Wew. What an eventful month it has been! In addition to clearing Rune Soup's amazing course on the history and praxis of the grimoire tradition, continuing my studies with Benebell Wen's Astrology Course for Beginners, receiving some extremely illuminating new instructions with regards to my ongoing trials in the White Work, performing numerous successful spells, providing substantial content and copy editing for a new occult writer's book, reading a whole pile of amazing new books, completing a major year-long creative endeavor, and nursing my cat through an infection, I also celebrated my birthday. :) It's been quite the ride, and I'm definitely feeling better than ever.
The aforementioned grimoires course has inspired me more than ever to start tackling grimoires on their own, as their own systems— though this time with a more nuanced appreciation for their historical context, the ways in which they came to diverge, and of course, which tools and procedures are vital and cannot be substituted out for convenience and laziness' sake, given the broader historical understanding. Naturally, this means that not every grimoire will be "for me"; often it's better to switch systems and do one as it was intended as opposed to half-assing another and then puzzling over why there weren't any powerful spirit manifestations. Out of the ones in my possession at the moment, the ones which have captured my heart the most are the Hygromanteia and the Grimorium Verum. The former's planetary prayers and directional conjurations have become a staple of my practice, as of this year, and the latter will be the first I will attempt to work fully and faithfully as a system.
Part of the course itself involved conjuring the dragon treasure spirit, Birto. I think I spent half an entire day making the circles for the two of us, and they really did come out marvelously. I conjured him into an Indonesian wooden dragon statue and struck up a pact that has already been immensely fruitful with no signs of slowing down.
Our coven also recently upgraded our guiding spirit's vessel. Unlike a deity or a major power behind the coven like the Horned Master and the Witch Mother, our guiding spirit, whom we often call the Sentinel, remains enthroned close to us, functioning as a personal guardian to the whole of the group, negotiating with other beings on our behalf, assisting us individually as an inter-court member, and all around being a ridiculously powerful tutor and mentor. All we had been missing for his new skin was a raven's feather and the right kind of vessel, and with both in hand we installed his powers on an astrologically auspicious day. He's been charming minor miracles left and right for each of us since, and his manifestations have been even more alarmingly physical than they've usually been.
I love tending to the vessels of the spirits that I work with; cleaning them with rainwater, anointing them with oils, placing them in the moon's path to absorb her light, offering them incense, food, and good drink. The powerful affection I feel for all my spirits, and the love they feel for me in return, is something I treasure beyond words. When that devotion is done with a group of trusted, loving witch-siblings, the numinous connections are made even more brilliant thereby.