The Masks of Divinity

Defining the nature of the divinities (gods, demons, spirits, etc.) is a daunting task. The first thing we have to be clear about is that there is no more accurate vision of divinity than the other because there are no totalitarian and/or unique truths since the experience is subjective and therefore is personal and individual. Be careful, however, this does not mean that anything that comes to mind is a reality, since it is also very easy to fall into self-deception.

            I want to start from a scoop that a priori is controversial but if you understand the concept behind it, it will be simpler to understand. «Man Invented the Gods» this phrase, which many of those who know me have already heard or read me, is a very real statement, it is not the denial of spiritual force, but the fact that it was the man who when grasped an impression of the Other Side, gave it a name, a shape, various attributes and put it on paper, or transmitted it orally. It was the subjective experience and therefore the personal gnosis of someone, at some point in history, that gave shape to an energy that perhaps did not have it, not at least as we can interpret it with the limitations of our mind. Take into account that all experiences lived with any spiritual force pass through the filter of our mind.

            Following this idea, we can affirm that no vision is more valid than another. I may be working with such an entity, it reveals a face, a manifestation, a sigil, which inspires us to perform a ritual to contact this particular aspect, which is not in any magic book nor was it evidenced by anyone. In this way, a new mask of that entity is formed. Here I allow myself to pause, this fact has been repeated since the world is the world, and even though there are people who, in their ignorance, are bothered by personal gnosis and believe that it is something stupid or invalid because it has no historical validity, they should review the concept. Thelema was formed because Aleister Crowley received through a ritual his «Book of the Law», Michael Aquino received the «Book of the Coming forth by Night», not to mention that all modern authors, of all traditions, have gone through the same or similar, and various traditions were formed in this way. Again you have to pause, receive a formula, a ritual, or an entire book, it is not necessarily an element that has to have an impact on others, it can be something personal, and in most cases it is, that is, it is not this or that divinity comes along and reveals a piece of knowledge to us, we will be the next prophets who are going to change the world, above all down to earth and logic.

            Going a step further, we may find many discrepancies about the same entity, and this has to do with two very specific things, the first is that it is necessary to differentiate the historical/anthropological baggage from the magical one. They are not things that necessarily go hand in hand, and that is why magic can, and it is in many cases, be very far from what a history, mythology, or anthropology book can say. The modern magician is not a person who seeks to reconstruct an ancient cult, so we do not rely on writing in cuneiform to do the ritual, but we use modern tools and techniques to get in tune with those energies and use them in our ceremonies. Of course, history, mythology, anthropology can serve as a starting point or even inspiration, but it is obvious that we are not going to do things like 500 years ago. It remembers that ancient does not necessarily do something valid, more powerful, or even with results.

            To cite an example that occurs in magical modernity. Within the medieval grimoires, we find Astaroth as a male demon with certain specific attributes and characteristics. However, demonolatry and some other magicians, witches, and so forth, began to claim that Astaroth is a corruption of the name Astarte, who is a Phoenician goddess of war and sex. Suppose this is so, what about the years of experience of many of us that we have repeatedly evoked this demon, the one who was always clearly male? who is right? Is he a demon or is he/she a Phoenician goddess? the reality is that it is subjective, my perception was always that of a male demon, not that of a goddess, with whom I have worked actively for many years. In my case, I see it as two different divinities, who are not alike at all. So if I want to call Astarte, I would not use the name Astaroth or his sigil, simply because they are not the same. This is a matter of logic, if I want to work with such force, why call it by another name, with another symbol, which belongs to another tradition? Just because something becomes fashionable, it does not mean that this is so.

            Something similar happened with Lilith, who historically and mythologically speaking, has never had a cult, has never been considered a goddess, but rather a spirit or demon. It was we, the walkers of the Left-Hand Path, who, after years of working with her, came to consider her a Goddess, the Regina of Pandemonium, therefore, it is a modern interpretation, it is not historical, it is not anthropological. But this does not make it less valid.

            There are also other factors that we have to take into account when interpreting the divinity. The first is the concept of Archetype, which derives from Jung, who was a psychoanalyst who had a profound impact and influence on modern esotericism. The idea that certain figures are manifested universally in all cultures makes us recognize this archetype within this or that ancient civilization. Thus we can talk about the archetype of the rebel, and we find Prometheus, who could be an equivalent to Lucifer, or the figure of the Jester or Trickster who could be Loki or Anansi, among many others. The other fact is a little more complex, which is syncretism, this is when we interpret that we are talking about the same figure, god, divinity, etc. example Lilith and Az-Jeh according to Michael W Ford, would be the same, this is an example of syncretism. I am not a big fan of this type of assertion, in my experience, it is not like that, but neither do I consider having the truth, and after all, everyone has to find and make use of what works for them.

            As a final point, it is important not to fall into the trap that we understand divinity and its mysteries in totality and fullness, it is not like that, we can interpret what happens from a subjective point of view. We all don’t need to agree on how this or that force behaves. Everyone is free or should be, without anyone conditioning us or telling us that this is right or wrong. Things require time, effort, study but above all practice. Do not obsess over your results, do not take anything for granted, doubting is healthy, with your feet on the ground it is more feasible to have a genuine experience than to go around the world believing you are a messiah.

Daemon Barzai

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