Note: this is the updated version of an older post, revised to reflect the final content of the book. Enjoy!
Symbiosis is a relationship of mutual benefit, a relationship between disparate species that benefits both parties. One goal I see of working in an animistic magical view is the building of symbiotic relationships with the world and spirits around us.
This is an important viewpoint to hold when working within a spirit ecosystem. I feel that most of the focus should be on creating a 'happy and healthy place' that provides support and nourishment to all of the beings that are inherently interested in working inside such a relationship. The end result then is a committed 'house' made up of us, the spirits that surround us, the physical areas we live and work in and their inhabitants. The entire 'house' is then ideally pointed in the same direction, becoming in a sense a strong and healthy ship, with all components working together to achieve our goals. When this happens, the labor of moving forward is reduced.
I mostly sense this 'strong and happy ship' as a reduction of friction. The current is with us, the winds drive our ship forward in a mostly smooth fashion. There are still hiccups and storms to weather, but things are generally moving forward in the direction we (myself and the spirits engaged in the work with me) desire them to.
The greatest tools I have to build such a spirit ecology are devotion, discretion, integrity, and consistency in action.
Devotion in action is to focus (devotion means to make primary or 'first') on that which is the most important to me. Discretion in action is the ability and willingness to make intelligent decisions. Integrity in action means doing what I say I will do, and doing it to the best of my ability. Consistency in action means I strive to do all of these things all of the time.
To work in this fashion I continuously refine my focus and intentions, the direction I am heading, and take care of the company I keep, who are in a sense the crew of my ship. This also means not letting just anyone come on board. There are spirits that would be happy to move into my ship and enjoy the ride while working against my intentions, just as there are 'friends' who will sleep on my couch and eat all my food if I let them, all the while trying to screw my girl behind my back. These types must go, or be brought into the program. I also have to do the same work with my own thought forms (i.e., keep the self-hater in check and keep the discursive mind from playing shitty loops), and keep these processes going all of the time.
If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. But the benefits from not fucking around are huge for me.
So I make offerings, and I am clear on who they are going to: those that aid and guard me, those spirits naturally occurring in the spaces I inhabit, as well as those who might block me for any reason but who are willing to cease and desist for a small fee (i.e., a seat at the offering table).
I create protective structures that work like antibodies to clear illness or disease that might otherwise infect our house.
I reiterate my intentions, through speech, sigils, petitions, vessels, talismans, ritual, or other types of magical focal points, keeping my mind clear and focused.
All of these pieces work together to create a healthy ecosystem that by its very nature supports me and those who work with me. This type of coherent multi-level approach has proven to be far more effective than a more scattered, haphazard one.
Six Ways is available for pre-order at this time (the release date is April 23rd, 2018) via Amazon US & Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Adlibris in Norway, Finland, and Sweden, and the Book Depository. The Book Depository ships worldwide for free, and so is the best source for Oceania and Canada right now. As I have been asked: I get paid the same regardless of where you purchase the book, so choose whichever works best for you! I am not handling shipping of books at this time, as it simply cuts too deeply into the time I have for my work in the shop, so they are not available from me directly, with the exception of bookstores looking to buy wholesale.