OK, so R.O. and I have been tussling. It happens every so often and usually these tussles are productive. I think it's good for people to see these perspectives negotiated in the discourse.
Which is fancy way of saying - sometimes it's good to argue so people get the opportunity to see that debate happen and think about that issue themselves too.
If you haven't been following, you might want to check out some of our previous posts. I posted a warning about putting together pots for muertos. Rufus responded to that with some instruction on how to put together spirit pots in a way he has seen work for well for him. I was a little shocked because even though I know he works these pots in a different way it seemed to me that the placement of his response could be taken as directions for creating a muerto pot of the nature I was explicitly warning against fooling around with. I didn't have enough time to respond with full a post, so I did a circular link-back thing using words from my original post to suggest he dumbing down this ATR technology.
It turns out he didn't intend for his post to be taken as instructions to replicate that ATR practice. He responded with an excellent, articulate clarification which I greatly appreciate. He hits the nail on the head about a great many things. Jason also stepped in and brought a much needed perspective in the discussion which greatly helps to reconcile the differences of these two approaches and brings up some excellent points I have not considered.
It's my turn to clarify also:
I didn't mean to hurt any feelings, of course. I admire the way R.O. makes the Western Tradition accessible and above all relevant to modern people. He is living it.
I don't believe R.O. is "ripping-off" the ATRs with his pots either. Spirit pots of various kinds are found in many cultures. Also, I think the exchange that's happening between the traditions is good. I've written and spoken about it myself. I think it has potential for enlivening the Western Tradition, just as the New World traditions have been enhanced by the grimoires and Christian influences. Some ATR practitioners don't see it that way. They see those elements as vestiges of oppression. Or as masks. It's more subtle than that, I believe, which is why these elements persist to this day. In a way it's what motivated me to get even more deeply involved in some New World paths as an initiate - so that my part in that dialogue can be more informed.
However, I think if we start saying a western magical technique/spirit/ritual is the same as an ATR technique/spirit/ritual and begin thinking they are interchangeable we are headed for a whole lot of trouble. Both spiritual and cultural. Specifically, in this case my greatest concern was that someone inadvertently gets into hot water by going 'commando' with a muerto pot of the sort I was talking about. Jason does a very good job of emphasising the dangers.
These kinds of pots truly are not toys.
In my opinion anyone attempting to work with a new western magical adaptation of this idea needs to truly do their homework and prepare themselves. And someone interested in the ATR application of this spiritual technology should look for someone qualified who can guide them through it, because as Jason says, if you decide to free-style it, it's very likely that it can blow up in your face.