job offer.  However, because I got a job offer from a source I didn’t expect, I held off on accepting it until I ascertained whether it was really the one they had helped with.  To that end, I had three divination readings done: one directly consulting the spirits who were helping, one with geomancy on whether I should take the job, and one done by a friend.

The first reading I did was with the spirits, and the interchange went something like this:

  • Should I take the job offer I was extended?  “Nope.”
  • …uh…just to make sure I got that clear, should I not take the job offer? “That’s correct.”
  • …this is the job you guys helped me out with in the application and interview, right? “Yup!”
  • And this is the job I asked for?  “Mmhm!”
  • And I should not take the job offer?  “You got it.”
  • …okay, then.  Anything else I should be aware of?  “Nah, you got it.”

Admittedly, I didn’t feel like the reading was complete when I closed it after that final question, and there was an air of…sarcasm, an aura of a smirking child hiding something politely over the place where I consulted the spirit.  Needless to say, I was confused, since my gut and my intellect were both telling me to take the job.  Additionally, my geomancy reading strongly and favorably confirmed that I should take the job; to check that reading, I did an inverse reading (“should I not take the job offer”) which was thoroughly denied with geomancy.  And, add to it all, the reading my friend graciously performed for me again verified that I should take the job I was extended.

So here I was, faced with conflicting and confusing information.  Happily, I wasn’t embarrassed as a diviner when it came to these answers, since the readings were all completely correct and valid.  It wasn’t a problem with the divination, but with how I approached the spirits themselves; it was another friend who pointed out to me that, yes, this particular kind of spirit can be very sarcastic when he replies; there was definitely more to the story than I was guessing at.  Worse, I realized that throughout the whole process of this, I asked for help but never extended anything in return for getting the spirit’s help.

Herp derp.  That’d’ve been my issue right there: you can’t get something for nothing, after all.  Regular offerings are good because the spirits and gods deserve them as spirits and gods, but a bit of rum or wine here and there doesn’t always translate to payment when it comes to real work being done.  For some spirits, that method works, but not so with this one.  I went back and consulted the spirit again, and confirmed that, yeah, they gave me all this help that I asked for, but weren’t about to give me the all-clear until I had promised at least something in return.  I checked out what they wanted (nothing much, nothing unexpected, but all worth it in the end), confirmed that they wanted it in exchange for this, and that in doing so they gave me the all-clear I was after and much more favorably than before.  No lingering smirks in the air this time, but broad smiles.  So I went ahead, finally accepted the offer, made a beeline for the local store, and got exactly what the spirits asked for.  Everybody’s content, especially me.

So what’s the moral of the story here?  Simple: you can’t get something for nothing.  Building up a relationship is one thing, and if you get to the point with a spirit where you can call on them for favors without promising or vowing anything, awesome!  That’s the exception to the rule, however, and the rule is that for everything you ask, you make a payment.  If the spirit doesn’t come through, don’t pay them, and figure out what happened along the way; if the spirit comes through, you should, too, and fulfill your end of the bargain.  Even if it’s something innocuous, if you want the spirits’ help, you give them something in return for it.  It could be just for their mere pleasure, or it could be to sustain them throughout the work, but something should be given regardless.  If a car can’t drive on an empty tank, or if a man can’t work on an empty wallet, then a spirit can’t work on an empty plate, either.

In Gratiam Sancto Cypriano Antiochae!

In thanks to Saint Cyprian of Antioch, my patron and protector, my mentor and master, my teacher and tutor and tata! The good Saint has enabled me by his powerful intercession to survive the trials of my life, protecting me from the damaging winds of trial and tribulation, and assisting me in all the ways I seek of him through the grace of God almighty who lives and reigns, world without end, and to whom all glory and honor is ultimately due.

Holy Saint Cyprian of Antioch: mage, martyr, and mystic; theurge, thaumaturge, and theophoros; saint, sorcerer, and sage; pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.

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Occult Services and Commissions are Available!

It’s been a ways in coming, but I’ve finally decided to start offering ebooks, occult services, and commissions through the Digital Ambler.  Yes, you read that right: I’m now offering divination readings, ritual services, consultations, and commissions for crafts and designs, which you can pay for through PayPal over on the new Services page.  Some things are once-off payments, like divination readings or consultations, which can be paid for immediately.  Other things, such as tool crafting or design work, go by the hour and will start after we talk about needs, requirements, and the like; an invoice will be sent once the work is complete.  If you have any questions about these polyphanic services, feel free to email me (polyphanes at gmail) and I’ll try to advise as necessary.  Eventually, I’ll write more ebooks or coursework for the interested practitioner, but I’ll keep that in reserve for now; for now, I’ve written my first ebook “De Grammatomanteia”, a thorough treatment of Greek grammatomancy from a Hermetic perspective involving astrology, qabbalah, and numerology, available for $10 as a PDF.

You also may have noticed, dear reader, that you can now donate to the Digital Ambler through PayPal using the button on the right.  It’s completely up to you whether or how much you donate, or whether you take me up on my services and offerings, but even small amounts help loads (I suggest a simple $5).  If you donate or buy something off my Amazon wishlist, I promise to put in a good word for you and give you a shoutout on my blog for being so awesome and generous.

I write a lot for this blog because I want to, and because it helps get me to do the Work and get my Work out into the world.  I think it’s a good thing to show how my styles of magic and magical living can be done for others, not to mention showcase my own thoughts and rants.  Information, after all, wants to flow and be free.  Still, writing this blog takes up a nontrivial amount of time and effort; the Work is still work that requires resources and research; balancing my occult and mystical Work and studies with my federal and engineering work and errands is no easy task.  With a little help from my generous readers through commissions  consultations, or donations, I could get more Work done, get better tools for better crafting, procure more books and supplies to expand my project scopes, host my own blog independently, move to a better and quieter apartment, and the like.   Every little bit counts, and I hope to make those little bits count for a lot through my Work.

By the by, for you dear readers who signed up for a ritual experiment through Facebook or Twitter but haven’t heard back from me yet about that, I promise you I haven’t forgotten about it.  Things’ve been a lil’ hectic as of late and the project is on hold for now, but I’ll keep you posted of any progress or updates in the future.