A Student asked recently about working with Demons. After working primarily with Angels, Planets, and his own mind, he had been feeling a call towards working with demons and wanted some feedback.
1. The term DEMON is completely unhelpful and I will be changing the lesson on Grimoire Spirits at some point in the future to reflect this. When evaluating this for yourself, avoid the term and replace it with what you actually mean.
2. Chthonic is somewhat useful, but not very. They represent spirits that are intimately connected to earth and underworld. Some are very wrathful in nature, but some are peaceful. Some are very atavistic in nature, but some are quite regal and noble.
3. Wrathful and Peaceful is an interesting division and is how Tibetans look at things, but again are angels peaceful? No. Are all Demons wrathful? No. When Tibetans use it they are referring primarily to manifestations of enlightened mind, wrathful ones being used to slay, coerse, and tame beings. When it comes to the classes of spirits this division doesnt hold up well.
4. Shadow, Shell, or something like that is interesting and primarily relates to looking at spirits and powers that embody certain virtues and archetypes out of balance or even manifest in ways that are anti-human.This borders on the domain of psychology, but even though we reject the interpretation of magic as psychological, ythat does not mean that we should shy away from the role mind and thought and subconscious play in magic.
5. Some people who seek demonic work are really seeking adventure and new experience or to explore magics that skirt or transgress the moral lines that you and society have drawn. This is interesting, and cool, and useful as an excecise in itself – so I am not putting it down. That said it can go wrong very fast. Keep in mind who you are, where you are, and what your actual goals are.
As a final thought, there are PLENTY of examples of Spirits and Powers that prove useful during times of war and turmoil, who then prove to be detrimental in terms of peace and productivity. Christopher D Bradford once wrote an article or post about the kind of mentality people need for survival in ghetto’s and lawless areas, and how that does not serve you well when you get out of those situations. I cannot find it now, but perhaps he can point to it. The same is true of spirits. The examples of Dharmapalas in Tibet and Petro Lwa in Haiti have both been spoken about in such ways by people from those places.
What is even worse is when people from the posh comfortable middle-class first world feel that they need to get into the dark and wrathful shit to be “real”. It may come from a place where the line between life and death is much more evident, but unless you are living that, or from that it’s not real. It’s Dark Disneyland.