Sophie Reicher is an occultist and magician living in New York City. She has been a student and teacher of the occult arts for over twenty years and specializes in psychic and spiritual self-defense. The author of "Spiritual Protection: A Safety Manual for Energy
Workers, Healers, and Psychics," she maintains a blog where she occasionally posts articles on magic and related esoterica. A member of House Sankofa, Ms. Reicher is a devotional polytheist, and a devotee of many Gods and holy beings, including Mani and Sunna, the Morrigan, Farbauti, Bast, Dionysos, Hermes, and the four Archangels.
I decided when I started to blog that I would write about various magical topics that interested me at any given moment. That means this blog is likely to be something of a mixed bag. I"ll take requests if someone wants me to write about a specific topic, but otherwise, my posts will be about whatever I've recently discussed with colleagues and friends, or whatever I happen to be reading or most interested in at any give moment. Today that topic of interest happens to be the Goetia.
Having started out with strong alliances with the archangels, it was a very odd thing for me to initially approach the Goetic spirits. It took me a little bit to learn the appropriate protocol and to learn that it really was a matter of 'as above, so below.' In fact, I found it rather like learning to speak a different dialect of a common language. I suppose some may wonder why I bothered shifting my practice to include Goetic magic, but magic is, in part, about establishing and nurturing alliances and the Goetic spirits are powerful allies.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself since this is my very first column here at Witches and Pagans. I am a magician. Taking that one step farther, I am a very old-school magician. I also happen to be a devotional polytheist and sometimes these things intersect, but more often than not, I keep them well and nicely separate. I try to at any rate. I was a magician far earlier and far longer than I have been a polytheist after all, and I love working magic. It nourishes my soul. Magic is my craft, my art, and one of the means through which I work my will upon my world. I feel about it --and take note, you won't see me talking about 'feelings' overmuch in this column--much the same way a master sculptor must feel about a completed master work. This is what I do. I would say it is my vocation save I dislike the religious overtones of such a word, when applied to magical practice.
You see, magic is not religion. It is not prayer. It is not a devotional practice. It is the art of working with power.
That's right: magic is about power. It's about utilizing one's will to interact with and affect energy, and by doing so create measurable change upon one's world. I often read articles, books, blogposts debating endlessly over the morality of doing magic for personal gain and I simply shake my head: why not? More to the point, if not for personal gain then what is exactly is it for? What is the point?