A Common (But Useless) Safety Measure

by Mike Sententia on September 6, 2015

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Prav asks:

I am using your sigil from here:

Help Beta Test My Ethereal Software

I have to know if the software has any name and what spirits it uses. I don’t work with things I don’t know about…

I’ve talked about safety before. Repeatedly. And not just defense, because sometimes a spirit won’t leave you alone until you bother it right back. What I’m saying is, I’m serious about safety.

But I haven’t discussed names. Why?

Before I answer that, let me share a story.

When I worked in India a few years ago, I got lots of safety advice. Wear mosquito repellent (they carry terrible diseases). Only drink bottled water, and check if the bottle has been re-sealed by melting it. Haggle for everything (it’s fun!)

One tip I didn’t get? “Only trust street vendors with friendly-sounding names like Deepak.”

Because a person’s name doesn’t tell you if they’re safe, right? Same with the names of spirits and ethereal software.

Names are for marketing. They’re the brand. They’re how we appeal to a particular audience. I could call the software Holy Light, made by the Holy Order. Or I could call it The Corruption Vault, made by Skarnax, Devourer of Worlds. Or The Universe, made by The Ancients.

Names don’t get you safety. Names are just words.

So if not names, what should we do? The same as you’d do in business or sales or relationships: Talk with the person (me, in this case, by reading my blog), see what you think of them, and decide if you think they know what they’re doing and if it’s important to them to keep you safe. (I do, and it is, but you shouldn’t take my word for it, you should read me over time and make up your own mind.)

And long term, follow those links and learn to protect yourself. If you know you can keep yourself safe even if the spirit is hostile, you can explore so much more.

That said, I should probably name my software and spirits for branding purposes. Thoughts? Leave a comment. Thanks!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Sententia September 6, 2015 at 7:20 PM

Favorite naming idea so far: Do like Tumblr and Flickr. A spirit named Robrt made the Softwr for my Magck.

Reply

Taylor Ellwood September 6, 2015 at 7:34 PM

The purpose of a name (and a sigil for that matter) is that it provides the practitioner with a frame of reference to use in order to connect with the entity. As you aptly note above a name doesn’t indicate if an entity is or isn’t safe. Only experience will determine that. In the case of the person who commented above…by the very use of the sigil, they are already working with you’re ethereal software and whatever spirits are associated. My recommendation if you feel a need for names, is ask the ethereal software/spirits for the names.

Reply

Mike Sententia September 7, 2015 at 4:02 PM

Yeah, that’s how I use names and sigils. Well said. Thanks for the confirmation. And good idea about asking for names.

I’m curious: Those of you working with my book’s ethereal software, please ask for its name and leave a comment here saying what you got. It’ll be interesting, and maybe one of those will become the official name.

Reply

Yvonne October 3, 2015 at 11:34 AM

Hi Mike, how are you? I am well, thank you!!
I was wandering around your blog today when I saw this:

Names don’t get you safety. Names are just words.

I was surprised to read this, and I wanted to ask you. Do you suggest that “words,” so important in most magical and religious practice and ritual, the speaking, the vibrating, the mantram, the intentionality of creating by vocalizing the thought into-form, have no role in your magick? I wonder because you are very precise about these things, and I don’t believe that sound, as a fundamental component in the psychics of matter, isn’t relevant to working with the spirits. Unless I misunderstood.
As always, I am loving your progress, your expansion.
peace

Reply

Mike Sententia October 3, 2015 at 5:51 PM

Hi Yvonne, great question.

There are a few distinctions that come in here:

First, security vs communication. If I’m trying to communicate ideas (to you, to my unconscious, to a spirit), then the choice of words and concepts matters. Calling a thing Ethereal Software vs The Universe vs The Corruption Vault, those conjure up very different ideas. Word matter tremendously for communication.

But for security, it doesn’t matter what name I choose for a spirit or force. That spirit is going to do what it does, regardless of the name some human assigns it. Calling it an angel doesn’t make it benevolent.

More broadly, names don’t affect functionality. Aspirin will reduce pain and inflammation, no matter what you call it. If you choose to call it “Cure for Cancer,” you don’t suddenly have a cure for cancer, you just have a misleading name. Thus, names are just words.

What about magickal acts involving words? Those magickal practices are about communicating your intent to your own unconscious, which will then act on that intent. Which is exactly where words do matter: When communicating with your unconscious, with other people, or with spirits and ethereal software.

So, names are just words, and words don’t matter. Except for when we’re communicating, in which case words matter a great deal.

Great question, thanks for writing!

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Amelia June 28, 2016 at 1:16 PM

Ever since I was little I felt a connection to spirits. When I was 4-6 I lived in a house that my sister and I believed was haunted. I saw a teen girl standing in the opening of my bed room and we heard footsteps in the hallway when we were home alone. Now I live in another house and I can always feel a presence in the basement, in the hallways, in the kitchen, and in the guest bedroom. I have always felt the need to communicate with the spirits and possibly even help them. Is there any way you can help me to communicate with these spirits.

Reply

Mike Sententia June 28, 2016 at 6:07 PM

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