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Taylor from Magical Experiments had an interesting tweet recently:
What are you willing to offer to the entities you want to work with? You want something from them, but are you willing to give?
I’ve seen two common answers to this, though I don’t use either. There’s a third offering that works better, if you can manage it. Here are all 3 options. (There are probably more I’m not familiar with.)
A Symbolic Offering
You sacrifice something that’s of value to humans, like placing grain or a jewel on the spirit’s alter. I can’t see what a spirit would want with those things, but I guess it’s the thought that counts. Anyway, this type of offering has never made much sense to me. Can anyone explain?
Offering Your Energy
Some spirits enjoy a person’s energy. Of those, some drain it from unwitting victims, while others seek a partnership: You give them energy, they give you some other form of help.
Spirits that actually require your energy probably aren’t worth working with. After all, if they can’t make their own energy, how much magick can they really know?
But I could imagine a reputable spirit — one that wants to help — doing this to make sure you’re serious. Like charging for a class, then donating the money to charity. The fee is there so they don’t get flooded with frivolous requests.
Keep in mind, though, that your offering of energy is like buying someone lunch. It’s a nice gesture, but it won’t compel them to do anything they don’t already want to do*. It’s not a salary, it’s a favor.
*Here, I’m talking about “Something they don’t already want to do” in terms of putting significant effort into something that’s not a priority for them, like you do at your job. Not in terms of compelling them to do something immoral.
If you understand some aspect of magick more deeply than the spirit you want to work with, you have something of actual value to trade. This is how to start forming genuine alliances with spirits.
Your training doesn’t have to match theirs. This isn’t a matter of weighing salaries. As long as the value of your training exceeds the effort they put into training you, you are both making one another richer in knowledge. Most spirits will be glad to make such an exchange.
How do you get to the point where you can trade knowledge? Learn one field deeply, then develop techniques in that field beyond what most spirits know. Then you will be sought out by spirits for training, instead of having to conjure them and negotiate an exchange.If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.
The “offering” of your own “energy” is normally a way to establish a link. I use a blood offering for that. A lot of things in Magik, especially those which don’t make sense actually have technical aspects to them which do not parallel the immediately observable nature of the activity.
How does one go about completing a blood offering?
I like the “offering” knowledge part, this type of offering isn’t nearly discussed as often or as popular as the other two.
Thanks! Let me know how it works for you.
I always understood the Symbolic to be like you describe the Energy one, If it isn’t important to you, how is it a sacrifice? They don’t necessarily need food or jewels or such but its the fact that you value it, and are willing to give it to them and not keep for yourself that is value. The act of sacrifice itself and not the item.
(i have also heard that some spirits do in fact enjoy ‘eating’ the energy or taste of a food item for instance left in their honor. I cannot offer my own experience with that though, as I am a newb.)
So the idea is that the spirit wants to see that this matters to you, and so demands a sacrifice? That makes sense, and also suggests that offering the spirit something they actually value (like knowledge) will probably motivate them more. Thanks!
It depends on the type of spirit, its degree of intelligence as well as its unique personality. For me, sacrificing gives the spirit a link to me. In other words, it allows it a foothold on the physical realm. This is because the spirits I work with are not human. I usually work with Daemon-class nature spirits and an entirely new spirit archetype which I call “The Majin” and “Mini-Majin”.
Cool. That’s a good way to explain some types of sacrifices. Thanks!