I read through the Book of Oberon yesterday evening trying to find a prayer or set of prayers that I could use to sweep the room before beginning and still fit in the scant hour I have delegated to the ritual. I found many prayers and rituals, but the least of them contained more words than my entire ritual list.
I did note the common actions. The place for the ritual must be kept clean, and no “unclean acts” are to be allowed in the space. The room is to be kept set apart from the rest of the living and business spaces, and the best place for such workings is either a dedicated room or a place far from civilization.
I leave it to my betters to decide if the world I live in counts as “civilization”.
I do not have any of the luxuries required by the Book of Oberon save for keeping the ritual area clean. Under the Christianity I grew up with, these very rituals themselves are “unclean acts”, so I have no means of measuring what is allowable or not for a magician in this day and age. In the end, I read a modified prayer for the blessing of a space, but without the partial invocation it also contained.
The hazel wand continues to exude a thin film of oil. I won’t be reapplying oil to it until the wand has been dry for several continuous days. As I buff it with the rough shop towel, some of the raised grain is rubbed off while other portions of the surface is smoothed down.
There was nothing to note of the invocation itself, except to say that it happened.
“Good morning, [O Patient Caller]”
«The sun has not yet risen. it is still night.»
“… You’re going to have me cursing at you for no damn reason at all. Quit it.”
The spirit spread his hands. The false smoke from the falsely lit candle moved with his gesture like a short retracting leash. «Very well then, Magician, our time for visitation is short. I am here to answer your questions.»
“Unless I grant you license to use my tarot decks for when this ritual cannot be performed. … I need more time to look into that. You’re up to some shit and I just haven’t figured out what, yet.” My face itched and I was reminded of [Mud]. “Okay, here’s a question. When I repelled [Mud] after the Birto working, I really didn’t do shit, did I. You already admitted to setting him on me as a type of encouragement for me to follow through. His role was to flush me out and nothing more. Am I correct or in error, and in what levels of each?”
He spread his hands again and nodded slightly. «You are mostly correct. Yes, his role was to encourage you to seek to use [these methods] and encourage you to sit with me. However, his role was also to prevent anything else from attaching to you in the same manner. You were easy prey after [the Birto working].»
“Protection via inoculation. I can appreciate that. Thank you.”
A few minutes passed while I gathered my thoughts and studied his appearance in my mind’s eye. One would think that with all the visions and extrasensory experiences I have had in my life, having a Solomonic spirit sitting quietly with me would be just another day on the Calendar.
“How much time is necessary for you to teach me how to have [Mud] bringing me a more suitable black knife?”
«More time than you have dedicated. There are many other lessons you must learn and internalize first. You barely have control over yourself in this arena. You are not yet ready to tell a servant to go here or go there.»
“And how do you know?!” I was not arguing but feigning at being offended. I actually agreed completely with him.
«Because you have yet to have control over me.» He clasped his hands and grinned.
Okay. Now, I’m fucking offended.
“And I’m supposed to just give you another hook into my life with that tarot card you want? Piss off, [O Patient Caller]. You’re going to have to make it worth my while. I agree, I do not have control over you in this arena, but I know who the fuck does, and I have faith in those promises.”
His grin ceased. He tightened his grip behind the shewstones, then relaxed his hands slightly as he nodded.
“Having said that, you have twelve days to demonstrate and confirm that yielding the Hierophant card, under specific circumstances, will be not only worth my while, but helpful to my health and education while also being beneficial to my soul.”
«What do you require from me to do just that?»
Ah, shit. That’s a good question. I know what I don’t need. I don’t need bling or swag. I don’t want a lover, a romance, a relationship, or even a body to cuddle up to. I could use a new car, but just asking for that will leave the manner of acquisition open to interpretation and I’d rather not have the house burn down for the insurance money. A housemate has lost a thing of value, I suppose I could require it to be returned to her before the end of the month, but I’ve burnt far too many personal favors on other people already without any favors being returned to me.
Wait. I know. If this backfires, it is going to hurt. But if it works…
“Beginning October first, I will [be undertaking a life shift event]. You have twelve days to demonstrate and confirm that yielding the Hierophant card to you, under specific circumstances not yet finalized, and allowing you to contact, connect, and communicate with me without the use of this ritual and the protections it provides, will be beneficial to myself and my goals in this undertaking, and that your assistance and involvement will allow me to complete [my tasks] without harm to be caused to me or to those I care for, nor for evil to be done to me or done in my name. If you do not demonstrate and confirm such, then after my obligation is completed, I reserve the right to never open the Book of Oberon again, to never summon you via this or other means, and to even abandon all thought of communication with St. Cyprian of Antioch, even after I have reached my goals and my life has settled down.”
For several minutes after I finished speaking, neither one of us moved nor spoke. I was made hyperaware of my breathing by his lack. He could have been a statue of solidified smoke for all the stillness he was embracing.
«I accept. You will have the demonstration and confirmation you seek in the time you have alloted. However, once I supply the same, your next step after allowing me to use the Hierophant card as a means of communication with you, once you are able and available for the task, will be to obtain this ring.» He lifted his right hand and twisted the small gold signet ring on his right little finger.
“To obtain that ring is to bind you to me… or to bind me to you. Won’t have need of a card after that. First you say that ring is to be the last tool to be acquired for this art. Now you are requiring it ahead of requiring self-control. Moving up the timeline, are we?”
«I have stated the terms of my acceptance. Have we an agreement?»
My very first truly magical act was not for love, money, ambition, or swag. It was to survive. While what I want to accomplish in the last quarter of this year does not have the same desperate motive as what moved me then, there is still the same fate-defying sense of “The only way out is through.” Just how bad do I want the thing?
“Aye. We have an agreement. With the God Most High over us both, and his Holy Spirit as witness and sealer between us, and the grace of the Immaculate Jesus as enabler, we have an agreement.”
There were no actions, no mockery of a handshake, no written seals or verbal names exchanged. The lights didn’t blink, the earth didn’t shake, and not even the neighborhood stray cats jumped on my windowsill to startle me. We just simply made an agreement.
The sun rose, brightening my eastern window and warning me how short I was on time.
After a moment of silence, I gave the Apophenia Invitation and License to Depart. My recitation of Psalm 54 was unusually vigorous as all the ways this could backfire and ruin me started to cross my mind.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Despite the short conversation and the complete lack of
entertainment surprises, total time: 51 minutes.