Are we working with spirits, or using them?

Something I noticed, is that some people who practice magic will say that they worked with spirit so-and-so. Other people will say that they used spirit so-and-so. This makes me contemplate our true relationship with the spirits.

By saying, “I used the spirit so-and-so,” I think it implies that we are in a position of command over spirits. In other words, they are on a level underneath us. Meanwhile, spirits are like tools waiting to be implemented for our use. They don’t really get to turn us down unless for good reason, because their purpose is to be put to use - our use, in the case of magicians.

In contrast, by saying, “I worked with spirit so-and-so,” there seems to be an implication of collaboration; that spirits have the option of saying no to us, and are free to exist whether or not we put them to use. In this way, humans and spirits, as teammates, are more equal than master and toolkit.

Which phrase - use or work with - resembles your relationship with the spirits, if any, and why?

No spirit can be compelled by a human. The majority are either equal or above us. The only way we can command them is in the name of their superiors.

Every spirit can say no. Most desire payment and feeding. In fact, that is the traditional way in every culture on earth. Not feeding spirits is a predominantly modern (last thousand years MAYBE) practice, which ignores simple fact and doesn’t give good results in the long run. Eventually, your debts start piling up, spirits get fed up, and they leave you.

Work with.

Spirits do have a mind of their own. When you call them forth, you are not in command of them you are working alongside of them. You do what you can and the spirit does their part for the things you are unable to change. It’s a partnership.

Work with, definitely. In my experience these spirits are intelligent beings who can and do think for themselves, and likely have their own opinions of us as well. To even try to use them like we would use an object is disrespectful IMO. Also, it just seems like a bad idea to offend or make one angry.

I’m not sure it’s possible to really command them or “use” them anyway really. A spirit is going to do what it chooses to do. Recently, a demonic spirit I was working with, basically showed me though the his presence and power alone, how I would never be able to command and constrain him. (Not that I was trying or intending to. It seems like he was just teaching and confirming a good lesson.) This topic has me thinking, is it a fear thing that makes some want to control and constrain them, or perhaps a need to feel absolute power?

Probably a power and control thing Blazewind.

I read an article on a blog recently where this so-called magician was teaching others how to call upon a demon from the Goetia and he was instructing you cannot work with them unless they are contained and controlled or they would overcome you and have no respect for you. He stated that the spirits are always angry when you call them and you have to show them you are in control by spewing a bunch of nonsense at them in Latin to bind them to your power and that some can only be dealt with if contained in a jar or container made of metals.

No, he was not a troll or a misguided relgious clergy man. His entire blog was on magick and he got some things right but when I read his articles on what he believed to be the most effective way to summon a demon and get them to take you seriously, I almost commented and said dude, you are only teaching people how to anger the spirits. They do not respond well to being treated like that.

I mean, would you feel comfortable saying:

Hey Belial, get your ass down here!
By the powers of darkness, I command you
Hooki NaNa De Monicus Me Ferut
Get into this container now and obey my every command!
I am your boss, you will listen to me and do as I say.

I mean seriously, would you call upon a demon of the Goetia and speak to them like that? Knowing the type of power they have to fuck up the lives of those who are wronging you, would you want them to turn around and do the same to you?

Uh, I know I sure wouldn’t. That’s not how the blog author said it verbatim, but it was pretty close to that.

i say used all the time, but to my way of thinking, it’s not so much using the spirit as it is letting the spirit use (manipulate) reality to show its nature and properties.

the idea of human superiority to spirits is laughable.

Depends on how I consider the consciousness of the spirit. When dealing with an automatic force that operates by known laws automatically, I consider it using. When dealing with a consciousness that makes choices, I’d say work with.