My post-ritual meditation session was again hijacked yesterday morning. While the scene I unwittingly participated in was brief, I am still uncomfortable discussing it in public. The relevance of what happened depends heavily on having a personal and spiritual understanding of the Eucharist, which I do not have. I can very easily run away with my limited understanding and make assumptions based on what makes me feel better, but I can also declare myself an experienced Solomonic Magician and find some obscure corner of the Internet who would believe it, lock, stock, and barrel. Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.
The incident was heavy on my mind this morning as I began the ritual. I distracted myself by realizing that I was increasingly discontent with the presence of the rutile shard. It was not required for [Patient Caller’s] presence now that the amber had been polished. I noted the thinness of the braided cord, and realized I still have not written down the adjusted ritual steps that I have memorized. I spoke the words both with mouth and mind, and soon came to the moment of summoning.
“[Patient Caller], appear to me.”
One moment I was sitting alone in the pre-dawn chill in my room. Next moment he was present across the shewstones with his clasped hands resting on the book like he has always been there. If there was any residual antagonism from yesterday’s forced appearance, he was not displaying it. I realized I did not know when I had closed my eyes.
“[O Patient Caller], have you any further words about why I should grant you access via the Hierophant card?”
«No. I have none.»
I opened my eyes and observed physical reality before me. The scent from the unlit candle continued to pour over me. The space on the other side of the small table continued to remain empty and unoccupied. The linen shawl continued to keep a comfortably warm layer of air next to me. The bare knife at my toes continued to remind me to remain aware.
It would be easy to discount the vision in yesterday’s meditation as the result of a tired and overworked mind. Except it was too sharp, too vivid, and had all the tells that came with other realities and none of the tells that come with a random dream.
“[O Patient Caller], was [what happened yesterday] a dream, a vision, or an event that happened in spirit?”
«It happened. I was there to hold you upright and then to take you away [at the end].»
All this time I had been looking for an excuse not to follow through with the entangling of the spirit with the Hierophant card. While I still have many excuses with some of them actually being valid and prudent, I realized that I wasn’t the same person I was at the start of this challenge. I had no excuse to be afraid anymore.
“[O Patient Caller], if I were to allow you access, would that also allow [Mud] access to me?”
«No. As he is my servant, you will need to command me to command him. But he will have no direct contact to you unless you have granted it.»
Okay, sounds fair… wait. I wanted to ask [Patient Caller] what did he mean for me to “command him” after his previous boast that I had no control over him, but yesterday’s tug-of-war and the vision that followed it was suddenly strong in my memory. Something has invisibly changed and I am the last person involved to recognize it.
“[Patient Caller, O Patient Caller], instruct me how to entangle you with the Hierophant card so that I may call upon you without need of this full ritual, so that you may speak to me through any tarot deck, and so that you shall be available as required for later work.”
The spirit bowed his head and moved his hands as if for prayer. «As you request.» As we discussed the different tarot decks I physically have, he called out the Thoth Tarot as a deck he will not work with, and the Fey Tarot as a deck he would rather not work with but can if necessary. To my surprise, the Bosch Tarot was received well by him and the Wyzard of Odd tarot deck was met with a sublime smile.
He gave me homework, to review the Book of Oberon and the rituals it contains for binding spirits to rings and sigils for summoning spirits so that I could write out a modified ritual for using the Hierophant card as a means to summon and communicate with him.
“You’re getting your way after all, [Patient Caller]. The card for now, and the ring later. I am surprised you are being so stoic about it.”
He said nothing. Which concerned me. Finally he clasped his hands and bowed again. «I remind you by what grace I have been commanded to instruct you. My goal is not to have you secured at the end of my chain, but that you be proficient in this art enough that you are able to summon what needs to be summoned and repel what needs to be repelled. If it be required that I am further bound to you to accomplish this goal, then so be it.»
For a moment I felt bad about whatever asswhipping had transpired between yesterday’s post-ritual meditation and this morning’s summoning. Then I realized what happened during yesterday’s post-ritual meditation was evidence of a greater game being played out on layers far beyond what I can perceive. One can be player and played just the same.
I did not answer him, but gave the Apophenia Invitation and License to Depart. Closing the ritual with Psalm 54 and putting things away happened with the same drama as making up the bed. I took advantage of not having to be a responsible adult for several more hours and went back to bed where I slept well and without incident.
Total ritual time: 40 minutes.