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7- 3rd Theurgical Operation: Liaison

 

Sustasis is usually translated "meeting" or "conjunction," but again we will get more insight into the goal of the operation if we look at the range of meaning of the word. A sústasis (pl., sustáseis) is literally a putting-together (from sun-istęmi, to set up or place together). Therefore, in its most basic sense, a divine sustasis is a meeting that brings together a mortal and a divinity (Daimôn or God). Sustasis also means an introduction or recommendation, by which a mortal and divinity may make each other's acquaintance. By extension "sustasis" can refer to a friendship or alliance, and this cooperative relation is also a goal of divine sustasis.

Therefore we may say that the purpose of a divine (or hieratic) sustasis is to meet and form an alliance with a divinity for the sake of cooperation. By means of such an alliance you can place yourself under a God's guidance and protection (tutelage, in the ancient sense), or you may secure the assistance of a Daimôn for furthering divine purposes. Such an assistant is called a Paredros, which literally means "one who sits beside," and by extension an assistant divinity, a familiar spirit, or a counselor who provides magical aid.

 

Sustaseis with Gods and Their Daimones

As previously discussed ("Mediating Spirits"), Gods exist outside of space and time, and know us individually only as representatives of humankind. Therefore it is usually easier, more beneficial, and more common to have a Sustasis with a Daimôn, for They exist in time and space and know us as individuals. Since the Daimones are intermediate between humans and Gods (recall "Mediating Spirits" in the preivous pages), They are ideal mediators and are especially suited as messengers (angeloi, "angels") between our material universe and the Noetic Realm of the Gods. We may bring our individual problems to Daimones and request Their guidance and aid in our individual lives.

Sometimes it is appropriate to form a Sustasis with a God. This may be when the issue or goal is transpersonal (i.e., dealing with humanity as a whole), or when you wish to participate in the transcendent energeia of the God. (In the latter case beware, however, since the High Gods, in fulfilling Their purposes, may have little regard for the needs, desires, or sensibilities of individual humans. Being the instrument of Divine Will may be neither convenient nor pleasant.) Practically, even if your goal is sustasis with a God, you should start with a Daimôn. The Gods have created Their Chords or Lineages of Daimones as mediators and messengers for us. Therefore, a God is normally approached through Their Daimones.

Even if a God is invoked, a Daimôn may appear in Their stead, and you should not be surprised at this. Further, if asked to identify Themselves, the Daimôn may claim to be a God. This may not be intentionally deceptive (although Daimones are capable of such deception). Rather, the Daimôn may be delegated to this purpose by the God, for we are better able to relate to the individual personality of a Daimôn than to the transcendent character of a God. Second, as we have seen, names may be duplicated at each level of the divine hierarchy; thus, since many Daimones do not have names, They may call Themselves by the name of the God who heads their lineage. As previously remarked, there are theurgic means for distinguishing divine and daimonic apparitions (see under "Desmos" above), but it is probably safer to assume that you are communicating with a Daimôn.

The fact bears repeating that you cannot simply accept that a spirit is who They say They are. How, then, can you trust anything They say? You can't! Even if you are confident that you are communicating with one of the High Gods, you should not believe uncritically what (you think) They say or blindly acceptTheir advice or commands. Although your ego - your individual conscious mind - should serve divine Providence, it was given to you for a reason. Use it! Do not abandon your critical reason or your moral autonomy. They are essential to our role, as humans and Magi, in the Divine Order.