Physical Manifestation: Research Summary

A human being can benefit from strengthening their presence in the higher world. To do so, they must find and develop that part of themselves which is eternal. The gods, correspondingly, don ephemeral clothing when they enter our world. They rely on us to provide the language by which they express themselves, and allow communities to set the rules for them while they are visiting. It is for this reason that the metaphysical world works slightly differently for each culture, and even neighboring groups of people honoring the same gods may experience them differently from one another.

Greek gods are inherently eternal (hence why they are called Athanatoi, or The Deathless Ones), and physical things are inherently temporary. Greek gods are, at least logically speaking, non-physical by nature. Despite this, I have seen them physically manifest, and I earnestly believe that our ancient counterparts also had these sorts of experiences. I believe that this is a result of deities clothing themselves in thought forms which human belief and cultural expectations made solid to the senses.

This isn’t so much about accuracy. Thought forms are thought forms, and they always introduce a shade or three of filter, cultural or otherwise. This is about having a visceral and sensual experience of deities. Such a thing might not be so important to people who work with deities of the mind, like Athena, or even Hekate, but for those of us whose commerce in the mythic realm involves deities of sensuality, sex, drinking, eating, and physical ecstasy, just getting messages from the gods feels… insufficient.

To that end, I have been conducting research into how physical manifestation of deities, independent of human channels, might be accomplished.

A hearty thanks to Zeus, Hera, and Aphrodite, who were willing participants in my experiments, and to Apollon, Hekate and Hermes who helped a great deal with the theory end of things.

I want to state, for the record, that this isn’t about forcing deities to manifest. It is about making it easier for them to do so when they wish, independent of humans to channel them.

What I Tried, and How It Worked (Or Didn’t)

Contracts

What it is: A simple signed statement giving what amounts to legal permission for certain entities to manifest in my space.

Why I thought it might work: Deities are more likely to be present when we call them. Invitation is helpful to deities in entering our world.

Perhaps the reason that deities don’t manifest is because we neither want them to, nor expect them to. By writing a contract extending a deity permissions to physically enter the space, perhaps the laws of the universe somehow come to allow that.

What actually happened: Deities reported that this did not make it any easier for them to manifest. This is possibly because I already really want them here, and my earnest desire for them to be there obviates the need for a legal statement.

Raising Specific Energy

What it is: Chanting divine names to raise energy. Because names are used, the energy being called is of that deity.  For example, one might chant epithets of Aphrodite to call her presence more strongly into the room.

Why I thought it might work: I have been told by people that the secret to powerful manifestations is more energy. Their hypothesis is that the more energy you have, the closer to manifestation your working becomes. It seemed like a worthy hypothesis to test.

What actually happened: The people involved felt very connected to the deity, but this did not seem to make physical (or sensory) manifestation any easier for the gods who participated.

Narrative Magic

What it is: A type of working wherein one tells a myth or a story about a deity doing something, in hopes that this will encourage them to do it.

Why I thought it might work: This is used in the PGM. I thought it was worth exploring.

What actually happened: I did two sets of experiments, some with deities, some with mortals. The stories that I told with myself as a character manifested very well. Other people experienced similar things. Deities were not more likely to manifest, however.

Creating Telesmatic Images of the Deities

What it is: A thoughtform which is made out of etheric light. It has a location in physical space. In this variant, the images were specially consecrated for the stated purpose.

Why I thought it might work: It’s already in the physical plane, if you think about it. Nine tenths of manifestation, for deities, is narrowing down the large number of possible ways they could manifest into something relatively specific.

What actually happened: Deities really liked this. They thought that having an etheric vessel constructed for them was boss. It didn’t cause sensory manifestation.

Creating Telesmatic Images Representing The Concept of Manifestation

What it is: So, telesmatic images fix the influences of a thing in physical space. Any concept can be represented. So, what about creating one of a gate meant to bridge the world of gods and the world of humans.

Why I thought it might work: Telesmatics create changes in perception and influence unconscious minds in an area. So…?

What actually happened: This was probably the most powerful hack I’ve ever used to boost the power of ordinary invocations. Zeus was super excited about the results, and his etheric presence lingered all weekend, much to the profound chagrin of his son and messenger. No sensory manifestation.

Custom Boundaries

What it is: A cast circle is a type of thought form. If we are more explicit in our creation of a circle as a thoughtform, we can gain greater control over the rules by which a circle operates.

Why I thought it might work: A cast circle changes the rules for an area. Maybe one of the customizable perameters is how easy this sort of manifestation is.

What actually happened: Interestingly, having tried these workings in every kind of cast circle you could reasonably think of, the energies of deities seemed to be closer and more visceral with either no circle at all, or the one I designed to admit one and only one deity.

Consecrating The Space to The Crossroads

What it is: A ritual which creates a space under the authority of Hekate and Hermes, and connects the three realms of the Greek Kosmos.

Why I thought it might work: Perchance if Earth developed a more intimate connection with Sky in the space, Sky gods might more easily be seen on Earth?

What actually happened: While nestled directly in between Hermes and Hekate tops my list of safest and most secure locations, in a spiritual sense, and while Hekate likes this ritual a lot, it did not support crossing the veil in quite the way I had hoped.

Small Scale Sympathetic Magic

What it is: Using an object or objects to represent something, and doing ritual actions on the thing which is presumably easier to poke and prod than the thing it represents.

Why I thought it might work: I guess, on some level, I think of “the veil” as the collective, local willingness or unwillingness to allow entities into their world. I think this is actually how sympathetic magic gets you jobs or parking spaces. It’s a note written to the collective unconscious mind.

What actually happened: I got a note back from the collective unconscious mind. It read: “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Large Scale Sympathetic Magic

What it is: Rather than having inanimate objects standing in for thing, people, places or concepts, I had people acting out roles to do much the same.

Why I thought it might work: It’s like sympathetic magic, but with its own built in consensus. The stated goal was to make mythic reality a real thing.

What actually happened: Holy Shit. What didn’t happen? People gained control over the weather. Water turned into wine. Ok, Coke turned into rum and coke, but still. What didn’t happen? Deities did not show up. Not even when directly invoked. They were not even astrally present. Human imagination took over everything, and the gods couldn’t get a word in edgewise.

Communal Agreement

What it is: A local verbal consensus that the gods are present and physically influencing objects. “Damnit, Hermes! Gimme back my lighter!”

Why I thought it might work: I noticed that gnosis tends to be shaped by community-talk. Maybe manifestation could, too?

What actually happened: Hermes stole many physical objects from plain sight, but was not, himself, seen.

What I Concluded

1. The human unconscious mind, at present, does not generally welcome deities into human territory. Where it is strongly invoked, the gods are pushed away. Where it is asked permission that they should manifest, it declines.

2. Rituals change reality by changing the way you think about reality. This, in turn, changes the metaphysical influence you exert on your environment.

3. Consensus is reality, and reality is consensus. Community talk about who the gods are, what they are capable of, and what that means has a profound effect on the way people experience deities, up to and including how much they can influence the physical plane.

Next Steps:

1. Explore why deities might be personae non-grata in most places. We could guess. This is a Atheo-Christian country, after all.

2. Develop rituals which specifically target the perceptions of the ritualists.

3. Engage community in intentional chatter about deities to see if this can influence how they manifest.

30 comments

  1. moonfire2012

    I have to respectfully disagree on ritual not changing reality. I have personal evidence that certain rituals made the God(s) manifest more strongly, or at least open a door that had been closed before. It helps me to connect and feel more of Their energy.

    • Thenea

      I’m actually not suggesting that rituals don’t help. I’m making a subtler point here. That what the ritual does is make a change in you, and this is *how* the change in the environment happens.

      • moonfire2012

        Thank you for clarifying that, because that’s what it looked like you said.

      • Thenea

        Changed to: “2. Rituals change reality by changing the way you think about reality. This, in turn, changes the metaphysical influence you exert on your environment.” — Is that less obtuse?

  2. owanderer

    re: #1 of next steps. Actually, maybe most deities can’t manifest here because that would be a mite too close to rudeness and harken back to colonization. I’d been wondering very loudly about the dead land in my area here and Freyja pointed out that She, as a colonizing deity, would not attempt to wake up the land (which I inferred, I shouldn’t either). Perhaps this is not Atheo-Christian country–it is Turtle Island, stolen territory from the indigenous peoples.
    That said, I’ve heard from a few friends that their deities manifested for them in times of particular hardship so I don’t know. I’m fascinated by your results. (Angraboda keeps poking me towards witchcraft and I like the way you do things so, idk, I might Try Stuff from your blog.)

    • Thenea

      I think each deity would have their own views on this subject, for sure. You make an interesting point.

      Though, I wonder what the difference is between manifesting straight up, and simply riding a human. Freya certainly does the latter. I wonder if that is less of an intrusion, and if so, why. If you could get clarification from her about that, I’d be very interested.

      If you do try stuff, please let me know.

      • owanderer

        I imagine a straight-up manifestation would take more power? Hmm. Although, I suppose forcing Oneself into such a small human vessel *could* be more technically difficult than simply manifesting a meatsuit of your own desire. I can try to get a clarification from Freyja on manifesting vs riding but as most of my spirit work is in dreaming, it may take awhile. I’ll let you know if I get an answer.
        And yeah, I will give you the heads up too, if I try some things of yours or similar things.

    • Thenea

      And. Also.

      Your comment makes me wonder about whether the original spirits and gods of this land actually manifest more easily. We might suppose that they do, but I’d love to talk to someone who works with them.

      • owanderer

        Ooooooooo good question. I am only just starting to make offerings to the ancestors of the stolen land I reside on so I don’t know the answer to that. They’re public offerings to the Mohawk ancestors so if you ever happen to be in the Montreal/Kanienkahake area, you’d be welcome to join me.

  3. Julian Morrison

    Where I’d go next is getting the collective unconscious to elaborate on its “no” (rather than trying to slam through it with sheer metaphysical firepower in a way that feels kinda non consensual and icky). Maybe deities can assist establishing lines of communication?

    • Thenea

      Actually, more than being immoral, I’d say that slamming through the consensus with metaphysical power isn’t possible, or certain gods would have done that already.

      There are gods whose followers tell me feel under no obligation to be moral in and sense. Yet the most power they can wield is possessing a single human against his or her will. Clearly do not care about consent, yet can’t pick up their own teacup.

  4. Lon Sarver

    Is it not possible that the gods are already physically manifest, all the time? I greet every vinyard I pass with, “hello, boss.” Dionysos is manifest in the wine and the yeast and the tingly wobbly feeling of being drunk. He’s manifest in the altar goods I have consecrated to him, in the pulsing of the dance floor, and the sweaty musk of sex.

    The gods are always physically manifest. It’s just that their manifestation is so large and subtle it doesn’t look like anyone is there.

    • Thenea

      This may be true, but it isn’t what I mean.

      I’m trying to understand and reproduce past experiences of deities manifest independently in anthropomorphic form. This might be not meaningful or desirable to everyone, but I’d sure as hell like to understand it.

      • Lon Sarver

        Fair enough. I’m familiar with what you’re talking about–sensible manifestation in the ether–from the grimiore traditions, where they call it “evocation to visible manifestation.” Best I’ve done it is to have really vivid trance visuals, but I know someone who described having evoked a spirit (with several others) to visible manifestation. As a Bugs Bunny head made of incense smoke.

        As it happened, they were videotaping the evocation. There was no spectral rabbit in the video.

      • Thenea

        That makes sense. Hypnosis is capable of making us feel drunk, or stoned, or like we are being tickled by feathers. Surely it could cause this, too.

        I want to stress that in all three (ha) of the instances that I’ve experienced full sensory manifestation, I was doing no ritualizing of any kind.

        You bring up a very applicable point, though. If an evocation technique could be used to bring a god or goddess down to that level, it could bring anything.

        The gods themselves, I think, are not what is manifesting. It is their thought form. Or. I dunno. Maybe. On two of the above-described occasions, the bodies seemed sorta like a 4 dimensional form pressed up against the 3 dimensional universe, like a kid pressing his face up against a pane of glass. Parts that should have a fixed size grew and shrank in a really unnerving fashion. Could just be unstable manifestation?

        No clue.

      • Lon Sarver

        I tend to think of it as us creating an imaginary/visionary form that they then animate. So it’s not so much that the god is unstable, but that your imagination isn’t holding the one image solidly.

        Maybe a practice of visualizing the god as strongly and stably as possible, on a regular basis, will help?

        Thinking about it, It occurs to me that a reason more folks don’t see the gods (or whatever) is that they do not habitually visualize them in ritual, sacred theater, and so on.

      • Thenea

        I actually have a practice of doing this, and have had for decades, though it is inspired by the Golden Dawn practice of creating godforms, which tend to be 2D and a but cartoonish.

        Additionally, I’m a bit of an astral junkie, and spend perhaps more time than I should visually engaging with deities.

        However, on the astral, gods take a great variety of forms, in accordance with the many images available of them from the ancient world.

        Maybe a certain subset of Lokeans are onto something with memorizing the physical appearance of Tom Hiddleston and consistently using that appearance for their deity.

      • Thenea

        Though, as an additional piece of information, focusing on the forms, when they appeared, did not seem to influence their shape. Like, if I focused in a hand and tried to help it stabilize, it had no effect.

    • Thenea

      Also, to obnoxiously play devil’s advocate… Medb. and Tammuz are also gods manifest as tingly wobbly. To Shekhina, vineyards are sacred. To Inanna, too, the sweaty musk of sex is holy. Hellenic thought particularly venerates the personalities of gods. In what part of the physical universe are those presently manifest, and can we distinguish one deity from another?

      • Lon Sarver

        Um… I just *know?* Or something?

        More seriously… As incorporeal beings, there’s plenty of room for them in any one space. How many gods can drink margaritas on the head of a pin? As many as want, for as long as the booze holds out.

        OK, maybe “seriously” was a poor choice of words. I don’t think of them as localized that way. Shekhina and Dionysos can be present in the same vine, with plenty of room to spare. In all the vines, all over the world, at once. I mean, if I invoke Dionysos to be at my Revel, does that mean that all other Dionysians who might be invoking him at that time get his answering machine? Of course not. I’d imagine this assumes to sensible manifestations, as well.

      • Thenea

        “How many gods can drink margaritas on the head of a pin? As many as want, for as long as the booze holds out.” — This urgently needs to become a meme.

  5. Mia Tolliver

    From what I understand – and I may be totally wrong – one of the problems is that the Realms aren’t connected yet. That has to occur before any full scale manifestation on the physical plane can be effected. They touch in certain areas and in certain ways, but there’s a barrier that prevents anything but a trickle crossing over. Sort of like the Veil thinning at certain times of the year, the gateways open at least partially between Realms but it’s not stable or constant. I think that has to do with why magick is stronger at certain times and why we’re told to use those times (new moons, full moons, equinoxes, etc) for major castings. I’m sure your deities can tell you if that’s correct, partially correct, or absolutely lunatic. Cheers!

    • Thenea

      My understanding is that we, as both spiritual and physical entities, are the bridge, and are capable of creating bridges. We already do this to some extent. When a human worships a deity, for example, they create a more manifest vessel for the deity out of their cultural ideas and expectations (what we refer to as aspects). I do believe that deities used to manifest physically more frequently: our (Hellenic) myths tell us as much. Yet, at some point in the past, the shape of communal expectation changed, and deities can no longer do that.

      I have seen *magic* physically manifest, in response to what I’d call “local area consensus work” wherein we had a group of trained magicians change their expectations, long term (think months, rather than hours or days), in a pre-agreed upon way. This was crazy effective.

      It produced electro-keneisis, invisibility, weather control and other more minor effects. If the realms were separate, or if the work needed to focus on thinning or rending veils, we wouldn’t expect to see this approach succeed.

      We also tried Gate-work… same group of people. And I also tried a ritual of opening gates with Hekate, who is a goddess of gates and doorways. If the problem was a lack of connection between realms, and the need for opened gates, we would expect this to produce profound results, but it didn’t. Much more profound results were gained just by having people locally agree that certain things should be possible, in strong, focused unison.

      It might surprise you to learn that magic is stronger for different people at different times. As in, it may be easier for *you* to wok magick at the equinox, but for a Jewish folk magician, the obvious time to do magick is on Rosh Hashana evening, whether or not that falls anywhere near the equinox, or 42 minutes after sundown on Saturday. These times probably wouldn’t do much for you. Each tradition creates its own consensus about what times are most powerful. It’s your tradition’s expectations that those times are most powerful that makes them so for the people practicing the tradition. If it was the times themselves, we would expect them to be the same in every tradition.

      • aoibheall52

        I’m sorry I haven’t replied to this message but it has caused me to have to rethink many of my original ideas.  And that’s taking time. Add in high drama from my husband’s family and our bi-annual job search, and I’ll be lucky to be able to give it the concentration it deserves this month.  But I do want to thank you for giving me all this information and pointing me in a more productive direction. 

        Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S®4, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

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