I am not dead or inactive, but have relocated to a small island some 23 miles offshore.
This journal remains my personal work, not a professional publication, and as such it should be expected that I update it in a manner I deem fitting.
Overall, I have greatly appreciated the responses to this work, but have long felt that much of what has been taken from this journal is not what I feel are its strongest merits, and so I will take this time to reflect on what this work is and what it is not.
This journal is not in any way instructive, by intention or by accident. I am not here to teach anyone how to do anything. This is a record of me figuring things out for myself, a series of opinions and considerations developed over the course of the work.
One thing that comes up often, almost interminably, is the obsession that people develop with the idea of spirit apparitions. That is apparently what people actually want from ceremonial magic, all other goals aside, and though I sympathize with that intention it is not the proper attitude.
"What, then, is the point?"
The entire concept of this art is founded upon the idea that God saw fit to bestow Magic upon Solomon, as Religion was given to Abraham and Speech was given to Adam. It is supposed to be a great revelation, a sign that God would endorse the temporal authority of mankind. Magic, which in this sense I mean the various systems of commanding spirits, is intended to be a sacred art.
In the case of these Goetia operations, that art is the exorcism and binding of evil spirits, who are generally considered slaves of the Devil or manifestations thereof. That mankind would have the authority or ability to treat with such beings on any meaningful level goes far beyond the sensationalism inherent in the idea of apparitions, prophecies, and powers of enchantment.
The influence of the evil spirits is evident and widespread in the world. Few of the readers, for example, enjoy any degree of wealth or comfort, yet in many ways (I do not doubt) they exceed their wealthy peers in knowledge or skills or "worthiness" measured in diverse ways. It is also evident that a great number of people in this world live in deprivation through no fault of their own. That the good should suffer while the incompetent should prosper is an evil thing.
The people who are responsible for making the bad decisions that mandate oppressive conditions are not themselves to blame, or not entirely. While there have been some genuinely wicked dictators, often behind their acts lies a fear of wicked men who bring them threats and dire consequences. Temptations toward evil are abundant, and we are weak against such things even when given a place of power.
The art of binding the evil spirits is intended to put those powers in check, to remove them from the equation so that the will of the magician can act without their encumbrance. In that action we are on our own recognizance. "The Devil made me do it!" is no longer a valid excuse, and where it is, the spirit has not been bound. To be chased by phantoms and haunted by horrors is not a sign of success in this art, but of failure. Freedom, joy, peace... those are the signs of success.
So much for the substance of the art itself. As for the journal, it is a repository of spirit lore unlike anything else you will find in print. In every place possible, I have made an effort to delve into the underlying details of the spirits. Your average book on demonology will offer such phrases as "So-and-so was considered a demon of bowel disorders by the ancient Hittites." I have made every effort to raise the bar for what constitutes demonology.
I had debated whether or not to make further updates to this journal on account of the unsavory attention it has attracted at time despite the overall positive response. I will continue to consider that, but for the present I will only say that I am still alive and quite well.