Yesterday Jason posted with regard to the fact that his Magickal Practice is eclectic and diverse as opposed to that of others who are able to say that they've chosen a single path which provides all that they need. RO followed up explaining the ways in which his own journey hasn't been as singular as one might have thought and includes as variant work as Taoism and even Chaos Magic (that one was a surprise to me)
Jason's post got me thinking on my own path and how it has changed and evolved over the years. When describing my own style of work I invariably refer to myself as a Grimoiric Magus, which most tend to interpret as one who practices strictly from the "Classical" Grimoires. Thats partially correct, and for a handful of years working with the most well know Grimoires (Lemegeton, Red Dragon, The Key of Solomon, Verum, The Arbatel, etc...) did constitute the whole of my work. Oh I certainly didnt stick to the script so to speak, as shown in CK and Chasing The Dragon I kept the formulas intact but modified the structure as necessary and thought outside the box, finding new ways to work with the Spirits identified in the Grimoires. But the dozen or so classic Grimoires were about all I needed (I thought) and I rarely looked outside that comfort zone.
Now, however, I've evolved considerably. I do still consider myself A Grimoiric Magus, as the thrust of my work is, in keeping with the Grimoire Tradition, Evocational and Spirit Work. (Yes the Grimoires do prescribe other techniques and methods such as Talismanic Magick, but by far the focus is on Evocation and communication) But now my work is drawn from the Grimoires AND such diverse sources as Enuma Elish and Starr's Conjure, and I'm happier and more successful than ever.
As I've admitted before, when I first set out on a Magickal path, or more accurately said, when I realized my path in life WAS a Magickal one, I began with a Golden Dawn/ Inner Order Adept who was my teacher. He took me through the knowledge lectures, the curriculum, the LBRP/BRH/ Rose Cross Ritual, Don Kraigs Modern Magic, the whole 9. I learned the Hebrew alphabet, the paths and correspondences, drawing the tree of life, everything he gave me I absorbed. But through it all, despite my earnest sincerity and desire, I always felt it was more theatrics than magicks. Daily LBRP's, Middle Pillars, Watchtower Ceremonies, etc... Sure I felt pretty cool afterwards, but then I'd always find myself thinking, "Great, but what did I actually DO?" Ok, I cleared my temple of Astral Nasties, I Pore Breathed Fire until my eyes felt like they were boiling, I invoked and banished the poor little salamanders and gnomes via pentagram rites with such rapidity that they surely though I was bi-polar, inviting them then kicking them the hell out so frequently, but at the end of all this daily work, what really had I done? How was my life any different than it had been beforehand?Sure as hell wasnt making any tangible improvements in my finances or station in life, so what exactly was I accomplishing?
I asked my teacher that question so frequently that finally I elicited an exasperated "Mike, GD isnt about gettin rich or improving your life in temporal ways, its about fucking spiritual development and enlightenment, its about learning how the fucking universe works and our place in it and its a fucking brotherhood like the masons, if thats what you want then youre in the right place. If you want to conjure up wealth and power and talk to demons go get the fucking Goetia!"
So later than night when I was reading the Goetia I'd just purchased (Mathers/ Crowley Edition BTW) I was immediately fascinated. Reading of Bune, I remember thinking "See?! THIS is the shit I'm looking for!" And while my reasoning over the last decade and a half has changed, every time I crack open a new Sourceworks of Ceremonial Magic release, a new Joe Peterson Edition or another such work, I still think "THIS is the shit I'm looking for."
Except that now I'm learning, courtesy of Strategic Sorcery, Conjureman Ali, RO among other sources, ways to incorporate traditions and methods as diverse as my background into my Grimoiric work giving it a power boost akin to throwing a NOS tank in a performance car. Now when I work from Cyprian's Clavis Inferni I can make offerings TO Cyprian courtesy of Conjureman's recent blog post. When I intone the God Name IAO I can use the corresponding Mudras thanks to Jason Miller, and I can use Grimoiric Evocation to say hello to my departed dog thanks to RO.
I guess, then, that my point in this typically long winded article is that while Grimoiric Magick may have been everything I needed, my new style provides additionally everything I want.