The idea that Daemons are partly human-made and partly divine appears to have hacked off those who are religious or that believe that Ancient texts do not support the idea. My goal in making these ideas available is to show how magic works, why it does not, and how it is different from religion.
To briefly recap, a human cannot connect directly to an invoked spiritual force and unconsciously creates a messenger or Daemon for it based on their perception. The nature and power of the Daemon depend on the human’s ability to tune their ideas to that aspect of the divine force. Humans often mistake their Daemon for divine energy. This happens naturally in religion and is why some of the faithful can perform miracles.
Magicians though are supposed to stand outside religion. They don’t have faith in a spirit or god because their relationship is different. You don’t need belief to turn on a light bulb you just flick a switch knowing that the electricity will work. Magicians don’t believe in spirits they KNOW of their reality and work with them.
A daemon created through the work of a magician will be different from that of a religious person. It will be comprised of symbols and ideas which follow rules that enable the magician to ask, manipulate or coerce the force to doing their bidding. Part of the spirit’s power is drawn to the symbols and rituals created by the magician through the concept of correspondence. So, the energy represented by Mercury is brought to a Mercury invocation and a focus on its symbols.
Once the spirit indwells in its Daemon, the magician can control it through meaningful symbols. In PGM we see how a magician controls a daemon by doing a ritual during the dark of the moon, where the Goddess is symbolically constrained, pretending to be a God (i.e. taking on a Godform) and offering to liberate her. Practically Hekate does not need liberating, but symbolically she does.
This explains coercive spells in PGM with the magician threatening the god or Goddess (sometimes in the form of another god). Realistically no-one could threaten a god or Goddess directly unless they wanted to be turned into a pair of smoking sandals, but you are not dealing with a God, you are dealing with its Daemon which is forced to follow its symbolic ruleset.
If we look at the Key of Solomon, the same principle follows. The magician summons the Daemon of the spirit and requests it to perform an act while holding symbols of authority over that spirit in their hands. They sometimes hold a magical sword which is also a symbol of jurisdiction over the spirits. Besides, the magician has carried out symbolic acts of purification and consecration which have raised it to the same level as the Spirit’s Daemon, which is compelled to obey.
This also explains why magic rituals do not always work.
- There is not enough of a spiritual connection between the Daemon and the spiritual force because the magician has no personal relationship with them. You might think it is cool to summon Pazuzu to stop your neighbour’s cat shitting on your lawn. But lack knowledge or experience of Pazuzu (other than what you saw in the Exorcist) your Daemon is not going to be wired to him. To be adequately connected, a magician needs to have worked with the spirit before, studied it, know all its myths and symbols. Without doing this, you are left with a daemon made up of your perceptions which has as much effect as you do. Too often modern magicians do a lot of different magic for diverse subjects and try to work with too many gods or systems.
- The magician’s personality corrupts the Daemon. A daemon is built from a magician’s own perceptions of a spiritual force. If that perception is corrupted, then that issue is hardcoded within the Daemon’s DNA. If you do not believe you can win the lottery, then you will build a daemon which cannot win. You might have a deep enough relationship with Mercury to ensoul the Daemon, but it will only empower your thought that you will lose. Idiosyncratic magicians will create idiosyncratic daemons which cannot do the assigned tasks. This is a reason why magic tends to work more often if the ritual is not for you or connected to an object you care about or which triggers issues for you. This means that there must be a process of self-awareness and change before you can do magic on some subjects. The way around this issue is to tackle it magically first using your desire to change this aspect of yourself as a central perception of the Daemon.
- Your connection to the god is too religious. If you take a faith-based approach to your God or Goddess, you end up in the same position as anyone else praying and hoping that their favoured being will help them out. Christians say that their god always answers prayer he just says “yes,” “no,” or “wait a while” which means all the bases are covered without anyone having to prove that their god answers prayer. If you believe that your god hates you because you are gay, or wants to punish you because you think your neighbour has a nice ass, then your Daemon is going to see things the same way. Any invocations you have involving your Daemon must make apparent differences between your relationship and regular religious worshippers. Pacts, where a God or Daemon performs a task for the magician in return for another favour, are one idea to avoid this issue. Such a concept is outside the realm of religion and symbolic of a different sort of relationship.
- You do not want the magic to work. Magic brings about change and after a few rituals working a magician knows that. But equally, there is a part of us which fears the chaos that change brings. You might think you want a relationship, but you enjoy your freedom. You might want a new house, but that will mean packing everything up and moving. But if you invoke something while not wanting change, your Daemon will reflect that and not bring it about.
- You have not concentrated enough on building a transparent and working daemon to the point that the spirit ensouls it.
- The ritual you have used either does not attract the spirit or does not empower your perception of it to interact with your Daemon version adequately.
The answers to these issues are found in the lessons that were once drummed into neophytes by their teachers.
- Work on yourself first to discover why you cannot get the things you want.
- Study what you want to invoke in-depth and know its symbols, legends
- Write rituals which mean something to you
- Focus on spirits which are more accessible for you before trying harder stuff.
- Believe in one big God or Goddess and work with everything else.