Thursday, March 10, 2011

Contingent Conjurations

Yesterday Rufus Opus put up an interesting article in which he describes lifting a particularly complex curse. Two different brujos had been hired to curse his client, and while they used different methods the two spells reinforced each other.

A slight tarnish covered the client's sphere, and the general sphere of her family. Then I looked deeper into the tarnish and its sources, and used some lunar tech to see through any illusions that might be covering the client. I saw a tribe of spirits had been assigned to monitor the client and her family. This tribe would monitor the plans and activities of the family members, and then sabotage whatever the client tried to do. The goal was simply to make the client's life miserable, and there were many agents sent against her, actively looking for ways to make her life hell.

Then I noticed that there was more to it. The client's sphere had been cursed, and bad luck flowed into her life. If bad luck were water, someone had increased the client's gravity and it all sort of flowed directly to her.

The curses were working together. The tribe of spirits used the incoming bad luck to sabotage the client's ambitions.

In the two methods employed I can see something of my own magical history. Back when I was starting out as a magician, I would simply curse the target's sphere and be done with it. As I became more experienced, though, I developed a method similar to the technique used to hide the spirits. Rather than binding the spirits to the target directly you instead bind them around the target and instruct them to mess with elements of the target's life to produce the desired effect. As RO notes it has the advantage of being hard to detect, especially with some illusions thrown in, and the target also will have trouble getting rid of it with daily magical practices. It's no surprise to me that brujos would have worked this out - they've been plying their trade professionally for a very long time.

I wanted to refer back to this in reference to another article that came through my news alerts, also yesterday. I was going to just post it as a weird news item, but after reading over RO's article it struck me that if this wasn't simply a case of hysteria it might represent a different application of the "tribe of spirits" technique used to curse his client.

Last year in November, the lady in question (name not mentioned) was traveling in a taxi when a neighbor accidentally left a phone behind. She immediately pocketed it and decided to make it a personal phone. After removing the simcard, the mobile phone was ready to be used. However, calamity befell her when demons started attacking her and almost running her mad.

Opaque objects started talking to her. Things like bags, chairs, and the like were talking to her almost running her mad. In despair, she took to a church, Prayer Palace in Kireka where she sought help. In shame, she lied to the pastor in charge saying she had just picked up the phone.

However, she later revealed the truth to the pastor who prayed for her and she left feeling better.

Hopefully she also returned the phone, which would probably stop the spell.

What I'm envisioning here is a spell similar to the "tribe of spirits" curse but bound to a particular object and set to go off if a certain condition is met. In this case, what I'm imagining is that the owner of the phone bound spirits to it and instructed them to go to work on the thief if the phone were stolen. Cell phones do get stolen a lot, so if I ever get one I'm considering casting something like this on it myself. It's very appealing to me as a software developer to be able to put spells into big if...then loops that run without my intervention.

The possible applications for contingent conjuration spells are wide and varied, and pretty much limited only by your imagination. Setting up a contingent condition is relatively simple - you conjure the spirit as you would normally, bind it to a person, place, or object, and then give it a slightly more complex charge that includes the condition. Something like "when this phone is stolen and activated, attack the thief or thieves until it is returned."

A classic version of this sort of spell that I've used for years is to charge spirits to neutralize any magical attack sent my way and then go after the caster, which might be why I've encountered so few magical attacks in the course of my work. Maybe they really are a lot more common than I realize and have been taken care of without my knowledge.

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Rufus Opus said...

In the lemegeton's goetia, there are spirits that you conjure and set against thieves to have things returned to you. They're not called on until you've had an object stolen though. I believe their effects would be similar to those experienced by the phone thief.

My preference is sending spirits to get stuff back after its been taken rather than putting spirits in in case something happens. The long term effects of tying a spirit to an object aren't always predictable. There are spirits I know who would make the phone get stolen so they could demonize the thief and fulfill the charge placed on them by the magician.

It could be mitigated with forethought, but there's always something I miss or don't think of that becomes a "learning experience" it seems.

Scott Stenwick said...

There are spirits I know who would make the phone get stolen so they could demonize the thief and fulfill the charge placed on them by the magician.

I can't say that I've ever come across a situation like that, though I tend to work more with Enochian angels and the planetary intelligences and spirits than with grimoire demons so maybe it's a personality thing on the part of the spirits employed.

You do need to have some additional limitations in your charge above and beyond the simple version I give in the article, things like prohibiting damage to your property or injury to yourself but that goes for any charge, not just a contingent one.