Lets Chat About Channeling… and Dungeon and Dragons
Once again, I’m stepping into a subject matter that may alienate a portion of my readers. If you are offended by this subject matter, I’m not going to force you to read it, if you are really mad press ALT+F4 to really show me how offended you are… Are they gone? Good Let’s get started.
When I use the word channeling it’s actually kind of a catch-all for three different terms, invocation, evocation, and channeling. I use these three a lot in my magickal practice, mainly because I’ve been doing this style of magick the longest and feel the most supported by it. So how do we define these three terms?
• Evocation: The act of bringing up an aspect of yourself as energy, a deity, or force to assist you in your magickal work.
• Invocation: The act of bringing a deity, energy, spirit into your body and soul; typically done in ritual work, and is used to achieve a certain state or Gnosis.
• Channeling: The ability to be a vessel for spirits or deities, think the Oracle of Delphi or any medium. From my experience, you either can or can’t do this.
In our culture, all of these things sound effing terrifying. Whether we like it or not the idea of letting some outside source into your meat suit sounds like the first 15 minutes of a horror movie. Luckily my curiosity got the better of me, and I was able to move past my fears of being the next ‘based on a true story’ example of the exorcist.
When I started my “success” was limited, to say the least, I hadn’t established a true banishing ceremony yet and was still mastering the ability to bring myself to a mystical state. I do believe that as with any acolyte that this is an important step in the growth process. So what should you expect to happen? Firstly, I’ll be honest I haven’t done much Invoking, favoring one deity over another isn’t my jam. There is a lot of power to be had there, but I’m self-taught and don’t have a face to face magickal mentor or lodge, so I’ll save that for that portion of my magickal career for later.
When one finally does make “contact” with a successful Evocation of an entity, it’s a little strange at first. Everyone’s mystical experience will be different, I’m just going to let you take a quick look into mine. As an entity enters my well-banished space (extremely important) they will make themselves known. Hermes, my homeboy, Is rather playful when he enters my space. Typically he will trick me into thinking I failed in welcoming him in and then all of a sudden appear, usually with an ear to ear smile and ready to chat my ear off. After I give a gift, typically bone broth, we simply have a conversation. He will help me or remind me of knowledge I already know and help guide me, we will then honor each other and take our leave. The whole process takes about 1 to 3 hours and is usually a blast.
Now, I’m not saying that a strange man in a toga and winged slippers shows up at my door, this is a mystical experience where the imagination is opened up to archetypes of the cosmos. These archetypes are shaped by our knowledge and experiences. Which means, that Hermes, a god of wisdom, magick, writing, breaking of barriers, language, speed, and quick thinking, could just as easily be evoked in the image of the Doctor from Doctor Who (I specifically think of Matt Smith’s doctor).
So like with all chaos magick, there is no real dogma or specific way to go about things, it molds itself to the user, and if approached with honor and respect you will get results.
Now, how the heck does this have anything to do with Dungeons and Dragons? Maybe it’s just the way I play the game, but I never leave character while I’m playing. Once I’m at the table, I’m someone else, an expression of a personality that I created. A very close example of evocation, teetering on channeling. Now I find this very exciting. Evocation has been very healing for me, an exploration of a different personality, a walk in someone else’s shoes is always a good way to check where your own head is at.
The first character that I ever really embraced this mentality with was Aldrick Poisonfang. In DnD terms Aldrick was Yaun-ti pureblood (snake person) of noble descent, who had found himself as a political prisoner, Aldrick was also a total bastard. I consider myself a pretty good person, and Aldrick was my playground where I got to indulge in that hidden, dark place of the soul. If I’m going to define who Aldrick was in Woo Woo terms, he was an embodiment of my shadow. He was the pieces of my personality that I feard, a liar, a cheat, a devil worshiper, and disloyal. But, playing through him I was able to see these things in a more neutral light. Not as something inherently bad or good, but something that is, and is apart of me.
I love Aldrick, I sometimes hold conversations with him during ceremonies. He is a guide to power and charisma, he also reminds me of when those bits of shadow are getting out of hand and to reel it in when necessary. The most healing thing I’ve ever done is sitting down with my demons, talking with them, and becoming friends with them.
Fairly soon I’ll be playing Dungeons and Dragons rather than running the game, I’m very excited about this! I’ve been cooking up characters for the last 24 hours or so and finally have settled on one. I have been feeling rather inspired by the mushroom recently, and have been slipping into listening to Terrance McKenna chill step again. As thus I’m creating a circle of the spore druid, neutral, only revers nature, and constantly talks about mushrooms. This character is going to be my window into how the mind of Terrance McKenna and I can only assume deepen my love for the mushroom.
Alright guys, I know this one got a little weird, but if you stuck with me this long I hope you got something out of my words. Check out this link here for Grant Morrison’s Pop Magic! it’s free and it is a great starting point for the fledgling magician. If you feel like getting crazy there is a link the first book I ever read on chaos magick, as always when you choose to purchase these products through my link it helps out the blog immensely, and for that, I’m endlessly grateful.
So I’m curious to know, what are your thoughts on magick? Is evoking something you would ever do or is it just a little too weird?