Very interesting, many thanks for your reply!
I would say our experiences are similar, since I also got pretty convincing results from Brand’s Magickal Riches, but my results with Winterfield’s Angels of Wrath have always been, at best, quite modest.
Once I discovered just how effective 72 Angels of Magick is for me, I got perhaps too absorbed in refining my use of it, and left other grimoires to the side for a long time. I must admit that I am not a fan of the 11 days commitment either, and often only perform the ritual only once or twice on consecutive days. However, I get the point of the 11 days requirement, experience has convinced me that it really allows your emotions and intentions to develop and mature as you express them and go through the emotional alchemy. As a result, I put in the effort when petitions are important, and in general spend quite a lot of time crafting my petition. I would say that for ideal results you should really take the time and become very emotionally involved in the whole process and especially the rituals. However, this can be very difficult because of how much time and energy it takes, and as the days go on it is quite normal to get pretty desensitised and unable to raise such strong emotions on command. I would say that performing the ritual even just once but with a strong commitment and involvement, both intentional and emotional, can yield astonishing results.
I would say that emotional trasmutation or emotional alchemy is really the key to this strand of Brand’s methods, and you pointed out yourself that when you get it right then it always works
[I guess this is my field guide to this ritual. To whoever reads this, I hope this helps you and brings you happiness.]
If I may ask, what’s your experience with Words of Power? I really struggle with pronouncing words whose meaning I do not know and expecting results, so I am yet to buy it. It’s pretty ridiculous to have a hang-up about “magic words” when I regularly call on entities I can only “feel”. Actually, do you experience anything when you use the words of power, some kind of sensation comparable to what many feel when calling on the angels?
Moreover, if I am not mistaken, the power of the construction and sound of mystical words is a core principle of practical kabbala, which (again, if I am not mistaken) is the strand of magick from which the Shem Ha Mephorash itself originates. So yeah, I see it as a pretty silly hang-up, and I am trying to fight it.
My biggest gripe really is that Brand really does not explain the meaning of the words and the sigils he uses; I only found one instance where he does. I am told that in Words of Power there is a chapter on the meaning of the words which is…unhelpful. The only way I managed to work around this is pour quite a lot of time in researching whatever I am instructed to say, and it turns out that most if not all of it is really solid and amazing kabbalistic material. His sigil to call on Raziel which appears in Magickal Riches was very hard to unpack since I lack an understanding of Hebrew and of the methods of kabbalistic amulet construction. But once I managed, I realised just how beautiful and powerful it is. Same applies to other sigils from him, and in general whenever I call on Shem angels I recite the relevant psalm verses both in Hebrew and in translation.
So yeah, I really wish Brand explained what he does, the meaning of the words he uses, because studying it really convinced me of how solid his work is. His sources certainly are.
As for keeping up the emotions during a ritual, especially in Angels of Wrath when you are supposed to enflame yourself in anger and then use the Stillness ritual, I would say that it is not exaclty essential. My reasoning is that, if Brand allows people that struggle with visualisation or perception to state that they are seeing/experiencing something and then simply carry on, then perhaps awareness and intention are more than enough. The exception to this is perhaps if you need to imagine/act a transmutation from one emotion to another, since emotional transmutation is crucial to these rituals. However, in that case I would still maintain that you don’t need to torture yourself to try and maintain an emotion for a long time: emotions naturally dissipate. Conjure it up again and continue with the ritual as needed. There is a fertile margin of error, and rituals in general do not need to be perfect. On the contrary, when emotional transmutation is involved, sometimes I find that raw brutal chaotic emotional honesty helps more than a perfectly choreographed petition. The angels listen and act, and emotion seems to be their language, at least when communicating with us.
As for the goetics and other spirits from other systems, especially demonic ones, I guess I will let the matter rest once again. If my petition happens to be answered, I will not seek to determine if it was goetic intervention and simply pay what little I promised.
So far, the best explanation has been that I am perhaps more attuned with angelic beings and/or, even more convincingly, with the symbolism of the Shem Ha Mephorash. It just clicks for me, and I should well be grateful for it and cultivate this inclination.